POLISH CAVING 2001
Unfortunately, both caves were barred with fallen rocks. They were only
shallow pitches grown with thorny plants.
After four days hike along almost invisible soaked trail our guides,
and porters at the same, stopped at the edge of enormous cave pitch -
Imalfol Tem (topographic data: 141o 49' 032" E, 05o
13' 624" S, entrance elevation 2,280 m above sea level). The entrance
was situated at the bottom of a karst crater overgrown with wet tropical
plants and bat droppings.
Two of our colleagues were forced to come back to Jayapura with festering
wounds caused by insect bites. And one more left in Telefomin so as to
keep radio contact. As a result, our exploration teams consisted of two
and three cavers.
On Sunday February 25, with practically no food reserve and having only
140 m of rope, we conducted our last exploration and measurement action
in Imalfol Tem cave. Sun was shining brightly outside. It was a rarity
here while several hour - long down - pours were regular weather. Good
omen, I thought, starting my descend into the first pitch. In the cave
there was less water than usual. Cascades, which were a nuisance from
the very first ledges, changed into hardly visible trickles. After four
hours we reached the site where we stopped 48 hours earlier, at the top
of a huge, rumbling waterfall disappearing somewhere down in an abyss.
Backing from that site last time we spotted a muddy and crumbly ramp,
which could help us in omitting the cascade. Now, we decided to try this
way. After a 50-meter traverse we reached the pitch again. The waterfall,
where we stood by before, now was rumbling on the other side. Climbing
down the rope I suddenly felt a gale-force draught, which was sweeping
away water from the waterfall falling some ten meters away. Thousands
of drops swirled around and dropped down into the abyss 40 meters wide.
This was Something Big - a site that wouldn't fail to thrill a caver.
We threw a stone down. The bang of a crushing rock was heard after some
ten seconds. When we started to clear the rope we heard the second tap
from somewhere down there… Enormous pitch must have been at least 200
We hammered in next anchors and the rope from the bag went over the pitch, and then - a surprise. We became left with the last 20 meters of the rope. So it was a fair excuse for our withdrawal. We made use of all the 700 meters of the rope brought here from Poland. And we run out of the food supplies. The time came to go back and start the preparations for expedition NAMBAWAN 2002. We managed to explore the cave to -383 m. In addition, we discovered among the others the caves Ukumsem Tum, Rom Tem situated in the neighbourhood. Considering the fact that the potential possibilities of the massif are estimated at over 1,500 m, it may be our future number one on the southern hemisphere.
POLISH CAVING 2001