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Tolminski Migovec Cave Exploration
Izgubljeni Raj 2011
M2 Super Action — October 22nd
We said we'd go back, and that we'd survey, so we did! We measured 245m of survey data, adding an extra hundred metres to the known depth of M2 and bringing the closest approach with Vrtnarija to 4m (nb: 1.4km loop, estimated ~30m error), along an easy mud-floored dig taking a huge draught.
Trip Report | Photos
Post — Expo Summary
2011 was another great year deep within Tolminski Migovec. The weather was horrendous — we even had snow! But the cave kept on going. We found over 2.2km of new passage all below -500m in depth, and took the cave to a new deepest point of -888m. All of the exploration took place during underground-camping trips based at X-Ray (Vrtnarija, -550m), with the keenest of expeditioneers managing a total of around seven nights underground during the four week expedition.
We presented our exploits at the BCRA 'Hidden Earth' Caving conference in Monmouth on 25th September 2011. The slides are available, either as a PDF (33MB) or the original ODP (26MB), or online via Scribd.
2011 Photos (online gallery) | 147MB zipfile (375 photos, medium resolution for offline viewing)
Tolmin is on the edge of the Julian Alps in Western Slovenia. There is a train station at Most na Soci, and buses come up both from Nova Gorica (Gorizia on the Italian side) and Ljublijana. Cheapest flights are generally to Trieste with Ryanair, but also check out Venice and Easyjet to Ljublijana.
Tolminski Migovec can be seen all the way from the Most na Soci lake, and is most easily accessed by driving up to Tolminske Ravne (912m) which has a fully Tarmac'd road built for the hydro electric facility. The walking track then takes you up to 1500m through switchbacks in the forest (very sticky when its hot in the valley) to Planina Kal (aka. The Shepherd's Huts). If there's clag down in the valley, there is sometimes a stunning view. From here take the middle path that heads straight up (via switchbacks) towards Mig before heading north along the edge of the plateau, before the final set of switchbacks and scree to gain the Gateway.
Quite simply translates as 'Paradise Lost', a reference to the beautiful crystals we found in the Palace of King Minos during 2010.
Sponsorship and Thanks
Ghar Parau Foundation - Expedition equipment fund (rope!).
Starless River - Starless River for a large discount on expo equipment, and gear advice.
Imperial College Trust> and Imperial College Union - Tour funding (transport)