ESP 2023-06 Dachstein Caving Expedition, Austria

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The Dachstein caving expedition normally takes place every summer on the Dachstein plateau in Austria. However, the last well-attended Dachstein expedition was pre-Covid in 2019, with only a small trip in 2022 of ten cavers. This year, the expedition had 21 cavers of nine different nationalities, including eight young cavers on their first expedition. The caves in the Dachstein are typically cold and vertical, making this a challenging but rewarding training ground for new expedition cavers.

The caving area is high on the mountain, typically ranging from the Wiesberghaus mountain hut, the base at almost 1900 m to around 2300 m altitude. The highest point of the Dachstein area is at 2997 m. In the mountain below is the 116 km long Hirlatzhöhle explored from a valley entrance, and a deepest explored point in a sump at 446 m altitude.

In 2023, we returned to a cave discovered in 2022 called Ectoplasm, located at around 2200m altitude. The area around this cave had not been prospected in detail before, and is very promising with many potential new entrances. We found and surveyed several ways on. In the surrounding area, new caves Goblinhöhle and Todestrichter were found, and other promising entrances identified. The previously explored cave Spezialeshöhle was pushed to a conclusion at a boulder-choked shaft floor. In WUG Pot, which has been the main expedition cave for around a decade, a new shaft series was explored to around 100m deep in the hope of bypassing some of the current shaft series.

Here you can download the full report.