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)

2021spring Slider

Spring ’21 funded expeds

Despite covid restrictions continuing to affect the uncertainty of foreign expeditions, five applications received GPF grant aid during the latest round of funding. The GPF Committee allocated £5,650, plus 5 Alex Pitcher awards of £100 each for young cavers going on their first expedition abroad.

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

Christine Grosart At Sump 2 (© Mark Burkey)

Izvor Licanke 2020

A smaller-than-usual team of cavers and divers revisited Izvor Licanke in Croatia to push its current terminus. In its sixth year now, the expedition completed exploration of sump 4, finding passage beyond and a fifth sump. The cave length now extends to >1.6 km.

Report and photos | Photo: Christine Grosart at sump 2 (© Mark Burkey)

Rob Middleton On Mother Of All Voids Pitch In Hurricane Hole (© Tom Smith)

Anglo-Malaysian Mulu Caves 2019

The expedition aimed to explore sections of cave in the Clearwater system from Park HQ, the northern sections of the system in Blackrock and Whiterock from Camp 5 and a cave on Gunung Benarat, also from Camp 5. All the objectives were achieved with 10 km of new cave discovered along with numerous leads for future expeditions.

Exped report | Photo: Mother of all Voids pitch, Hurricane Hole (© Tom Smith)

View Over The Caving Area (© Paul Mccarron)

Dachstein 2019

In 2018 the expedition made the historic connection between WUG Pot, high on the plateau, with the monster 112 km Hirlatzhöhle system, yet the search for a higher entrance to WUG Pot continues. WUG Pot is now almost fully surveyed after several deep trips, with several open leads ready to be pushed next year. Our GPF-funded Cavelink set was used successfully to make deep trips safer.

Read the exped report | Photo: View over the caving area (© Paul McCarron)

Christine In Sump 1 With Suex Scooter (© Richard Walker)

Izvor Licanke 2019

The objective was to explore virgin cave passages both underwater and above, using advanced cave diving and caving techniques. The expedition had three exploratory dives, with 601 m of new cave passages discovered. The total length of the cave is now 1.5 km, of which 1,125 m has been discovered by this team.

Read more on Izvor Licanke | Photo: Christine in sump 1 (© Richard Walker)

Judith Calford, Cave Of The Winds, Mulu, Malaysia (© Chris Howes)

Mulu 19

The expedition has proven that Clearwater Cave is connected to the Racer/Easter system through a sump, although it was not dived. Fifteen cavers were involved over three weeks, with 3.2 km of new passage discovered. In addition to exploration, microbiology fieldwork was conducted examining interesting and rare phenomena.

Read the report | Photo: Cave of the Winds, Mulu, Malaysia (© Chris Howes)