luni, 25 decembrie 2017

Kreuzhohle caving expedition 2017: burning calories


I came back at home from Grind Caving Camp 2017 pretty tired but with the motivation of a thing that has been done.
After two days of washing all my equipment I asked myself if is time to go or not for this year expedition in Kreuzhohle. Beside the accumulated stress and tiredness, the financial side came in. I was fortunate to obtain a free round fly ticket from a very kind and important person that appreciate what I do. 
Once that the ticket became true, there wasn't any other "reasons" to stay. I went for the call of the abyss in the Austrian land.
The forecast in the area was the reason for getting a second caving suit to have with me during this tour. So I went with 2 pieces of Aventure Verticale Holloch comfort with me. Also, two sets of caving gloves was a must.
The story starts on 23th of September at 6:30 when the plane that I was in took off. In two hours I arrived in Munich. My main backpack was 23,7 kg. The hand luggage didn't exceeded 5 kg so all was set.
Till 11 a.m. when Petr came to pick me with his car, I enjoyed a last junk food before going on "caloric bombs".
Because I had zero hours of rest before the flight, I slept half of the way till Lofer, our destination.
We went to salute our guests where we spend the first night and then we had a walk between the "toy houses" of this beautiful village.
In the evening the rest of the team arrived: Oli, Mark and Tom.
Slowly getting in the mood in the "Cafe Dankl" restaurant, we ended our dinner with a delicious desert. At the Peyerl guesthouse we had a last schnapps before going to sleep.

Sunday, 24th of September.
7:30 a.m.: breakfast
8:30 a.m.: finish the backpack
9:00 a.m.: start to Hochtall parking lot
9:30 a.m.: start on the trail to the hut.
.... I mean, German style.
The weight of my backpack reached 25 kilograms, so I arrived in 4 full hours up, at von Schmidt Zabierow hut.
One hour rest and we went to the cave to let there some materials and to install the "Cave link" antenna on the ridge above the cave entrance. The trail was covered with a icesnow on it's second part so climbing the Via Ferrata in such conditions was terrible. The last passage which is very exposed had to be rigged with bolts and ropes. If you ask me, I would rigg the entire  passage between the technical trail and the cave entrance. Nothing was stable and the backpack didn't improved the stability, it just made things worst. Fortunately everything went fine. Up on the ridge the untouched snow covered the limestone complete so I had to be extra cerefull where I put the steps. A cold wind started to blow and the landsacape was changing constantly. The Mountain was serving us His power.
The trip back to the hut on the same icy surface didn't make me happy at all but at least I wasn't carry anything, just an empty backpack.
To be continued... Meanwhile, here's the video story: