Explorer: The Deepest Cave (2022) Movie Script

BILL (off-screen): I received
a phone call in January of 1988.
And they said, uh, there's
an amazing new discovery
in the Sierra Juarez mountains
of Eastern Oaxaca, Mexico.
BILL (off-screen): By the
end of that brief re-con,
we realized that, that
we were on to something.
The scale of which is
totally unprecedented.
There's a massive entrance at
the top of the mountain
and an exit at the bottom where
the river flows out
over 9,000 feet vertically below.
That makes Chev the
deepest cave on Earth, in theory.
Whether a human
can go through or not,
that's what we're
here to, uh, determine.
COREY: Oh God.
(theme music playing)
BILL (off-screen): This is not
really a, uh, a race course.
This is a fluency test
to make sure you know
what the heck you're doing
before you go in the cave.
Everything you see here. Every one
of these complicated little maneuvers,
that exists in the cave.
This is not a fabrication here.
BEV: Okay.
-BILL: Uh-oh. Careful.
-BEV: Uh-oh.
BILL: Think about
where it's gonna go.
This course is here
because a guy died in this cave.
Came in.
Had never trained for the type
of rope work that was happening.
BILL (off-screen): And went
down and he landed on his head.
Ever since then
we instituted this,
what we call a
rebelay course,
uh, to test everybody
who comes here.
Most of these
people are world class.
Some of them are newer,
younger people.
That's good, switch to repel.
We have a nominal 40 minute time to do the
whole course,
but, really, most people who
are fluent will be under 20.
Descender's off.
Our descender off.
That's off.
One, two.
17 flat.
PABLO: Whoa! Very good.
BILL: And that was
textbook except for one or two.
PABLO: Yeah.
PABLO (off-screen): My name is Pablo
Durana and I am the cinematographer
going in the cave.
I've gone on expeditions
in Greenland, in Antarctica.
Uh, so, environments
that are, are difficult.
PABLO (off-screen): But I've never been
in a cave as deep as this or as,
as technical or complicated.
You know, this is
true exploration and,
you know, Chev is at
the top of this big mystery.
Hopefully they'll discover
the passage that'll make this
the deepest cave in the world.
BILL: Uh, so, uh,
just confirming,
we will be restarting
the restock, uh, supply train
hopefully tomorrow, if not
then the very next day, uh,
and people will be moving back into camp
one and camp two for a shuttle, over.
COREY: The distance and
the depth involved, uh, in,
in getting to
the bottom of Chev
is singular among
the caves in the world.
So, it's massive effort that takes
thousands of pounds of equipment and
months and months
of planning to even get us here.
BEV: Camp one?
Basecamp here, over.
You guys on the line?
We need to talk to you.
BEV (off-screen): On the surface,
you got a team of people
who are packing up all
the food, all the supplies,
making sure that everything is getting
into that multi-day supply chain,
so that it can
arrive down into the cave.
BILL: Well, so purgatory borehole is
aligned with sump one.
BILL (off-screen):
Over the past 30 years,
we've established a chain
of underground camps
leading deeper and deeper into the cave.
All the way to our current
front line of exploration
about five kilometers
from the entrance.
For those who have an
idea to go to camp five,
I'm gonna tell you right now,
the only people going to camp five
are those whose skill sets are
specifically needed there.
It is not a pleasant place.
I think we have, uh, ten, uh, nations
involved in this project this year.
So what unfolds is gonna
be an orchestrated team of
highly trained individuals and
getting a little bit of luck.
This is the last terrestrial frontier and
it is the real deal.
SEAN: We've laid
siege to this mountain.
We've got 60 people.
We've got the best technology and
some of the world's best cavers.
And our goal is to make this cave the
deepest cave in the world.
BILL: Think we could get by
with one roll of flagging tape?
BEV: (laughs) Yes.
BILL: I might have to.
All right, survey kit.
Right on top and that is it.
Little on the heavy side.
BILL (off-screen): Right now I'm headed
down to the front line to camp five
to rally the lead team for a
big push deeper into the cave.
PABLO: It's like
we're going into battle.
-BEV: We are!
BILL: Everybody ready to roll?
Let's go.
