Unsuccessfully to the final siphon and Suhi vzhodni rov
New visit to Požiralnik Lokve - 2021-06
The previous visit to the final parts of the cave Požiralnik Lokve was mainly informative. The spaciousness of Norik-Sub large hall and the orientation in the Lokva passages were quite sufficient puzzles for the first time, especially where we went down to the lower parts and where the cave continues. With the help of an old plan and a bit of resourcefulness, we managed to solve all the puzzles and finish the tour in the big Klemen hall. Time was not in our favor due to photographing so we missed the descent to the final siphon and the tour of the Suhi vzhodni rov (Dry East Passage).
The dry June period was quite long this year and it would be a shame to miss a new visit to the lowest parts. The passages to the final siphon, which start under the Klemen hall, are flooded when waters are high and it is certainly not recommended to roam there when weather report is bad. The tunnels are washed, and in some places lined thinly with sediments, which testifies to the strong water activity. When Lokva water levels rise and flood the Norik-Sub Hall, it is certainly even more variegated here. According to the first visitors, the tunnel is divided by two drops, for which the caver does not need equipment for rope technique, only two short ends of the rope “for a little grip”.
Since we last visited Lokve in April, prolonged May rains have flooded Norik-Sub Hall almost to the top. There were no more traces of our previous visit, the deposits were completely fresh and full of life. Beetles and earthworms swarmed everywhere, and there were also many frogs which were swallowed into the abyss by hungry water. We walked to the Klemen Hall on the fresh ground and felt as if we were here for the first time.
Below the Klemen hall, a small rockfall breaks the tunnel, where we descend into an labyrinth of branches and short tunnels between unstable blocks. Of course, a map was of great help to us, with which we made wandering easier and also found the entrance to the Rov ugaslih karbidk (Passage of Extinguished Carbide Lamps), which is basically the beginning of a short siphon.
Unfortunately, this tunnel will remain without our visit in the future. The first short drop was rigged with an old rope which came in handy despite of its age. The tunnel opens nicely from here, all the way to the part, where the flow of the Lokva can already be heard. According to the story, we were separated from the riverbed only by a short step, where you help yourself a bit with the rope, but in the end it turned out to be a much more spacious, which would be safer to tackle with the rope technique. We had no choice but to return to the Klemen Hall and deal with the Suhi vzhodni rov, which waited for us since our last visit.
Suhi vzhodni rov soon narrows along the Klemen Hall, where after a short wet and with speleothems covered part it turns into a steep tunnel full of dry mud. Going down such a tunnel is, of course, a pleasure, and returning a little less, as it usually slides quite a bit. In this way, we ascended and descended, looking for transitions between fractures and reaching larger spaces in places. The final part of the tunnel turns into a large hall and ends in a tunnel with a siphon, above which boasts a beautiful waterfall of speleothems, which should have been photographed during the previous visit. All we had left to do, was to return to the exit.
After eleven hours, we cleaned the excess mud in the daylight in the parking lot in front of Predjama and found out that we were far from finished visiting Lokva. If nothing else, we will visit the final siphon again. This time Boštjan and Mojca Vrviščar and Peter Gedei struggled through the Predjama tunnels.