Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Christmas Trail from Gozdec to Jamarski bivak / Kanin Caving Shelter

25 December 2015, 38 pictures

Most pictures are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size. Numbers in front of the photo descriptions are serial numbers of the original images. Full names of easily discernible persons in the pictures, in no particular order: Tomaž Kranjc - Garmin and Aleksandra Kranjc - Jerca, Špela Borko, Aja Zamolo, Matej Blatnik and Jaka Flis.
Photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2015.

Introductory Remarks

The trip was made on occasion of one of several major recent caving expeditions into Renejevo brezno - René cave, now the second deepest Slovenian cave and around 25th deepest cave in the world (- 1.322 m). The cave currently does not have a Wiki page, but it is one of the hotspots on the Kanin plateau, where well over 500 pits and longer caves, quite a few over 1.000 m deep, drain the water from an area about 10 km2 (4 square miles) down to the Soča river valley. When interconnected the caves will form the sizeable Réseau Kanin, which would start close to top of Mt. Kanin (2.587 m) and end at the bottom of Mala Boka cave (413 m a. s. l.). Despite the duresse, cold and efforts to the limit, comparable to those of the great Himalayan conquests, not to mention the dangers and next to impossible rescue, the chance of making a contribution to one of the world's top cave frontiers keeps attracting cavers from many nations year after year.

Roadside Parking Place near Gozdec, about 1.000 m a. s. l.


28407. View east across the Soča river valley




28408. Jaka, serious




28409. Jaka, smiling




28410. Matej and the backpacks




28411. As the Mt. Kanin cable car is not operational yet after a major breakdown years ago all the caving gear has to be carried uphill to the Kanin plateau (2.000 m a. s. l.) on foot. In the picture: this parking place is about the highest road point, close to where the trail begins.




From Gozdec Uphill


28412. Southern Julian Alps were in sea of fog and low clouds - view south from beginning of the trail




28413. View out through western entrance of the military cavern above the trail




28415. View out through the southern entrance




28416. For maybe half an hour the trail leads at the foot of a large wall, southwestern face of a ridge that cascades sharply to Gozdec




28417. Garmin and Matej started 10 minutes later and caught up with us here ...




28418. ... at the upper end of this lovely beech forest.




28419. This fountain is the only water source along the trail, at 1.450 m a. s. l.




28423. Panoramic view east to south, from Mt. Triglav (left) to Mt. Krn (middle) and Mt. Matajur (right), taken from the point where the trail reaches the first plateau below the ruins of the old Skalar hut




28431. The companion with the backpack, against the sun




28433. View southwest across the ridges of the Kanin plateau




28436. At the trail crossing point, at about 2.000 m a. s. l. Garmin made this sign post to René cave to help us out.




28437. Vrh Žlebi and Vrh Laške Planje, southern peaks of the top Kanin ridge, from the trail




28441. The winter solstice just passed and so the sun could not reach the lower parts of the Kaninski podi plateau to melt the remaining snow - view south




Jamarski bivak / Kanin Caving Shelter, 2.112 m a. s. l.


28443. The shelter, erected in 2010, is an immense aid for any caving exploration on the Kaninski podi. It is a container - type structure with an added bonus of an attic, which also sleeps a few - Jerca is looking through the attic's southern (and only) entrance and window.




28445. View of the northern rim of the Kanin ridge, east of Visoki Kanin. Lower right there is a large flat rocky slope, over wich the party that visited the cave entrance, one hour away, is now returning.




28446. Closer view of the slope ...




28446 (cropped). ... and even closer, so that the cavers are finally discernible.




28447. View south from the sherler




28448. At the eastern wall there is a bench, to enjoy the morning sun, half a day ago - the view from the bench is magnificent all day long.




28449. Jerca, always in a good mood, the cap she got from her sister




28450. Matej, in a most contemporary cosmopolitan look




28452. Garmin, so brave, so nice, so strong




28460. More noble gear, such as ropes and other rigging were carried uphill by younger members of the team. But there were also less glamorous pieces, such as these two gas canisters, brought up by the author of these lines (left) and his guardian (right). The piece at the right is symbolic - the actual canister, brought up, was already in use, melting snow for the tea, and was supplanted by an equal canister from the shelter's storage.




28453. Beside gas the author also brought half a litre of stronger liquid, pictured here, with a candle for sparkle and a touch of romance.




28455. Špela, during one of more pleasant duties, and Aja




28456. Inside the shelter




28459. Špela, Garmin, Jaka and Matej warming themselves on the bench with a hot citrus flavored drink and enjoying the rocky horizon, illuminated by the last sunrays.




28461. The shelter as we departed.




28462. The shelter, more from afar




28463. Kaninski podi plateau in deep evening shadows, Mt. Krn and southern Julian Alps are on the horizon.




28464. Kaninska vratca / The Little Kanin Gate - view from the north




28466. Old Skalar Hut at 1.799 m a. s. l. is now a sad ruin, but not so the staircase.




28467. Full moon, rising from behind the Mt. Razor (2.601 m a. s. l.)




  Rakov Škocjan, December 19     Galacijevka Cave, February 5, 2016  

This page and the photos by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on December 26, 2015; date of counter reset and last change: February 25, 2017.