Caving Expedition “Northern Velebit 2019”

Posjeti stranicu na hrvatskom
International Caving Expedition Northern Velebit 2019
“EuroSpeleo Projects FSE” – ESP 2019-06
Jama Avatar (photo Julius Zimmermann)

The speleological society PDS “Velebit” with the support of FSE is organizing a new speleological expedition in the Croatian National park Northern Velebit, between July 29th and  August 11th 2019. Members of the PDS Velebit have been doing intensive speleological research of Croatian karst for a number of years and have also intensively been researching deep pits of Northern Velebit. The area of Hajdučki kukovi, which will be researched in detail this year, has always attracted Croatian as well as international speleologists. In the last 20 years we have been hosts to numerous speleologists from various countries around the world. This year we would like to invite all speleologists from around the world interested in actively participating in our research, to show them the beauty and wonders of the Northern Velebit karst.

About Northern Velebit
Ledena jama na Lomskoj dulibi - Dalibor
Ledena jama na Lomskoj dulibi (photo Dalibor Paar)

The Northern Velebit National Park area, notably the “Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi” strict reserve, where main activities will be taking place, are ranked among the most interesting speleological sites in the world. The reason for this lies in the existence of a large number of deep caves in a relatively small area. Here we can find three pits deeper than 1000m, out of which we will visit the upper parts of Lukina jama, Croatia’s deepest cave (-1431m) during our expedition. In the Northern Velebit National Park area more than 400 caves have so far been discovered, out of which 98 percent are (mostly vertical) pits. Many such objects have perspective continuations which will be explored during this expedition. We will also be looking for potential new caves in parts of Hajdučki Kukovi that haven’t been explored in the past.

Jama Pozoj (photo Julius Zimmermann)
Main aims and Program of the Expedition

This year, the main objective of the expedition is a systematic exploration of the area of Hajdučki Kukovi in the period between 29th July 2019 and 11th August 2019. The main focus of various expeditions in the last years was the exploration of deep pits. However, because the exploration of deep pits demands a lot of manpower, the exploration of the surrounding terrain was out of focus and done alongside. This year it is our objective to do a more systematic and detailed research which includes the continuation of research of already known objects, acquiring any missing data on known objects and exploring previously unexplored terrain. We also plan to organize visits to some of our famous pits like Lukina jama, Xantipa, Varnjača, Ledena jama and Pozoj.

Lom - Dalibor Paar
Base Camp Lom (photo Dalibor Paar)

July 29 – August 11, 2019. Camp preparation will be from July 27 – July 28 and you are free to join in that period too.

Accommodation details

The main camp will be set in a place named Lom, right beneath Hajdučki Kukovi. There is a small cabin in which all delicate equipment will be stored. Sleeping will be arranged in the surrounding forest in the participants’ private sleeping tents. Drinking water will be provided in big water tanks. There is also a well with technical water which is not for drinking purposes. Three meals will be provided – breakfast, afternoon snack in the terrain and dinner. On a daily basis, two participants will be in charge of preparing dinner for all the participants, including those with special dietary requirements. The official languages of the expedition are English and Croatian.

How to reach the camp

There are two ways of reaching the camp, from the continental side and from the coastal side. Details about how to approach the camp are shown on the map, as well as interesting places in Krasno.

If you are not travelling by car please contact us, we will try to arrange transportation for you.

GPS Coordinates of the camp
WGS84: 44.77989, 15.01447
HTRS96 TM: 382435, 4961061
GK5: 5501520 4959500

Participation Fee

The fee for all participants taking part in the speleological research is 5 euros per day. Other activities which do not include speleological research are also possible in agreement with the organizer, but the fee for these is 15 euros per day.

What to take with you

You should carry with you your personal gear and camping equipment (tent, dishes etc.). This is obligatory! If needed you will be asked to carry some additional caving gear, which depends on the final number of participants and your capabilities. The nights on Northern Velebit can be quite cold, especially if it is windy, so bring enough warm clothes. Keep in mind that the average temperature in the Northern Velebit pits is about 5 °C (40 ℉).

Lom i Ledena jama - Marin Mustapic
Ledena jama entrance (photo Marin Mustapić)
What will it look like

Plans for all research will be done in the evenings for the next day. We will try to comply with everyone’s wishes as much as we can.  At the end of the day you will have to return all equipment used and give a short report of your research results.

In case of rain all research will be postponed. In that case you can perhaps go to town to visit Krasno (see map) or do whatever you like.

Useful information
Varnjaca Marjan Prpic
Varnjača pit (photo Marjan Prpić)

It is advisable that you take insurance in your country, in case of any accident. Although the services of Croatian Mountain Rescue Service are free of charge please don’t do anything stupid!

At the expedition you will be asked to sign a written statement which states that all results of the expedition will be given to us for the needs of official reports and Croatian speleological databases (photos, drawings and other data). Without that written statement you are not able to participate in the expedition, sorry. But don’t worry, you can do whatever you like with your work, use it for the presentation of your club, your own publications or similar. We just need to make sure that we get all expedition results.

During, before and after the expedition you can go swimming to the seaside. The nearest place for swimming is marked on the map.

One more interesting place to visit is House of Velebit. It is a museum where one floor is completely dedicated to speleology! Check it out.

How to apply

You can apply by filling the online form.

The deadline for the application is 1st July. The number of participants is limited, so hurry up to fill out the application!

Project partners and sponsors
Europska speleološka federacija (FSE) KS HPS Logo FSE High Resolution
Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit KS HPS NP Sj. Velebit
Komisija za speleologiju Hrvatskog planinarskog saveza KS HPS logo_en_2013- komisija
Hrvatska gorska služba spašavanja KS HPS HGSS logo mali
Aventure Verticale KS HPS aventure-verticale-montagne
Scurion KS HPS Scurion

For any further information please visit our website, our facebook page or contact the person in charge, Marina Grandić, directly.