Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Boybuloq 2021
Mitja's cave and Voronka ice cave

August 11, 2021, 22 pictures

          Most images are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files. Full names of expedition participants, depicted in the pictures or mentioned in their descriptions: Mitja Mršek, Elena Ljubavina, Vadim Loginov, Vladimir Dolgij - Volodja, Martin Kern and Théophile Cailhol.
          The page, text and photos copyright (c) Primož Jakopin - Klok 2021.


Mitja's cave


50072. Mitja at the southwestern edge of the canyon, some 200 meters uphill from the camp, where he spotted a cavern, possibly a cave, from the other side of the canyon on August 9, when we were looking for a possible crossing, but did not climb it quite to the top. A short stretch was too tricky for Klok. The cavern was just a few meters below the plateau above the canyon.



50076. Direct access to the cavern from above was too steep, we had no climbing gear, just a 20 m rope, ...



50074. ... which Mitja used to secure the access over a side ledge.



50077. Soon we reached the cavern, here is a view out of it, over the canyon, with Mitja. The cavern actually continued with a cave, which ended after about 15 meters with narrows too tight to pass. Approximate entrance coordinates: N 38⁰22'49.2594'' E 67⁰31'11.0634'' at an altitude of 3130 m above sea level.



50075. View of the entrance from the outside, the sun played a bit too much with the phone camera lens.



50078. Mitja spotted an air current in the collapse at the eastern side of the entrance, from below, and the digging started.



50079. After half an hour of moving the rocks, some quite sizeable, Mitja penetrated some 2 meters deeper but had to quit because only the eastern wall was solid, the loose rocks on other three sides threatened to bury the hole which he made. Here he is seen on return.



50081. Mitja, the canyon and the northeastern side of the Hodja-Gur-Gur-Ata ridge



50082. Here he collects the rope.



50083. A rather humble long telephoto shot (phone camera) of the Belyauty pass. The pass is very interesting, not only from the historic point of view - Alexander the Great with his army is supposed to had crossed it, too. There are, so Elena, who was there, recounted, two trails (just below the wall) and a road (on the slope, as low below the wall as the wall is high) on the visible side of the pass. There is also a lake up there.



Voronka ice cave


50084. The cave is actually a small shaft, an opening among the rocks of a small depression's bottom, some 100 m from the fault in the canyon's wall where the trail to the Base camp descends. It is also close to the canyon edge. Vadim told Klok about it and in the afternoon of August 6 he managed to locate it. It is not big but noteworthy because 70 m below it there is the siphon in Višnevskij cave, 735 m below the entrance. The connection Voronka-Višnevskij would shorten the access time to the bottom of Višnevskij from 3 to 1 day. Today Mitja was keen to explore it and to look for the eventual connection, especially as all previous explorations of Voronka yielded no tangible result. In the picture - Mitja is descending into the cave.



50090. It is a 7 m shaft with ...



50091. ... a frozen snow cone at the bottom. Real ice comes later.



50092. The cave continues in two directions - to the northeast, slightly uphill, and to the southwest, slightly downhill. Here Mitja is returning after exploring a fissure in the latter direction. It was blind.



50087. The upper passage to the northeast goes straight in the direction of the surface, but Mitja climbed ...



50088. ... into it nevertheless.



50089. It also turned to be blind.



50086. The lower northeast passage, here Mitja is seen where the narrower part begins, is much longer, he managed to crawl about 15 meters into it.



50085. At the beginning the ceiling is quite low and firmly frozen (in the picture). Mitja had to dig the way forward by shoving the earth from below his chest aside. After 15 meters he found a small chamber with draft in its bottom. As this was only a scouting visit, he even did not have a caving suit, he decided to return. After a few days he returned with Volodja and managed to dig the chamber's bottom out, and a large rock appeared with a shaft below it. The draft increased by an order of magnitude. But technical means he did not have would be required to crush the rock so that it could be removed. The task remained for the next expedition.



50094. Martin, he and Theo just returned from Boybuloq.



50093. Martin in full view, against the evening sun



50096. Theo



Related posts:



  Boybuloq 2021 : The water source, August 8     Boj-Bulok 2021 : Introduction     Boybuloq 2021 : Chul-Bair ridge above the Višnevskij cave, August 12  


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 September 20, 2021; date of the last change: December 28, 2021.