SELAS goes to Voronya

A description of the participation of SELAS Caving Club, Greece, in the CAVEX missions of 2005 (January & July) to the world's deepest cave, recounted by a non-participant writing from the safety of Athens.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

From a recent press release

Greek speleological expedition to the deepest cave in the world
(2/7/2005 to 25/7/2005)

This coming Saturday, 2 July 2005, a Greek speleological expedition will set off to take part in exploration of the deepest known cave on the planet, the cave Voronya-Krubera. This very deep cave is in the western Caucasus in Abkhazia. The cave's entrance is at a height of 2,300m and the vertical height of the cave reaches the record figure of -2,080m. The cave was explored just this last October (2004) and the aims of the present international expedition which begins in July is the continuation of the exploration to greater depth and the recalculation of the cave's depth using measuring equipment of great accuracy.

Descent into the cave is extremely difficult and is carried out with many overnight stops in underground camps. The Greek cavers will remain below ground for about two weeks. The descent is made at some times through narrow passages at other times through huge well-like shafts which end in a final chamber 2 kilometres under the surface of the ground. All the members of the Greek team will need to dive through one of the cave's underground lakes (sumps) in order to reach the deepest place on earth.

The participation of the Greek team is the result of many years of collaboration of the Greek Caving Club SELAS (member of the Hellenic Speleological Federation) with cavers from Russia, the Ukraine and France, and is possible thanks to the sponsorship of the international courier company TNT which is covering the whole of the cost of the Greek expedition. In 2004, Greeks conquered the highest point on earth, Everest. Let's hope that the Greek cavers' attempt to conquer the deepest point on earth will have the same fortune and bring Greece another superlative achievement.

The members of the expedition are:
Kostas Adamopoulos
Nikos Mitsakis
Elias Kazais
Methodios Psomas


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