Books: Adventure into Darkness

EXPLORING AMERICAN CAVES (280 pp.)−Franklin Folsom−Crown ($5).

The cave was man's first natural home: some atomic-age pundits fear that it may also be his last. Oddly, however, though man has probed earth's atmosphere, mapped its surface, scaled its highest peaks and scraped its ocean bottoms, he has largely neglected the myriad subterranean realms. In alpine cliché, a mountain is climbed "because it is there." The spelunker's incentive is that a cave is never even "there" until it is found and its depths are plumbed and proved. Mountaineering has its classic literature−Annapurna, The White Tower, etc.−but caves, mysterious, magnificent and challenging as...

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