Kanin treasures one tenth of world's deepest caves

Bovec, 28 November - For many years the Kanin mountains have been a place of caving and hydrological research. The latest findings, presented at a press conference on Friday, show that more than one tenth of known caves deeper than 1,000 metres are located in the Kanin mountains.

Caving meeting "In the depths of Kanin".
Photo: STA

Mount Kanin.
Photo: Courtesy of OFIS Architects
File photo

Members of seven Slovenian caving clubs conducted research in ten caves and cave systems with Polish and Italian colleagues.

Newly discovered caves in the Rombon cave system now make it fourth longest system in the country with over 20 km. In Skalar cave researchers hope to find a connection to the Mala Boka system, making it the deepest cave in Europe.

"Kanin gives us this opportunity where limestone is found high up, at 2500 meters of altitude, while the Bovec valley is a a relatively low altitude (...) There is 2100 metre of height potential. Since the entry into Skalar cave lies at a relatively high altitude for Kanin plateau, at 2335 metres, connecting it to the Mala Boka system could mean reaching a depth of 1900 metres. That would be a maximal yield even for Europe," said Jure Tičar from Caving Club Brežica who explored the cave in the past years.

Members of the Karst Research Institute presented their research that shows that most waters from the Kanin plateau flow towards the Boka falls.

Next year will mark 60 years since the first organised caving expedition in the area led by researcher Jurij Kunaver, who attended the event on Friday. "Nobody could have imagined this, even though we came to Kanin with experience (...). We came here with younger colleagues, I was the only one who was a bit older, since I chose the Kanin mountains as the subject of my doctoral thesis," remembered Kunaver, who will turn 90 next year.

Nowadays many caving clubs are exploring the area. They have found over 800 caves, the deepest one is Čehi II with the lowest point at 1505 metres below the entry.

© STA, 2022