Gallery of Good Soil in the cave Skalarjevo brezno

the cave on the doorstep of the club -1000 m - 2021-08

Cave’s depth of over 1000 meters has been in caving for a longtime counted as a magical limit, comparable to conquering mountains of over 8000 meters. Many decades ago, there were only a few more of "thousand meter caves" than 8,000 meters mountains, so such a comparison was entirely appropriate, but today there are 113 known caves over 1000 meters depth that are on the list of the deepest caves in the world, two of which are over two kilometers deep. In Slovenia, too, we can boast of such deep caves, and the largest and deepest are hidden in the Kanin mountain area. This year's Kanin speleo camp will probably include Skalarjevo brezno in the 1000 meter scale, which cavers have been exploring since 1985. A team of cavers from Dolenjska region have deepened the cave to more than 930 meters and discovered a promising continuation.

We went to Skalarjevo brezno as part of last year’s camp, and the purpose was, of course, to take photos. An article about the Kanin underground was being prepared for the Slovenian edition of National Geographic, and in addition to the existing ones, some additional photographs from interesting Kanin caves were missing. Skalarjevo brezno was worth a visit, as it has many motifs that are more than boring and monotonous abysses, and also, the history of its exploration is considered one of the most extensive among all of the Kanin caves.

This time the team was already numerous at the start, which, considering the experience from the previous Kanin trip in Macola, did not promise anything yet. In addition to the obligatory Miha, Ines and Anja also decided to participate, and Yana and Hans were waiting for us at Kanin, who had been enjoying the joys of the mountain world there for several days. On the day of departure, the team’s numbers still did not decrease. Heavily loaded, we easily reached Peter Skalar’s hut, waited for Yana and Hans and headed towards Skalarjevo brezno a little after ten. According to the stories of the cavers who returned from the cave the day before, a cold shower was waiting for us at a depth of about 400 meters behind the meander Strela, which completely changed our plan. Our goal was therefore the passage of Gallery of Good Soil (Galerija dobre zemlje), which descends to a depth of 370 meters.

Access to the passage leads over the famous Delirium Tremens vertical, about 160 meters deep, which intersects the fossil passage at the bottom. The ascending part of the passage, to which the first explorers had to dig through the strait, was called the Gallery of Bad Soil, and the descending tunnel of larger dimensions was named the Gallery of Good Soil. It gradually descends to the last stage, where they reached depth of about 370 meters. Both passages were explored at the time of the first discoveries, and the continuation was found by cavers in the Gallery of Good Soil, where they climbed through one of the side chimneys to find the continuation with narrows and shorter steps. The cave continues from there.

We started the photo session at the bottom of the Gallery of Good Soil and then found ourselves in the usual rhythm under the Delirium Tremens vertical. This stage required some agreement about arrangements, especially where one could adequately illuminate part of the vertical and where the person would best present the dimension of this mighty stage. We didn’t have radio stations with us for easier communication, but fortunately my yelling at the top of the vertical was clear enough. The set-up succeeded as it was originally intended, and we spent just enough time that no one was too cold due to waiting too long.

After seven hours in the cave, we still managed to catch the last breath of daylight and admire the beautiful view of the Kanin floors. The obligatory sleep in the hut, the descent into the valley the next day and the refreshment in the Učja canyon were just bonus points for an already calm and wonderful cave weekend. Miha Staut, Ines Klinkon, Anja Hajna, Yana Bilynets and Aleš Grlj – Hans tried their best in the cold of the Skalarjevo Brezno.


Copyright Peter Gedei