“Well of the Snow” Abyss

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

“Pozzo della Neve” was described by his main expert, Tullio Bernabei, as: “the abyss of dreams, which has pushed its explorers to unspeakable efforts, but which never fails to mesmerize with its beauty”.

It is the fourth abyss in Italy jealously safeguarded by a sort of a hanging siphon, at 328 ft meters underground – a bright cave opening onto a fantastic underground world.
It was discovered in 1955 by a group of speleologists from Rome and the cave has been explored up to a siphon which, a few meters below, blocks any further advance.

The abyss has two entrances: the main one, at an altitude of 4.363 (discovered in 1955), which features a steep sinkhole plunging into a 98-ft deep well, then intersecting the “Rami Alti” (“Upper Branches”).

Going down the well, explorers can reach the siphon that blocks the access to the cave for the most part of the year. From that spot, the cave begins to slide towards the bottom without interruption, going through peculiar tunnels, lakes, large rooms and deep wells, reaching a depth of 2.936 ft.

Right there, the “helmet crack” used to seal the abyss. National and international speleologists have eventually overcome that very bottleneck and now, after descending for another 492 ft, the final depth of about 3.428 ft can be reached – to do so, you would have explored some 8 miles underground.

The secondary entrance, at an altitude of 4.488 ft was artificially opened in 1984; it gives access to the Upper Branches (“Rami Alti”) and it is the hydrological beginning of the “Snow Well”. Its branches, with a total extension of the length of almost 1 mile, are particularly beautiful: there are more and more rudist fossils in the white limestone, particularly interesting about half a mile from the entrance, at a depth of 328 ft. The tunnel eventually reaches the top of a well which is the second one from the main entrance: its long white meander is among the most beautiful of all the Italian caves.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)



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