The natural reserve of Zeicului cave

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The cave is located at the confluence of the Scocul Mare with the Scorota Valley. At the confluence there is a camping point. Here is the last place where tourists can supply with   drinking water and reserves carbide lamps.

Access

From the confluence the tourists must go on a wide path, on the shore of the Scorota Valley, with slips through the steep forested slopes. After a 15 minutes walk  (500 m), the tourists will go through a short passage of canyons. Then follows a widening on the left side, namely a turn to the left (on the right as you ascend) which leads to a barely visible path in the first few meters, that becomes very clear after 20-30 m.
The tourist have to climb to a very circuitous road, approximately 80 m, then the path turns on the level curve, crossing over some calcareous porches.
From this place, the cave is visible. The normal duration of this route from the shore of Scorota to the cave is 40 minutes.

Visiting conditions

For visiting the entire cave you will need:

  • a 60 m rope;
  • a 20 m rope;
  • blokings and descenders;
  • 2-3 pitons, eventually a 50 m speleological scale;
  • frontal lamps helmets;
  • carbide reserve;
  • warm clothing;

For a group of four trained persons the visiting may take between 4 and 8 hours.

Description

Zeicului cave is a mixed cavity, because its horizontal development is sensitively equal the its vertical one.This raises interesting issues about its genesis. This cave also carefully sorts the common tourists from those equipped with all necessary technical climbing and descending kits for the slopes.
From the 6 x 8 m portal a slope descends in a spacious hall with floor covered with clay and boulders , the ceiling being drilled by short horns and corrosion bells. One can still see in this hall the thick trunk, carved once as a drift canal to collect water, now completely rotten.
There is no daylight at the end of this 50 m long hall.
Lighting the lamps, it can be seen on the ceiling the promising opening of a horn, whose escalation, although only 10 m, requires a lot of skill, because due of the mondmilch, the  bindings are very slippery (!! Caution – Dangerous place !!). The escalation can be easier on the left side.
Once out of the chimney, a high room (15 m) is reached with the floor covered in boulders, stalagmites and walls adorned with immense petrified waterfalls of mondmilch cream like colored. In the northern end of the hall, a closet on the left side houses several beautiful formations.
On the calcite floor, the remains of the cave bears are cemented (from here, a huge skull of Ursus Spelaeus was cropped) whose presence in this hall makes us realize the rapid speogenetic processes that have modified so radically the cavity from the disappearance of the bears, 10 millennium ago, to this modern times.
In the end of the hall there is a  2 x 3 m opening of a deep 40 m shaft (!! Caution – Dangerous place !!). For the descent we can anchor a thick rope to a pillar that is 3 m away. We will be careful not to trigger the breaking away of the calcite crust from hopper of the shaft.
After a descent of 12 m, we will encounter a small protrusion of the wall, at his point it  worth stopping to look around – we find ourselfs  on the archway of a large hall of 20 x 15 m. Underneath, there is a almost 40m abyss. On the right, we can see the calcareous platforms, dressed in concretions; on the left, from the ceiling  hangs a group of elegant stalactites, perfectly cone shaped adorned with coralites and cristalictites.
The longest is probably over 5 m and it is among the biggest stalactites in Romania. From this point, it can be photographed with a wide-angle lens.
We continue our descent, leaving the contact with the wall. After another 25 m,  we land on the top of a giant stalagmite, 8 m in height, from which we can descend easily, without using a rope. The bottom of the hall is flat and covered with clay. There are some beautiful formations – stalactites, stalagmites and cristatide. However, what deserves the most admired photographers is the vertical descent and the ceiling of the hall where we can find stalactites and huge disc shaped formations.
Zeicului cave was formed by the connection of a vertical hole, very common in this area, with a cave slope, like Corals Cave or Dâlma cu brazi cave, at first there were independent, a sub-horizontal gallery appropriate to the entrance hall and two cavities with vertical development – a chimney and a well – at its end. The superior hall was formed by colapsing and opened the access to the lower hall.

Historical data

Zeicului cave was known at first, by the locals, as a place of refuge for the herds. It’s ben said that the cave also served as a hideout for Zeicu outlaws (hence the name of the cave), fact reinforced by a forester from Câmpu lui Neag that discovered in the cave rusted old guns.
A team of the speleological class “Focul Viu”, while climbing a chimney, discovered a superior hall continued by a deep shaft. At that time I. Povară made the cavity layout, modified later in 1980. In the first part of the cave was made a short documentary film.