BILL (off-screen): From the entrance
it's five hours of travel
to reach the first supply camp.
COREY: This is an entrance you could fly,
like, an airplane in to.
Uh, so, the first impression
you get is that it's big
and it keeps giving you that
impression all the way down.
BILL (off-screen): The entrance chamber
itself goes for several hundred meters
before you can drop
down through the floor
to the first rope pitch.
And when you hit the bottom
you can now begin to hear
the Chev River
for the first time.
MAN (over radio): Yeah, it'll
definitely be of use deeper.
BILL: Okay, we'll put that in
the out pile and then
somebody coming in next time, put that
on their list for camp two.
BILL (off-screen): Camp one, it's there as
an acclimatization camp
for people who are just
showing up on the mountain.
You get acclimated
to the, the altitude,
you get acclimated to
just the physical brutality of,
of hauling heavy
loads up and down.
AMY: I'm gonna say
three liters of breakfast.
BILL: Uh, yeah,
this is camp one.
Uh, we currently have, uh,
four souls, uh, down here
with about 60 kilos of food,
headed for camp two.
BILL (off-screen): Completing the journey
down to camp two requires
a highly technical descent of a
500 foot underground waterfall.
Do you want me to
wait for you down there?
PABLO: Any moment feels okay
for you to wait would be great,
...but I don't
want you to get cold.
BILL: You're gonna
have to step across,
go up about two meters
and there's a traverse line.
Just clip it with your two cow's tails,
don't screw around with a jumar.
PABLO: Okay.
BILL: Don't dally in there.
And don't do
anything reckless either.
BILL (off-screen): The worst thing that
you can possibly have happen,
on an expedition, is
to have someone die.
Okay? And I, I can tell you that
from hard personal experience.
It's happened to me four times.
BILL (off-screen): When
you look over the edge there,
you know that that's, you know,
death staring you in the face.
And so you pay
attention to everything you do.
This would not be a
place to have a broken leg.
BILL (off-screen): Camps three
and four were the furthest
we've been able to go
for about 20 years,
until we found a bypass
to a new route in 2017.
Now, camp five is our current
front line of exploration.
Four full days of
travel from the surface.
A collapsed tunnel has halted
all forward progress from here.
We gotta, we gotta think
out of the box here and,
and you know, finding
a way on is number one,
-and survey is the next thing.
-WITEK: Why waste time?
BILL: Also, make sure
it's Bill-sized please.
COREY: That's gonna be
a little hard to promise.
-WITEK: Yeah.
COREY: I think a non-Bill-sized route
forward is better than no route forward.
BILL: Well, I
agree with that but...
COREY: But, it can be
made Bill-sized, later.
-WITEK: It can be engineered.
-COREY: Yeah.
BILL (off-screen): Sean Lewis
and Witek Hoffman are our specialists
on the
front lines right now.
The idea is kind of
like in playing any, any game.
You want to have your,
your superstars out front and
everybody else
is supporting them.
SEAN: Okay. Got one.
I got interested in Chev
when I first came here in 2018.
SEAN (off-screen): I
work very closely with Bill.
We've been
working almost full-time.
Coordinating logistics.
Organizing the data and
I think all the people on this expedition
are here
because we share his dream.
BILL (off-screen): If the lead team can
find a way through the collapsed tunnel,
we believe it will
connect into a new passage
that leads all the way to the bottom.
SEAN: Let's do a mental check to make sure
I have everything ready,
I got a hammer drill,
I got a bit...
MAN: Distorted sense of hope.
SEAN: I got a
distorted sense of hope.
BILL (off-screen): Sean
is an interesting character.
He was a grad student
working in physics.
It's a kinda thing where,
he just used it as a
mathematical puzzle.
SEAN (off-screen): You know, there's
clues every step of the way.
You can follow the wind,
you can follow the water.
But truly, you know, the cave
environment is it's own animal.
WITEK: Whew!
So we are, now
try with some smoke
and see where the
smoke actually going.
WITEK (off-screen): The stronger the
hopefully the bigger the spots
between the rock are.
That stream,
definitely wants to head up.
SEAN (off-screen): Some of
the wind seemed to be going up,
which is a sign, very clear,
that there's an easier way to travel,
for the air, up higher.
