Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Hotiške ponikve / Hotična Sinkholes, Matarsko podolje
The Beauty of Wet, Roundly Carved Walls

July 3, 2019, 48 pictures

          Most images are approximately 768 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files. Names of the event participants depicted in the pictures and related persons: Claudio Bratos and Natalino Savi.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin - Klok 2019.

Getting to the Cave


44673. Trail to the cave follows a track through a young deciduous forest.





44675. The entrance follows a large vertical fault in the rock; Natalino. Horizontal section of the tunnel is just about 15 m long, with two bends.



44676. Claudio used a rounded hole through the rock to attach the beginning of an 80 m long rope, stored in his transport bag. He will unwind it during the descent and make anchors along the way, as required to protect the rope from rubbing against the rock.



44678. Claudio disappeared down the wall, the other two will follow.



Descent to the Temporary Siphon


44679. The photographer attached the rope to the descender and used this rigging, proposed by Claudio (Natalino checked its application) and called ključ (the key) in Slovenian, which enables one to hang on the rope and start descending in a gentle and firmly controlled manner.



44680. Natalino during the first descent, as seen from below



44683. Some 20 meters down a traverse over a sequence of water filled rock troughs follows, the first one is a bit tricky to pass without getting wet ...



44684. ... while the others ...



44685. ... lead to an anchor above the next shaft, the top of which is here seen from below, from the rope.



44686. Natalino during the second, deeper descent



44688. From here the trail follows a steep bed of a brook which flows here after the rains. In the picture: Clauido below a large rock which broke from above and got stuck above the tunnel bottom.



44689. Clauido is filming Natalino at the bottom of the first slope, where the tunnel narrows from very high to smaller, but still well passable proportions.



44690. The brook brought a tongue which looks like a tiger fur but is obviously part of some faux fur garment, wrapped around a wooden stick.



44691. Claudio (left) is looking for the precise spot in the right hand wall where the entrance of the Real Socialism Passage we are about to visit is located, with Natalino. It was not here ...



44692. ... but a stone's throw further down Galerija (Gallery), the main tunnel of the cave, past the entrance. Yet the traverse requires climbing over a narrow shelf, above an abyss, and Claudio secured it with a rope.



44693. A flow of dripped white calcite, along the side slope



44707. After the traverse the passage, of crawling height, leads to this little lake. The continuation is however not, as one would hope, in the large void at the right side ...



44694. ... but in a narrow squeeze just above the water. Claudio showed us how to tackle it, head first ...



44695. ... and feet last.



44705. The other side of the lake, with the end of the squeeze at the very left ...



44697. ... here with Natalino sweating through.



44698. The tunnel continues with partly eroded deposits, Natalino



44699. After a chamber with ceiling kettles Natalino and Claudio have come to the end of our trail.



44701. Though the tunnel is not submerged by groundwater, just by large puddles of remaining rainwater which made its way through the ceiling, high above the cave ending siphon, further passage is not possible. This place is called Temporary Siphon for good reason. Claudio estimated that around a month of dry weather will be required that the draft will evaporate the water dry.



44700. The trio of today, before the journey back, 80 m up to the entrance. In two years time their cumulative age will be the figure which you get if you: take the first prime number and multiply it with itself two times, add to this product the third prime number, multiplied by itself.



Return to Cave Entrance


44702. Rounded pebbles, prodniki in Slovenian, deposited by the water current



44703. Rocks, cemented in flowstone, which was eroded on top in several places.



44704. Eroded flowstone shelf, covered with a layer of conglomerate, also eroded by the water stream



44706. Carbide lamp inscription on the wall: JKB 1.2.86 - Jamarski klub Boljunec / Boljunec Caving Club, February 1, 1986. It was the day Claudio discovered the passage.



44708. Claudio is collecting the rope from the shelf of the traverse from the Rov realnega socializma passage.



44709. Cave pearls



44710 - 44711. Composite view of the overhang, richly ornamented with flowstone formations, Natalino



44712. Amount of trash, brought by the high waters, is moderate. In the picture: wood debris above a small puddle, combined with an old blue pot.



44713. A passage in Galerija, of some smaller proportions



44714. Natalino started to climb the last rigged shaft, Claudio is helping him by holding the rope.



44715. Quartz inclusions in the limestone, the widest are about 1 cm thick.



44716. Natalino on top of the shaft, at the bottom of the water filled rock trough sequence ...



44717. ... and an upstream view of its niddle.



44718. Natalino is negotiating his way above the water, trying not to get wet ...



44719. ... almost done.



44720. View down the water troughs to Claudio, who started the traverse ...



44722. ... and here he is seen on the other side if the biggest trough.



44721. Natalino ascending to the top of the second shaft



44723. A beetle, obviously a surface variety, on a bathroom-like wall



44724. Claudio on top of the second shaft



44725 - 44726. Composite vertical view of the entrance, the day is slowly coming to the end.



On the Road to Hotična


44727. View north - inland the storm is evidently coming. Natalino is calling home from Claudio's dual SIM phone to tell that all is well - his own one could not find the right network.



44728. View south, in the direction of the coast, where the sky is usually brighter.




Related post:

A 5 minute film sequence, titled Hotiške ponikve, taken during the same excursion, by Claudio Bratos



  Petnjak, June 26     Volče and Lanski vrh, July 10  


This page, text and photos by Primož Jakopin, member of the Ljubljana Cave Exploration Society (DZRJL). Send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on July 4, 2019; date of the last change: July 11, 2019.