A few updates

Cueva del Nacimiento

Draughting hole at end of Jurassic World, was hammered and dug out for 4 hours. No progress made. Easy sand gave way to large sections of calcite. Long term dig.

Dinosaur Aven, climbed to a height of 50m, narrow to impenetrable draughting crack

Iam Not into Yoga another aven above Die Hard climbed to 50m

Joes Crack, newly discovered pitch near main Death Race chamber. 20M heading downwards away from Death Race. Draughting

Howling Hole, small aven above hole climbed, minor gains

Cueva del Marniosa – Diving bottles retrieved

New cave discovered near Tresviso, approx 180m long with a few undescended pitches. Appears not to have been explored.

Pozo Natacha – Still being rigged. French survey and rope lengths are completely wrong. Proving a challenge

DR

Trip over for Duncan and I

The time has come to leave Tresviso for this year. Thanks Phil for the invite – I’ve enjoyed my 12 days. 4 days camping at death race 3 days in the entrance series around Wigan Pier and helping Bob Re.rig Natacha, and a day walking around the mountains with Martin, not to mention lots of Vinous.

Duncan and I stopped for coffee on our way to Santander and whilst rummaging in one of the typically Spanish family hardware stores, I’ve found a new digging tool. For less than €8 I reckon it’s worth a go and it’s lightweight.

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Cueva del Marniosa – Upstream

Just up valley from Agua is Cueva del Marniosa, a 4k + system that is probably hydrologically connected (although never proven) to Agua. A number of pitches and decorated chambers lead to the main streamway. Plans had been made this year to dive the downstream sump (approx. 20m long) with a view to look at an unclimbed aven just beyond the sump. The diving bottles had previously been left near the streamway and a team of myself, Dave Collins and Fernando (President of the A.D.KAMI club and recently arrived from Madrid) had intended to take the bottles further into the cave, ready for a dive. However, plans changed the night before and the dive was cancelled. The trip was altered to bring the bottles out and also take some time to look upstream in the cave.

Although heavily visited by LUSS in the 70’s the description for Marniosa suggest some possibilities for unexplored passage.

Upstream of the ladder pitch …… small inlets enter at the point of many of these falls and often there are large black holes in the roof. Climbs in the roof of these area many be very rewarding.

However, there is some contradictory information between reports, suggesting these leads may have been visited but not always pushed to conclusion. On area we wanted to visit was a unsurveyed section shown on the survey. However, other reports suggest this was surveyed, yet no data seems to exist and not shown on the latest surveys.

The journey up the upstream sump was very entertaining. A very nice section of streamway, with numerous climbs out and back into the streamway. As we went along, I noticed a lot of sections of cave (high in the roof) that are not marked on the survey, supporting the claims in the intial reports. In particular, one section of streamway, had a very large boulder chamber / choke above, possibly 20m high, not marked on the survey. Any SLUGS reading? Drop me an email on any of this 🙂

The upstream continuation was followed to an immense chamber, called The Hall of the Mountain King. It consists of numerous connected avens, some with waterfalls, others dry and could be anything from 150′ high. The floor is littered with sandstone boulders, suggesting that there is a route through to the surface nearby.

We reached the final chamber after a few hours and it was very impressive, at least 3 x 50m avens in the roof, with water coming down and very cold. One small climb / meander leads to an aven marked in the survey, but just to one side was a tight squeeze to a 9m pitch (not descended). Again not shown on the survey.

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On the way back I found the passage we wanted to check out and we surveyed the passage. By now it was getting very late and we exitted the cave. On the way we collected the dive bottles but after passing our call out time we left them behind for another trip and exitted at midnight. An enjoyable trip with some new questions raised.

Today (1st August) was Yorkshire Day, celebrating all things Yorkshire including famous Yorkshireman like James Henry Atkinson, the inventor of the Little Nipper mousetrap.

Hence we called the (new) section of cave Yorkshire Inlet and the aven, Bradford Aven.

yorkshire inlet

Agua: rope replacement, photos and checking out leads.

Yesterday Russ, Nick, Emily, Derek and Duncan entered Agua, it was Russ’s and Nick’s first visit. Primary goals were to replace the aging rope on the ramp, photograph Agua and explore a lead off boulder hall on the way to Tea chamber.

We were also asked to retrieve an abandoned tackle sack from boulder hall.

We got into Agua about 1pm and dragged the two bags of new rope into the cave and all the way to the top of the Ramp.

Russ at the top of the Ramp
Russ at the top of the Ramp

Leaving the rope there we then made or way to boulder hall. Here we split into two groups, Russ, Nick and Emily headed back towards the ramp photographing, whilst Derek and Duncan explored a drafting lead at the top of the pitch down to Tea chamber. This was going to require a tricky high traverse requiring more time and equipment than we had, so after an hour or so we headed back towards the entrance to catch up with the others.

Formations in passage off Boulder Hall on the way to Tea chamber.
Formations in passage off Boulder Hall on the way to Tea chamber.

The others had been busy, by the time we had got back to the ramp the other team had replaced the rope. The top rope does not quite reach the middle level. It was a lovely smooth abseil instead of the usual muddy and slow descent.

We caught up with the others at Clapham Junction whilst they photographed the pool.

Derek and Duncan did do a short bit of surveying just off Clapham Junction.

We then caved out dragging the old rope and extra tackle bag whilst capturing a few photos.

Nick in the main streamway
Nick in the main streamway
Duncan in the entrance series.
Duncan in the entrance series.

After the final photos of cavers crossing the entrance pool in the dinghy  were taken we then headed up and out of the gorge.

Entrance into Agua requires a short boat trip
Entrance into Agua requires a short boat trip

With all our personal kit and three bags of rope it was a hard walk out. We had to share the carrying of the abandoned tackle bag between us. We eventually arrived in Tresviso at 10pm.

A quick shower, food and straight to the bar until we got kicked out at 1am!