Here you can
see it moving this way.
WITEK: Oh yeah.
Wow, it's strong here.
SEAN (off-screen): The wind
can go places that we can't.
So, the question is,
can we follow the wind?
WITEK: That's coming up.
And this is where we're gonna go.
SEAN: Lots of loose rocks,
so stay, stay back a little bit.
WITEK: Mm-hmm.
SEAN: Virgin territory is
always filled with loose rocks.
PABLO: Can you just grab my helmet,
I don't wanna lose it.
SEAN: Yeah.
PABLO: I have no
clue where, where I am.
I, I don't get how you do this.
I really don't.
SEAN (off-screen):
A lot of the people here
are very accustomed
to being underground
in situations that would cause
a lot of other people to...
feel claustrophobia or panic.
I wanna say it's scary
but I never get scared.
This is starting
to look really good again.
I can see a larger space above
us so we're still, we're still
in the right track, we have
to go up through the boulders
to find a big space above.
SEAN (off-screen): That
puzzle aspect of caving,
to me, that's my happy place.
I'll never be happier than when
I am pushing into something unknown.
Ah! Too tight.
That doesn't go, that
doesn't go, this doesn't go.
Also I don't, it to make many moves and
forget about how we got here.
SEAN: That does happen,
and it's very scary.
WITEK: I would not
want that to happen.
SEAN: Ah, wow.
PABLO: How the hell
did you fit through that?
The big hope is that they'll break into
a big, big tunnel with no boulders
and if that happens we could
have multiple kilometers
of giant tunnels going down
the mountain, no problem at all.
You know there's something above us,
it's just driving me crazy.
We've checked five
different holes at this point.
None of them have
gone in to it but there's,
every-time I check
there's a small space
and I can see
something bigger above,
there's one more hole to check.
PABLO: So they're in a spot
where they can hear an echo,
which is really promising
that there's a big chamber.
I'm so impressed
with their determination.
They just don't stop.
What do you see right now?
SEAN: There's a big
of room just ahead.
SEAN: Whoa!
SEAN: (bleep).
SEAN: Big room.
-WITEK: Oh my gosh, oh.
-SEAN: Welcome!
That's all I gotta say.
-PABLO: This is huge.
-WITEK: It's a nice feeling, huh?
ALL: Boom.
WITEK: I think it might be
one of the most beautiful rooms
in the whole cave actually.
Now, we go up.
SEAN (off-screen): Being the first person
to set foot in a brand new place,
that no one's ever
been before, uh...
It's really quite something.
SEAN (off-screen):
Especially when you know that
there's a whole expedition behind you and
everyone's hoping that there's
gonna be a big discovery.
BILL: We are on-line waiting for
whatever you're gonna tell us.
SEAN (over radio):
We got it, Bill, this is...
SEAN: Borehole, over.
BILL: Ah, go ahead and, uh,
elaborate on that please?
SEAN: We popped near the top of the slope
in a borehole that was probably...
SEAN (over radio):
15 meters high and...
SEAN: About the same width.
BILL: Nicely done, guys.
BILL (over radio):
A new card on the table.
BILL (off-screen):
This is the breakthrough
we've been waiting for.
We're now at a point
where we are beyond this, uh,
large breakdown zone that had stopped
exploration for 30 years.
WITEK: So unusual
and so beautiful.
BILL (off-screen):
Camp 5.5
will be our new
beach head for exploring
deeper into the cave
than anybody has ever been.
WITEK: Big enough for
two people lying down.
SEAN: Everything around
here is just like, sharp, jagged boulders.
It's not meant for human habitation.
We had to build everything.
So, building this bed...
Make it all nice and flat.
ourselves from the drips.
(water dripping)
It's really important that we make the
best use of every single day at this camp
because the expedition
does have limited time
and limited resources and
we want to make sure that
the frontier is
being explored every day.
COREY: Wow, the republic of 5.5.
PABLO: Things don't
dry out much do they here?
WITEK: No it's...
Mm, smells just terribly.
It's all wet and I can
already feel it and smell it.
SEAN: You know, I don't
have any clean clothes,
I've been wearing the same
socks to bed for three weeks.
I've got like three pairs
of dirty shirts and that's it.
