Most pictures are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size. Numbers in front of the photo descriptions are serial numbers of the original images. Excursion participants who also contributed to the making of this report: Gregor Pintar - Stari, Jernej Petrovčič - Jerko, Janez Kanoni - Žan, Marjan Baričič, Metod Di Batista, Riko and Rok Grecs, Maksim Igor Košir - Ičo, Janez Ileršič - Ile, Marko Vogrič - Mare and Primož Jakopin - Klok.
Photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2016.
28880. Two cave crickets, Troglophilus cavicola, female (left) and male, in foreplay
28881. Daddy longlegs (suha južina in Slovenian)
28882. End of the meander that had been dug this winter and today widened at this place, above the shaft
28883. Riko above the shaft
28884. Riko and Žan, returning from the shaft, on top of the ladders
A 5-minute movie showing the canal, dug through the meander above the shaft
28885. Marjan, on return from the cave
28886. Ičo and Ile made a nice fire nearby, here used to best advantage by Rok and Riko, who is just baking a Frankfurter on a long stick.
28887. Jerko, with all the gear he brought from the cave
The fate did not want it. The author's mission to document
the shaft, for so long and so dearly anticipated continuation of the cave,
ultimately failed and you, dear reader of these lines, will not see
the pictures now.
There are several reasons for this regrettable fact, more or less his
fault. The author brought a well loaded transport bag down the Galacijevka
entrance shaft, at the limit of his ability. It contained all the photo and
illumination gear, plus the food for two warm meals, necessitated by
his still not satisfactory health condition. So the climbing and
descending gear stayed in the car, his cardinal error.
It was known in advance that the aluminum folding ladders will be
installed in the shaft and so this gear would not be compulsory. Yet
it turned out that all but three members of the team were without it
- Jerko, Metod and my humble self. The senior (by caving experience)
colleague was given the honour to install the two wedge bolts, the
future anchor for the rope and the ladders. The author was wise
enough to be present during this installation but remarked that the
ladders would not be mounted. The answer to his question why is
that so was perfectly reasonable - most members of the team have
descending gear, they will go first, they only need the rope and
ladders would only complicate the descent. Ladders will be installed
later. As the canal which leads to the shaft is too narrow for two people to
meet, the author moved back to the hall, to stay out of the way.
Žan was the first to abseil to the shaft
bottom and when he shouted up that the continuation is a meander too
narrow to pass, everybody rushed to join him. When the author got to
the top of the shaft again he was there alone, and did not dare to go
down the ladders without being secured with the rope. He waited the
return of his buddies and ... again had to return to the hall not to
be in the way of returning team. In the end he managed to get back
again, Metod was on top, waiting for Stari who was climbing the
ladders. The three had a brief conversation what to do
now, should the author descend, who would stay on top of the shaft to
secure him and if it makes sense. Photographer on exploration
excursions is by default a nuisance, a necessary evil, and has to be
careful to slow down the team as little as possible. So when the
other two of the trio agreed that the shaft will stay unchanged and
will be available for pictures on the next trip as well, the author,
with bleeding heart, could not but bow his head and return, mission
unaccomplished. His persistence would prolong the excursion for half
an hour and the time is always in short supply.
But there were benefits up the sleeve, too. The writer of these lines bought a pair of rubber boots the day before, the old ones were just too narrow, it was nearly impossible to take them off, at least without help. New boots were just perfect. And the other bonus? The question of how to get such future occasions right, at least in Galacijevka, is now also cleared. The mission should be performed in commando mode, as explained by his army corporal Dragoljub Nedić: Upadneš, središ i odeš. (Rush in, sort it out and off you go.). On your own, with minimal gear.
Galacijevka Cave Canal, Day 5, February 13 Aquarelles by Jože Ciuha, February 26
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