Urals Cave Exploration: The Ural Cave Diving Team and GUE
Photography: Irina Kazionova
Support: Ural Cave Diving Team
Location: Blue Lake on Chusovaya River, Russia
On March 7, 2010, GUE-trained divers from Moscow and Ekaterinburg joined the Ural Cave Diving Team as they unloaded their equipment from their cars and moved it to the snowmobiles—their goal: to get to the spring, situated on the bank of a frozen river.
This particular spring has been known since the mid-1970s as an entrance to a cave, one that has unfortunately been undiveable for the last 10 years.
First attempts to start exploring the cave were undertaken last year; some line was laid, but the visibility was too poor to allow for any real understanding of cave dimensions and character.
This year the group was lucky enough to get up to five meters of visibility (!!!) and mild flow. The first team managed to fix last year’s line—moved and dislodged by the extremely high flow often encountered during the spring)—and added some 20 meters of line.
The second team was forced to work in less visibility, but they still cleaned up some old line and added another 20 meters of new one.
As far as we can see, this cave has great potential; it looks like it actually starts where we have finished the line this time — it gets wider, bigger, and cleaner at this point. There are several promising leads to the sides as well. Now, we just hope we will be able to dive the cave before next March — and hope for a nice dry summer!