We have not expected that it will turn into the main goal of the expedition.
Several hours of exploration brings as a result a discovery of horizontal
galleries and some ramps. Short on ropes, we stopped at -60 m, at a big
stalagmite, dubbed Mnich (Monk). The next day we started working in P-28.
D. Oleksy, Kondratowicz and Wójtowicz rigged the cave to -270 m. At same
time, M. Oleksy, Nowak, and Furtak continue exploration in Pod ¦nieżnymi
Korkami, now dubbed short Korki. Exploration fever ensues. Behind the
Mnich we enter a great descending ramp with a meander more than 10 m deep
in the bottom. Down the muddy "gang" we come to a divide. One
series leads to a big hall which we called Sala Księżycowa (Moon Hall)
for its irregular cave formations. The entrance to this hall is also extraordinary.
One climbs a vertical muddy step 3 metres high, whose topmost part is
the calcite bottom of the hall, formed on the muddy substrate. I leave
for later a window that looms in one end of Sala Księżycowa and return
to the divide where the other two are just coming with the survey. Calculations
indicate a depth of 150 m. Together we enter the other series where we
soon stop over a wide shaft. Twenty metres down I touched bottom. Coming
down I see another pitch beneath broken rocks. Short of rope, I had to
come back. Ascending the shaft I saw that it was wider than I thought.
Huge rocks size of a house are wedged between the walls. The next day
we spend in "the expedition’s main target", that is in P-28.
One hundred meter deep pitch,
ph. Marcin Furtak
D. Oleksy and Muszalski go to the window at -80 m which appears to be
a parallel shaft ending in the main series. Meanwhile me, the young Oleksy
and Kramek, attempt to get to the bottom of P-28. However, rigging proves
difficult and having put more than 20 bolts in a dozen hours we are at
-480 m. Only the next team (Pilecki, Nowak, Kondratowicz) comes to the
bottom. However, to their disappointment, the terminal rift appears too
big a challenge. Drilling in it with a standard battery drill seems unproductive.
A team of three is checking all side leads upwards from -370 m and partly
derigs the cave. Two other teams go to P-28 to check the windows and take
off the ropes. The problem of P-28, that has upset us for years, is solved.
We debated in the base camp what do next. Pod ¦nieżnymi Korkami was still
going and well. Each attack adds another 200-300 m of new series. We are
so many, however, that we can see the leads in other caves, of which we
know only that "there seems to be a chance...". One such cave
is P-30 - Zielona Studnia. Unfortunately, we did not found anything new
there. There is still Hades shaft (-455 m) with a window that Kondratowicz
has spotted yet in 1994. In high spirits and armed with half-kilometre
rope we rushed to the vertical giant. We get only to -200 m. There, a
chock of ice and snow, formed in a narrow place, has stopped us. Well,
it is not for us to explore old holes this year. We have then moved nearly
all our force to Korki. Wójtowicz, M. Oleksy, Mucha and Nowak explore
a sloping series that Pływak, annoyed with its rich supply of mud, dubbed
Shit Series. This team conquers also two blind pitches and a new entrance.
The cave has now a total of four entrances.
Despite constant rain (we had three days of sun in three weeks), the work
in Korki proceeds smoothly. The short distance between the base and the
entrance makes it possible to get to the cave in the short breaks in bad
weather. On 29 of July Nowak and Pilecki explore Partie Księżycowe and
I am doing with Mucha a traverse over Studnia z Wantami to a big muddy
step. An old, inactive part of the cave opens behind the step. Lumps of
mud carved by water into fantastic shapes seem to end after a dozen metres.
Feeling a weak draught I literally kicked off the mud and passed through
Błotne Wrota (Mud Gate). Behind it begins another part of the muddy series
- Bangladesz - where you could hear water trickling slowly. We returned
because of the lack of rope. We have decided to inspect the leads systematically,
starting from the entrance. Nowak and Pilecki communicate Pierwsza Pochylnia
with Studnia Szerpów and explore a pitch and a meander behind Studnia
z Wantami and complete the work in Księżycowe Partie.
On August 1 and 2, the two from Gorzów discover a several hundred metres-long
series behind Bangladesz, dubbed Ganges and reaching the depth of 246m.
Piku¶, Mundek, Mucha and M. Oleksy push Ganges down to - 260 m. Meanwhile,
I have saw with Wójtowicz a couple of leads, one of which led us to -
256 m in Mokre Kaskady. We were pushing in Korki in several parallel series,
all of them terminating at similar depths, never exceeding 300 m. The
expedition was nearing its end. The exploration goals were mostly done.
On 7 August Pływak and D. Oleksy explore Bangladesz (200 m) and they stop
at a squeeze into which they allow two the thinnest, that is Wójtowicz
and me. Łukasz was the "lucky" one to go first - I already did
not have to. The series
choked in a few metres. Coming out of Bangladesz we hear "voices".
Somewhere behind the wall there is another team - Kondratowicz, Mucha
and Piku¶ explore in Zapomniana Studnia. I talk to someone through the
rumble of falling water. After a short talk I hear a question from behind
the wall "Who are you?" I have to introduce myself.
At the same time Nowak and D. Oleksy explore Zasypane Partie and finish
work in Gówniane Partie. In one of the shifts M. Oleksy and me reach the
lowest point in the cave Pod ¦nieżnymi
|The deepest and largest caves found
and explored by Speleoklub "Bobry" Żagań
|1. Meanderhöhle (P-4)
|2. Bleikogelhöhle (P-35)
|3. Kaskadowa (P-28)
|4. Stary ¦wistak (P-24)
|5. Hades (P-14)
|6. Pod Modrzewiem (P-77)
|7. Czerwony Paj±k (P-19)
|8. Pod ¦nieżnymi Korkami
|9. Zielona Studnia (P-30)
|12. Nasza Szkapa
|13. Kanał (P-15)
|14. Jubilerska (P-25)
|16. Lodowa (P-53)
Korkami. In Zapomniana Studnia we get into a nice, dry and white meander
which leads us to -280 m. Mundek, M. Oleksy and Pilecki, in the last attack,
explore Wschodnie Kominy, I am digging with Mucha in the meander past
Mnich and in Kaskady z Mostami. On the same day, 10th of August, we close
the actions in Snieżne Korki. The measurable effects of the expedition’s
20-day work in ¦nieżne Korki is 3600 m of explored galleries. The cave
thus became the longest in the eastern Tennengebirge, exceeding Czerwony
Paj±k (3200 m long). This is an undoubted success, especially if one takes
into account the constant rain, snow and hail.
All caves we explored in this area earlier were vertical. This year the
cave "yielded" horizontally, and though we feel the "pull
of the deep", the horizontal series please us too, especially because
Korki is so wonderful with its rich calcite decoration.
Apart of the cave activity, the expedition has also surveyed cave entrances
and marked them according to the Austrian system. This was done mainly
by the expedition leader Halina Zyzańska who also took part in reproducing
Korki on paper. We were aided to a varying degree in transport by two
priests - Jarek Barwiński and Stachu Gbiorczyk, as well as by Grzesiek
Strojny and Marysia Zyzańska. Coming back to the numbers, we had 30 cave
shifts and 10 for surface prospecting - here without notable results.
Team of the expedition Austria 2000
Halina Zyzańska (organising leader), Daniel Oleksy (sports leader), Marcin
Furtak, Rajmund Kondratowicz, Franciszek Kramek, Grzegorz Muszalski, Marcin
Oleksy, Łukasz Wójtowicz - all from Speleoklub "Bobry" Żagań, and Artur
Nowak and Piotr Pilecki from Speleklub "Gawra".