MORE PLANETCAVER STORIES

Welcome to the Planetcaver blog, featuring stories from caves andunderground explorations around the world, from the point of view of a beginner caver.

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Caves of Castel Gandolfo
I had an opportunity visit Castel Gandolfo recently. While I had been there briefly before, it was clear that there'd be more to explore. Castel Gandolfo sits on the rim of the lake Lago Albano, and also near Lago di Nemi. These lakes are beautiful places but also with interesting geology, both being volcanic craters.
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November 2023, Arte e Vino, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Grotta Neolitica, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Piccola Grotta Neolitica al Lago, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Minuscola Grotta al Lago, Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Caving (Man-Made, Rock, Basic); Caving (Rock, Rock-Volcanic, None, Morphology-Erosion); Caving (Rock, Basic, Surveying, Rock-Volcanic, Morphology-Erosion); Caving (Rock, Basic, Rock-Volcanic, Morphology-Erosion)

Night at the batcave headquarters
What a wonderful experience, pre-Xmas party with my caver friends, in a Lava (angled shelter by the fire) and Palju (a barrel of hot water). What could be better? Oh yeah, we had also interesting talks about explorations in Norway, Turku, and ... also our own Käsivarsi exploration in the summer.
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November 2023, Ilvesjoki Caving Association Headquarters, Ilvesjoki, Finland
Caving (None, Social)

Day of caving but no luck
I had great plans, but they all failed. Either the caves I visited turned out to be man-made, they were too small and I had to let them go, I didn't find them, or I arrived to late and they were already closed. So much for my effort to visit five new caves on my way from the conference to the airport.
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November 2023, Jeskyné Klemperka, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Klemperka underground hole, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Klemperka side apartment, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Kokořín shelter cave 1, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Kokořín shelter cave 2, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Rozbořenka, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Wernerovka, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Wernerovka firepit shelter cave, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Wernerovka mini cavelet, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Konépruské Jeskyné, Konéprusy, Czech Republic; Kodska Jeskyné, Srbska, Czech Republic
Caving (Rock-Sandstone, Basic, Rock, Morphology-Erosion); Caving (Rock-Sandstone, Basic, Rock, Man-Made); Caving (Rock, None)

Another CREG Journal Article
This summer I managed to write another article to the cave radio expert group's journal, the CREG journal. This time the article was about cave-outliner, and turning 3D models into maps, slices, and plan views.
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October 2023, House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland
Caving (None, Media, Researching, Equipment)

More lights testing, now in Torhola
We continued the sampling of the best Finnish caves on our weekend tour, as well as played more with the nice lights we had. (Previous light story was here.)
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September 2023, Torholan luola, Lohja, Finland
Caving (Basic, Equipment, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst)

A Finnish Caving Buffet
If your caving friend was coming over for a weekend, what would you show about the Finnish caving scene? Here's our menu for a caving buffet, covering everything from ice saunas to block caves to cracks in granite, mines, limestone caves, to salmon meals to ... did I already mention saunas? Not to forget Sibelius for dessert!
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September 2023, Viking Glory, Stockholm, Sweden; Luolavuoren luola, Turku, Finland; Rotkoluola, Kaarina, Finland; Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland; House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland; Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Ansabunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland; Korkbergetin lohkareluola, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Hvitträsk cliff, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Sauna (Normal, Steam, Other); Caving (Basic, Rock, Morphology-Crack, Morphology-Boulders, Equipment); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Crack, Equipment); Sauna (Normal, Steam); Swimming (Water, Waterbody-Pool, Indoor); Travel; Caving (Basic, , Rock, Equipment, Morphology-Erosion); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Boulders); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Korkberget fun
Korkberget is my favorite local cave. Also one of Finland's largest block caves, even if you don't get to go very dark while going through the cave; in most places you can see entrances and light between the boulders. But it is a wonderful sight, a great squeeze exercise, and nice back massage. And clearly an opportunity to practice much needed flexibility by the cavers :-)
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September 2023, Korkbergetin lohkareluola, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Boulders)

Caves on crack
A canyon. A wonder of nature that I did not know existed in Finland. Amazing, truly amazing green views! A place so secret that I do not wish to even tell its name or coordinates, for fear of leading more traffic to this delicate natural place. The place is near Turku, however. Let's call the it "Kaarinan rotkoluola" (Kaarina crack cave). You may ask how we knew about this place. We had a friend with us with knowledge... so here we were.
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September 2023, Rotkoluola, Kaarina, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Crack, Equipment)

Testing new lights in the Luolavuori cave
Our first stop on the grand tour of southern Finland caves was in Turku, in the Luolavuori cave (The Cave Mountain Cave :-) ). We ended up trying for fun various lights, an oil lamp and a new Black Diamond headlamp that supports not just white but also red, green, and blue light. Very nice effects!
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September 2023, Luolavuoren luola, Turku, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Morphology-Crack, Morphology-Boulders, Equipment)

