Tresviso Caves Project

Tresviso Caves Project Gazetter

2.24: Tere

(Torca de la Mina Tere ,AN-23, Sima Tere)

Area:Vegas de Andara
East, North:361608, 4785227 (nearby)
Coordinate Quality:GPS
Long, Lat:-4.7036045203763, 43.20711584599 (map)
Elevation (m):1820
Length (m):2078
Depth (m):-792
Active Lead:
Survey Available:


Lying amongst spoil heaps on the east side of the floor of the Vegas de Andara (SARA Depression), 40m north-west of the junction of the track leading around the depression to the Sara mine, and the track leading down into the floor of the depression.


Large, normally snow plugged, open rift with 'TERE' painted on the west side. Very loose climb down on east side of snow plug into three-quarters choked mine entrance. Entrance


The entrance may have collapsed and access no longer possible!

The entrance scree drops into a large mine passage. Left is a rubble slope and duck under wall into a blind mine chamber with pools. Right hand route leads to a climb up to a junction. Left is blind but right leads to lower mine level via two short wooden ladders (now very dangerous ). on the right there is a blind mine working. Way on is hole in wall, over pool opposite foot of second ladders this is the point at which the natural cave ids entered. The passage is small and after three squeezes the top of the first pitch is reached.

An excellent abseil of 17m lands on a shingle floor opposite the only exit. Getting down on your stomach allows access to an interesting rift passage, which can be followed at two levels. The lower level following the water involves considerable gymnastics, whilst the upper level is easily followed to a climb down, safest with a ladder, into a chamber at the head of the next pitch. A short drop of 9m ends in another chamber. By traversing forward in the rift at the top of the climb down, an alternative pitch of 18m can be hung to the second chamber, making life a lot easier and drier. From the chamber a 32m pitch follows. Hanging the rope out to the left avoids the water and a bolt break, also well to the right, gives a complete descent. At the bottom a chamber is entered, the water sinks into the floor but cavers climb up through a small hole at the far end of the chamber. A rift is entered and a short way on is an 11m pitch broken by a large ledge. At the bottom a 4m climb upwards enters the 'Rift It Nothus'. A horizontal traverse along fine ledges leads to a short pitch, 4m and the head of 'Slippy's Ramp'. This greasy 30 degree ramp leads straight onto the head of a 16m pitch into 'Pebble Hall'. Straight ahead down a wet, miserable set of climbs leads to the 1980 Extensions. Partway down this set of climbs on the left is a climb upwards to a lower level of the Pebble Hall chamber and the 1979 extension.

1979 Extension

From this lower section of Pebble Hall go upwards to the rift into an ancient passage. Crossing a pit in the floor a 4m pitch down through shale bands is encountered. The next drop is almost immediately and is 16m landing in a black limestone chamber with white calcite veins. Down a 4m drop a rift continues to where decorations surround the head of 'Vandal Pitch', 7m below is a beautiful helictite chamber, from which a traverse along a white flowstone coated rift with helictites ends in a grotto and a 9m pitch.

A rift leads to a 7m pitch and a hole in the floor. This hole is revolting and choked with mud. Traversing over the top leads to the head of a pitch and the start of an enormous rift. Descent is via pitches of P26, P37, P26, P19, P5 and P10. The 10m pitch is 'Freefall', where someone once opted not to use a descender. This lands on large blocks. A climb down leads to a passage with a false floor, the roof appears descending at 45 degree to meet the floor leaving only a small slot. The squeeze through leads to a split pitch of 8m both parts landing in pools. The cave is much smaller here. After another 10m pitch some water enters and sinks.

After a climb down the way on appears impassable. However, this is the squeeze, which is very tight, only a few people have managed to get through. An exceedingly cramped take off for a 10m pitch follows. This lands in a small chamber with a false floor. The next pitch is 87m vertically but broken after 12m by a ledge and false floor. Re-belaying twice more is necessary to reach the bottom of this huge dry shaft. This shaft is developed down a fault plane and a further 59m can be descended in a 2m wide, 15m long slot. The floor is boulders and is 'The End'. there is no way on.

1980 Extension

The climbs from Pebble Hall total 15m and end on a boulder floor with an entrance into a boulder choke on the left. To the right a small hole leads, via a spattering of water, into a crawling size phreatic tube with a small stream in the floor. After 15m it is possible to stand up and climb to the left above the water. Next is a short 2m climb down into a small chamber where 'John's Pitch', 32m of excellence with an appetising view of an enormous rift passage to the left, is in the opposite corner. The landing is in a small amphitheatre surrounded by a semi-circular balcony. The only way out is along the afore-mentioned rift.