Right, and so it's like...
You know, after a while you just have
to stop caring about that stuff but.
Down, down, down you go
Down the hole, down you go
Jack you never see the skies
and your working in a dungeon
COREY: Being out,
days from the surface,
is a, is a really,
uh, wild feeling.
You know, that there's 5,000, 6,000 feet
of rock straight above you.
Definitely think
about that a lot.
I've been here, uh, six weeks.
It's actually my longest stay
on an expedition. Um, ever.
COREY (off-screen): And, and I admit too,
you know, I get a bit homesick, uh,
when I'm, when
I'm gone this long.
There is so little that's
familiar down there, you know,
compared to the surface.
Everything around you
is kinda, just kinda alien.
BEV: In your normal life,
when you turn off the lights,
eventually there's a little
light coming from somewhere else
and your eyes adjust.
BEV (off-screen): When
it's truly, completely dark,
your eyes never adjust.
You can't see anything.
And, for me, that's a
really kind of comfortable, cozy feeling.
To have left behind all the
chaos and static of the surface
of our everyday, hectic lives,
and to be able to
focus on one single task.
-WITEK: Good night.
-BILL: Safe to come up?
-AMY: Yeah.
The current world depth record is
7,257 feet
in a cave called Veryovkina
in Eastern Europe.
If we make it to
the bottom of Chev,
we'll break that
record by over 1,500 feet.
If this turns out
to be the main route,
we'll have to de-rig
the rope and push it over.
COREY: As the front of
exploration get deeper and deeper
into the cave, there's
a whole supply infrastructure
behind them consisting of a
multiplying number of people
as you get farther and farther
back toward the entrance.
BILL: Uh, so we've
brought down, uh, something like
seven 55 liter sacks of gear
here and, uh, we've got about
four sacks of climbing gear.
SEAN (over radio): I know we're gonna need
to resupply camp three and
just keep stuff moving forward
and deeper into the cave.
PABLO (off-screen): I mean,
this is what sets caving apart.
It's such a collective effort.
They're working like an army of ants
and they're shuttling supplies in and out,
in and out for the people at the forefront
to be able to push.
BILL (off-screen):
It's harder to go deeper,
because every
meter you go forward
puts you one more
meter from the entrance.
And we're now at a point
you might as well be on
the far side of the moon.
MAN (over radio): Three, two, one, zero.
All engines running.
Lift off, we have a lift off.
32 minutes past the hour...
BILL (off-screen):
When I was a kid, you know,
I wanted to
be a, an astronaut.
MAN (over radio): Okay, Neil we see you
coming down the ladder now.
NEIL (over radio): The view
is beautiful, just beautiful.
BILL (off-screen): Watching Neil
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon
That was, that was, that
was something that just,
you know, burned
it's way into my, my psyche.
MAN (over radio): This is Houston reading
you loud and clear, over.
BILL (off-screen): By the
time I was in sixth grade,
I was interested in science and
my Dad came home one Christmas
and got me one of these
Gilbert chemistry sets.
And I was running
experiments that were,
you know, graduate student level,
organic chemistry, in my basement.
I was the classic nerd.
I really never even got into dating until
I was almost at
the end of college.
It was the goal
of getting out and,
you know, getting
into the astronaut corps.
And for nine years, I
submitted applications.
You know, they had
psychological tests,
they had physical tests.
I got a nice
thin letter that said
I was too independent
for the astronaut corps.
Which I cherish to this day.
BILL (off-screen): I went off to form my
own company and ever since then
I have structured my
life around exploration.
I'm 68.
I've sunk a lot of my
life into this project here.
I wanna do the most exploration
that I can during my lifetime.
And, uh, Chev is the challenge
in exploration right now, on Earth.
COREY: I think Bill's known that
this is the deepest cave system
in the world for a long time and
coming back year after year after year
and not getting there,
you get more and more attached.
BILL: Chev will give you
piece of spectacular tunnel
and then right when you think
you've got it all, it'll stop.
BEV: If it was easy
everyone would do it Bill.
BILL: You know, if it was easy it'd have
been done 30 years ago.
BEV: Exactly, what would you
be doing with your life now?
BILL: Hm, well I'm pretty
happy where I am right here.
