Patkov gušt pit
At the mountain of
Velebit the second World pit has been discovered by Speleologists of the
Speleological Section of the University Mountaineering Society "Velebit"
(SOV) on 2 August 1997. The exploration took 7 days and was done by 12
cavers from the Speleological section Velebit and one from the
Speleoclub Had. The shaft is 553 m deep, with ice. Here are some
photographs and a diary of the exploration.
The entrance to Patkov gušt. Photo: Vesna Troha
The pit is settled
in the Nothern part of the Velebit Mountain in the Strict Nature Reserve
Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi. It is named after Zoran Stipetic Patak who
dived a syphon on the bottom of Lukina jama (-1392 m). The pit was
explored on the speleocamp Lubenovac '97 held by the Speleological
In 1999, some
Polish speleologists from the speleoclubs "Gawra" Gorzow and "Bobry"
Žaganj visited the pit and descended to its bottom. Between 1999 and
2000, there was an avalanche of snow and ice in Patkov Gušt which closed
the passage at a depth of –105 m. Since then, it has been impossible to
descend any lower.
In November 2000,
Polish speleologists (Walbrzyski Club Gorski and Jaskiniowy) attempted
to dig a passage in the snow and ice, but did not succeed in progressing
further than 100 m. Since the last 12 years have seen a visible trend of
snow and ice melting in pits, the passage in Patkov Gušt is expected to
become passable again.
Davor Perić-Štrik, Darko Bakšić and Zoran
Stipetić-Patak. Photo: SOV
Making a topo on a bottom of the
Patkov gušt. Photo: Darko Troha
Bakšić, D., 1997: Opis jame Patkov gušt, Velebiten, br.27, Zagreb.
Bakšić, D., 1998: Patkov gušt (-553m), La deuxieme verticale du Monde,
Spelunca No. 70.
Pit name: PATKOV GUŠT
Location: Gornji Kuk, Northern Velebit,
Horizontal length: 40 m
Entrance at altitude: 1,450 m
The largest shaft: 553 m
Speleological Section Velebit - Zagreb, SK HAD
Darko Bakšić, Damir Lacković, Ljiljana Novosel
Measured: Ivančica Zovko, Ana Bakšić, Nataša
Darko Troha, Mladen Novosel, Ana Čop
Cave discovered by: Speleologists of the
Speleological Section Velebit - Zagreb
on 2 August 1997.
Patkov gušt topo. Edited by Darko Bakšić.
The cave Patkov Gušt is 553 m deep. What sets this
cave apart from other speleological sites is the shaft extending
from the entrance to the bottom, which has earned Patkov Gušt the
second place in the world in terms of shaft length. The cave was
named after the speleologist Zoran Stipetić – Patak, who dived in
the siphon at the bottom of Lukina Jama (Lukina Cave) in 1994.
The sinkhole, with the cave entrance in its western point, has an
irregular shape. It is elongated in the N-S direction and has
dimensions of about 100 x 75 m. The cave entrance itself is about 65
x 30 m. The cave is entered from the west side, where large boulders
are lodged in a small depression. At the entrance edge there is a
majestic spruce tree. From a depth of 65 m pit descends across snow
and ice to a depth of 105 m, where there is a passage in the ice
sized 2 x 1.5 m. This narrowing, which was made impassable in 2000
by large quantities of snow and ice, is the narrowest point in the
cave. This point is daylit. The melted snow and ice drips with
increasing intensity going downwards, so that water pours to the
very bottom of the cave. After a depth of 130 m, the cave widens and
descends to the bottom with the approximately equal profile. The
rocks are completely or partially covered with a layer of ice up to
a depth of 300 m, whose breakage poses a permanent threat. At 465 m
there is a small balcony in the rock, which provides a safe foot
support but you must be attached on rope. The pit ends with a
chamber of 40 x 30 m. Under the shaft there is a large quantity of
snow. The lowest point of the bottom chamber finished with a small
muddy side channel, in which water percolates between the rocks and
mud, is found in the northern part of the chamber.
Climate: Air temperature was not
recorded, but in the upper icy parts it is probably about 0 °C. Most
explorers agree that the cave Patkov Gušt is one of the colder
Specific features: This cave is exceptionally dangerous
because of movement of snow and ice in summer months.
Section of the University Mountaineering Society "Velebit", Zagreb:
Marko Andreis, Darko Bakšić, Tanja Bizjak, Dean Bratušek, Ana Čop,
Tihana Dasović, Ivana Gregorić, Marko Grgin, Nataša Josipović, Damir
Lacković, Tomislav Marić, Mislav Marohnić, Jagoda Munić, Ljiljana
Novosel, Mladen Novosel, Davor Perić, Ivica Radić, Siniša Rešetar,
Ana Katarina Sansević, Leonara Smirnjak, Irina Stipanović, Ana
Sutlović, Vedran Šimunović, Darko Štefanac, Darko Troha, Vedran
Vračar, Ivančica Zovko, Ronald Železnjak
Speleoklub Had (SKH), Poreč:Ivan Glavaš
How to cite:
D.Bakšić, A.Bakšić: Speleological exploration of pit Patkov gušt.
Croatian speleological server,