GCSILI-Silica (Szilice) Ice cave
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The cache itself can be found well before you reach the cave. Look for it where the trail widens into a small meadow. GPS will show you where to turn right. Due to dense canopy layer poor satellite signal might be a problem in summertime. The cache is inside a bush-like, multi stem tree, covered with twigs and litter.
Silica plateau belongs to Aggtelek-Domica karst region. A few kilometres from the Hungarian border you find here plenty of ravines, sink-holes, dolinas, caves with size from some metres to real huge ones. Best known cave of them is Domica-cave (which forms a single system with Baradla-cave in Aggtelek, Hungary) and the Gombaszög-cave. I would like to show you the Silica-cave, which is unique of that area as it is an ice-caves. Ice cave are formed so that cold air (being heavier than warm air) cannot flow out from a cavity. Thus the snow and ice falling into the cave is preserved even during the hottest summer. Best known ice cave in Slovakia is the Dobsina ice.cave, which is impressive, though it is too much more built in than that of Silica. Silica-cave can be seen almost in its unspoiled, wild beauty.
This cave is hardly explored. However, some kind of archaeological survey was carried out, and a few thousand years old Neolithic and Copper/Bronz Age findings have been found. Most interesting of these is a mask portraying a human face.
Yon the road leading to Silica you can park your car at point N 48.33.417 E 20.30.277. This is a motorists parking approximately one km from the cave. The trail is obvious, only a pleasant walk is required to reach the cave. About 100 m further from the cache (trail turns to the right) you capture sight of the cave’s immense mouth. Entry is a huge ravine – approx. 90 m of descending from surface to the bottom of the cave. Well-built steps lead you to the depths of cave, then a fence stops you. From here you have two choices. If you step through the bars despite of obvious prohibition, you might participate a fine adventure.
Anyway, if you enter the cave, never go alone, and leave someone outside, so that someone can inform cave rescuers in case of any problem…
Well, after the bars you find yourselv in a vast, sloping cavity, the mouth of cave being about 20x30 m wide. Be careful with the ice! It is better to descend on the left side, though it is very slippery there too. In the cave bottom on the right a smaller passage, which you can enter only on your hand and knees, then as you proceed, only crawling on your belly. It was too narrow for me. As the passage is told to be at least 20 m long before you would reach a larger (80x2-8 m cavity) it is not recommended to explore without experience in speleology. It can be life dangerous to get stuck in there!
Do not forget to bring a headlamp with you!
At the end of this job you will be muddy like a pig, but in change you will be richer with the experience of descending into this amazing temple of nature.
Summarising: finding the cache and the cave is simple, while exploration of the cave can be really dangerous. I did not want to force you to enter the cave and anyway satellite signal a very bad at the cave, that is why I placed the box so “far” from the cave.
Useful site with GPS coordinates: www.retep.sk (no English version…).
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum