The boys leave later today
Later today the three cavers from SELAS will set off for Moscow together with one more caver from SPOK club in Crete.
Some of the team are already on the mountain and have already been equipping the camps in the cave. Both the speleolog.ru and cavex.ru sites have almost daily news feeds coming out of them, and a fair number of pictures. This probably means that there is an operational PC up on Ortobalagan somewhere with an internet connection. In an ideal world, the PC up there will also have greek keyboard drivers installed so that the boys could post to the forum at SELAS' site and then I'd take the posts and do them into English.
From what I gather from the posts to the Russian sites, things are going well. Altavista's babelfish translation of the sites is by no means perfect (no doubt things like the lack of the verb 'to be' in the present tense does not help clarity).
Eight more Russians and three Poles arrived today 1 July and the four Greeks are expected to arrive on 3 July. On 30 June Denis Provalov announced that there was much water in the cave, of the icy cold sort that gets under your oversuit at the neck and cuffs. He seems to be enjoying though. There's a whole bunch of pictures here: some of Denis' pictures from 26 June 2005.
As at 26 June, and after three days in the cave, camp 700 has been established, connection to the first camp is secured, the ropes to 1050 have been replaced and three bags of rubbish have been taken to the surface. Meanwhile two twos have become well acclimatized and are carrying out further work in the cave. Much of the rope is right in the water flow and need re-routing or re-rigging with deviations to take it out of the water's stream or waterfalls. Traps have been set in the potential outlets of the cave to check where the water flows. Food in the camps is the modules prepared for the January expedition which were left on the mountain for safekeeping when the expedition came down. The food is still in perfect condition and very tasty.
The aims of the expedition according to a posting of 19 June, are:
1. Search for the deepest underground river of the planet
2. comprehensive studies regarding the precise depth of the cave:
- complete survey
- two more bullets which I could not translate
3. dyeing of the stream of cave with the arrangement of traps at all sources / springs in the Gagrinskeyeo region, including the submarine sources / springs.
I'll try and keep up to the extent that babelfish will allow.