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The Caves Beyond
The Story of the Floyd Collins' Crystal Cave Exploration

In 1954, the National Speleological Society sent the largest, most highly organized and best-equipped expedition in the history of American cave exploration into Floyd Collins' Crystal Cave, which Collins had discovered years before getting trapped in Sand Cave.

Explorers, including authors Roger Brucker and Joe Lawrence Jr., spent an entire week underground, retracing Floyd Collins' original steps, searching for connections with other known caves in Kentucky's Flint Ridge. The C-3 Expedition marked the beginning of modern cave exploration as we know it. The Caves Beyond is the classic American caving adventure story. First published in 1955, it set the standard for all subsequent caving books.


"This excellent book is by far the best written on the adventures of exploring a single cave . . . . This is really a terrific book, and if I had to single out the most enjoyable caving book in my library, this would be it."
- Chuck Pease,

"It is impossible to read these pages without recognizing the insatiable drive that spurs man onward, or realizing how frustrating it is to turn back when you can see with the explorers' eyes that there are caves beyond. But never completely solved logistics problems, the growing fatigue that becomes overwhelming--that invisible but insurmountable endurance barrier--and the paralyzing uncertainty as to where you are in the uncharted maze, combine to make the caves beyond unconquerable."
- Charles E. Mohr, Past-President,

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