Fossil passages in Davorjevo brezno

New surprises in the great cave - 2012-08

The last time we roamed the abyss was an over a year ago, which was enough time for quite a few research events to take place, and they were suitable for new photographic recordings. What is particularly commendable is the fact that there is no longer an intermediate siphon. Now, you only need the lower part of the neoprene, which shows on the weight of the transport bags. The last poorly represented photo excursion, where I was working alone with Ines, was only a dim memory. This time's stronger cast with Bole and Mojca with Alex's international support was promising more photographic freedom and easier lighting, which was, in the upper fossil passages almost inescapable. These passages are actually what is left of the original route, which water had dug before it withdrew to its current level. They can be muddy, decorated with limestone formations, full of straits and spacious passages, easily accessible or surmountable only with lots of climbing, which is what the ones in Davorjevo brezno are.

We started with the first one in the passage before the siphon, in which, right at the end, over shorter levels and muddy sliding through narrow passages, small forests of helectites are hiding. Generally these kinds of gems in caves, heavy with sinter, just slide by the caver, but here they add the cherry on top, because of which you gladly return to the remote passages.

The next passage served us with trophy specimens. But there was also considerably more mud, which we dutifully washed off in the lower-lying water stream. As in the one before it, this passage also has some specialties, because of which you will gladly return next time. This time a white column with macaroni on the muddy basis and the boots … ahem, I’d rather call them mud balls …

The largest and most spacious passage, which is actually just the upper part of a meander of great dimensions, was left for last. We ascended about 30 meters through the muddy passage and were enthusiastic about the power of the former stream. Judging by the facets and huge passages, a huge river used to flow through these parts.

After the short ropes, we moved under the ceiling of the huge meander at a snail’s pace, as there is quite a lot of waiting with this kind of procession. When the caver in front of you is trying to climb over the pitch, on which he is roped in, you have to leave his rope alone. With any unwanted movement, his concentration may drop, his foot might slide and the holds disappear. Not really pleasant.

After a few turns, a new surprise awaited us, maybe even bigger than our enthusiasm for the spacious passage. High above the ceiling, large limestone formations were blossoming, which, given the right lighting, shined in all their orange beauty. Sadly, I don’t know which materials make them so special, but they are certainly a rare case in our caves in this quantity.

When the rope ran out we somehow found out we wouldn’t be going any further. We would have to climb over a few muddy shelves in the too wide meander, which was far too much for this day. Otherwise, the passage would circularly lead us back to the upper hall, but we rather took the same route back and after 13 hours of caving, pulled ourselves from the underworld tired.


Copyright Peter Gedei