BEV: Mm-hmm, I know.
COREY (off-screen): I think it would be
one of Bill's, you know,
great life accomplishments and,
and the fulfillment of a dream
if he could see us, uh,
break the world depth record.
And go to the
bottom of the world.

BILL (off-screen): Right now,
the entire expedition is focused
on the mission of those
people out at Camp 5.5.
Those people, uh,
who are pretty much
some of our best in
terms of, uh, route finding.
BILL: What I do,
do on the other side,
I know how to plan in advance,
you know, food and logistics
and all the equipment
here in base camp.
BEV: Oh I, I
could cry right now.
It's so good to see ya.
(overlapping chatter)
BILL: All right,
man no more harness. (sighs)
BILL (off-screen): We have an
A team of breakdown pushers out there
who, hopefully, in the next couple of days
could be out beyond the world depth record
Here it is folks, you know, this
is the wide open frontier.
It's unexplored,
figure out how to do it.
BILL (off-screen): Camp 5.5
established our new front line
in an unexplored passage
nine kilometers from the surface.
Now, the lead team needs to
find a way out of that passage
that leads deeper into the cave.
WITEK: I think we go this way?
COREY: A big echo
up there, somewhere.
I don't know if it's
from the passage
that we just came out of because
it's really tall and narrow.
BILL (off-screen): Corey is a proven, uh,
super star when it comes to
finding a passage where
you wouldn't expect it.
Sniffing out, you know, however,
with sixth sense.
Uh, you know, where the cave goes and,
and where the way into it is.
(rock tumbling)
COREY: All of the wind, uh, that
we expect to feel going
deeper into the cave is
moving through this passage.
COLIN: Wow, that's what
we've been chasing for a week.
-COREY: Well, 30 years, yeah.
-COLIN: For pretty long, yeah.
COREY (off-screen): I first
came to Sistema Chev in 2013.
To me, uh, Chev is heaven.
But there's times when
what you have to do is hellish.
Some cave passages get so large, uh,
that the ceilings collapse.
The passages can actually, eventually,
totally fill themselves,
sometimes to the ceiling,
with breakdown.
Oh God.
I think the
way on is that way.
COREY (off-screen): Going
through breakdown is like, uh,
it's like a body puzzle and
you're surrounded by rocks.
If you go in one hole, suddenly
you're presented with five more.
Then if you go in
any of those five,
you might have three to
six options to keep going.
PABLO (off-screen): When you're climbing,
you know if an accident happens,
there's usually a
heli-rescue or something.
The rescue potential here is...
COREY: I think it was down here.
Cavers go back to breakdown
areas over and over and over again
and don't get through
and then one day after 20 pushes
into this breakdown pile
there's a magic route that,
that gets you to the
other side of the pile.
And then boom.
Oh, my goodness.
BILL (off-screen): The team at Camp 5.5
have reported that they had finally, uh,
gotten into solid rock tunnel.
COREY: We did it.
COREY: We're gonna start, uh,
surveying it from here, uh.
From this point forward
it's completely unexplored.
That experience of popping through into
a space that's never been seen before.
It's like the closest you can get on
Earth to, to going to a different planet.
It's something you know
is new to human eyes.
What a day.
We surveyed approximately
another kilometer and half.
ALL: Nice work!
COREY: We're past, uh,
we climbed up 40 meters.
MAN: I told you it was steep.
-COREY: And, boom!
-WOMAN: Almost 50.
COREY: Nice flat areas,
hard packed clay,
not a lot of
drips it looks like,
so this is a
potential Camp six site.
Feels like this might actually be the
best lead in any cave on Earth right now.

COREY (over radio):
Good morning Bill, this is Camp 5.5.
Uh, we have some interesting
developments to share.
BILL: Uh, go ahead.
COREY (over radio):
We, uh, absolutely have...
COREY: A beautiful Camp six site.
Uh, it's currently, uh, about...
COREY (over radio):
Two hours from Camp 5.5.
BILL (over radio):
Nicely done guys.
BILL: Think about what you need, uh, from
us to, uh, keep this going.
BILL (over radio):
We'll see you there in a year.
COREY: We've got the (bleep)
bull by the horns right now.
