Sunday, September 2, 2018

Block cave + river = fun?

Swoosh, flushed down! This cave makes me feel like going down the drain.

The hot summer weather, hiking, wet suits and coveralls are making everyone feel far too hot. We are awaiting for the promised cold water. There's water, although maybe slightly less than usual due to the hot weather again.

This is an exceptional cave. Exceptional for Austria, that is. In Finland a block cave would be normal. This cave reminds me very much of the Dragon's Cave in Korkberget, Kirkkonummi. Except that here the boulder field is on a steep slope. And there's a river flowing through it.

All we need to do is to find an entrance, and jump in. The way forward is usually fairly obvious, just follow the water. And there's usually enough space, except in couple of places. Twice I had to dive through a point with a low ceiling. There's also another difference to Korkberget: there are more layers of boulders, and quite a lot of vegatation on top of them. There are only some places for exits to the top.

I get stuck badly once, hanging on top of a boulder on my back, feet and head hanging over nothing. I can't move, but I manage to hand my helmet to Michi and camera to someone else. And then wedge myself slightly to the left and pass the tight point that was squeezing me from chest and back.

Phew. That was scary, because normally I'd been able to think about the situation and spend my time moving around to unwedge myself. But now I was in flowing water, and the boulder was pressing hard on my back.

There's a second place where someone else (phew, not me this time) gets stuck just before the exit, and I think they decide to go back. But I manage to go through that tight spot and eventually find myself out from the also narrow exit passage.

Fun cave, though. The cave is on a long boulder field on a steeply sloping small valley.

Location: Saubachlhöhlen, Yspertal, Austria.


Jaakko and Velma going in:

 Alex crawling inside:

More pictures from the inside:

At several points it was clear that there were long-time water flows through the cave, long enough to have spinning rocks drill round holes ("devil's churns"):

State of my lunch sandwich from my pocket after caving:

This blog article has also appeared in TGR. Tämä blogiartikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. And all caving-related articles can be found from!

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

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