Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Kalkkikallio caves in Vantaa

I was looking for a quick, interesting exploration for Saturday morning, and finally drove up to Kalkkikallio caves (Limestone Hill caves) in Vantaa. Kalkkikallio is a rock hill area on the other side of the Ring III road from the IKEA store. The hill is next to a secluded, quiet area of houses.

There are reportedly four caves in the area, with the main one, Ketunluola, being noted as the longest cave inside the urban "inside Ring III" area in the Helsinki area. With its amazing six meter length! 😀

Actually, I kind of doubt that claim a bit. It is true that the other possible candidate, Nepperi cave in Espoo is not as "cave like". But... I think accurate measurements would be needed, because the competition could be tight. The squeeze in Nepperi is several meters long, and after that there comes a large balcony with a rock roof... some day I need to go make measurements in Nepperi.

The fun part of the main cave is that the entrance is tight. But, with the knowledge of the inside being larger it is OK to push through. I also looked at two other caves, one cave with a large boulder covering an open space where people have setup a fireplace. The roof is 140 cm above the fireplace, and smoke can exit to the sides... but I would still feel uncomfortable building a big fire under a rock. Having seen how easily fire can crack rock.

The other side cave had two entrances: a narrow squeeze that led much further under a rock. And on the side of the rock a larger entrance where it was easy to crawl in. The two entrances connect, but with the height narrowing down to 21cm or perhaps even lower, I didn't want to try this, at least not when I was alone on this trip. This side cave has also a couple of other roofed areas under rock, near the larger entrance.

Also, to further doubt the story about Ketunluola being the largest cave, *if* you could squeeze through here, I suspect this cave would be longer than six meters. I measured 5 meters from the smaller entrance to a rock inside the cave, and then 3 meters from that rock to the bigger entrance. Inaccurate, quick measurements, and you could cut a corner and not have to go to that particular rock, but still, I wonder. More research needed!

The coordinates of the main cave are 60°16'35.1"N 25°03'57.0"E. The coordinates of the fireplace side cave are 60°16'35.0"N 25°04'01.5"E. The coordinates of the low-ceiling side cave are 60°16'34.6"N 25°04'03.8"E. There's a fourth cave, and based on looking around a bit, maybe even more small ones. But I run out of time to find the fourth cave, having to attend a graduation party for a neighbour's kid.

I also draw a quid sketch map of the caves in Kalkkikallio. Here is the map:

(Click here for a a higher-quality JPG and PDF of the map.)

And pictures from the low-ceiling side cave:

The bigger part of the low-ceiling cave is shown below. The smaller part leads to forward and left, with some light visible from the smaller entrance.

And fireplace side cave:

And the main cave:

Photos and maps (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko. Remember that pointers to all my stories about caving and skiing can be found at the ​ and ​ web sites.

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