The Ghar Parau Foundation

A 100% voluntary-based charity providing grant-aid assistance for British caving expeditions to all corners of the world.

Photo: Sunbeams in Doline 1 Hang Son Doong, Vietnam. (Ryan Deboodt)

Apply for fundingThe Ghar Parau Foundation

About us

The Ghar Parau Foundation is a 100% voluntary-based charity. Through the management of an investment fund, the GPF provides grant aid to British caving expeditions, in particular those that include an element of innovative exploration or scientific study.

Since 2007, the GPF has awarded £136,450 to 215 expeditions travelling to 49 different countries.

We are also particularly keen to encourage young cavers into expedition caving. Over the last 17 years, the GPF has additionally awarded 107 individual grants to cavers going on their first foreign expedition.

Photo: Alum Pot, Yorkshire Dales, UK (Mark Burkey)

Thamnampu Craigholdstock

Thailand Chaiyaphum 24

We had a successful expedition this year. The main focus was on cave diving, which made quite complicated logistics. As per our short report, we achieved most of our objectives and managed to survey in the region of 1.3 km in new passage. Several ongoing leads are left for ongoing expeditions to go at.

Report | Photo: Sump 2 Tham Nam Pu (© Craig Holdstock)

Optimism is a Strategy Streamway in Tragadero de la Soledad, Peru (© Boaz Langford)

Spring ’24 funded expeds

A total of nine caving expeditions were funded by the GPF Committee during the latest round of funding in March 2024, distributing a combined total of £6,900. A further 7 Alex Pitcher awards of £100 each were also granted to young cavers going on their first expedition abroad.

The expeditions submitted this round span many continents, with cavers travelling to Peru, Mongolia, Gabon and several regions across Europe.

Browse the archive map to find out more about the funded expeditions’ objectives

Photo: Optimism is a Strategy Streamway in Tragadero de la Soledad, Peru (© Boaz Langford)

Mulu Bartek Biela

Mulu Caves 2023

There were three expedition objectives: 1. continuing the scientific programme; 2. laser scanning from Cave of the Winds entrance to Barangs entrance, and 3. exploration incorporating surveying and photography. All three projects were either completed or came close to being completed. The science will be ongoing.

Report and photos | Photo: Even scientists have to cave!! (© Bartek Biela)

A caver standing in a streamway cave passage facing away from the camera.

Benarat 2024

A well-planned and executed expedition. The major success was the discovery of the longest section of the main river passage draining the Benarat caves system. All details can be found in the preliminary report.

Summary report | Serendipity Passage, Benarat Caverns System (© Mark Burkey)

Arun looking down into a cave entrance while attached to a rope.

Dežela Zlatoroga – ICCC

ICCC collaborated with the Slovenian club Jamarska Sekcija PD Tolmin once again to make Sistem Migovec, Slovenia’s longest-known cave system, even longer. Members spent a great 5 weeks pushing the main system and novel Planje system which shows promise of connecting in, as well as teaching expo skills to the novices.

Expedition Report | Photo: Entering a dig on the Limestone Pavement (© Yuting Rao)

A caver drilling a hole at the top of a pitch while attached to a traverse line

Dachstein 2023

This year’s objectives were to continue re-rigging of WUG Pot and push several leads there, to explore Ectoplasm cave discovered last year and the surrounding area. We were successful in finding several new high entrances. Our training objectives were also successful, with eight mostly young new expedition cavers joining us.

Summary report | Photo: © Chloe Snowling

Three cavers smiling and facing the camera within a muddy cave passage

Matienzo 2023

Objectives: linking Four Valleys System & Fridge Door Cave; excavate a new entrance to avoid diving. These were achieved. With other finds, 4.5 km of cave was found. Using a new entrance linked in 2022, so avoiding a 6+km one-way trip, a resurvey to correct a known vertical error of a key high-level passage was also completed.

Photos and report | Photo: Vaca Bypass with three of the first explorers (© Sam Davies)