TRIP REPORTS - what have you been down to? > Expeditions & Trips Abroad
Dachstein Expedition 2019
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Are you feeling keen to explore snow-covered peaks in the Austrian Alps, learn to find new caves, then bolt, rig, survey and push them? Does the idea of being the first person in new cave passage excite you? Or are you an experienced expedition caver, looking for an area where exciting discoveries are being made yearly?
This year’s Dachstein Expedition will be held between the 17th August and the 7th September 2019, hosted as usual at the Wiesberghaus mountain hut on the Dachstein plateau, Austria. As usual, the expedition is open to all cavers. It is a very cosmopolitan expedition; as well as attracting cavers from university club across the UK and Ireland it has also attracted French, German, Austrian, Bulgarian, Israeli, American, Irish, New Zealand and Czech cavers.
The Dachstein is a relaxed expedition; join us for a week, the whole three weeks, or just a few days.
Last year, the expedition’s main cave, WUG Pot, was finally connected to the 112km long Hirlatzhöhle deep in the mountain after over 40 years. This made the Hirlatz 1560m deep and the 9th deepest cave in the world. This year one aim is to find a higher entrance and make the Hirlatz even deeper!
In 2018 the cave Blood Moon was discovered. This has already been connected to the 600m+ deep Burnie’s Pot, and may also connect to WUG Pot. Resurveying an inlet at the base of WUG has shown that it comes within 50m of the 600m+ deep cave PL2, which ends in a chamber well over 100m wide. The 2017 discovery Thundergasm is now 200m and still going, with several open leads for keen cavers...
Although being competent at SRT will make it a much more satisfying expedition, training is a key part of this expedition. As usual, we will be running the Dachstein Training Weekend (date to be confirmed) to let all cavers learn expedition skills before using them for real on the expedition.
The Wiesberghaus and the caving area we explore are set 2000m up in a stunning area of the Austrian Alps. To the south the Hallstatt glacier rises up towards the 2995m summit of the Hoher Dachstein and the enormous south wall of the Dachstein plateau. To the north is the valley of the Hallstattsee (lake) and the famous town of Hallstatt with its prehistoric salt mine. There are four other mountain huts on the plateau, the show caves of the Dachstein Rieseneishöhle (ice cave) and Mammuthöhle, as well as a range of via ferrata for all abilities, so there is plenty to do on ‘rest’ days.
Join the Dachstein Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/dachsteincaving for more information and to keep up with the latest expedition news. You can also join the group’s Dachstein 2019 event.
Recruitment is slowly starting to gain pace (we're fairly lazy these days) so if anyone wants to join what is (un)arguably the finest exploration project ever then you're welcome to join. Andrew has posted most of the details but it's worth emphasising that two decades ago we were the first of the major projects to have an open invite as the organisers were fed up of the unnecessary elitism & cliques within the expedition game back then. That means that we really do welcome 99% of people who want to go regardless of experience. All we ask is that you be able to operate as part of a team, get involved with the chores, and not do anything that's likely to lead to an accident. And just like many things this can be as hard or as easy as you choose: if you've not been down a deep Alpine cave before then you're best advised to cut your teeth in some of our shallower caves & building up to exploring the monsters.
It's also CHEAP & plenty of us have loads of gear we can lend out to worthy causes. Many of the leading lights in cave exploration have been part of this project & it's our intention to get more people to join as we need fresh blood for the future.
We are running our annual Cave Expedition Training Workshop over the weekend of 15-16 June based at the outstanding Gloucester Cave Rescue Depot in Cinderford in the Forest of Dean so again this is an open invite regardless of whether you're joining us in Austria (numbers allowing, of course).
See the Calendar for more details.
The Expedition Fee (for anyone coming on the expedition has now been decided and will be:
£70 if paid before 15th July
£75 if paid before the exped
£80 if paid during the exped
This includes use of the seilbahn this year.
Payment can be made to the shiny new bank account:
Sort Code: 40-27-02
Account Number: 91867555
Account Name: Dachstein Expedition Society
PLEASE DON'T SEND MONEY TO THE OLD ACCOUNT
International payments to my PayPal at my personal email address for now (PM me) and I'll transfer them over. Please don't use PayPal unless you can't pay into the UK bank account!
--- Quote ---but it's worth emphasising that two decades ago we were the first of the major projects to have an open invite
--- End quote ---
The Matienzo expeditions have had an "open invite" to all interested people since the early 70s. I'm not saying we were the first though, there may be others!
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