Photographing Cloud Ladder Hall
Last year I was fortunate to spend some time inside Cloud Ladder Hall (one of the largest underground rooms in the world). Lead by American caver Erin Lynch, I joined up with her and a team visiting these giant caves in Wulong County, China.
Suspended on a thin rope, engulfed in cloud and lost in space, with only a length of 10mm diameter rope for comfort, a tiny figure is dwarfed by the sheer size on a monumental scale of Cloud Ladder Hall. The beam of light cast by anothers headtorch pierces the fog yet illuminates nothing. This naturally formed room is so large it has it’s own weather system going on. The floor of Cloud Ladder Hall is littered with enormous boulders, some the size of small houses. The roof is well over 250m above and completely hidden amongst the cloud and although it can’t be seen due to the thick cloud that lingers around I could hear my echo reverberate around and several seconds later, remind me of the volume of empty space and my remote location. Cloud Ladder Hall is one of the largest cave chambers in the world.
The photograph below is a vertical stitch of three horizontal frames blended together to form one picture of the room. Unfortunately we cannot see the roof due to the thick cloud lingering up there. I have highlighted the four cavers that help add scale to this enormous space.
Special thanks to Erin Lynch for coordinating all the logistics.
Thanks also to Duncan Collis, Matt Ryan, Amanda Stiles, Andrew Zamorski, Matt Garrett and Pat O’Dowd for their time and patience. They are all in this room somewhere.
…and of course thanks also to Meggaflash ltd! Please don’t stop making those enormous flashbulbs