2019 CUCC Austria Expedition - rope sponsorship entry

Sarah P

New member
CUCC?s Austria expedition has been running for over 40 years, discovering and exploring new cave on the Loser plateau in the Totes Gebirge region of central Austria. The main cave system explored here, the Schwarzmooskogel (SMK) system is now over 150km long, over 1000m deep, and still going strong! The expedition aims both to document as much new cave as possible whilst introducing expo newbies to alpine expedition caving safely, providing them with the necessary skills of bolting, surveying etc.

With numbers slightly less this year, the expedition will only run for 4 weeks (compared to the normal 6 weeks) from the beginning of July, with cavers venturing to Austria from clubs including CUCC, UBSS, ULSA, SUSS, RUCC and more.

Last year

In 2018, further progress was made in Balkonhoele with around 5.2km of new cave was discovered, including 2 new connections with the adjacent Tunnockschacht (Tunnocks). Leads were pushed deep in Tunnocks, where Camp Kraken was reestablished at ~700 m depth. 


Anthony Day - key innovator of the Camp Kraken stooling facilities. Personalised toilet roll had moral boosting effects.

The recent 2017 discovery of Fischgesicht (Fish Face) Hoehle continued to be pushed, with some particularly nice phreatic passage discovered that could potentially connect the cave into the SMK system. 2018 also saw the discovery of a new cave, Heimkommen (homecoming) Hoehle, whose name is a reminder of the time football ?almost? came home. Over the course of the expo, 1.6km of passage had been discovered here, with promising and drafting leads left for this year.


Fischgesicht - still going?

More detailed reports of last years discoveries can be found on last year's ukcaving rope entry thread (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23424.0) and eventually on the expedition website (http://expo.survex.com/)

This year

This year?s aims are to continue pushing leads from Balkonhoehle, Fischgesicht and Heimkommen left in 2018 (shown). 


Map of caves, categorised by date of discovery - credit K. Bender

Balkonhoehle provides ample opportunity for expo freshers and veterans alike to explore large amounts of passage every year - although it has got a bit harder than wandering down massive passage now. Since its re-discovery and the beginning of exploration in 2014, the cave has provided numerous promising leads, and large amounts of passage have been discovered year on year. Promising ?A? leads remain unexplored, and despite the fewer numbers and smaller expo length this year, Balkonheohle will undoubtedly provide a wealth of exciting new passage.

The phreatic passage discovered in Fischgesicht last year, and trending NE towards the main SMK system, provides another key aim for this year?s expo: to continue pushing these leads to discover a connection.

Exciting leads remain in Heimkommen and will continue to be pushed by this year?s contingent of cavers.

The ultimate long-term goal of the expedition is to connect the SMK system with the neighbouring Schoenberg system, resulting in a cave of epic proportions. To achieve this, prospecting for new cave entrances will continue, with focus on discovering new cave to the north of the Loser Plateau, attempting to bridge of the gap between the 2 systems.

A big thanks to all businesses who?ve sponsored the expedition (both past and present) and a further thanks is due to the Wilpernig family of Gasthof Staud?nwirt who allow a hoard of dirty English cavers to descend on their beautiful campsite every year!

We?ll keep people updated with this year?s news on this thread. Also check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: