Oxford University Cave Club

1998 Expedition: "Jultayu"

Picos de Europa, Spain

1998 Expedition Report - Contents

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Nineteen consecutive years is a long time to be returning to the same piece of Spanish limestone and it is no accident that OUCC continues to make important discoveries in the Picos de Europa. Three factors in particular have contributed to the continued success of OUCC expeditions over the years: meticulous planning without becoming control freaks; massive enthusiasm to get things done; and an open, friendly welcoming attitude to newcomers, and at this point I'd like to give a huge thanks to those who have helped to make this expedition happen.

First of all my thanks to the expedition committee, Paul Mann and Jo Whistler for looking after the administrative and financial side of things, to Lev Bishop and Chris Densham for ensuring we had some nice gear to play with, and to Alison Waterfall and Tim Guilford for contacting sponsors and dealing with medical matters respectively. Thanks also Pauline Rigby and Nathaniel Mumford, who led the previous two expeditions for being a shoulder to cry on when things were not running too smoothly, and to Steve Roberts, for being a calm voice of experience.

I am particularly thankful to Oxford University Expeditions Council for financially supporting the expedition, and to the numerous bodies that have helped individual students to join us this year, including various personal university and college travel grants and the Ghar Parau Foundation with the Alex Pitcher Award. Thanks also to the Oxford University Expedition Committee and to the Royal Geographic Society for their advice on expedition organisation.

Sponsorship is also a vital component to running the expedition and our thanks to Morning Foods Ltd. for breakfast cereals, to Thomas Tunnock Ltd, for their caramel wafers, R. Twining and Co. for their tea, to Thorntons Plc. for their fudge and to Princes Ltd for their tuna meals all of which have contributed to expedition morale. Thanks also to Bat Products, Dragon Caving Gear and Lyon Equipment for equipment sponsorship.

In Spain, Juan Jose Gonzalez-Suarez of the Asturian Caving Federation has been a tremendous help in arranging permission to cave in the Picos. Meeting Juan-Jose to discuss future plans and cave politics was one of the highlights of the summer for me (that and walking into 700m of unexplored beautiful stream passage). Our thanks also to the National Parks Authority for granting us permission to camp and cave in the Picos and to the staff at the Maria Rosa at Los Lagos and the Ario Refugio for making us so welcome in a foreign land.

Finally my thanks to everyone who came out to Spain for the expedition. I had a totally excellent time over the summer and I hope that you did too.

Jonathon Cooper