The best route is to keep climbing downwards, after initially traversing for 10m. Three climbs are descended. Straight ahead it is possible to hang an alternative 10m pitch into 'Toad Hall'. this is an alternative to climbing down to the right where a tight ramp and further climb leads again to Toad Hall. The water which falls down John's Pitch, disappears down a trench in the floor before the three climbs. Down in the trench the water turns sharp right down a narrow tortuous, muddy passage to a 5m climb and a small sump. Back in Toad Hall a rift continuation leads to a squeeze down to two short pitches (p8, p4). These land at the top of 'The Easy Option'. Straight ahead is the 'Hard Option' shaft. The Hard Option is described later.

The Easy Option The Easy Option is on the left, it consists of a 6m diameter steeply descending tube, quite out of character with the rest of the cave. The Easy Option leads to a 4m pitch and 'Pigs in Space', Pigs in Space is a pendulum onto a ledge, performed 5m down a 10m blind shaft. About 30m of rope are needed in all. A short stretch of rift leads to the start of the 'Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers', a magnificent 116m shaft broken by ledges into four drops, the last one called 'Fat Freddy's Cat'. At the bottom of this shaft the only way on is a keyhole section passage leading to two consecutive pitches of 16m and 9m. Two 3m climbs, easiest done as pitches lead to a small chamber with a very small exit, which upon mentioned in the 1980 report, are just part of the same shaft. Traverse out over the drop to avoid the water, descend 1 2m and traverse out again. The rest of the pitch is 24m with one bolt change and lands in a chamber with many rock fragments on the floor.

At first sight appears to be blind. However, a right angled bend can be negotiated 2m in. Crawling leads to a 7m pitch into another small chamber. There is only one exit from this chamber, a crawl at the opposite end, which rapidly becomes a climb. This leads to 'Norbert the Nark', an 8m pitch with a very awkward tight take-off and a roomy landing on boulders. From here descent of a steep gully leads to a 12m pitch, with one bolt break, into a chamber. Across this chamber over large blocks on the far side, the Hard Option re-enters. Under the chamber wall a short climb leads to a window into the next shaft. The recommended descent route is to climb down a gully on the right at the base of p12. This leads to a short climb and a tube opening onto a shaft. This pitch is 37m and has a bolt one third of the way down. A magnificent shaft, it lands on a spacious ledge with an obvious pitch to the right.

The unscaled climbs on the left mentioned in the 1980 report, are just part of the same shaft. Traverse out over the drop to avoid the water, descend 1 2m and traverse out again. The rest of the pitch is 24m with one bolt change and lands in a chamber with many rock fragments on the floor.

1981 Extension

From the far end of the chamber at the end of the 1980 Extension a short pitch of 4m leads directly onto a 16m pitch, with a little water going down. At the bottom of this pitch the ways divide. On the left, down a climb, is the Sanitary Series straight ahead down a short climb is the 'Blind Alley'.

Blind Alley

A fine pitch of 59m leads immediately into 'The Pain'. The Pain is a winding muddy passage, with many awkward projections on the walls. At the end of this, one last wriggle brings one to the head of a 14m pitch. At the bottom traversing along the rift in the only possible direction, leads to a further 7m pitch. Only 4m away from the bottom a tight squeeze is encountered. Initially a lump hammer was needed to get through. Beyond it is possible to free climb down 25m into a rift, until a further squeeze is negotiated and the whole passage closes down. The stream flows away in a diminutive passage too small to follow.

Sanitary Series

A 4m climb down to the left of the lip of the 59m pitch, at the start of the Blind Alley, drops into a small chamber. The small outlet passage soon ends at the lip of a 50m pitch - best rigged with intermediate anchors to avoid the water. The aptly named 'Sewer' follows from the base of the pitch. After 50m of thrutching in muddy water the 'Septic Tank' pitch appears as a small hole in the right-hand wall. Although over 100m deep the shaft is slightly inclined, thus necessitating many short awkward drops. At the base of the Septic Tank there are three shafts, all of which interconnect in 'The Cess Pit'. The obvious route on takes off from the far right hand corners at the base of the Septic Tank. After two short pitches the water is regained and trickles down a further two pitches (P8, P9) to an ominous looking, muddy walled passage. Slipping and sliding for 30m a squeeze is encountered. The obvious way on is through the squeeze, which has muddy passages continuing on the other side. This passage slants upwards steeply to an aven. All ways on here become too tight.