BILL (off-screen): Camp six is, uh, deeper
than anybody has ever been
in Cueva Chev.
It is the most remote bivouac anybody has
ever put inside any cave on earth.
The hope is that it's a straight shot
from here all the way to the bottom.
(overlapping chatter)
BILL (off-screen): I've
been out for some time so
I'm ready to go
in for the big push.
MAN: See you down there.
MAN: Bye, have fun.
BILL (off-screen): But
it's five full days of travel
from the entrance for me to
get down there and join them
and I wanna be there if this new tunnel is
finally the one that goes.
See you on the bottom.
BILL (off-screen):
While I'm working my way down
the lead team is out there
exploring deeper into the cave
than humans have ever been.
(rushing water)
ADRIANNE: Look at this bedrock.
WOMAN: Yeah.
SEAN: We got a, a lead up there.
For once the cave is branching
out into a lot of directions.
Uh, it's a watershed moment in the history
of Chev potentially.
This is really cool.
Like, we could have really good
going passage most of the way
and this is Colin, he's...
-COLIN: You ready to go?
-SEAN: He's the real man.
COLIN: You got it, we got...
We go caving together.
SEAN: How's it looking
up there, my friend?
That's nice borehole.
MAN: I, I think we need
to go investigate that.
I'm gonna look in
this pocket over here.
ADRIANNE: Holy (bleep).
SEAN: The passage gets bigger!
Keeps going, huh?
COLIN: Five kilometers
of borehole, this is what it sounds like.
-SEAN: Not bad.
-WOMAN: Fast.
SEAN: The chambers were
finding now are insanely big.
100 foot high room right here.
And then this room that
Adrian's going up into,
is double the height of that.
Light her up Adrian.
Holy (bleep).
-That's a giant mountain.
SEAN: What do you think?
ADRIAN: It's amazing,
Chev is unstoppable.
-REILLY: Unstoppable!
SEAN: The borehole is
60 meters tall, 50 meters wide.
REILLY: I think this is likely
one of the better days of caving
I will ever have
in my entire life.
We broke the Chev depth record.
SEAN: We, yes, we
made a cave deeper today.
The way is wide and open
SEAN (off-screen): You know,
when you sing,
it's like there's a chorus in the cave.
So we named it Harmony Hall.
The way is wide and open

BILL: Another day
in the dirt, huh?
Yeah, it was a good night's sleep, just
a lot of pains that weren't there before.
Some point here, we keep going
at this pace were all gonna
get up and just say,
"My muscles don't work."
But, I guess until we run out of cocoa we
can still get up, huh?
WOMAN: Yeah.
BILL: Come on Camp six,
tell us you got something.
KATIE (over radio):
Camp six to Base camp.
BILL: Ah, here we go.
SEAN (over radio): Hey Bill,
so we made the cave deeper
and we mapped
2.1 kilometers yesterday, over.
BILL: Very nice. Uh, is it linear or
is it, uh, labyrinthine?
SEAN (over radio):
Uh, sort of both.
SEAN (off-screen): We had been
in this giant, giant room and
now all of a sudden it
came to this little tunnel.
And at the bottom
was a pool of water
and that was the
end of the cave.
It was a sump. A place where the water
fills up to the ceiling.
But there was hope.
There's a huge dome here with a possible
passage coming in up there as well.
SEAN (over radio):
So there's a lead up there.
SEAN (off-screen): Up
on the walls were tunnels.
The challenge was that these tunnels were
really high up the wall. (laughs)
COREY: Our plan was to just attack that,
uh, climb with, with guns blazing...
COREY (over radio): Because it does seem
to be, uh, the best option.
BILL:How far total up the wall, vertical,
uh, are you at your highest point?
COREY: It goes up about
40 vertical meters, over.
BILL (over radio):
That is a long way up.
BILL: It seems right now
that we gotta go climbing.
We'll see ya on the flip side.
Nobody has been able to
figure out a way onward.
The only thing that we can
think of is that we have to try
an extremely
tall overhung climb.
If we're gonna make this
the world's deepest cave,
that's the way we have to go.

(overlapping chatter)
SEAN: What do you
think of Camp six, Bill?
