This year's aims are to continue pushing leads from Balkonhöhle,
Fischgesicht and maybe Homecoming.
Overview - Homecoming Hole (359), Tunnocks (258) and Balkonhöhle (264) - credit Nat Dalton
Balkonhöhle (264): many promising leads at multiple levels, allowing for meaningful exploration to be done by cavers of varying abilities. Medusa's Maze is a particularly exciting lead taking the SMK system into an area not traditionally explored by this expedition. Additionally, the system connects the previously explored Tunnocks system at convenient points (on the right of the map above) to push leads remaining there, allowing us to explore unfinished areas of Tunnocks without rigging the previous route, which was flood-prone. Big Lad chamber is in Balkonhöhle is much deeper than the nearer parts of 359 and 290.
Fischgesicht (290): The entrance was blocked by snow in 2019 and could not be excavated. Leads from 2018 are still yet to be explored including a 20x20 m large phreatic tunnel with strong draught leading in direction of the rest of SMK left unexplored at the opposite side of a 40 m pitch. It is also likely to connect to another significant find from 2017, Glucklich Schmetterlingerhöhle ('Happy Butterfly Cave'; 291,), adding length to the system.
Second Camp: An objective for this year is to establish a second top camp known as "Garlic Cave" (not marked on these maps), which is located further west than Stone bridge (Steinbrücke 204), as a base for those exploring Homecoming Hole and Fischgesicht.
Homecoming Hole (359): discovered in 2018 at the western extent of our current area. This is planned to be the focus of further expeditions, but if resources allow this cave will be pushed in 2022.
The overview Schwartzmooskögl (SMK) system map (above) shows where 359 and 290 are in relation to Steinbrückenhöhle top camp (204), Balkonhöhle entrance (264), Tunnoschacht (258) and the Loser Alm road-head restaurant and carpark.
Top camp bivouac site is at Steinbrücke (204).
See the zoomed-in 258/264 area showing the discovery history as well as the depth; and showing where Medusa's Maze is, NE of Big Lad. SMK has over 120 km of passages, nearly all originally explored by CUCC Expo.
Western area - Homecoming Hole (359), Fischgesicht (290) and Happy Butterfly (291) - credit Nat Dalton
[The small cave due north of 290 and 291 on the map is No Helicopter Hole (110). ]
The grid coordinates are UTM 33N - see Austrian kataster G&K.
Updated: 21 March 2022
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