Big vs. Cozy… Which type of caves are your preferred ones? For me to be honest, I love both. The both have something special as any cave. Sometimes I get asked what’s your favorite cave, I always reply I just can’t have one, they are all special to me, and the feelings that away on you are different as well.
Plura is a very special cave, for it’s location, it’s history and what it represents to Norwegian cave diving. It is the jewel of the crown. It is located in Plura valley, the source of Plura river. The whlole environment is amazing, but… let’s focus here on the cave.
During the 9 days of diving, I did 16 dives, 2 of them in Litjaaga, and all others in Plura. There were 873 minutes underwater, at 5ºC, with amazing company. There are many different dives for doing it at a Cave 1 level, but of course, your world expands with a Cave 2 level. After 14 dives there, I can say I had the first part well explored.
One thing to note is that you can get to the air chamber only with one stage, not touching back gas. The distance is 470 meters penetration, you have to go through 30 meters depth, but it is only for a few minutes.
A more advanced dive, and this is on my bucket list for this winter, will be passing the air chamber, fairly long, and get to the so called “the other side”. On this area, you need to be quite careful if you don’t have the appropiate gases, as it gets deep quite fast.
A well known dive on this cave, is “the traverse”, only done a couple of times, and quite a risky dive, which is goint to the real other side inside the mountains. You go down to -132 meters into the cave, to start going up. The cave has a V-shape, and the other side is literally inside of the mountains, where you can enter from the outside through a huge collapse. I was curious how it looked like on the other side, one of the days we decided to drive there in the morning, park on the side of the rode and walk a few meters up the hill, when you arrive to the collapse. Through a tiny hole, you can squeeze inside the mountain and find your way through the rocks to arrive to land slide that leads to an underground passage. There are some iced waterfalls, frozen lakes… and sudenly you see an opening with water. Here is “the other side of Plura”: Steinugleflaget cave.
The cave up to the air chamber is marvelous as well, you don’t need to go way further in to admire the marble walls and the block formations that it has. It is a cave quite difficult to photograph as well, due to its huge dimensions, but with the appropriate light, you can do almost everything 🙂
Sometimes I think how amazing is nature, and how lucky we are to find this small holes in the ground that lead us to amazing and out of this world places underground, and underwater. Another thought that sometimes crosses my mind is how much will be down there that is undiscovered to the human yet. What’s our planet hiding?
There is a video from last year, from Mikkel Stokke, which shows the amazingness of Plura.
During the week, we had the chance to go to Litjaaga as well, which is a nearby cave, but not in Pluraven (Plura Valley) anymore. It takes around 45 minutes drive to get there it is quite easy as you can park almost by the main road. Then you have about 5 minutes walk to the source of the river, where you have two entrances that merge together around 20 meters inside the cave. A little bit afterwards there is the one restriction you can find in the whole cave for the main tunnel. A couple of people with GUE-JJ configurations could go through, and the cave does not silt, so it is a friendly restriction.
The cave is big enough to swim two people side by side to take photos or to do some work. There are a few side tunnels, where you would need sidemount gear, that are still under exploration, and need to be surveyed. Amazing place to take photos (Thanks Mikkel Stokke for this!!) The line starts in the open water, and on the northern side, goes trhough a zig zag of rocks to start going further.
The whole cave can be done with Nitrox 32, as it is on an average of 15 meters, so enjoy yourself in the cave for quite some time!
Here is another video from Mikkel Stokke in Litjaaga cave.
It is an amazing area!! and I’ll be back in winter… wait for that