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I’m looking down into what looks like a bottomless hole. The hole is 50 meters in diameter and is shaped like a funnel that becomes narrower and narrower further down. I am looking at Rune who is in the process of rigging a safety rope and preparing to start the descent down into the ground. I can feel a big smile on my face. Finally, I will experience the inside of Greftkjelen, one of the longest and deepest caves in the Kingdom. A cave that is measured to approximately 7 kilometers in length and a depth of over 300 meters. Greftkjelen, together with the neighboring cave Grekkaprekka, constitutes a large cave system in Gildeskål in Nordland. The caves are dug out of large amounts of water through hundreds of thousands of years. The date of one of the stalactice found in the caves shows the age of more than 350,000 years and there are indications that parts of the cave systems can be as old as 2.5 million years.

The snowdrift have worked the whole winter and has covered with the edges with a dangerous edge that must be forced down before we enter the kingdom.

Rune is roped up and start to descent, we slowly make our way down towards the opening.

The snow do not look so creepy from the opening to the cave, but the wind brings a lot of snow coming down. Best to get on with it 🙂

The last remains of daylight are sharpened from the opening behind me. In front of me, the dark, only the headlamp and the goodwill of the batteries await.

Layers on layers of folded marble reveals when we walk in the caves. I feel really lucky to get involved in such a fantastic natural experience 🙂

Stalactite is found in the cave and they spend about 100 years to grow 1 mm. Such fun facts remind us that caves and especially stalactite are very-very vulnerable. Stalactites in all variants fits best in its natural element, namely in the caves.

Rune squeezes through some narrow sections and shows way deeper into the cave.

Amazingly beautiful crystals protrude from the marble and the reflex from the headlight flashes like stars in the dark.

You loses the concept of the time down in the dark and almost six hours of caving has a break away. Time has come to begin ascension. Puuuh.

On my way up from the cave, happy and satisfied with today’s impression. Such experiences give me a lot of flavor and I cross my fingers for a reprice on Greftkjelen sometime in the future. Or maybe a trip to Greftsprekken. Rune suggests that it’s not impossible. Thanks to Rune Krogh and Beyond Limits for the trip and the experience 🙂

Sturla Nilssen-Waageng

Author Sturla Nilssen-Waageng

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