Into the Deep at Sistema Huautla 2018 with Bill Steele

Posted by Whole Earth | 10.12.2018


Into the Deep at Sistema Huautla 2018 with Bill Steele

Join Us at our Mockingbird location

Tuesday October 23rd at 7pm


He’s co-leader of Proyecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla or PESH, a ten year project to map and explore the deepest cave system in the Western Hemisphere, Sistema Huautla.  The 2018 expedition ended in May, and Steele will be coming to our Dallas Mockingbird store on Tuesday, October 23rd at 7 pm. to share stories and spectacular photos from this year’s campaign.


Sistema Huautla is located in the beautiful and mysterious Sierra Mazateca mountains of Oaxaca in Mexico. The caves sometime emit clouds and mist, making it appear as if the clouds were born from within the mountains. The caves were first explored in the 1960s by cavers from Austin who did preliminary work mapping what seemed to be several very large caverns. As the expeditions continued over the years, those large caves were shown to be connected and part of a much larger system now known as Sistema Huautla.


Sistema Huautla has 25 entrances and over 53 miles of interconnecting passageways reaching a depth of 5,117 feet, from its highest known entrance to lowest reached point. This year’s expedition pushed into unexplored areas of the cave system, and connected portions that were previously believed to be separate. PESH has undertaken a ten year program of exploration to expand and refine the map of Sistema Huautla as well as study the geology, hydrology, archaeology and paleontology of the caverns and the biology of creatures and organisms living deep within the earth.  Over the years, Steele has brought a number of outstanding photographers with him into the caves, and their photos reveal a stunningly beautiful and dangerous world.


Whole Earth has had an abiding interest in caving and cavers from its earliest days. Earthling Rune Burnett was among those exploring Sistema Huautla back in the 1960s. And for the past several years, Whole Earth has supported the PESH expeditions with donations of supplies and printed materials in English, Spanish and Mazatecan to help spread the word here and in Mexico about the importance of Sistema Huautla and its exploration.


Bill Steele fell in love with caving at a very early age and has spent as much of his life underground as he could manage.  For over forty years, he has taken part in expeditions to caves large and small around the world. He’s a member of The Explorers Club, a select group of explorers and scientists who travel around the globe in search of knowledge and welcome adventure whenever it calls. Our opportunities to meet genuine explorers are limited. They’re a special breed with the focus, drive and energy to make their dreams come true. We hope you’ll join us at Mockingbird to meet an explorer and hear a true tale of modern day exploration.





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