On 27th November we lost the outstanding Bulgarian speleologist Trifon Daaliev – “Trankata” (The Thorny), long term secretary of the Bulgarian Federation of Speleology and chief of the Cave Rescue – Bulgaria (formerly Emergency rescue squad).

Born on 5th of December 1947, Trifon Daaliev was one of the most active and important participants in the Bulgarian speleology and the Bulgarian cave rescue. In 1968 he graduated the professional school of Polygraphy “Julius Fuchik” and in 1979 – the National Academy of Sports “Vasil Levski”. Daaliev was a speleologist and a mountaineer, a senior instructor of speleology since 1976, a secretary of the Bulgarian Federation of Speleology from 1979 to 2012, a member and leader of numerous expeditions in Bulgaria and abroad: England, Russia, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Cuba, Albania, Austria, France, Italy, Thailand, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Turkey, Greece, USA, Canada , Puerto Rico and more.

Trifon Daaliev participated in the survey of numerous caves in Bulgaria and abroad. He has been conducting training courses for cavers, instructors and rescuers since 1973. He is one of the main motors of the introduction of the single rope technique in our country.

Head of the Emergency Rescue Squad at the Bulgarian Federation of Speleology from 1989 to 2013, Deputy Chairman of Bulgarian Cave Rescue from 2013 to 2017, and then an honorary member of the organization. In 1989 he was elected secretary and since 1997 the first deputy chairman of the Cave Rescue Commission of the International Speleological Union.

Together with Dr. Peter Beron and Alexey Jalov he co-authored in the monograph “Caves and Speleology in Bulgaria”, an English and Bulgarian version (2006, 2009), which was awarded the Third Prize at the 15th International Speleology Congress in Texas. He co-authored the book “Bulgarians in the Abysses of the World” (1986). He was also an author of numerous articles about caves in Bulgarian and foreign magazines. He compiled a series of brochures with descriptions and maps of the most important caves and abysses. He was editor of the “Bulgarian Caves” series.

An year and a half ago, Daaliev presented his last book “The call of the caves – the caving life of Trankata and his diaries”. The memories about Trankata’s life became the story of caving in Bulgaria during the last 50 years. The book is filled with significant cave discoveries around the world and in Bulgaria, diaries from major Bulgarian and international expeditions, adventures and stories of true friendships.

Trifon Daaliev was also known as an excellent cave photographer. His photos have been used in numerous occasions.

For those who knew him, Trifon Daaliev was a great Man and Teacher. For those who will meet him through his books, he will be an Inspiration. Dozens of cave rescuers and hundreds of cavers will be grateful to him for what he has done for the development and promotion of cave rescue and speleology at home and abroad.

Until his last breath he lived with the problems of the caving and the cave rescue in our country. He left us as he was imagining it – fulfilling his mission on this earth.

We will miss you a lot.

Be blessed.

Rest in peace, Tranka!

In memoriam of Trifon Daaliev