Bill is, by anyone’s standard, one of the leading deep cave explorers anywhere on the planet. His intrepid life has impelled him to lead many Flag Expeditions, achieve numerous new discoveries, and promote an understanding of earth sciences building a greater understanding of how the planet evolved and how we can help sustain it. Among his many accomplishments, Bill Steele is a past president of the Texas Chapter, a Director, and a repository of knowledge from decades of unceasing commitment to our chapter. Without Bill Steele, this Texas Chapter of the Explorers Club would not be near as advanced. Thanks, Bill!
Bill Steele recently retired as a national-level director for the Boy Scouts of America, based at their national HQ in Texas where he was in charge of Alumni Relations and the National Eagle Scout Association. He is now a writer, speaker, and nearly full-time explorer. Bill is a Speleologist of international standing having led or participated in expeditions to many of the longest and deepest caves in many states of the USA, Mexico, and China. Profile photo above by Chris Higgins taken in Sistema Huautla.
As a 13-year-old Boy Scout in 1963, Bill got the taste of original exploration and from that moment he was “bitten by the bug” and hasn’t slowed down since, 54 years later.
Bill was profiled as one of 120 contemporary explorers in the 2009 book “Adventurous Dreams, Adventurous Lives.” He is well-published in journals and newsletters, as well as having written two books popular with cavers: “Yochib: The River Cave,” and “Huautla: Thirty Years in One of the World’s Deepest Caves.
Bill Steele has been a Fellow member since 1979.
Awards / Recognition
- National Speleological Society, Fellow Member, 1976 
- National Speleological Society, Lew Bicking Award, 1977 
- The Explorers Club, Fellow Member, 1979 
- National Speleological Society, International SpeleoArt Salon, Merit Award,”Brake Bar Necklace,” 2009 
- Boy Scouts of America, Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, for accomplishments as a cave explorer, 2011 
- The Explorers Club, Fellow Emeritus Member, 2013 
- The Explorers Club, Citation of Merit, 2015 
- National Speleological Society, SpeleoArt Salon, Best of Show and Caver Popular Vote, “Calcite-covered Rope,” 2015 
- National Speleological Society, Spelean Arts and Letters Award, 2015