Interview #10 – Fabio Bollini, Italy

“Interview” is caving club “Pod RB” initiative dedicated to discussions with cavers from all around the world. What they share about their life above and under the ground, their caving experience, stories, dreams and future plans you can find in the following lines…

Tell us something about yourself in terms of speleological experience. 

I started when I was a teenager, near my house there is a little cave, this was the first experience. Few years after, I started to go out of my Territory, to Explore the near regions. Subsequently, the experience in Krubera.

Actually i follow several projects in deep caves.

I follow strategies aspects, deep camps organization mainly, but also others aspects about exploration.

How you started dealing with speleology and why are you still doing it? 

The history is very interesting. When I was 10 years old, my parents brought me to visit a very famous touristic cave in Italy, Frasassi Cave. When we finished the visit, in the way back to our car, we saw some cavers who were returning from exploration. They were very dirty and muddy! And this image remained impressed in my mind, and it was at that moment, I decided that I wanted to live that way.

Now I am 48 years old and from that moment I never stopped.

To which club/organization you feel you belong? Tell us something more about this group of people or organization, something about the main drive behind your activities and projects. 

In the past, during the years I was part of various groups, but wars between people often arose, so I decided for long time to remain out of groups. Actually, me and my wife are part of a young Group, born few years ago. This group (Gruppo speleologico Tivano) is in the north Italy: whit this group we follow only a little part of our projects. The rest of project we follow in many part of Italy.

I follow my projects with many people Who comes for various groups and associations: everyone want to participate and add his contribute to the projects is welcome, I like to involve anyone who wants to help. Recently I invited people from Spain, Russia and Hungary.

We heard about your explorations in ‘W Le Donne’. Can you tell us more about this cave specifically, the region and how you chose to dedicate your energy there? Share with us more details as depth, length, level of complexity, a brief exploration history,  major breakthroughs and potential. 

What about other favourite regions, caves or areas of interest? 

My favourite region in Italy is Tuscany. That’s why I spent my youth exploring those areas…

Which is your most memorable international expedition and why? 

My most memorable expedition was in Krubera Cave, in 2015???

I lived an extraordinary experience, going to the bottom of the cave, I learned a lot from the Russians caving method.

What are your plans on current and future projects? 

My future project will be in August 2021, Abkhazia expedition, for searching new caves.

What is your approach toward attracting new speleologists in terms of preparation and training (examples, duration and accents of training, etc.)?  

In these last years, I have developed a particular method, mainly aimed at speleologists who already had experience, and want to perfectionate some aspect about organization, long permanence, psychological adaptation and little strategies.

Sometimes happened that a single person follow me in some experiences, and grow his level at the same time.

If you have experience with incidents in caves, would you share this with us, so other speleologists can learn from your experience? What would be your advice in case of such incidents? 

About 5 years ago, i had a very bad experience in W le Donne, and I wasn’t the only one to experience it. I was at a depth of 1000 m, when I started to feel bad, I had a fever and it was increasing, so i decided to come out of the cave. When i was on a depth of 400m, i felt very bad! In that zone, there was a small tent in poor condition. I tried to sleep a few time, but the conditions was very bad and wet. I decided to go out but the Fever was increasing dangerously… very painstakingly I managed to reach the exit, I risked passing out several times while climbing the rope. But the greatest danger awaited me outside. My Fever was very high (near 39 degrees) and outside was very cold, with high snow and fog. Luckily two climbers passed by at that time, and can helped me to one back to go down the mountain.

After this experience, I understood the importance to have base camp at various depth for Emergency.

What have you learned through dealing with speleology? 

From speleology I learned many more things than I could imagine. I have found real friends, I understand the importance of having reliable people next to you.

Going deeper gave me a clearer view of everything. Helped me to face the difficulties of life with a different spirit.

Would you like to share something more with us? 

Yes, I would like to share with you future exploration !

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