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Barbara Anne am Ende first learned about the wonders of caving during a simple visit to a commercial cave at the age of 14. Shortly thereafter she took a spelunking tour (studying caves and their contents) and was hooked; she joined the National Speleological Society (NSS) to foster her interest. As a member, she did some tourist caving (looking around well-know systems) and visited wild caves (undeveloped without paths or lights). Am Ende longed to find a passage no person had ever seen before, a virgin cave. She got her wish—one of her most memorable explorations, the 1994 Huautla Expedition, is depicted in her book, Beyond the Deep.