Jaskinie - The Caves, issue 10

Jaskinie - The Caves, issue 41 (4/2005)


BC-4 through agony to success - Paweł Ramatowski, Marcin Kubarek

STJ KW-Kraków began exploration in the Kanin massif in 1998 when Central Committee for Study of the Kanin Karst assigned to STJ KW-Kraków an area for exploration between the peaks Kolic and Mali Graben, above the Mala Boka cave which rises 700 m above its entrance in the valley bottom. The upper entrance has been searched for more than 30 years in hope of exploring a cave more than 1400 m deep. STJ KWKraków xplored the area every year since then. Earlier exploration be various, mainly Slovenian teams have shown that most caves were narrow and choked before reaching the depth of 250 m. Exploration by STJ encountered the same problem, but they dug, cleaned, enlarged many passages, with -261 in BC-1 as the main success. Only in 2004 this strenuous effort brought a spark of hope - BC-4, found and partly cleaned a year ago was pushed to a 130 pitch ending at -320 m.
Expedition of 2005 arrived to the Kanin on August 10. It included 10 cavers from STJ KW-Kraków, SSE Karakorum and KKTJ. Exploration through a series with many loose rocks and narrows led to a series of pitches, including one of 230 m, followed by muddy meanders, explored to -700 m and still continuing. Exploration was interrupted because of the time limit. A significant effort was spent on widening the narrowest passages to make
exploration of the deeper parts safer. The cave was surveyed to -668m.

Section of BC-4 cave
Section of System BC-4 and Mala Boka

Connection of BC-4 and Mala Boka

At the beginning of December 2005 two Slovenian cavers found the entrance of BC-4 and reached the depth of 70 m. On the next day, the initiator and leader of this action, Slovenian freelance caver Rok Stopar, in company of a few Italian cavers - members of Gruppo Grotte Brescia - reached the depth of 200 m in a 16-hours action. After that, different groups of Italian and Slovenian cavers farther enlarged narrow places down to the depth of -280 m and continued to the depth of 650 m. On 10 December 2005 an Italian group passed trough a narrow passage at -700 m and descended farther 200 m in depth and 400 m of horizontal extent, coming to the Millennium series in Mala Boka. They returned to the surface after 20 hours. At 17 and 18 December 2005 a group of 4 Slovenian and 4 Italian cavers descended through BC-4 to the entrance of Mala Boka in 24 hours. The vertical extent of the system is 1319 m and the total length is 8168 m. The vertical distance between the entrances is 1297 m; the trough-way is 4997 m long.
Joze Pirnat, the Slovenian caver who was in charge of coordinating international exploration efforts in the Kanin massif in years 1997-2001 wrote us a letter exposing his point of view on the events. He states that the Polish cavers were undoubtedly the most meritorious to find the fifth cave in the Kanin deeper than 1000 m. The expected connection of BC-4 with Mala Boka would become the reachable goal of the next Polish expedition, in summer 2006. Unfortunately, a part of the Slovenian-Italian team that for the last four years was exploring Mala Boka, grabbed the Polish echievement. They in conspiracy decided to take dishonest shortcut and go forward in BC-4 against all good manners and rules of fair play. Slovenian cavers and other explorers of Kanin were informed "post festum", that the connection was made. Even the best intentions, such as to extend the exploration season in Mala Boka, which was accessible only in winter, and to make exploration in Mala Boka safer, can not excuse the behaviour of the Slovenian-Italian team.

Massif view with marked entrance of BC-4, ph. M. Gradziński
Entrance to BC-4, ph. M. Kubarek

2005 - comeback to J2 - Marcin Gala

Seven Polish cavers took part in the expedition to Mexico organized by US Deep Caving Team and aimed at farther exploration of the deepest cave of the Americas - Sistema Cheve in Sierra Juarez, Oaxaca. The expedition counted 36 people from USA, Poland, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland and UK. Activity lasted from March 19 to May 10, 2005 (Polish cavers participating from March 19 to May 1). Cave J2 was deepened from 391 m to 1101 m. The lowest part reached consists of spacious, nearly horizontal galleries interrupted by breakdowns.

