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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
Depth Length
1. Meanderhöhle (P-4) -1028 1588
2. Bleikogelhöhle (P-35) -1021 1800
3. Kaskadowa (P-28) -559 ok. 700
4. Stary ¦wistak (P-24) -480 535
5. Hades (P-14) -455 480
6. Pod Modrzewiem (P-77) -440 800
7. Czerwony Paj±k (P-19) -415 3200
8. Pod ¦nieżnymi Korkami -280 3600
9. Zielona Studnia (P-30) -276 380
10. Eishöhle -270 1260
11. P-37 -265 285
12. Nasza Szkapa -207 450
13. Kanał (P-15) -167 239
14. Jubilerska (P-25) -162 208
15. Korkoci±g -122 193
16. Lodowa (P-53) -114 131

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".

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