National Geographic : 1953 Mar
Father and Daughter Explore aCavernous Skating Rink Though awesome insize, the Pyrenees ice caves are not the largest known. Austria boasts more exten sive frozen grottoes inthe mountains near Salzburg. One, called the Eisriesen welt, orWorld ofthe Ice Giants, contains nearly 20 miles oflabyrinthine halls and passages. The Austrian caves, however, occur ataltitudes ofless than 6,000 feet, whereas the Pyrenees grot toes begin at9,000. They arethe highest yet discov ered. No breath ofsummer heat penetrates these nat ural iceboxes. Cold winds moan incessantly, and wet clothing freezes almost in stantly. Because ofthe cold and high humidity, the Cas terets were unable to remain underground more than 10hours. They emerged panting and ex hausted, chilled feet aching. To the weary explorers the icy maze seemed end less. Attimes broad cor ridors connected the halls, but frequently the passage ways were mere slits be neath overhanging ledges (opposite). Here Norbert and Maud Casteret discovered the en trance toadark tunnel. Itled them tonew rooms inthemountain under world.