Evklid goes!

The good news is that Evklid goes.
The bad news is that Evklid goes.

You already know the good and the bad news. Perhaps I should write a few more details. We gathered at the traditional bar in Zgornje Gorje at 8 am. The plan was for two teams. Špela, Jure, Vid, and Matevž would go to Didiland and to some leads in Prim’s Labyrinth. Matic, Dave, and I would go through the Curse of Dimensionality to the end of the world (or thereabouts). I will report mainly on the second team, because I still don’t know the details about the first.

The gravel road was snow-free up to the gate where we parked. Around 10 am we arrived at the cave, and, after some fear and trembling, we went in around 10:30 am. I have to say that it really was nice to be in Evklid once again. You don’t find such a cave just anywhere. At Prpa, Dave discovered that he had no descender. He went 100 m back, through Aksiom o vzporednici, where he found it by the last rope and then quickly returned. Well, we all know that Dave really likes Evklid. I think he just wanted a reason for a bit more suffering.

Around 1 pm, if I remember, we stopped at the only nice place in Curse of Dimensionality for a snack. These last parts of the cave really are nasty. Squeezes and moisture without end. The boys and girls were definitely persistent while I was away. After our snack, we widened two squeezes to the size of one DiBa and went ahead to the last survey station of the previous exploration. There were two options. The most obvious option was down at the bottom of a breakdown chamber, where there was a bit of space between the walls and rocks. The second option was to go up again, 180 degrees back, exactly parallel with the passage leading into the room. On Saturday the airflow was very weak, because the outside temperature was near cave temperature. Dave said that last time there was strong airflow there. The direction was strange, but the air doesn’t lie. You could also see blackness on the other side. The only problem was that we needed to dig upward into the breakdown. It wasn’t clear how much might fall on our heads if we started to move the rocks. With a bit of help from our Third Member, the worst part fell down (we were in a safe place). Dave cleaned up a bit and climbed through. It had looked like a big room on the other side, but it was actually a dome. Luckily, we had a good climber with us, and after a few minutes Dave was on top. He rigged a rope and the two of us followed.

I was on the rope when I heard, “Passage! It goes! A lot of water!” and similar things emerging from the mouth of the climber. Matic and I quickly followed and saw that the passage ended as a window in the middle of the wall of another, larger passage. Quite a bit of water was flowing out of a dome and into a canyon passage below the window. Matic and I started to rig, and Dave went back for more rope. The first pit was about 10 m and quickly led to a second (15 m). After 10 m of horizontal passage was a third pit, which was quite wet. We went through the shower (15-20 m down), where we ran out of rope. Then we found the first real squeeze. For me, it looked passable without a harness. The problem was that I would then fall into the next pit (again 10-15 m). This spot needs widening.

It was already late, and we turned back and surveyed the new discoveries (length – 94 m). The end of exploration is approximately 70 m higher than the sump (the lowest point in the cave). It’s a long way to the end. It’s a tough trip. It’s a good lead.

We started on the way out around 8:30 pm and at 1 am we were outside. I think that Matic and Dave really cared for their elder, because I got the lightest pack. Or, maybe they didn’t want to have to wait too much. The next day I felt quite destroyed, but I’m already getting better and already thinking again about that “end of the world”. For me, it really was a nice return to Evklid, and Evklid also smiled on us a bit … or perhaps laughed.

Matt Covington, December 11, 2019.