Located in Oaxaca, Mexico is a cave called Cueva Chevé. At 4,868ft deep and 5.6 miles long its the 12th deepest cave in the world but has the potential to become the deepest. I spent two months and over 28 days camped underground photographing and exploring its depths on an international expedition sponsored by the Explorer's Club.

Victor M. standing in the enormous entrance to Cueva Chevé. Millions of years ago water cut through this rock and began its journey downward. The further down you go, the more you run into water.

Rappelling through a waterfall in a section aptly name "Wet Dreams."

Carved by water over millions of years, the cave winds down through the limestone until it reaches the denser granite where it then traverses the base of the mountains above it. It takes 3 days to reach the deepest known point. Literal miles of rope and hundreds of bolts are necessary to rig the over 120 vertical drops one must navigate in order to get there. The amount of man-power required to rig Cueva Chevé for safe travel is monumental.

One of the hundreds of sections of the cave that require ropes to stay safe.

During the rainy season, this entire passage will be filled with a torrent of water that will slowly tear the rock apart.

How Far Can
You Go?

The name of the game in caving is sniffing out every possible way onward to increase the length or depth of the cave. This means squeezing through the smallest fissure or aid climbing up and over an obstacle to find free passage. You simply dont know where the route forward might be. Like scaling a reverse Mt. Everest, but without seeing the peak.

This photo won me Editor's pick by Senior Producer Matt Adams of National Geographic. His comments: I can only imagine how cool of an adventure this would be to explore this cave. I imagine it being so quiet as the only thing you can probably hear is the water dripping off of the sides and the movement of the person you're with.
~ Ironically, it was loud AF.


Read the New Yorker story here.