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Expedition Bjurälven 2018 - Day 1 - report

The next edition of Expedition Bjurälven has begun. The project for 11 years has brought together advanced technical divers, who together in an international team explore and document the unusual cave in the northern Swedish mountains of Jämtland. In this year’s edition of the expedition there were also Poles. Among our compatriots on site are
Published: March 11, 2018 - 12:12
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:34

The next edition of Expedition Bjurälven has begun. The project for 11 years has brought together advanced technical divers, who together in an international team explore and document the unusual cave in the northern Swedish mountains of Jämtland. In this year’s edition of the expedition there were also Poles. Among our compatriots on site are Irena Stangierska, Mariusz Dziobek and Marcin Pawełczyk representing DIVERS24.

As you can see, those interested in the project will be able to get first-hand information published on our website during this year’s project. There will also be plenty of great photos from above the water, as well as those showing the beauty of the explored cave.

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Access to the site is only possible by snowmobile. Those who have followed our coverage in the past years probably remember the inaccessible terrain in which the expedition is being conducted. All the equipment which will be used between 9 and 18 March has been transported by snowmobiles and specially constructed sledges.

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After arriving at the site, the team began preparations, following a schedule already known from previous years. The weather was good. -14ºC and no wind, but the situation is supposed to get worse from Monday. After setting up the camp it was time to forge an ice hole and… this is where the first problem appeared – the ice is 130 cm thick! The participants of the previous Expedition Bjurälven mentioned that it had been a long time since the ice was so thick. As a result, forging the icehole took practically the whole day.

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A VHF communication system has also been set up, so that in case of adverse conditions, communication is maintained between the different parts of the camp, as well as with the other group. This year, the frozen waterfall, or rather the cave behind it, will also be explored exceptionally. The participants of the expedition want to check if it has a connection with the rest of the explored system. The place is so dangerous that the visibility after water is close to zero, and the diving is sump diving and conducted with the use of 4-litre cylinders.

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In addition to the three tents, the camp also has a compressor room and a heated tent, which serves as a changing room. Learning from 11 years of experience, the expedition participants have all equipment duplicated. Both the compressor and the generator have a replacement in case of an unforeseen breakdown. Additionally, there are two small compressors in the camp

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The water depth in the ice hole is 4 metres. A special platform for dressing and installing the sidemount configuration has been installed in it. Due to the conditions created by the cave – an extremely tight entrance, all dives are conducted in a side configuration.

The main sponsors of Expedition Bjurälven 2018 are the brands Apeks, Ursuit and the Polish Xdeep.

Photo: Irena Stangierska Photography

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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