(The southernmost glacier in Europe)
In June 2022, completing the Speleology A’ level Seminars of S.EL.A.S., we visited the impressive cave chasm, Eptastomo.
Eptastomos, or Karkaros, is a cave chasm located in Central Greece, specifically on Mount Parnassos, above the village of Kalyvia Livadi near Kalania, with entrances at an altitude of 1,260 meters. The name comes from the seven chasms (orifices) leading to its interior.
The cave is visited by cavers, usually during the warm months. The final size and depth of the cave have not yet been determined.
The expedition started from Arachova, and after driving to the clearing next to a wooded area in the heart of Parnassus, we arrived at the cave’s entrance. Although the day was quite warm, upon entering the forest, the temperature began to drop noticeably. After the armament, the descent into the cave followed. The one-piece descent, about 50 meters down to the glacier that permanently covers the bottom of the cave, is breathtaking. On the overgrown walls of the cave, ice crystals of several meters hang throughout the entire route. At its base are several stalagmites and stalactites, formed over the centuries, which, combined with the ice stalactites, give us the feeling that we are in a time and space capsule traveling back millennia. The cave inside maintains very low temperatures throughout the year, from 0 to -2 °C, and for our stay in the cave, we were equipped with appropriate isothermal clothing.
Our visit to the cave concluded with the group safely ascending the cave full of pictures and with the promise that we would visit again as soon as possible to explore the cave’s interior.