American caver Bart Hogan
passing the siphon,
after lowering water level.
ph. K. Biernacka, M. Gala
Comfort - Camp I, ph. K. Biernacka, M. Gala

Göll 2005 - Zbigniew Rysiecki

Expedition to Göll in 2005 was led by Zbigniew Rysiecki and counted 15 cavers from WKTJ Poznań and RKG Nocek Ruda ¦l±ska. They had to go earlier than usual, on July 3-30, to comply with the demands of local hunters. Copious amounts of snow remaining after winter and rainy weather made the exploration more difficult. One goal was continuation of Schartenschacht from the depth of 924 m, reached last summer. The exploration led to a spacious chamber with a lake at depth of 972 m and with a window with draft, gaping in a fragile and muddy overhanging wall. The other goal was Unvollendeterschacht situated near Höhle der Sprechenden Steine. The former gave chance to avoid menacing giant icicles that deterred exploration of a big pitch in the latter. Both caves were joined and exploration reached the depth of 514 m with some leads left. A few smaller caves have been found and explored. A total of 1083 m of galleries were surveyed.

Section of Schartenschacht
Section of west part of Hohschartehohlensystem
Entrance to Unvollendeterschacht, ph. Z. Rysiecki
Entrance in Gamskar, ph. A. Jaruga

Expedition Siberia 2005 - Peter Holubek

A group of five Slovaks, including four cavers from Slovenská Speleologická Spoločnost visited karst areas of East Siberia from August 13 to September 9, 2005. They visited Botovskaja cave near the upper course of the Lena river, in horizontally lying Ordovician limestones 8 m thick. The cave has 60 838 m of surveyed maze of narrow galleries, densely penetrating the limestone massif. Its potencial development is estimated, basing on the density of galleries in the explored part and the surface area of the limestone massif, at 44 200 km! The cavers tried to enter the system from the opposite, NE side of the limestone area, but the lack of rock outcrops made it difficult. A five 5 long cave with draft was excavated, but it ends in a squeeze that requires tools for its widening. The cavers visited also a few caves near the Lake Baikal.

Botovskaja karst area, ph. P. Holubek
Baikal lake, ph. P. Holubek


Rapa Nui 2004 - Anndrzej Ciszewski

Andrzej Ciszewski Agnieszka Gajewska and Zdzislaw Jan Ryn visited Rapa Nui (the Easter Island) on December 3-10 2004, trying to prepare a future expedition aimed at making a speleological inventory of the island. All caves are in volcanic rocks; nearly 110 of them have been already surveyed. The longest of them, some being nearly a kilometer long, are those in the Roiho lava field. The caves have been intensely used by local population for dwelling, cult and shelter, hence exploration requires various permits and arrangements.

ph. A. Ciszewski & A. Gajewska
ph. A. Ciszewski & A. Gajewska

The Tatra Mts.

W±wóz Kraków - Jaskinie 2005

Twelve small caves, not included in former inventories, are described from the Kraków Gorge in the West Tatra mountains.

Climbing in Beczka "13 Progów" Canyon, ph. J. Nowak

Silesian Upland

Caves of the Góra ¦więtej Anny Landscape Park

The Góra ¦więtej Anny (Mount St Anna) Landscape Park area includes a basaltic cone and hills built of Triassic limestones. Three small
caves are described, the biggest, Chełmska cave, is 23 m long and 7 m deep.

Michal Gradziński, Grzegorz Haczewski, Jakub Nowak, Mariusz Szelerewicz, Renata Tęczar
This HTML-version: Dariusz Bartoszewski
Editioral address (main):
ul. Ehrenberga 36a 31-309 Krakow, Poland e-mail: szelerewicz@ceti.pl
Internet edition:
e-mail: dbart@sktj.pl, WWW: sktj.pl

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Last change 2006.01.23