Great hall at the Brezno v Medvedovi konti
Even though I last promised that the next action would be at the Ice Cave on Viševnik, it sadly did not happen because of organisational complications. We did, however, find a suitable replacement, of which we had spoken already in the Austrian heights. Our imagination was roused by the second largest underground hall in Slovenia, which we wanted to visit and immortalize while still under the impression of the hall of the Titans. We accumulated the equipment, invited the surround photographer Boštjan Burger and headed for the forests of Pokljuka.
The hall is located at the Brezno pri Medvedovi konti and truly, you do not have to put a lot of effort into it, except for the 100 meter descent. Surely the first explorations of this abyss in the sixties were a lot more exciting. Back then, they used small ladders to descend the abyss, for which you had to have quite a lot of courage as well as trust in your friends. The second visit almost ended tragically, as a ladders tore during a descent where the caver was 20 meters above ground and he fell 15 meters deep. Because he was protected, his friend at the top managed to hold him back successfully with large difficulty, and he barely managed to escape of of the many pine tree trunks, which protrude from the rockfall cone.
The largest of them seems quite imposing and it would be hard to imagine the moment, when it hit the rockfall stones with full force. While its upright position lasts, it will serve as a great mark point of every shot. Well, somehow it seemed to us, that it would look better standing up straight. We did not succeed …
When you light the hall with strong lights, it seems ordinarily small to the eye. The walls look about 30 meters apart, the ceiling is about 20 meters high, all in all, not a very special sight to behold. The cave does not have any large limestone formations, upon which one’s eye might rest, while the rocky blocks seems just like bigger stones.
The look is deceiving, of course, as the cave measures about 150 meters and the height of the ceiling is sometimes even more than 50 meters. The huge dimension is only made clear when you position a caver in the far end of the cave. An optical illusion ‘par excellence’.
But this was not the only mission at hand. We decided to peek into the short drop at the other end of the hall, where Vid practiced equipping the cave for a while. While he hammered the bolts, the others enjoyed a few experimental and funny moments, at the end finding out that Vid passed his test, and took off, not before taking a photo of the otherwise boring abyss.
Despite the easy cave, the day was over pretty soon and we only managed to return to the outside in the late hours, but luckily early enough to finish off in a nearby pizzeria. This time big thank goes to Bole, Janez, Matej, Natalija and Vid for precious help with lighting.