Author Topic: Caving in Albania  (Read 1939 times)

Offline rhychydwr1

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Caving in Albania
« on: September 01, 2009, 07:58:19 am »
New discoveries and explorations in Albania

Reported by Alexey Zhalov

In the period 24 July – 18 August 2009 Albania was a scene of 3 Bulgarian speleological expeditions. Two of them were concentrated on the exploration of the Shpella ne Majes te Harrapit (Maja Arapit Cave) located in the North Albanian Alps near Theth village, Shkodra district.The first expedition was funded by European Federation of Speleology as Euro Speleo Project . It  comprised of 21 cavers from Albania (2),Bulgaria (10), France (2), Greece (2), Hungary (1) , Romania (4) and conducted by Bulgarian Federation of Speleology. Leader and coordinatorwas Alexander Yanev.  Under the leadership of Alexander Yanev , from 26 July to 6 August the international team explored and surveyed 1313 м. of new passages. Most of them are located in two slopping down meanders which leads off from the upper part of the cave. Downstream they are connected and ended in a sump located - 26 m lower from the level of the cave entrance. Over 0,5km of old passage was remmaped. The actual length of the cave Maja Arapit(after this expedition) grew from 1224 m to 2537 m. The depth is 243 m where the highest point is + 217 and the lowest one is - 26 м. Because of the remapping of the old part of the cave, minimal correction of the positive depth were made.  In the period 10 – 17 August the exploration of Maya Arapit was extended by another Bulgarian expedition.   It was organized by the SC“ Sofia”- Sofia. Under the leadership of Zheliazko Mechkov were also cavers from SC "Iskar", “Sherni Vruh” and “Helictit " fromSofia and" Salamander "-Stara Zagora in total 14 persons. Using alpine and cavers methods the team climb up the virgin vertical galleries of the cave. According to preliminary data they climbed another 65 meters. Now the final point that has reached is + 282 meters up form the entrance.  After the second expedition the depth of the cave become 308 m. Up to date it continued to be the most important cave in Albania and probably is one of the most important caves in the world.  The studies will continue because the cave is still going up and its depth did’t cover the theoretical and hydrogeological potentials of the massive which is not less than 1000 m.  Meanwhile from Albania has returned speleo- anthropological and folklore expedition led by A. Zhalov from SC "Helictit" Sofia. Within 1 week the cavers form SC from Mezdra and Chepelare and specialists from the Institute of Folklore, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Association of Anthropology, Ethnology and folklore studies "Ongal" worked in the vicinity of Golyamo Ostreni village, in the region of Golo Bardo. As aresult some new caves were found . The longest surveyed cave is Peshtnik - 197 m. The cave was explored for the first time by  A.Zhalov, K.Stoichkov and Zh.Petrov from SC”Helictit”in 2004. Then the cavers were stopped by a  sump at the end of the cave located 47 m from the entrance. During the expedition the sump was dry and the team mapped 150 m of new passages before reaching a new and very deep sump. Some new caves was found in the bank of the Big Prespa..More information photos etc. :