Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Per aspera ad astra

(Through hardships to the stars)

January 19, 2021, 17 pictures

          Most images are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files. Participants and persons, mentioned in text: Jaka Jakofčič, who also contributed data on the Petnjak exploration history, Matevž Hreščak, Jurij Anđelić - Jeti, Stojan Borštnar and Domen Mahne, who also helped a great deal with illumination and hauling up of the photo gear.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin - Klok 2022.


50746. and 50745. Stojan, well aware how serious the situation is, and smiling



50747. View from the Entrance hall to the Petnjak collapse ...



50748. ... and from afar, from the bottom of the hall, off the raised platform at the entrance to the continuation tunnel which leads to the work site



50749. The passage towards the water tunnel is now a hundred meters long and sixty meters deep. A strong air current is a promise of a big cave that has been stirring the imagination for many years. The digging of the passage began in 1981, the first diggers were Renato verbovšek - Rene and Staško Otorepec - Bavč (DZRJL - Ljubljana Cave Exploration Society). It continued till 1983, there were 19 such trips. In 2002 Claudio Bratoš and Stojan Sancin (JSPD Triest) made 4 more trips, later the digging was more or less occasional. Until 2018, when Matevž Hreščak from Štorje (DZRJL) and his friends started it again with great zeal, and increased the depth of the passage from over 10 to about 25 meters. A decisive breakthrough was made in 2021, when cavers from neighboring Sežana took control. Jaka's experience, technical knowledge, and organizational skills led to rapid advance despite growing problems with unstable collapse. Access to the work site was also greatly facilitated by Matevž's father's visit in 2021 - when he got stuck in the top passage on his way back, his great pain and complete exhaustion convinced Matevž to agree to an expansion of the passage from sports-selective dimensions to the size of an ordinary non-ultra-slim person. In this passage, the writer of these lines has also enjoyed, several times, a 15 minute reflection, when a person begins to think seriously about ending the cave career and, in the end, he or she also doubts to see the light of day ever again. In the photo - a shelf at the bottom of a vertical drop in the passage. The white color is bags with dug stones, which would have nowhere to be put due to their looseness, but in bags they make good building blocks for a stable drywall on the side.



50750. Jaka with a transport bag, returning towards the top of the passage, where a few rock bulges still need to be flattened.



50751. Domen ...



50754. ... in the Upper stalactite hall, gallery of stalagmites, view back. To the left there is a dry stone wall.



50759. View forward. The continuation is a descent to the left of Domen's feet (light).



50756. Calcite drapery with curtain, on the side



50753. View down to the continuation, ...



50758. ... whence Yeti came shortly afterwards. He and Domen returned after breaking a larger rock in half, at the cave bottom. The rock hindered the advance, but also supported the collapse. Domen returned to Jaka, the team leader, who decided that the problem will be remedied next time.
Yeti was also digging in Petnjak forty years ago ...



50762. Calcite pillars in the Hall of the rimstone pool



50764. Domen is showing the operation of a cable car for pulling a bucket with stones from the last, 15-meter more or less vertical tunnel. The buckets could not be pulled out in the usual way, because the side of the tunnel closer to Domen is crumbling, so Jaka devised the cable car in the picture, which is fastened to the opposite, solid wall. Special wheels next to the supports ensure that the rope with the bucket runs smoothly even in those places.



50765. Equipment, stored along a nearby wall



50766. Stalactite which continues into a curtain



50767. View back across the hall



Related posts:



  Križna jama, January 12     Tavčarjeva jama, January 26, 2022  


This page, text and photos by Primož Jakopin, member of the Ljubljana Cave Exploration Society (DZRJL), except where stated otherwise. Send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on January 24, 2022 and last changed on January 28.