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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More news from Voronya (Oct-2005)

Kostas writes (after a recent phone conversation with Denis Provalov).

Denis has just returned to Moscow from a mission to Voronya during which the team has accomplished the seemingly impossible. The deed was done by two members of the team (one of whom was Klim - Oleg Klimchouk, one of the leaders of CAVEX) who continued the cave from the sump at -2000m where they had dived during the summer expedition.

When they had come out last July they had mentioned that after the sump, the cave continued another 40m reaching a depth of -2040m, but stopped at another sump…

Diving the second sump at the time seemed pointless, as the team wished to press the known bottom (Gamer Over)… When this chamber was found under water, it seems that the team's thoughts turned again to diving this sump...

Well... they dived and they dived repeatedly. Diving at -2000m they crossed this sump, reached the next one at 40m lower down, dived this sump, continued... found another sump (third), passed this one... found a fourth sump but did not seem to yet see any danger in continuing... they passed this sump and a fifth one too and suddenly, there they were at -2164m (the number is not final)... So CAVEX has again surpassed the myth...

The feat involved passing five sumps in 18 days underground while concurrently de-rigging, surveying and conducting a whole number of other end of season chores, and all this in a cave of depth -2,164 (unconfirmed).


Voronya - Krubera at the 14th ICS

Kostas writes:

The announcement made by the CAVEX team concerning the most recent exploration in the deepest yet known cave in the world, served to impress, without a doubt, the delegates of the 14th International Conference of Speleology which took place in Kalamos in August.

The announcement was made on behalf of CAVEX by Denis Provalov and Ilia Zharkov to a completely packed hall. The two Russians detailed the history of the explorations carried out and presented the findings of the recent survey work which was done with three different methods which corrected the depth of the cave from -2,080 to -2,047m (+/- 10m). Members of SELAS took part in the surveying.

The announcement was warmly applauded and that same evening the video if the CAVEX expedition of 2003 was shown. To judge by the amount of interest it generated this was one of the more significant events of the conference. The video itself won the first prize in the multimedia competition.