Huautla book now out

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Huautla book now out

Postby Bill Steele » Jul 11, 2009 9:11 pm

Yes, I wrote it, and I'm proud of it. The title is Huautla: Thirty Years in One of the World's Deepest Caves. It'll be available at the ICS. I'm doing a book signing there on Tuesday, July 21st. There's a review of it, written by Ron Kerbo, at www.cavebooks.com.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby barcelonacvr » Jul 12, 2009 7:45 pm

Thank you!! I can't wait to read it.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby caverdoc » Jul 12, 2009 7:52 pm

Bill
Checked out the CaveBooks homepage. Looks like an awesome book, hope there are lots of photos!
I've enjoyed reading your accounts of Huautla since the late 1970s.
Looks like another must-have for the caving library...

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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Phil Winkler » Jul 13, 2009 8:46 am

Bill, why the big gap between December 1970 to December 1978?

The Personnel reads like a who's who of caving. Nicely done.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Bill Steele » Jul 13, 2009 10:01 am

Actually, no caving happened there between 1970 and 1976. This was due to two reasons covered in the first chapter: 1) The caves were thought to be pretty much explored with no further depth potential, and 2) Because of the magic mushroom scene and the degenerate hippies who'd flocked to Huautla, all foreigns were chased out and an army roadblock kept anyone but locals from going there.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Phil Winkler » Jul 13, 2009 10:20 am

Ah, yes. I was in San Antonio in 1973 and recall the problems there. Spent carbide being mistaken for cocaine, etc.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Bill Steele » Jul 13, 2009 11:25 am

At the ICS, at the hot tub, ask Pete Strickland to tell you about the "oatmeal incident," which is the one that scared off cavers from going to Huautla for years. He was with the Canadians when they had a shakedown at gunpoint in Teotitlan del Camino after leaving Huautla. The soldiers claimed the oatmeal was something smokeable. I did the same sort of thing a few years later in Austin when I was substitute teaching and a student rolled a cigarette out of pencil sharpener shavings. Like I told him, for I knew that's what that stuff looks like.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Bill Steele » Aug 8, 2009 12:04 pm

The review of my book HUAUTLA: THIRTY YEARS IN ONE OF THE WORLD'S DEEPEST CAVES that's in the August NSS News was written by Ron Kerbo before the manuscript was printed. His final review, a revision of this review written once he had the book in his hands, can be seen at www.cavebooks.com. Look around there for the complete Kerbo review.
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 8, 2009 5:07 pm

Hey Bill, thanks for signing my book. It was in stuff I sent back by a different car, so I haven't started it yet. I should have gotten it back today.

Nice tights, by the way.
:woohoo:
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby Herman Miller » Aug 9, 2009 12:56 am

Yes, thanks for signing my copy as well. It was an excellent read and I have been trying to loan it out to others hoping it will hook them on caving. It reads of high adventure much like the young mens magazines of the 40s - 50s, I was half expecting a grizzly attack part way through the book... but really a very well written book and very enjoyable as well.
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Comments about Huautla sent to the author

Postby Bill Steele » Oct 3, 2009 11:17 am

Art and Peggy Palmer

We resisted the temptation to read it all at one sitting, and instead Peg is reading it to me (Art) while I work on cabinets for our new van. This gives us a chance to draw it out a long time and to laugh/cry/cheer at all the events.


Bill Bentley

I will reserve judgment until I get to the end. But suffice to say so far I like it, and especially the parts where you tell it like it is when someone does something stupid, or even at the time perceived as stupid and dangerous and how being scooped and how you all felt.

Then again later:

I finished your book while sitting in my tent in the cool pines of Southeastern New Mexico last night... I used my Locklear approved flashlight to read by...

I was intrigued... While I would have never gone/go to Mexico. I envy those who do... Sounds like fun...

The book left me wishing there was more...


Charles Goldsmith

I hope Bill Steele writes another, I have both of his books and they are great to read.


George Dasher, author of On Station

I read your Huautla book last week. It was very good, and I enjoyed it. You were lucky you got such sound medical advice in that underground camp when the gasoline stove blew up.

Your book was very interesting and a fast read!


Herman Miller

It was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it.


James Jasek

I was right about the book. It is way too short. A good 500 pages would have been better as I don't want it to end. What an amazing adventure it has been for you.

Best book I have read in years. Mostly I read technical books and history of WWI.

