Tresviso Caves Project

Tresviso Caves Project Gazetter

T516: Cueva de la Cabeza de Vaca

(Cowshead Cavern, Cueva el Agua en Sobra, Cheese Cave, Ogof Pen Y Buwch, Cueva de la Cebeza de Vaca)

East, North:362314, 4790563 (nearby)
Coordinate Quality:GPS
Long, Lat:-4.6962492198899, 43.255273752644 (map)
Elevation (m):894
Length (m):3000
Depth (m):54
Active Lead:
Survey Available:


In the Sobra Valley, follow the main down into the valley, as if heading towards Cueva del Marniosa. Just before Marniosa, where the track splits, take the left hand track down to the obvious cabanas in a clearing. Turn east and head back down the valley (as if returning to Tresviso). The path leads down through a stream to an obvious resurgence on the left. The cave is located on the northern side of the Sobra Valley and would appear to be a resurgence for caves on the western end of the Tresura range


Small resurgence. Entrance chamber splits. Right is locked cheesed cave and left is Cowshead Cavern.


The passage follows the stream upstream in walking passage, until the roof lowers. A little way back a crawl on the right and up is the way on, into a small loose boulder choke. Continuing straight on and up enters another boulder choke chamber.

From the chamber, right leads to a few small climbs up and down and the original site of a Musk Ox skull (now in the Cantabrian Museum) - originally thought to be a cows head (hence the name of cave)

Back at the chamber, left leads over some climbs and then down through the boulder choke, back to the streamway.

The streamway continues for around 250m and traversing, requiring occasional route finding at a high level. Eventually, an obvious pool is reached, that appears to be the end of the cave. On the left a tight waterlogged rift. The way on is up via a calcited climb that is quite exposed. At the top, a tube leads to a large passage and window overlooking Sump 1
Sump 1 is 100m to more open stream passage and sump 2. Sump 2 is 4m long and leads to 500m of open stream way and a large end chamber. The stream enters from a passage some 8m up the wall. This can be climbed to Sump 3 which is a few meters beyond. There are a number of small oxbows in the area.

2018 Extensions
Just beyond Sump 1, on the right, is an ascending ramp heading up above the upstream sump pool. This climbs steadily for 20m until it reaches the top of a muddy climb back down. The climb (5m) is slippy but passable without equipment and leads after 10m to an un-dived static sump, and another rising ramp to the left. This ramp climbs and heads rightwards into an inclined rift, with both ascending and descending passages. Descending here leads past some attractive formations to a 5m pot into a sump pool(this is the air bell in sump 1), a continuing slope leads to another sump pool after a further 8m which probably connects underwater.

Back at the junction climbing up and rightwards in the rift gains an improbable rightwards continuation which leads after 20m to another descending ramp, (there may be a tight way on in the rift climbing above the rightwards continuation but it looks poor, and presumably very near the surface). The descending ramp leads after 20m to a small muddy crawl which eventually leads to a mud choke. (This may well provide a bypass to sump 1 if dug as it is approx. 40m from the muddy tube above Sump 1 in the passage leading to the sump)


S.W.C.C. (1986)
Grandes Cuevas Y Simas de Espana (1998)
T.C.P. (2016-2021)


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