Mammoth Cave (in-progress)

Mammoth Cave, a 420-mile system of underground passageways in Central Kentucky, is the longest in the world — and it's still getting bigger. Year round, volunteers with the Central Kentucky Karst Coalition, Cave Research Foundation and National Park System work together to survey the full undiscovered length of the cave, which is estimated to be as much as 1,000 miles. 

Holly McClintock, the chairman of the Louisville Grotto, is a caver who leads surveying trips into sections of Mammoth Cave that contain possibilities of new discovery, called leads. It's a long and muddy process where by the end of the trip, the cavers and everything they carry with them is waterlogged, even the film that these images were exposed on. Along with other volunteers, Holly hikes, climbs and crawls through tight squeezes and wide tunnels for as long as 30 hours at a time, searching for the next big connection. 

 

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