A summary of the 2018 expedition, where 2.6 km of new cave were explored.
The Klic Globin expedition took place between Friday 6th July and Sunday 12th August 2018. In total a group of ICCC and NUCC cavers, 30 strong came out for five weeks on the Migovec Plateau to continue the exploration of Primadona, within the Tolminski Migovec Cave system. The main achievments of the expeditions are the setting up of an underground camp at the bottom of TTT pitch, connected to the surface with a functional Cave-Link text messaging system. This was a springboard from which deep exploration below Pivnica (old Slovene deep route) took place, culminating with the finding of a significant, and now deeper, branch containing pitches large and small, and the promise of both further depth (200 m to go to the presumed water table) and perhaps significant horizontal passage. The Alabaster branch was also further extended south, gaining nearly 800 m of new passage, and breaking the -600 m below M2 mark. Surface action successes include the exciting breakthrough in Coincidence Cave, gaining 40m of new cave, and confirming its outstanding potential through consistently strong draught.
The draughting tube was dug out by a team of dedicated ICCC physicists over the course of two days before a major breakthrough led to the discovery of a deep, but narrow pitch, Hell's Teeth. All in all, about 93 m of passage were surveyed in Coincidence Cave. Chemical persuasion is required to progress into the strongly draughting rift (cave blows out during Summer and Autumn) at the 'working end' of the cave.
M17 was revisited by Rhys, Arun, Diss and Dave Kp early in the expedition to take photographs of the ice rink chamber (-50 m), but the seasonal ice fillings proved disappointing, as they were already mostly melted away. Tanguy, Andy and Jana then revisited the cave to install some temperature/humidity loggers at the base of the ice shaft and further at the back of the main chamber next to ice mass. Readings were taken in mid-October, and the lower ice shaft (-80 m) were accessed then, with dwarf pine samples taken from the layered ice still to be dated.
M19 was revisited by Tanguy, Louise and Celia during the summer expedition, with the aim of assessing the potential of this cave as an 'ice archive'. Three short pitches inside the cave were dropped, whereupon it was found that the cave was ice free, barring the entrance snow slope. The faintly draughting passage led to the head of a fourth (10 m) pitch, undropped in 2018 - but surveyed back in 1994, with evidence from the rusty spits. The state of the pushing front is unclear, described as 'needing shoring' to allow further progress (Hollow Mountain 2007).
Venus Fly Trap
Revisited by Jack, Tom and Celia(?) during the summer expedition, dedicated digging allowed progress to a further, as yet unsurveyed small chamber, with little prospect of further extension.
High level leads
The Cloaca Maxima extensions
Back in 2016, Clare and Tanguy surveyed nearly 250m of shallowly dipping abandoned phreatic tube taking a freezing draught between the high level Monatip rift and the top of a large void, purported on site to be Alkatraz (later confirmed by the 3d plot on Aven).
Chris, Stane, Zdenko and Tanguy traversed from Monatip to Primadona using the Cloaca Maxima route, dropping the pitch (circa P50) into Alkatraz chamber. On the way, a branching in the high levels of Cloaca Maxima led to about 100m of new draughty crawlway (explored upwind), heading roughly to the NE, under the main Monatip connection passages. This is an open lead near the surface, heading for the surface.
Later, David P Wilson and Arun dropped one of the pitches in Cloaca Maxima, (Well Hung, P17, P30), reconnecting with the lower Monatip rift soon after and providing yet another loop in this already complex region of the cave. Soon after, Ben R. and Tanguy revisited Cloaca Maxima to tick off the remaining leads. In so doing they climbed circa 8 m into a continuing aven not far from the Alkatraz pitch. This lead remains open.
The Cloaca Maxima route was also estimated to enter Alkatraz chamber roughly half-way down. Any entrance on the side of the cliff located south of Primadona is bound to lead straight into Alkatraz. Go looking under the rock-bridge!
Galerija and below
Several trips to this area by David P. Wilson yielded a better understanding of the entire Galerija/Karstaway/Electric Dreams relationship.
Unsurveyed ramblings Just after the traverse over the Quantum State pitch, a high level way on, indicated by carbide arrow, leads to an inclined rift of large dimensions. A traverse on the true right hand side of the rift leads to a narrower passage with black mud ponds (unsurveyed as of 08/2018, but with clear footprints). Soon, a wet window on the left hand side looks onto a pitch of respectable dimensions, but the narrow passage continues until the true floor disappears, replaced by a boulder blockage false-floor through which it is possible to see a continuation. This is the supposed but unsurveyed link between Galerija and the Stara Jama branch, which remains one of the surveying objectives of future expeditions, and would provide an alternative route from Sejna Soba to Mandare junction.
