The Call of the Abyss

Jan 1, 2002
Outside Magazine
How Low Can You Go?

A tough-as-nails cadre of Russian and Ukranian speleologists wriggles and blasts its way to caving's grand prize: the mythic 2,000-meter mark. [more]

Going down: a Cavex explorer descends a new pitch in Krubera Cave en route to the 1,710-meter depth record

In the first weeks of January, a team of Cavex explorers will plunge into Slovenia's Skaljarevo Brezno Cave in the Julian Alps. After a couple days of rappelling their way downward through limestone shafts they will arrive at a critical crux at 900 meters, where a boulder choke blocks further descent. There they will blast their way into the next pit, which they believe leads to two lower caves, and hopefully, another depth-record.

Come July, the quest for caving's hallowed 2,000-meter grail will heat up as Cavex teams return to both Krubera Cave in the Republic of Georgia—where they set the current 1,710 record—and the Aladaglar Massif in Turkey, a region they say has a depth potential of up to 3,000 meters.

Contact with the team during their descents will be impossible but reports on their expeditions will be posted here soon after they return to the surface.

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