Sunday, June 17, 2018

Utö Caving

This weekend I was at Tero's cottage in Särkisalo, and decided to check out local caves, if any. It turned out that there's quite a nice set of cracks, roofs, and boulders in Utö, at the Vårdgasberget.

The forestry road leading to Vårdgasberget is nowadays gated, so there's a 1.5 - 2km walk to get to the place. Fortunately the owner gave me a ride on the way there, as he was just passing as I was wondering what to do and whether I'd have time for the walk.

It is a wonderful area, probably one of the best views from a cave in Finland, with sea visible from the high cliffs of Vårdgasberget.

The caves can be approached either from the top or from below. From the top a small canyon with rocks covering it leads further down. There's a tight spot to enter the main cave, and it would be helpful to know that your feet will touch the ground if you go over the edge backwards (they do). From the main cave there are a couple of tunnels that lead further, but there are also a number of roof lids in front of the cliffs and the main cave, and there's also a large side cave to the left (when looking towards the cliff). Further to the right there's a large flat boulder at the top of the cliff, with a roof that one can be under of, and a possibly crawlable route to the other side of the boulder.

A nice area and well worth checking out.

Utö is nowadays reachable by car and bridge. The cave is at N 60.053758° E 22.854267°.

The cave begins at the top of the cliff:

The canyon entrance from the top:

Inside the main cave:

Sign in front of the main cave. The owner was worried about people starting fires in the cave, particularly now that the nature is very dry. Please don't make fires at caves, save them for official campsites!

View of the main cave and the roof in front of it from the bottom:



Me squeezing into the main cave:

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

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