Odessy Beyond the Electric Dreams traverse over Karstaway pitch, a short section of rift leads to a modest (rigged) drop. On the far side lies the 'Sword of Damocles', a wedged boulder under which the main on was originally pushed in 2017. In 2018, Dave, Louise and Chris traversed over the top of the pitch, to find 'Oddesy', a narrow passage that eventually opened up to a large pitch, now presumed to be the large Electric Dreams pitch, accessed from a higher level, which might provide an easier route to some of the high level windows already spotted on the pitch; none were pushed in 2018. All in all, 44 m were surveyed in Odessy.
Dysentry Arguably already at a much lower level, Dysentry was found by Dave and Tanguy early during the summer expedition. The passage starts as a small side crawl located within the More Like Welding rift (at the junction between the Mighty Fine Indeed - Electric Dreams branches). After a few twists, the crawl degenerates to a squeeze, followed by a (then) cleanwashed abandoned phreatic conduit. A short series of downclimbs into a rift is followed by more crawling, to gain a three-way junction with a good draught. Upwind drops to a sediment filled chamber, while downwind relents with some standing height passage and further branching passages leading off. The obvious abandone phreatic pops into an E-W oriented breakdown chamber, with to the west, about 50 m of fairly easy walking/scrambling, unfortunately choked by boulders. To the east, a high route leads to 15 m unclimbed aven, while a drop through boulders leads to a continuing rift. A couple of other leads were left unpushed, such as a 6 m pitch just beyond the first nasty squeeze, which takes a very small stream. This likely reconnects with the Hall of the Mountain King, which lies just 30 m away in the passage direction. All in all, 180 m were surveyed in Dysentry.
At the base of the Sweet Baby Jesus pitch, a branching which had been left unpushed in 2017 was explored, leading to a small sediment filled low passage (the advised route avoids the deep white sand banks). About 10 m on from the branching, a 5 m pitch leads to a small chamber with a low way on. This Holy Moley is approximately 40 m of passage, punctuated by avoidable deep pools of water, which leads to a 15 m pitch (Adequately Hammered) immediately connected with the Alabaster Aven. This route to Alabaster has become the de facto trade route.
The Purgatory is the pitch and chamber immediately below the 2017 pushing front of Alabaster. In essence, the remaining 5 m of the Alabaster pitch were dropped, and a chamber with two main ways on found just beyond. The obvious continuation (in the same direction as Alabaster passage) is unpushed, while a short 5 m pitch on the true right hand side leads on to Bath.
Bath/Canticle for Migovec/Testify!
Bath continues from the end of Purgatory as a sucession of small pitches (P5, P4, P4) leading to a larger drop (P15,P5,P5,P8). The rock remains surprisingly white, free of loose rocks and mud. The bottom of each pitch is a small pool of water with white sand on the nearby ledges often rippled/showing high water stands did occur (how far in the past?) in this part of the cave. The last pitch in Bath has a larger pool, and on the far side, a climb into virgin territory (unpushed in 2018). A low abandoned vadone canyon leads to the head of the next pitch.
The P20 is the start of Canticle for Migovec, at the base of which a short 5 m drop leads into a short section of awkward low passage until the next pitch (P30), rigged of several deviations. The base of the pitch leads to approximately 100 m of tall winding and deeply scalloped canyon. Another circa 30m pitch leads to the next section: Testify!.
At the base of the pitch, two ways on beckon, the 'walking way' and the 'crawling way'. Soon they rejoin at a short downclimb, where another inlet to the main passage can also be followed for several metres, but the main way on is downstream the abandoned, sinuous vadose canyon which continues for another 150m to the head of last, undescended pitch (ca. P30). This is a phenomenal lead.
Below camp ('The Manger')
A camp was installed at the Deja Vu junction between the pitches of TTT and Ajdovščina, hereafter called 'the Manger'. From this camp several leads were pushed either in the Hammerhead branch ('upstream' into keyhole passage at the campsite junction) or in the deeper old Slovene route (below Ajdovščina and Pivnica pitches).
Lost in a Dream/Freudian Slip
At the bottom of the 20 m direct drop at the bottom of Pivnica pitch a water sprayed chamber with several ways on was investigated. The main route down had been left rigged from the early slovene exploration. A short damp crawl led off to the start of Lost in a Dream streamway: a shaft and canyon series, dotted with very short drops (smaller than 5 m) and deep pools of water. Barely a trickle of water was found in this series.
