Hidden Earth 2023
Totes Gebirge (CUCC) expedition 2023
45 minute Lecture|Nadia Raeburn Cherradi, Sarah Parker
This year, cavers from all over the UK returned to the Totes Gebirge region of Austria to continue exploring the caves of the Loser Augst-Eck plateau, building on decades of exploration by the Cambridge University Caving Club (and friends). Over 6 weeks this summer, a record-breaking 51 people joined the expedition - many students and over a third also joining for their first expedition. We focused our efforts on 2 caves: Fischgesichthöhle (Fish Face), which in 2022 came tantalisingly close to connecting into the 136 km-long Schwarzmooskogel Höhlensystem (SMK) system, and Heimkommenhöhle (Homecoming). Exploration in Homecoming was facilitated by establishing a new (luxury) satellite camp - Garlic Cave - complete with natural air conditioning, nearby herb garden etc.
Over the 6 weeks, over 4 km of cave was discovered and mapped. Discoveries included impressive rift passage, canyons, pleasant phreas and some surprisingly (for the area) nice speleothems. We extended Homecoming and Fishface in numerous directions - all building towards our overall aims of connecting them into the SMK system and pushing our exploration westwards.
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