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 £128,850 to 206 expeditions travelling to 47 different countries.

We are also particularly keen to encourage young cavers into expedition caving. Over the last 17 years, the GPF has additionally awarded 100 individual grants to cavers going on their first foreign expedition.

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

Cueva De La Marniosa Sump 2 (© Rob Middleton)

Treviso 2023

Exploration of Cueva del Nacimiento continues, discovering another 800m at the far end of the system, including one of the largest chambers in the cave. A new ‘terminal’ sump was discovered in Cueva de la Marniosa and Cueva C29, a 1975 discovery of -120m pushed to -450m and ongoing.

Report and photos | Photo: Cueva de la Marniosa (© Rob Middleton)

Tipperary Camp Beyond Sump 2 (© Jason Mallinson)

Pozo Azul 2023

Pozo Azul 2023 had 2 main objectives; firstly to radio locate high-level passages above Tipperary (6 km into the system) and also to achieve communication from Tipperary to the surface. The second objective was to further the exploration of Sump 6, which is 12 km from the entrance. The expedition was successful in all its aims.

Read more about the expedition | Photo: Tipperary Camp (© Jason Mallinson)

Tham Nam Lai. Streamway

Thailand 2023

During this successful expedition explored approximately 3.3 km of new passage in 24 caves was explored. Sumps were dived in 4 different caves, in three of which ongoing cave passage was found. Blind fish were also found in one of the sumps, which we are trying to identify.

Read the report here | Photo: Tham Nam Lai. Streamway. (© Craig Holdstock)

Ana Teck In Echo Falls (© Rebecca Diss)

Sila Narave (Force of Nature)

The main aims of this expedition were to teach novice cavers how to safely cave in an unexplored alpine system as well as teach them how to bolt and rig new passages in the Hallelujah branch of Primadona. In total, 1.1 km of new passage was surveyed bringing the total length of Sistem Migovec to 45.2 km.

Exped report | Photo: Echo Falls (© Rebecca Diss)

170m Deep Shaft In Cabexa Muxa (© Mark Burkey)

Ario Expedition 2022

2022 was a challenging and successful expedition on many fronts. Cabeza Muxa was successfully rigged and dived in under two weeks and the re-bolting will enable future expeditions to revisit the cave with much less effort. Exploration occurred elsewhere in 27/9 and 53/5, with both representing ongoing objectives for the project.

Read the report here | 170m deep shaft in Cabexa Muxa (© Mark Burkey)

Camelot And The Wiesberghaus Base Camp (© Andrew Mcleod)

Dachstein Caving Expedition 2022

WUG Pot, of the Dachstein Plateau in Austria, was partly re-rigged for long-term use. The Forbidden Aven, which could lead towards higher entrances, was partially climbed. Permanent Cavelink antennae were installed at underground camp. A number of areas were explored for prospecting, with a promising new area above 2200m found with numerous entrances and an ongoing lead.

Read the report here | Photo: Camelot and the Wiesberghaus (© Andrew McLeod)

Splendid Formation Found In Northen Balkonhöhle (© Nat Dalton)

CUCC Totes Gebirge Expedition 2022

Exploration in 2022 was focused on two caves: Balkonhöhle and Fischgesicht Höhle. Over 1.5 km of passage was discovered in deep Balkonhöhle. Meanwhile, Fischgesicht Höhle (discovered in 2017) was connected to Glückliche Schmetterlingshöhl (1623/291), also discovered in 2017; 2.2 km of passage was discovered and surveyed here.

Read the report here | Photo: Northern Balkonhöhle (© Nat Dalton)

Sistema Sara Heinous Shaft (© Helen Fairclough)

Treviso 2022

Treviso 2022 extended Cueva del Nacimiento to over 16 km and new 250 m section of cave and multiple ways on. The Road to Certain Death Sump also passed after 400 m to second and third sump. Sistema Sara, a deep and daunting pothole, was re-rigged and a dive of the sump completed. Depth of cave was pushed to over 600 m deep.

Read their report here | Photo: Sistema Sara (© Helen Fairclough)

Matienzo Valley In Mist Looking To The South (© Philip Papard)

Matienzo 2022

The Matienzo Cave Project is exploring an area around Matienzo in Cantabria, Spain. The aim is to identify, explore and record the caves. This year 8 km of new cave was found in 4 sites, with a further 68 new sites identified. One of the major finds linked to a cave system we have been exploring and brings its length to over 70 km.

Read their report here | Photo: Matienzo Valley (© Philip Papard)