The II Congress of the Russian Union of Cavers and the Association of Cavers of the Urals took place in Kungur, Perm Region from December 14 till December 16, 2018. The cavers exchanged experiences and told about the most interesting expeditions in 2018.
At the scientifically-practical conference "Underground spaces: methods of studying, monitoring, protection and use" were discussed methods of protecting caves, criteria for research activities, sports branch of speleology, tourist work, organizing underground rescue operations, raising cavers' skills and even artificial underground spaces: is it worth to study it and how it can be used.
Vasily Samsonov, the head of the expedition to the caves of the Baysuntau plateau in southern Uzbekistan, told about the findings made in the summer of 2018. The another study of the karst massif of the Chulbair ridge was international and was supported by the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) and the French Federation of Speleology (FFS).
The researchers continued to study the middle and bottom parts of the Vishnevsky cave, that was opened in 2015 and in 2017 reached a depth of -735 m (a length is 5400 m). The entrance to the cave is located at an altitude of 3540 meters above sea level, and the cave itself develops towards the Boy-Bulock cave. Another group studied the Boy-Bulok cave in the new part at elevations of +220 m and -350 m. The cave was discovered in 1984 and today it is the deepest cave of the Asian continent (an amplitude is 1415 m, a length is 14,800 m, the entrance is at a height of 2650 meters above sea level). These directions are most promising for finding a connection to the Vishnevsky cave and other caves from the wall. All these facts give good perspectives for the development of sports speleology.
Other experts talked about their expeditions to Moria Cave on Fr. Kholodnyak, KT-16 (Valuysky) and about findings in Bashkiria and the Perm Territory. In total, Russian speleologists participated in more than 30 expeditions in 2018. Many of them were held with the support of the Russian Geographical Society. In the near future with the grant support of the RGS will appear information storage and retrieval system "Caves" (ИПС "Пещеры") and the cadastre of caves in Russia. It allowed to return the forgotten underground natural objects and discover new ones.
Let us recall, the electronic Atlas of the Caves was created thanks to the grant from the RGS. It includes Russia, the CIS countries and neighboring countries data.