BILL: Well, based on all the
stories that I heard
somebody did some serious engineering.
SEAN: Oh yes.
BILL: Yeah, it's,
it's got some charm.
So is this thing
right here, the, the climb?
COREY: Yeah, the top part of it.
BILL: I agree with Corey. The, of all the
indicators are that that chamber is it.
It's where it's gotta go.
Yeah, days are ticking.
We gotta get out there now.
I mean normally, you know, it's
my position to kinda hang back
and let everybody, uh, do
their thing, uh, but right now,
we're kinda down
to the point where
if we lose a day, we lose
the opportunity to get deeper.
SEAN (off-screen): What
we're doing in here in Chev
requires a massive siege effort.
A huge expedition
and I've been sort of in a secondary
leadership role in a lot of things.
For Bill to be underground someone
has to be responsible
and be on the surface and he's asked me
and Bev to take care of it so.
Yeah I have to
go to the surface.
Which of course, I'm not happy about.
But that's how it goes.
SEAN (off-screen): This is a team effort
and I think everyone on the expedition
has that mentality even
if some of us might have
different opinions about
how things should be done.
The worst is having to leave a discovery
when it's being explored and
the excitement is not
just the first moment,
the excitement is the, um,
experience of mapping as you go and,
you know, what's
around the next bend.
MAN: No, this, this
is definitely going.
SEAN (off-screen): Its really something
to be a part of this project and,
and to be able to have the privilege of,
of pushing that frontier.
BILL (off-screen): It's a six hour commute
just to get to where the action is.
Dont do anything thats
gonna bring a rock down on us.
AMY: Yeah, I'm gonna
try really hard not to.
BILL: I hear anything move,
I want you to get the heck out of there.
We're going into
virgin territory.
You can step on a rock the size
of a house and have it
roll over on you and I've
actually had that happen.
BILL (off-screen): But I have an agenda
and that is to prove that this is
officially the world's deepest cave
because it's out there to be
had and you know what?
We're in a position
where we can take it.
Lets scout around.
We are, I would expect,
officially at the
site of Camp seven.
BILL (off-screen): You could vaguely make
out a whitish appearance on the roof,
white crystals that suggested
that there was a tunnel up there
with air flow going through it.
We set Camp seven at that site
so that we could wake up in
the morning and climb up
the wall of that chamber.
Get into that tunnel
and then keep going.
COREY: So we
have one day of food.
We're short on
all rigging supplies.
BILL (off-screen): Nobody has ever camped
that far inside a cave before.
We have a gigantic logistics
problem where it might take
seven to ten days or more to get
the supplies that we need
down to the bottom of the cave
and by that time it's too late.
And so, the weight of remoteness is on
your mind when you're down there.
But, uh, you have to realize that
these are precious opportunities.
We are privileged to be
here right now quite frankly.
This is the furthest north anybody has
been in this cave system and, uh,
with a little bit of luck well
find a way on right up there.
COREY: I reckon
we'll climb up there.
BILL (off-screen): This climb is
our last chance to find an exit
out of this room and
deeper into the cave.
What we're looking for is a way
how to get up into that hole,
60 or 70 meters up in the roof,
that looks like it's the
main continuation of the cave.
All right, here we go.
Now that we're here, uh, we see that
there are two waterfalls coming in
that, uh, might actually be a shorter
route up the wall, less bolts.
Can't predict
anything at this point.
We're just gonna try em all
and one of em
might be the one
that makes the connections.
All right-y.
MAN: How much rope is up
there and how much do you need?
-GILLY: About 40 meters is up there.
-COREY: We got 40, plus 30.
GILLY: We are running
low on, uh, on resources.
GILLY (off-screen): Food,
rigging bolts, rope.
BILL: How many you got there?
Couple of extra carabiners.
-GILLY: Six.
-BILL: That's it, yeah?
BILL: We are...
Are we ready?
The entire team
is counting on us,
so we're gonna burn
whatever resources we have.
COREY: Bill's definitely, uh,
built for this.
I mean he's, he has the optimism,
he has the determination
to make stuff like this happen.
PABLO: It takes a certain personality and
Bill has a determination like no other.
BILL (off-screen): There has to be
a way out of this room. It's too big.
