The first expedition was organized by the youth club of the Russian Geographical Society “Altair” with the support of the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of the region. The participants had to go down into the deepest cave found in the republic – “NSS-75”. Its stone well descends 75 meters, and the bottom is a network of labyrinths through which the river flows. The descent requires good physical preparation and the ability to work with special equipment, so the instructors trained the beginners in the climbing wall.
– The cave “NSS-75” was discovered in 1976 by a search expedition of the Nalchik caving section and is still known only to a narrow circle of specialists due to inaccessibility, – says the head of “Altair” Tengiz Mokaev . – However, this time it was not possible to go down into the shaft due to the ice that covered most of the entrance. For security reasons, we decided to move a few kilometers south and go down to the Su-Akan cave.
The entrance to Su-Akan is remarkable: a river stream rushes into a small black hole with a roar, forming a picturesque waterfall. Hence the name, in translation from the Balkar language su-akan means “falling water”. In winter, the jets freeze, and athletes, knocking down ice stalactites, freely descend. In the background, the cave branches to the south, a dry corridor, and to the north, a mine in the river bed.
The expedition members passed through the lower part of the corridors to the place where the path is blocked by a natural siphon (a tunnel completely filled with water). Nearby, on the “crumpled” stalagmite, there is a plaque in memory of Alexander Verevkin, who died while searching for the continuation of the cave in October 1983: during the dive, the 23-year-old speleologist tried to make out the tree. blockage that interfered with him and suffocated him. The deepest cave in the world, located on the Arabian Plateau of the Republic of Abkhazia, was named after him: the depth of its shaft is 2212 meters.
– The first trip of the expedition was successful, the newcomers showed themselves well and are ready to continue the work. In the near future, we plan to mark the path to the Fire Cave in the Elekan-Su gorge, which was included in the list of the main routes of the Dolinsk tourist base. Tourists were brought here for a walk for several days, Tengiz Mokaev added.
The cave got its name due to the fact that once sulfur and saltpeter were extracted from it – components for the manufacture of gunpowder. Since the 60s of the last century, the natural attraction has been very popular with tourists, but with the collapse of the USSR, the focus was lost. It was reopened in 2018. Fiery has a huge entrance the size of a two-story house, its length is several hundred meters, inside there are three corridors and many side branches. A tenacious eye will immediately catch the traces of previous visitors: cans under canned food, bottles and autographs on the walls, the first of which dates from 1909.
According to Tengiz, the cave is very interesting, especially in the dry season. Together with the rescuers, he plans to develop a safe route and include it in the region’s official list of routes.