Tresviso Caves Project

Tresviso Caves Project Gazetter

SN-3: Fallen Bear Hole

(Torca del Oso Caido, Torca de Branaredonda, LUSS 3.2)

East, North:362572, 4786804 (nearby)
Coordinate Quality:GPS
Long, Lat:-4.6921353043046, 43.221486412768 (map)
Elevation (m):1589
Length (m):2135
Depth (m):-456
Active Lead:
Survey Available:


The cave is located in the area known as Branaredonda, on the northern slope of Samelar. Follow the track from the Caseton de Andara to Bejes for 30/40 mins (passing the junction on the right-hand side). After passing under the Samelar scree slopes begin looking out for cairns on the right-hand side (above the track). The cave is ~150-300m from the large cairn on the track, If the Varera Concha (a small herding field) is reached you have walked too far on the track.


Large entrance shaft under a small cliff face, with small trees. There are rusted angle iron hangers in situ. Entrance


The entrance is an elongated hole, 10m x 12m, opening up to a 79m pitch, landing on a snow and rock cone. The pitch can be rigged to rebelays at -10m, -26m, -42m using a 100m rope.

Heading east from the main chamber, a crumbly phreatic passage is entered, containing the skeleton of the 'fallen bear'. At the end of the passage is a pitch of 13m. Heading back under the pitch head leads to a short ascending ramp (free climbable) and a small breakdown chamber. On the way a small down climb leads to a short continuation, but it does not go (not surveyed).

Back in the small breakdown chamber, the way on is under an obvious large boulder, which leads directly onto the 50m pitch series. This comprises of a steep ramp, split by a breakdown chamber, to a stal ledge and a short vertical pitch. At the bottom of this pitch is a short crumbly passage leading directly to El Caos, via an awkward maneuver.

Part way down the vertical pitch is a parallel shaft, accessed by passing between some stal. This parallel shaft is 12m to a floor, with walking passage to a large clean aven. A further short pitch leads into a meander back under the original pitch, no way on (not surveyed).

El Caos

The 50m pitch lands in 'El Caos', a large ramp descending at 45 degrees, full of lose boulders and collapse, that descends down for approx. 300m over several free climbs and scree slope traverses. There are a number of potential high-level leads within this area.

At the end of the ramp there is a small squeeze between boulders and then a climb down (-320m). Possible continuation?

About 60m back before the end of 'El Caos' a right-hand passage descends between boulders for another 80m, before the roof rises and a ramp ascends to the top of a 27m pitch.

There is an alternative route via pitches of 8m, 8m, 15m, 10m and P15 to this point. The stream is met at various points and disappears down narrow rifts.

The bottom of the pitch leads to more boulders and a further ramp down to a chamber with a stream way. Following this leads to the head of a 32m pitch, (possible closer to 50m?)

Opposite the pitch head is a large window with a meander/shaft heading away from the rest of the cave. At the bottom, the water can be followed down a long meander before disappearing at the bottom (-456m).

LUSS 70's Series

From the entrance pitch, the passage heading west, descends down the main chamber, before narrowing and widening into another chamber. A small hole (approx. 18m) can be avoided on the left and then a climb down reaches the bottom of the chamber. At the lowest point, a pitch of 32m leads to a ramp and then another pitch of 27m. (altitude of -196m)


EC Sabadell (1977)
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Anon.. (1978). "List of Caves". En "LUSS. Expeditions to Tresviso and the Picos de Europa in northern Spain 1974-1977". Pp.34-66.
Peterson, J. (1978). "Fallen Bear Hole". En "Tresviso 78. An expedition to the Picos de Europa, northern Spain- LUSS 1978". LUSS. Pags. 37, 53.
Anonimo. (1978). "Fallen Bear Hole and Karen cave descriptions" in "Tresviso 78. An expedition to the Picos de Europa, northern Spain- LUSS 1978". Pag. 53-54.
Sefton, M. (1984). "Cave explorations around Tresviso, Picos de Europa, Northern Spain". Cave Science vol. 11-4:199-237.
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A.D.KAMI-I.E.O.J.E. (1995). Campana Espeleologica Samelar 94". Informe inedito.
A.D.KAMI. (1995). "Memoria de actividades Campaņa 1995 Bejes (Cantabria)". Informe inedito.
I.K.T.F. "Memoria 98 Bejes (Cantabria)" Interclub Kami-Tracalet-Flash".
I.K.T.F. "Memoria Bejes 2000". Interclub Kami-Tracalet-Flash".
Tresviso Caves Project (2017)