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Snow White Photo Trip. And running out of lights.

Jukka and I wanted to continue our photography experiments further up in the Lummelunda cave. The most interesting stalactites are in the Snow White Hall (Snövitsalen), beyond the half-way point in the cave. This turned out to be a very long trip, however, and one where we run out of all of our lights...

What we thought to be maybe a three-hour trip turned out to seven hours. First, it is slow going to drag equipment sacks while crawling or dragging yourself forward on your stomach. Second, we took an unplanned photography stop to let the rest of our bigger group proceed on their own. But third, it takes a long time to shoot, even all you take is photos from a small group of stalactites. Setting up the lights takes a long time, particularly while trying to avoid the equipment getting muddy. And many, many different views of the same stalactites from different directions :-)

The Snow White Hall is a bit past the Inre Sjön, a small lake and a sump that is pumped empty so that cavers can pass forward. But Inre Sjön is maybe a kilometer of crawling and dragging into the cave, so it takes time. When we settled to go back we were already tired and the long path back made it only worse. As we were nearing the easier parts of the cave, Jukka's light went out. His second light had for some reason already stopped working.

But I was so tired that I didn't even hear his complaint about the light, and we continued forward, I guess with the help of my light. I had a backup light, which we needed when we wanted to take a few additional photographs from the final boat ride in the cave. By now I had understood that Jukka's light was out, and I gave my backup light to him. But soon that failed. As we arrived on the boat harbour my main light died, and we were now in complete darkness. Easy to walk back on the man-made exit tunnel, but little unnerving to have run out of light, even if we were close to the exit.

Lesson of the day: have at least three lights on everyone, even if you think your trip will be short. I plan to acquire some extra batteries for my laps as well, to go for three lamps and one extra battery.

More photos:

The crack and the crackhead:

Jukka taking photos:

This article has also appeared in TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. See all the caving stories at, or take a look all the stories at Blogspot and TGR! Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko and Jukka Palm. All rights reserved.

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