There's too much
air going into it,
that there has to be some
sneak hole in the ceiling
that is the way on.
And so we gotta get up there
and get the team an answer.

GILLY: Woo-hoo!
BILL: You're out
there beyond support.
So if you have a
time sensitive injury,
say a compound
fractured leg, forget it.
We're beyond a point
where rescue is possible.
(drill whirring)
BILL (off-screen): I was scared to the
point where I had to tell myself
to focus on what the hell I was doing
because there was nothing but
crappy rock and
mud all over everything.
Very few places to put bolts
or anything else to hang on.
GILLY (off-screen): Meanwhile,
I'm kind of looking at the lead
from the bottom and shining my light up
and kinda getting a sense
for where we're going because
it's so dark in this room,
that we can't even see where
we're trying to climb to and that's
one of the huge challenges of doing
a dome climb in a place like this.
You can't see
where you're going.
We have not...
Five meters!
BILL: Five meters!
Okay, thank you.
BILL (off-screen): We
didn't have enough rope.
It was like half the length
of what we really wanted.
And you're getting tired and your legs
are getting constricted.
And the blood is not
flowing through your legs
and you can only hang in a harness for
so long in a free-fall position like that.
And it was like, looking up,
I realized there was like,
six or eight bolt placements
to go and Gilly's telling me
you got three meters
of dynamic rope left.
BILL (off-screen): And
there's no easy way to bail out from that
other than hanging on a single rock bolt
55 meters off the deck.
And trusting whether that crappy
rock is gonna hold that bolt
while you try to
get out of there.
So there was a lot of
complicating thoughts going on
in my mind while I was doing it.
We reached it with just a very
short bit of, of rope to spare.
-GILLY: Whoa!
BILL (off-screen): Finally
finished that last piece
to get the answer and, unfortunately,
it went up and walled out.
MAN: Grab the rope.
-BILL: Oh my God.
BILL: (bleep)!
GILLY: Well this is it.
We're out of bolts, we're out of rope,
and that down there is a
drop we can't free-climb down.
BILL (off-screen): This
is the end of the line.
We're out of
supplies and out of options.
We spent the
entire month of April
with some of the
best cavers in the world,
by far, uh, down
there and we struck out.
That climb was supposed to go.
Shot a lot of resources on that.
What I really
wish I had is like,
through rock 3-D vision.
Just see that it's
right over there.
BILL (off-screen): You never
conquer anything down here.
If anything the cave conquers
and so you go back and say, "All right,
we couldn't get through this time.What do
we do to get through next time?"
We're out of here.
a good, good last day.
COREY (off-screen): I remain convinced
that it is 100% possible, uh,
to get that world
depth record here.
If you believe
something's there, if,
if you believe it's worth doing,
then you're gonna keep trying
to do it until, until
you either do it or die.
BILL (off-screen): You know, the
thing that happened this year
that was an epic, in my mind,
was that we discovered 20 kilometers
of gigantic new tunnels,
the scale of which are
unprecedented even in this cave.
There's no question
about this project continuing.
It is a multi-decadal,
multi-generational project
that has the allure because it
is the hardest damn thing
going in exploration.
ALL: Hola!
BILL: Hola, my friend.
GILLY: Hola, my friend.
BILL: Good to be
back in base camp.
Oh yeah.
-BEV: Hi. How are you?
-GILLY: Good.
GILLY: I think it'll be good to,
to not put, put myself
in this outfit every day.
MAN: My back is probably the, is probably
hurting the most right now.
PABLO (off-screen): Chev's the
first cave I've ever been to
and it was pretty
awesome to experience it.
I love filming
true expeditions
where you don't know what
the outcome is gonna be.
We're not fabricating a story.
This is, this is real exploration.
I mean I, I feel
pretty damn lucky, you know? (laughs)
BILL: Mmm. Oh jeez.
If we could have this at underground camp
we'd still be down there.
BILL (off-screen): What I wanna do is be
here for that special moment
when we realize the entire exploration
from the entrance to the resurgence.
That, that will be special and that would
be worth being here for.
And that will happen.
You know, whether it
happens in one year,
two years or ten years
it's gonna happen.
This will be the
world's deepest cave.