Another access point to the Lost in a Dream streamway is found at the back of the spray lashed chamber where the old and new deep routes diverge. Halfway along a newly rigged traverse line, a short squeeze between walls and boulders gives access to a small inlet of Lost in a Dream. This squeezem deemed less unpleasant than the damp crawl is the de facto 'trade route'.
Penny Falls/Tiger Tiger
Directly following on from the junction between Ave Maria hall and Lost in a Dream, the series of short pitches and deep pools continues for a short while. This is Penny Falls. Several downclimbs eventually reach a narrowing of the passage, the start of Tiger Tiger streamway. About 60 m of sinous, low roofed passage with many pools and tricky doglegs follows. The passage relents near the head of a pitch into black space.
Deeper than Most/Klic Globin
A stepped pitch, Deeper than Most directly follows from Tiger Tiger streamway, landing in a deep pool, a bizarre balcony with a jagged rocky bannister, overlooking the main pitch: Klic Globin. The overhanging descent (60 m) is broken up by numerous rebelays and drops into a wide rift with several ways on. There is an unpushed window about 5 m above the boulder floor through some drips heading towards the north. To the south, a climb over boulders leads to an up-pitch. Past the apex of the boulder pile, a window to the west beckons: Moonraker. To the south is the start of the Aqueduct. Back at the bottom of Klic Globin pitch several ways under boulders were investigated, gaining approx 10 m depth between stacked blocks and drips.
Finally the main inviting passage below the archway is closely followed by an unclimbed aven - survex shows this is the north end of Moonraker 2 passage, (though the obvious test of having someone shine their light from bottom or top to physically confirm the 15 m connection has not been conducted yet.
Moonraker is a series of passages connected to Klic Globin, located west of the main Klic Globin/Aqueduct rift. A climb up into a muddy window off the rift leads to a series of muddy chambers with noticeable draught and wall concretions (hydromagnesite => clues of evaporative crystallisation, hence air movement). The chambers and rifts are interconnected, broadly head to the SW and finally intersect another NS oriented rift at the beginning of Mouseleum. The northmost extension of Moonraker 2 ends at a 15 m pitch almost definitely the same as the Klic Globin small aven, though as noted above the physical connection is yet to be made. It is also possible that a high level traverse from the end of Moonraker 2 will access the logical northward continuation of the abandoned phreatic level.
At the very SW end of Moonraker, where the Mouseleum rift is intersected, an obscure climb above boulders was spotted during the October SuperAction. A small chamber was accessed with possible upwards continuation which is likely connected to the Mouseleum aven (+ 20 m).
At the end of the Moonraker passage, the steeply descending boulder slope allows access to a pitch into a wide chamber. The way on is located at the far northern side of the room, between boulders and wall, where a short downclimb bypasses the boulder blockage to reach a tight rift and beyond a short constriction, a pitchhead.
The 7 m pitch lands in a boulder chamber where the skeleton of a rodent was found during the exploration. Heading northward, the floor drops and a downclimb leads to the start of the Mouseleum pitches, which navigate downwards between boulder ledges for approximately 40 m of descent. Iron oxide flakes litter the walls above the pitch, especially in one of the small accessible alcoves overlooking the pitch.
Just above the floor of the last drop (Mouseleum 2) a climb into the northern side of the rift gains a tight squeeze followed by an awkward drop down into the Chocolate River, an abandoned phreatic tube containing seemingly frozen black mud. Going along the mud slope for 30 m leads to the eventual end of exploration, where the mud floor comes within 10 cm of the ceiling. A notable draught issues from the gap, but the passage was not dug in 2018.
The obvious southerly continuation of the Klic Globin rift begins by a climb up between a large vertically wedged boulder 7m tall and the eastern wall of the passage. Further climbing leads to the apex of this boulder pile, where a significant trickle of water splashes between boulders. The dry way on is a 15 m pitch, landing on a relatively boulder free elongate chamber.
The southern side continues as a narrow and draughting rift. The walls narrow to a small slot. This relents and the walls widen somewhat as the floor gently falls away to the south towards a possibly blind pit. Easy traversing over the pit leads to a more steeply descending passage with mud plastered walls. Another pit, with the passage now 2m wide, is traversed to gain the start of a hands and knees abandoned phreatic tube which initially descends to the south.
The lowest point of the tube is a junction with a deep pit from which the sound of rushing/cascading water is heard. The abandoned phreatic tube continues south for another 50m, where beyond a brief flat out section between the ceiling and a dropped boulder, it breaks into a high chamber, the limit of exploration in 2018.