The final pitch is on the right before the squeeze and is reached by a short climb upwards of 5m, through a solution tube. The pitch is 43m into a sump pool, which appears deep. Water enters down the far side of the shaft, and is presumably the water lost at the base of the previous pitch (P19).

The Hard Option

On the 1980 survey at the top of the Easy Option a large undescended shaft is shown, with water entering on the far side. This was logically dubbed the Hard Option. From here it is 40m to the bottom of the shaft. However, to follow the descent route used for the exploration continue on down the ramp of the Easy Option until the 4m pitch is reached. Back from the top of the pitch is a chamber and from here a 3m climb up leads into an inclined rift. This rift emerges partway down the Hard Option shaft. From a large boss a descent of 24m can be made. The bottom of the shaft is littered with boulders. The way on is obvious, down a gulley which has many loose boulders perched at the top. The water which cascades down the previous shaft also descends this gulley.

A 25m rope is useful for this descent. The gulley drops into a large chamber which has a narrow canyon in the floor, down which the water sinks. There is a pitch head beyond. The pitch is 17m into a further chamber, littered with large boulders, the only exit being on the far side away from the pitch. This leads through a flat-out crawl and some constricted passage directly onto the top of the next pitch. The drop is 20m to a ledge where a further pitch of 37m takes off. The water flows along a constricted passage and down these two pitches. The 37m shaft has a superb, circular base with 3cm of water all over the floor. The next pitch is again immediately and has an interesting take-off, which is achieved by climbing over a flake on the left-hand side. The pitch is 40m and is followed by a magnificent 58m shaft. From here a very picturesque rift meanders away. First appearances are often deceiving and soon it is necessary to get down on your hands and knees to pass through a pool of water, which has several centimetres of glutinous mud in the bottom. Named Son of Sewer, this section continues mostly hands and knees with mud and water for some ways until it is possible to stand up. At this point an aven enters from above. Easier going in rift passage leads to a constricted climb down into passage 2m wide. The passage is steeply descending and the water soon cascades over the edge of a pitch. This is the same shaft as the P37 below Norbert the Nark in the 1980 series. By climbing up 6m at the point where the larger passage enters (2m wide), a short crawl can be followed into the chamber at the bottom of the p12 below Norbert the Nark, and thus a union with the 1980 series.

Department of Loose Ends (other points of interest)

At the head of the first pitch in the cave it is possible to traverse out on ledges. At the end of the traverse is a bolt. From this a passage can be pendulumed into. Left is too tight. Right continues on as a rift with false floor. After 10m a shaft of 4m is reached. At the bottom water emerges, crosses the floor and disappears in a rift too tight to follow. At the bottom of the first pitch,P17, the only way is to crawl into an awkward rift. the way on is straight ahead. It is however possible to turn right and follow a rift up a series of climbs. Eventually a passage is entered, which is completely choked with mine spoil.

Slippy's Ramp
It is possible to climb up above Slippy's Ramp, this just opens out to the top of the p16 shaft.

John's Pitch
Continuing traversing at the bottom of John's Pitch reaches an aven. this is the aven above Toad Hall.


Anon.. (1978). "List of Caves". En "LUSS. Expeditions to Tresviso and the Picos de Europa in northern Spain 1974-1977". Pp. 34-66.
Anonimo. (1980). "Tresviso 79". LUSS. Pags. 16, 17, 34, 35.
Anonimo. (1980). "Tresviso 1979". Jumar-4:20-30.
Anonimo. (1981). "Tresviso 80. An expedition to the Picos de Europa, Northern Spain, 1980". L.U.S.S. Pp. 15-17.
Daykin, K. (1982). "Tresviso '81". Caves & Caving-15:16-18.
Jackson, C. (1982). "Exploration of Tere". En "Tresviso '81". LUSS. Pp.8-9.
Anonimo. (1982). "Cave descriptions and surveys. Tere". En "Tresviso '81". LUSS. Pp. 14-17.
Sefton, M. (1984). "Cave explorations around Tresviso, Picos de Europa, Northern Spain". Cave Science vol. 11-4:199-237.
Anonimo. (1985). "Sima Tere". En "Les Picos de Europa". Spelunca supl. du no 19:50-51.
Caves and Caving No. 9 and No. 15.
AD KAMI - Campana Beges 1996