John J. Pint.


Is Cold DuCOLONIA DE MURCIELAGOSnk one or two caves? How long is it (or they)? What had stopped us dead in our tracks was the infamous Pool of Putrefaction, a black mixture of stagnant water, Bat urine and guano, in which we had last seen floating a partially decomposed rat.

Access to the Pool is via narrow ledge oil either side of a river channel about two-meter deep and one-half meter wide. You arrive at a balcony four to five meters above the frothy surface, depending on whether it is the dry or wet season. We had made various attempts to continue onward by climbing above and around the pool, but had only arrived at an even worse prospect chimneying horizontally along a narrow channel with high, smooth walls, inches above a mushy substance which could be described as “quickguano”. After several meters the channel opened into what seemed to be another disgusting pool of unknown depth..

With the help of mountain-climber friends, we had discovered that the “high road” (climbing on ledges far above the muck) was impossible. That left the low road.

Our plan — to put it simply — was to leap into the disgusting mire and plan- ahead. We would carry a floatation device to help us cross pools and play out our longest tope tied of upstream) to aid in our return.

On January 8th. four ZOTZ members approached the EZ entrance, Jesus Moreno and I were to be the assault team with Martha Moreno and Susy Pint acting as the “support team” and cheering section. We crawled to the tree trunk room and tied our 100-meter rope onto a handy column, prophetically figuring this passage through the slime and the stink might turn out to be a once-only trip, we decided to survey our way downstream. Each of us wore as much synthetic clothing as possible and I was hoping my polypropylene wick-away underwear would make this cold dunk less chilly than previous wet experiences.


What the hadn’t foreseen were the bugs. As we approached the Poo1 of Putrefaction, millions attacked in full force. Why they prefer biting people in the eyeball, I don’t know, but the strategy was certainly effective in scaring of ours so called support team, which retired to the far end of the Tree Trunk Room to cheer us on telepathically.

We rigged the cable ladder at one end of the infamous Pool, climbed down and plunged into the evil brew. The floatation device, consisting of numerous plastic bottles inside a gunnysack, proved unnecessary, as the pool level was an all-time low, making it easy to cross in a splash or two. Soon we were on terra firma beyond the Pool and about to confront Quickguano Channel. Amazingly, a few tentative steps convinced us that the muck had dried into a solid surface. We proceeded to survey the gently twisting passage that followed.

Let me add that a cloud of bugs was still hovering above, below and on all sides of us and by now had chewed away who knows how many pound of our flesh. Imagine trying to read a survey compass while swatting a-way those bloodsuckers and wiping enough muck of f the page to jot down the fingers. We were using a Bob &-Bob Rite-in-the-Cave book, thank Good, and can attest that in addition to writing in the water, it also writes in the s____


As we moved off of Quickguano Channel, we gradually noticed a diminishing in the bug concentration and... could it be? Was there an occasional -wisp of fresh air in the choking, foul-smelling mixture we were forced to breathe?

We took a few mere steps and froze. There on the ground was a fresh footprint not human, but feline and whatever had produced it was big!

“Gulp Jesús, I do believe we are not alone here”

“No... but how did it, whatever it is, get in here? Not the way we came, that’s for sure... therefore....”


We charged ahead. The air grew clearer and cooler... and then, we saw it light! A few minutes later, We stepped out of the Waterfall Entrance where we had first entered this cave many moons ago. Then, we had to wade through water over a meter deep, but now there wasn’t a drop to be seen. The cause of this, we couldn’t determine but the mystery of Cold Dunk Cave has been resolved; it is one long, meandering cave with six entrances, two large colonies of bats (one identified as (Anoura geoffroyi), a handful of vampire bats (Demodus rotundus) and umpteen million eyeball-biters which we were forced to battle again in order to dering unneeded rope, And, of course, we had to splash back through the Pool of Putrefaction... but surely it was ,worth it at last to be able to publish the definitive map of Cold Dunk Cave which accompanies this article.


On March 2, LUIS ROJAS EN PLENA PRÁCTICA1989, we set out to finish, up our survey. Susy, Jesús and I dropped down the Tiro Entrance (about 12 meter, free-hanging) bats, flitting in and out of the shaft of sunlight.

We began to survey our way along the East Wing, which is a high, narrow crack with plenty of bats observing us from perhaps 15 meter above. What we thought would be a quick end and easy job took hours, basically because surveys measure the distances and angles of straight lines and our passages never ceased its twisting and turnings. Twenty stations late, exactly ten the passage narrowed to an uncomfortable fourteen inches wide, Susy cried out through chattering teeth, “this is it. I’m freezing! DIVORCE! DIVORCE”. But somehow she managed to carry on beyond what’s now known, as the Punto de Divorcio. A few stations late, we discovered naturals niche in want of a statue and decided to name it in Susy’s honor: The Pedestal of the Martyr.

But the time we reached the Waterfall Entrance, where out last survey had ended, all of us were tired, cold and hungry. The last unsurveyed section, called The Balcony would just have to wait.


In May of ’89, Jesus, Nacho and I climbed over the edge of Pint’s Passage, down the cable ladder to the Balcony, which consists of a long, low crawlway and several rooms five to seven meter above the floor of the cave. We hoped to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible. However, when we reached the second of two places where one can look down from the “The Balcony”, into the cave proper, came upon such, a wonderful sight that the three of us simply sat there, mouths open feet dangling over the edge, for at least an hour.

It was just after noon and a raw of sunlight passing through the slot was lighting up the whole area below us. From, the ceiling of the room, level with our field of vision, and only five feet away from us, were hanging four clusters of bats. The way they were carrying on convinced us they were totally unaware of our presence... or maybe they just didn’t care!

Because we were seeing them in profile, rather than from below, we peeping Toms could observe their every move with the greatest clarity. And move they did! If they weren’t crawling over one another or grooming one another, they were taking off to visit their neighbors or to tour the cave or to flying nip of “Lonesome George”, one of several characters lurking a distance from the clusters (and from each other). When George wasn’t fighting off his “visitors”, he would stretch his thin wings to their utter limits and beat them enthusiastically. We noticed a similar activity on the part of certain on the part of certain individuals in the clusters, but never as long and as vigorous as George’s. Is this a mating ritual? Christopheran aerobics? Bat air conditioning? We need a Merlin Tutle on that balcony!

And so, aside from its other charms (for one, it is the longest volcanic cave we’ve found in Jalisco: 623 meters of passage). Cold Dunk Cave possesses the most ideal Bat observatory imaginable —with no artificial light needed! We hope to return often, with, binoculars and perhaps someday a video camera.


SUBTERRANEO WEBMASTER:  Luis Rojas    ZOTZ WEBMASTER:  Chris Lloyd    COORDINATOR:  John J. Pint    ASISTENTE:  Susy Ibarra de Pint     ARTE: Jesús Moreno    TRANSLATORS:  Susy Pint, José Luis Zavala, Nani Ibarra, Claudio Chilomer, Luis Rojas    U.S. MAILING ADDRESS: ZOTZ, PMB 5-100,  1605-B Pacific Rim Ct, San Diego, CA 92154-7517   DIRECCIÓN EN MÉXICO: Zotz, Apdo 5-100, López Cotilla 1880, CP 44149, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.    TELS:  (L. Rojas) (52-3) 675-3876,  (C. Lloyd)  (52-3) 151-0119   COPYRIGHT: 2000 by  Grupo Espeleológico ZOTZ. (Zotz = murciélago en maya / bat in Mayan)