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Polish participation in the exploration of Complesso del Foran del Muss in the years 1995 - 2001

Marek Kozioł
Klub Speleogiczny "Aven"

The special issue of "Jaskinie" published in English in 1997, included an article in which the present author with Waldemar Kasprzyk and Waldemar Mucha described the history
of five expeditions that made the two-and-half-year
underground adventure with Canin, the adventure that gave birth to the Complesso del Foran del Muss cave system. Now I would like to present in concise form the most
important information and
a chronological summary
of our activity in the area.


Monte Canin: A peak in the Julian Alps (2 587 m a.s.l.) at the boundary between Italy and Slovenia, 20 km south-west of the Austrian-Italian border crossing at Tavrisio.
Canin: An extensive mountain massif, named after its highest peak. It includes several distinctive crests and peaks on both sides of the border. The main building material, responsible for the karstic nature of the area, is the limestone rock. The numerous caves hidden in its interior, because of the still little progress in their exploration, are a true challenge and a paradise for underground explorers.
Complesso del Foran del Muss: A cave system situated ca. 3 km NW of the summit of the Monte Canin above the Raccolana valley. The history of the Polish participation in its exploration during the period 1995-2001 is the subject of this paper. The names of the greatest caves situated nearby are Complesso del Col delle Erbe, Complesso Vianello-Bus d’Ajar, Rotule Spezzate, Abisso Procopio. One of the main goals of speleological activity in the area is finding links between them. The four caves mentioned are only the leaders in the long list of the known objects in the vicinity.
AVEN: A type of cave. Also the name of my caving club (AVEN Sosnowiec), under the aegis of which we have been conducting for several years systematic exploration on the Italian side of the Canin massif. Our expeditions usually set out towards the Julian Alps twice a year and concentrate their efforts on the unravelling the enigmas of the course of underground galleries of the Complesso del Foran del Muss cave system and of the adjacent caves. As is the case with other Polish activities elsewhere in the world, these are inter-club operations. I am writing about a large exploration task, extended over many years, whose results are strongly influenced by the strength of teamwork. This is why I am glad to name the clubs whose members have eminently contributed to the activity. These clubs are: Klub Speleologiczny "Aven", Speleoklub D±browa Górnicza, Katowicki Klub Speleogiczny, Akademicki Klub Gotołazów Kraków, Krakowski Klub Taternictwa Jaskiniowego, Speleoklub "Bobry" Żagań.
Trieste: A town, the home of the Italian caving clubs that carry on the intensive exploration in the Canin. It is owing to the cavers from Club Alpinistico Triestino and Gruppo Triestino Speleologi that we began our activity in this area. The impressive achievements of the Italian colleagues, their exceptional hospitality and the incessant effective co-operation with us deserve the great appreciation and gratitude which am addressing to them.

Close to the entrence of Grotta Dobra Picka, ph.: D. Perhinek

Data on Complesso
del Foran del Muss
after the winter 2001 expedition

Length: 19 600 m; Depth: 1 110 m; Highest point: entrance Q.RDI (Abisso dei Curdi). 2 012 m a.s.l.; Lowest point: bottom of cave Dobra Picka.; Resurgence: Il Fontanone (in the Raccolana valley). 861 m a.s.l.; Largest of the linked caves in the system: Abisso Giovanni Mornig, Abisso Emilio Comici, Grotta Dobra Picka, Grotta Kropka Pięć, Abisso Carlo Seppenhofer.; Number of entrances: 24.

Chronology of Polish activity in the area
Before 1995

The possibility of discovering the Complesso del Foran del Muss system is hypothesis set forth by Italian cavers. Nobody has any idea of the existence of such objects as Kropka Pięć, Dobra Picka and many others. Other large caves, known already for many years, are not interconnected. Among important events is recorded our club's participation (1984) in descending and surveying to the bottom (Sifone Seppenhofer, -690 m) of the Abisso Carlo Seppenhofer cave. Having planned an expedition to the Slovenian side of the Canin we encountered

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