www.speleo-foto.de - Cave Photography by Max Wisshak
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Cave Portraits

Here you'll find portfolios on some of the most bizarre caves on earth. Thereby my favourite country for karst travel - France - is a bit overrepresented. However, this country indeed features many of the most spectacular caves and due to the "Father of Speleology" - Eduard A. Martel - France is regarded as the cradle of modern cave exploration.


Lechuguilla Cave Lechuguilla Cave

Lechuguilla Cave
Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA

Length: > 215.0 km
Vertical extend: -497 m
Special features: Special in all respects and not without reason attributed as "most beautiful cave in the world"; sulphuric acid speleogenesis
Conservation: Gated; National Park; Wilderness Area; state-of-the-art conservation measures

to the Lechuguilla Gallery

 

Cottenwood Cave Cottenwood Cave

Cottonwood Cave
Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA

Length: > 2.5 km
Vertical extend: > -100 m
Special features: Rare cave minerals including elementary sulphur and monohydrocalcite; sulphuric acid speleogenesis
Conservation: Sensitive parts gated; National Forest

to the Cottonwood Gallery

 

Metro Cave Metro Cave

Metro Cave
South Island, New Zealand

Length: ca. 8 km
Vertical extend: ca. -50 m
Special features: Palaeontological site; many glowworms; nice calcite speleothems, beautiful river cave
Conservation: Gated; some parts accessible via guided black water rafting tours

to the Metro Gallery

 

Flower Cave Flower Cave

Flower Cave
North Island, New Zealand

Length: ? km
Vertical extend: ? m
Special features: outstanding gypsum speleothems incl. "the helix", a gypsum spiral with 42 whirls
Conservation: Gated; on private farmland

to the Flower Gallery

 

Piatra Altarului Piatra Altarului

Piatra Altarului
Bihor Mountains, Romania

Length: ? km
Vertical extend: ? m
Special features: Diverse and extremely pure calcite speleothems; exceptional archaeological features
Conservation: Gated

to the Altarului Gallery

 

Grotte Malaval Grotte Malaval

Grotte Malaval
Grands Causses, Lozère, France

Length: > 12.0 km
Vertical extend: +160, -77 m
Special features: Outstanding variety in speleothems, especially with respect to aragonite; rare blue formations; gypsum speleothems; beautiful active canyon cave
Conservation: Gated; private property of the Association Malaval

to the Malaval Gallery

 

Aven Noir Aven Noir

Aven Noir
Grands Causses, Aveyron, France

Length:> 15.0 km
Vertical extend: +50, -107 m
Special features: Spectacular spacious entrance shaft; diverse and rare speleothems
Conservation: Sensitive parts gated

to the Noir Gallery

 

Aven Mt Marcou Aven Mt Marcou

Aven Mt Marcou
Montagne Noir, Hérault, France

Length: 1.8 km
Vertical extend: -345 m
Special features: Also known as "The Green One"; including impressive 146 m single drop
Conservation: Sensitive parts gated

to the Marcou Gallery

 

Grotte Pousselliere Grotte Pousselliere

Grotte Pousselliere
Montagne Noir, Hérault, France

Length: ca. 1.5 km
Vertical extend: -126 m
Special features: superb aragonite variety
Conservation: gated; proposed as UNESCO World-Nature-Heritage

to the Pousselliere Gallery

 

Grotte Asperge Grotte Asperge

Grotte Asperge
Montagne Noir, Hérault, France

Length:> 7.0 km
Vertical extend:> -80 m
Special features: Also known as "The Blue One"; diverse aragonite speleothems
Conservation: Gated; on private property; proposed as UNESCO World-Nature-Heritage

to the Asperge Gallery

 

Grotte Cabrespine Grotte Cabrespine

Grotte Cabrespine
Montagne Noir, Aude, France

Length: 16.1 km
Vertical extend: -255 m
Special features: 200 m dome, beautiful underground river, rare speleothems
Conservation: Gated; small part accessible as show cave; proposed as UNESCO World-Nature-Heritage

to the Cabrespine Gallery

Gouffre Berger Gouffre Berger

Gouffre Berger
Vercors, Isère, France

Length: 31.8 km
Vertical extend: -1271 m
Special features: First vertical cave to exceed 1000 m
Conservation: Access restricted

to the Berger Gallery

 

Eiskogelhöhle Eiskogelhöhle

Eiskogelhöhle
Tennengebirge, Austria

Length: 4.6 km
Vertical extend: 660 m
Special features: Among the world's most spectacular ice caves
Conservation: Gated; in parts commercially guided

to the Eiskogel Gallery

 

Eiskapelle Eiskapelle

Eiskapelle
Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany

Length: varying
Vertical extend: varying
Special features: Ice tunnel in small glacier
Conservation: not sensitive

to the Eiskapelle Gallery


Assistance:

Andy Armstrong, Hazel Barton, Stefanie Baumgärtner, Serge Delpech, Günther Forstmair, Jens Freigang, Norbert Häussermann, Jörg Haußmann, Artur Hofmann, James Hunter ,
Herbert Jantschke, Leo Klimmer, Angela Lang, Vivian Loftin, Kai Loyens,
Gaspard Magarinos, Peter Otto, Ovidiu Popp, Michael Queen, Michel Renda, Jens Römer,
Phill Round, Patricia Seiser , Nick Smith, Uta Sternbach, Rainer Straub, Peter Wisshak, Stefanie Wisshak, Elisabeth Wolf, Deanna Younger

Million thanks!!
. . .

tzelle