And after Jasek read it a second time:

The best thing is how the wording and the story flowed so perfectly.I really didn't want to end, but it ended perfectly.


James Wells

I am reading your book right now. It is the best book I have that I have not yet read, so there you go. What is speaking to me besides the caving is the personal choices. I remember in the early 1980's I was on the edge of the ability to take on real world class expedition caving. I chose the weekend warrior route, and it worked for me although I did lose one wife to the cave. I totally understand the size of the decision because I was facing it squarely and was very conscious of it. So now I have 30 years of 24-hour triumphs and one Mammoth connection rather than a Sistema Huautla, I guess it's a decent trade. Anyway your description of your first marriage and the similar choices facing the various cavers made me think about that history.


Kasia Biernacka, Poland

I'm reading your book about Huautla now and I do it with pleasure - very interesting book!


Ron Kerbo

If you were not already a caver this book would make you want to be one much as Jacques Cousteau's book "The Silent World" led many of use to become divers back in the 1950s and even to become a cave divers in later years ”---and the road goes ever on."


Mark Minton

I like the book and found it to be fast reading. I too look forward to Steele's next book


Ellie Thoene

I just finished Huautla and I became so absorbed in the story that I feel like I
am now 30 years older. I was impressed how you were able to share in words the
excitement that came with each connection, the relational intricacies with each
relationship, and the sorrow with each tragedy. When you first told me about
Huautla and its vastness and great depth, I was fascinated and this book just
intensified that fascination. Thanks for sharing this story with the caving
community.


Bill Mixon

…this is an important and valuable book. Way too few first-person accounts of exploration by American cavers have been commercially published.


Richard A. Watson

It is a tremendous read for cavers, and a very important book documenting American caving, which has so little documentation in books, which is the only documentation that counts beyond the caving community.


Bill Stone

In the end it was a sense of accomplishment achieved with a few individuals bold and brave and intelligent and crazy enough to be there with you on a true frontier and make something unusual happen. That's what came through in reading your book, at least subliminally to me in certain places. It seems to make life have meaning, despite all the senseless work stress and other unhappy distractions we all bear. So... thanks for capturing a lot of the things that happened during those years.
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More feedback about HUAUTLA

Postby Bill Steele » Nov 2, 2009 8:05 am

Jim Chester

… this is a very good story … He can write. He can put you on the edge of your chair. I damn near had to walk away from the Scorpion Sump story - it was so intense (and I knew the ending)! He is honest, telling it like it was (is). He pulled no punches. Some people are going to hate him for "their less than complimentary appearance" in the book. Often he dismisses them with a single sentence. Others, like Smith and Powell and Stone come across as the Big Boys of cave exploration. Smith and Powell are pure joys to be around. You would want to be marooned on a island with them… Bill is honest about himself. He is damn good, has less then abundant patience for half-assed effort, has a sense of humor and an overriding love affair with cave exploration and this cave in particular. Not many of those explorers could have written this book - Stone included. It could become one of the classics.


Jim Smith

You write the most interesting books around!


Speleobooks catalog

The most popular new release at the ICS. C.William Steele takes the reader along on a journey in search of the bottom of a seemingly endless system. Plenty of Drama, Danger and Excitment along the way.
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**WOW**

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 17, 2009 7:09 pm

Hey Bill, I finally got a chance to read your Huautla history book. It's GREAT! I was so engrossed in reading about the Poles (and I'd heard the story several times before) while riding the metro to work, that I suddenly realized "Where the heck am I? Did I miss my stop?" And while I knew you had a stove accident, I hadn't realized how serious it had been. I also didn't know Todd Warren was your first responder. Hey, you had a picture of Alan Cressler with hair!

It was interesting to read your take on the '94 expedition. You covered a lot of stuff that I either didn't participate in (like I was beyond the sump). There were a few minor factual errors, but they were small, and that's the way of expeditions, people get the details as they do. The things that made big impacts in your perspective were much smaller than those for me. Different perspectives.

One thing it brought to mind was our gratitude to the people who helped us haul all that gear out of the cave. Thank you!

To anyone else--get this book! You'll love it!
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Re: Huautla book now out

Postby tncaver » Nov 17, 2009 7:14 pm

Bill Steele is one of my caving heroes.
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Thanks, Barbara

Postby Bill Steele » Nov 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Barbara, what you've said here is very important to me. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Last edited by Bill Steele on Mar 23, 2010 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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