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Tolminski Migovec Cave Exploration
Summer Expedition 2003
Rik's written an article for Felix.
Read it here.
Dave Wilson's photos are now online.
Hot off the press, surveys
of our discoveries.
Latest News from the Pushing Front
Update: 14th August
Final pushing trip (Tetley and Pete) revealed 250m of stonking passage
(horizontal of course).
Cave about 3.2km long, 750m deep. (t.b.c.)
No connection but loads of storming leads for 2004.
GW derigged in a day (metal work taken out, ropes left coiled at top of
Efficient derig of bivvy (including a superb pissup/bithday party for Janet
with Champagne and sausages).
Flowers given to the farmer's wife went down very well as did the chocolates,
wine (and a sneaky packet of ciggies)
Last night we were at the Soca till 2:30 am, tonight we are having our final
expedition meal, tomorrow the van heads off towards Blighty.
Update: 12th August Part 2
More information on who did what. in the last week or so.
Tetley and Dave went down Sunday morning, exiting Tuesday 2-30am. Had a
look at end of Leprechaun and high-level passage above. Securely rigged and
surveyed Take Nothing / Moondust past point of initial exploration by Brian
& Colm, Surveyed one side-passage just after streamway. Took photographs in
Take Nothing / Moondust (~5 locations) and around Playboy Junction.
Brian and Martin went down Monday morning, exiting Tuesday evening. Pushed
end of Leprechaun down short pitches and climbs. Dug through sand choke to
continuation of phreatic passage beyond. Rigged uncertain traverse. Found
another small streamway (as yet unexplored).
Pushed main route up rift passage to drop. Surveyed ~200m.
Martin got infected finger (grit rubbed in near base of nail). Had to go to
doctor to get pus drained. Out of caving, so on carry-down-hill duties.
Rub-point at top of Zimmer (rope caught round small flake) nearly resulted
in Brian taking 50m lob - sheath and some core sliced through.
Shed & Jan down Tuesday, out Thursday morning ~2am. - told about Zimmer on
way down by B&M, and did initial re-rigging. Some time taken learning new
parts of cave (neither had been beyond end of main pitch series previously)
Continued work in Moondust.
Pete J. and Rick down Wednesday, out Thursday evening. Pushed & surveyed
end of Moondust, rerigged Zimmer. (Zimmer now has no ledge - just 2 drops)
Brian and Dave descended Thursday morning, out Friday 6pm. Pushed end of
Leprechaun down 3 climbs on naturals (bolting with Spits not possible in
decayed rock) Surveyed (including one leg where we had to split a leg
because a 30m tape just wasn't long enough) to junction with large
(climbable?) aven up to left, with a low way to right leading to slope
which soon gains drop requiring some rigging. Rubbing natural hangs *seem*
OK even on cheap 9mm - rock seems weaker than rope. Some climbs a bit iffy
- surfaces get more slippy each time they are climbed on
Photos in: Leprechaun (~ 4 locations), the oxbow bypass in highway 52, Camp
X-ray, and the pitcheads of Space Odyssey and Tesselator on way out.
Saw Tetley & Pete J set off down Saturday just before I walked down to
Ravne with my gear.
A nice steady climb from camp X-ray to the surface is about 6 hours with
light/medium-weight tackle bag, and from the end of Leprechaun it's
currently about 1.5 hours back to camp at a steady sweat-free pace.
Update: 12th August Part 1
I've just got back home (Tuesday lunchtime.) Went down GW on Thursday for a photo/pushing/survey
trip with Brian, and got out Friday evening. The phreatic series (Leprechaun) is still going on
(and on, and on), though the rock is a bit rotting in places - long through-bolts may be needed
next year to rig some small climbs properly? Tetley/Pete J. went down to camp on Saturday for
the last pushing trip, combining that with initial derigging. The main straight-ahead lead in the
'cascade' series (Take Nothing / Moondust) closed down, but there are still several promising leads
running off it in the region of the streamway.
When I left the bottom, there was a pitch to drop and a nearby shaft to climb at the end of
Leprechaun, (and the small streamway part way along it), the various leads off Moondust, and there
is still Leopard and the down route at Zimmer, so there's absolutely loads to do next year,
possibly with a deeper camp. When I get my pictures back,I'll post some scans on my website.
Update: 3rd August
We've been running two person camping trips every night since last Monday.
Two Slovenes, Robert and Bogomir, rigged the top of a big pitch at end of f-ship gallery.
Colm and Martin push Fall's road, it gets too tight, but is following under f-ship gallery, so
probably enters later.
Clewin and Rik finished off the big pitch. 80m in total. Enters a reasonable sized chamber, with a
streamway heading off.
They explore streamway for ~200m before heading back.
Tetley and James push streamway to a pitch (not actually in stream, but at top of rift in
phreatic-esque section) and survey
back to pitch.
Colm and Brian descend pitch (actually 2m climb) and run wildly around the place finding shit-loads
of horizontal phreatic stuff. One passage (Leprachaun series) heads towards Mig System, and goes
down at the familiar angle of the main fault at the bottom of the system. Other passage is a fossil
cascade dropping ~40m with some pristine pools. Stream eventually joins on left, leaving immediately
on right, with phreatic stuff continuing straight on. Colm and Brian find at least 300m, with no end
in sight! Leprachaun is surveyed, as is the big pitch in preparation for descent to Tolmin on Sat.
All except Dave W and Tetley down for pizza and pivo.
Meal in Hotel Krn takes about 3 hours to arrive!
Survey data entered on computer.
Colm wants to call new passage 'Withnail Outlet', guess why.....
Update: 30th July
Camp X-Ray up and running.
Toasty and warm.
Falls road closes down. Needs semtex or pipe bombs.
Far end of Friendship gallery goes! A few small pitches, then a big one, at least 50m! As yet undescended.