Caving on the Matarsko podolje again

Visiting MT1 - 2013-03

When ideas run dry and will not materialize even after scratching at the almost impossible sources, we usually head to Matarsko podolje, which is the home to the most beautiful Slovenian caves. Even though cave beauty could be a subject of debate – since we all like different things – the limestone formations definitely deserve the first spot. And those are aplenty in the podolje.

This time’s destination is a cave that has been known for over a decade, but which does not have an domestic reputation. But it can, however, be found on the list of must-see caves of foreign cavers, especially those from the German speaking region. The cave is visited often, but despite that, it is relatively undamaged. Due to the limestone formations and findings of skeletons it was also proposed for closure, but it remains only an unrealized wish.

The cave is classic. The abyss at the entrance is cut off by a shaft, which ends in a short arm in impassable straits and rockfall, while the longer one leads us to the ornamentally sintered hall over cute straits and rockfalls. The limestone formations have flourished here and, like in a fairytale, each formation is more beautiful than the previous one. You cannot see the continuation without ropes, even though the spacious hall can be overcome with free climbing and some imagination.

It is not that far to the end of the cave. The charm of the next hall is a historic rockfall, where the cave probably had a second entrance in prehistoric times. The floors there are precisely alligned. They offer the caver a wonderful place to rest, which could qualify for a lovely retreat for several days. At the side of this pleasant chamber we also peeked into the uninteresting side abyss, but decided to take on the equipping of the last level, where the cave is supposed to end, instead of the descent.

And the cave did indeed end here. It ended in a beautifully decorated hall, but a bit ingloriously nonetheless, without any option of going on. We did shine some light into the upper parts and thought about how to proceed, we even felt like we had seen the shaft. But any kind of climbing without help here would be risky.

Short but sweet, and at home – a photo shock. I have not seen such a red coloured cave in a long time. Under the cave lighting, every limestone formation is a brown shade, while at home the colour went crazy towards the red spectre. Well, we are in a digital world and reality is no longer left up to the emulsion of the diafilm. But I do sometimes get hiccups over the old times…

Bole, Mojč, Mojca and Blaž, Uroš and Janez were the ones working hard in the cave with me.


Copyright Peter Gedei