Cave Passages


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“Beneath – in the great, mythic hollows of the earth itself – lies a separate world, timeless and in large part still unknown where one travels in darkness through mazelike tunnels, down cliffs, in icy streams, and through passages so narrow that there comes the point where there is not room to breathe and the panic of death begins. To enter this world – the enormous cave in the Bighorns called Great-X, the bottomless sinkhole in Zacaton, where the legendary Exley lost his life – places you have not heard of but which you will not soon forget, you need a good and true guide. This is his thrilling book.”

– James Salter, Author of Solo Faces

Those who long to set foot first on unknown land have two choices: fly into space or head underground. Here, in Cave Passages, Michael Ray Taylor gives us a literary exploration of the intricacies of caving and the first book in over a decade to examine the sport as a metaphor for our relationship to the natural world. Taylor lavishly depicts some of the most hidden and gorgeous places on earth, as well as the intrepid men and women who dare to probe them. A highly trained caver, Taylor has ranged all over the world in search of new discoveries, virgin passages. Whether he is winding his way through the bat-filled, stalactite bejewelled Old Croton Aqueduct, slithering along the Grim Crawl pectations cave, or ruminating on the secrets of China’s burial caverns, Taylor describes the inescapable allure of the world beneath our feet. In vibrant and precise prose he evokes the perils and triumphs of a caver’s craft, how it is always fraught with danger and how it strengthens the human will.


Additional information

Weight 16.8 oz
Dimensions 9.4375 × 6.4375 × 2.1875 in

Very Good