Limestone in the Käsivarsi area
As part of our exploration trip to the Njiellalanjávri area, we scouted all signs of limestone around lakes Njiellalanjávri, Toskaljärvi, Veajetjávrrit, and Láfoljávri lakes, and the mountains in between. In some cases limestone was easy to identify, known to be limestone, in other cases it was not so easy to identify by non-experts. But we think we made a reasonable analysis, and found quite many places where there is at least potential limestone. There's plenty of loose rock pieces that are clearly limestone, but the more interesting target for us were ground rock layers. Or larger collections of potential limestone rock pieces that might indicate a ground rock layer would be somewhere nearby.
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August 2023, Toskaljärven maanalainen joki, Enontekiö, Finland; Njiellalanjávri, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárrit, Enontekiö, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst, Researching); Hiking; Climbing (Mountain)

Small holes ... cavelets (?) ... caves (?) in the Njiellalanjávri mountains
As part of our exploration trip to the Njiellalanjávri area, we scouted all possible cave holes around lakes Njiellalanjávri, Toskaljärvi, Veajetjávrrit, and Láfoljávri lakes, and the mountains in between. We also scouted for limestone (see separate article).
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August 2023, Láfolvárritin rinteen lohkareluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfoljávrin jyrkänteen kolmioluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen lippaluola lohkareella, Enontekiö, Finland; Skaidin pikkukolot, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven maanalainen joki, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen lohkareluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen vesiputouksen lohkareluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen puronuomaluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen lohkarealusta, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin lohkare, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen kolo, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen oviaukkokolo, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen sivuhalkeama 1, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen sivuhalkeama 2, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen alempi lippaluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen ylempi lippaluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin pieni halkeamaluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin minihalkeama, Enontekiö, Finland; Veajetoaivon lippaluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Veajetjávrritin kanjonin luolanen, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfoljávrin jyrkänteen paperiluolanen, Enontekiö, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Boulders, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Boulders, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Boulders, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Boulders, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst, Surveying); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Boulders); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Boulders); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Boulders); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Boulders); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Boulders); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Surveying, Morphology-Crack); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Unknown, Morphology-Unknown); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Unknown, Morphology-Unknown)

The Njiellalanjávri expedition
Last week I went with Jarmo Ruuth and Duncan Simey to look at Njiellalajävri lake and surroundings in the Käsivarsi wilderness area. This is a far-away area almost at the Norwegian border. We saw no one in the area except for a few reindeer. There are not even common hiking paths. The Internet knows very little about this lake, not even a picture. Despite the incredible beauty of the lakes and the rock! We knew the area only through satellite images, geological surveys and maps.
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August 2023, Njiellalanjávri, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven maanalainen joki, Enontekiö, Finland
Caving (None, Research); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst, Researching); Hiking; Flying

Predjama Castle
I had only heard about the Postojna Cave before coming to Slovenia. But it turns out that there are many caves (of course) as well as many very interesting or famous cave sites. Right next to the Postojna cave, a 10 minute car ride away for instance is the Predjama Castle, which is world's largest castle built in a cave.
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July 2023, Predjama Castle, Postojna, Slovenia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Military, Castles, Historic-Sites)

Dogs and kids, unfazed by a cave
Took some dogs and kids to a cave today, the Högberget cave in Kirkkonummi (near Peuramaa). Amazingly, none of them were particularly impressed or interested. Just another place, moving on to picnics and computer gaming or peeing on plants and light poles... which is ok and natural.
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July 2023, Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Caving (Basic, , Rock, Equipment, Morphology-Erosion)

Lonely little cave that no one notices
We were driving back from the technical museum of Slovenia - a massive museum, by the way, well worth visiting. Then there was a hole in a cliff we drove by. I had to stop. The cliff was next to a parking lot and a bus stop, in town of Notranje Gorice near Ljubljana. No one was paying any attention... too many nice caves in this country, I guess. I decided to call the cave the Forgotten Cave. And I did go in.
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July 2023, Forgotten Cave, Notranje Gorice, Slovenia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Unknown)

The REAL Postojnska Jama
Riding the train to the inside of the Postojna cave in Slovenia. The ride takes eight minutes through wonderful cave scenery. And then the actual cave tour starts, lasting an hour and a half. Is this the best show cave in the world???
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July 2023, Postojna Cave, Postojna, Slovenia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst, Showtour)

This is the 2th set of articles. The previous set was set 1. The next sets are set 3, set 4, set 5, set 6, set 7, set 8, set 9, set 10, set 11, set 12, set 13, set 14, set 15, set 16, set 17, set 18, set 19, set 20, and set 21.

The Planetcaver articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, urban exploration, climbing, cycling, flying, swimming, and saunas.