Ice cave by plateau Viševnik – a surveying and photo journey

Underground tasks in the Ice cave - 2012-02

For the last time in the current winter, we set out to the ice cave by plateau Viševnik in November of last year. The usual sleeping on Friday night at Pac Hotel and the early morning hour when we set out accompanied our start from the parking place at 7 a.m. And even though the mornings were cemented with cold due to the low-flying clouds and fog, the sun in at higher altitudes raised our morale. Yes, it will be another good caving action.

The usual tour of the derelict hut on Viševnik was, of course, nothing special, and walking through the forest across the steep falls all the way to the view point to change isn’t worth mentioning. But we did get emotional looking at the beautiful scenery and the unusually high temperature, as down in the valley, the winter had already come.

Well, the day surely wasn’t meant for lying around in the sun, but to do all those things that have been pushing us all year. To arrange easier acces to the cave in case of rain or snow, to measure what was left from previous actions and to thoroughly photograph the new parts for easier presentation of what we do up here. Of course, many would think it a thorough waste of time to spend time under the earth on a beautiful late Autumn day with sunny weather, on which you could, instead of spending time in the cold underground, be stretching your legs in the nearby mountains. Perhaps that is why documenting these actions is a small Band-aid on the emerging doubts about the meaningfulness of this. Why we actually do it… a topic for another time.

There was, again, less ice than on our previous visit. In the entrance hall, there’s no trace of the once magnificent ice formation, while the prominent trunks at the transition are even more evidently protruding from under the ice then the old bones of the long dead witch of Viševnik.

We ended the photoshoot in the part of the cave that is named The sirens of Viševnik. There, the epic monsters tried to pull the passing caver into the depths, and he could only trick them with a slick set transom and then quickly ascend to the highest point of the cave – The Tip. From here on, the path only goes downhill. Across Dandruff, Top and Bottom, the exposed parts with the falling rocks, all the way to the first expansions in the Hall of the social dialogue, where the passages show their vicious teeth again and don’t hide them until the narrow parts of the Mousetrap.

The Mousetrap reamins a sort of key part of the cave. It is a small chamber, two meters long, which starts and finishes with a bit of a difficult strait. The transition into the lower parts is actually one of the more interesting ones in this cave, as the caver streams from the annoying sitting position into the top of the Milky meander, which measures about 40 meters in height. This changes the cave’s character completely, as instead of following the narrow and crumbly levels which lie in the upper parts, we follow the winds of the meander and the murmur of the stream.

After a lengthy jostling and searching for the best passage in the meander, am extension finally opens up, which interrupts the nice winding path. The latter does continue, which the team will probably check during the next visit, but our attention was caught by the gaping blackness beneath our feet, which turns into the greatest degree of Cyclops with 70 meters of depth. This time’s photo action ended at its bottom, while the measuring team completed their duty by measuring from the main shaft to the end of the siphon. There are many question marks left, but of course, we are hoping for a good number of new meters.


Copyright Peter Gedei