04 Jul 2019
Charlotte Honiat and Tanguy Racine visited the Tolminski Migovec massif in the Julian Alps, where several caves containing perennial ice are documented. Rappelling between the ice and rock walls of the caves, they could access a series of strata containing organic macro-remains, some of which were sampled, to be radiocarbon dated.
They also observed how snow precipitation during the 2018-2019 winter season affected the geometry and ventilation pattern of the cave, by comparing the late spring snow and ice levels with those of the previous autumn. For instance, one entrance was completely buried under snow during that period, effectively closing off that side of the cave. They finished the trip with a resurvey of another cave, where snow levels had dropped by several metres in a decade, so much so that a hitherto inaccessible passage was found.