OUCC Proceedings 8 (1976)


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Planning began in September with submission of preliminary plans to the Sports Council for grant purposes and first contacts were made with Spain and the Spanish Embassy with regard to permits. Many firms were then circularised with a view to sponsorship - unsuccessfully - and the plans were approved and recognized by Oxford University Expedition Council. Travel was arranged to combine the cheapest possible routes with the availability of members, bearing in mind the expected reliability of the cars. Three vehicles were used -a Viva (MFC), a Reliant (WJMFC) and a Triumph Herald (JC). Ferry details appear in the financial report.

An advance party set out on 29th June and began the rigging of Forcau, being joined on 6th July by a party of three, with most of the remaining tackle. Forcau exploration finished on 8th July with the discovery of the final sump, but the surveying continued until 22nd July . The remaining vehicle arrived on 9th July after a serious breakdown in Normandy, which delayed them for three days.

Exploration of Cueva Campana and Pozo La Texa occupied the party until 25th July (two members having departed on 16th July). Several trips were also made to other caves in the area - Cueva el Gueya Reinazo, Cueva Trumbio, Pozo Palomeru - there were several unsuccessful attempts to find Hoyo la Madre resurgence and walking expeditions searching for any new potholes .

The campsite was then changed from Lago de la Ercina to the village of Rales, where the local cave was enjoyed by all. Four people left on 1st August, the final expedition member arriving the next day to become involved in the exploration and surveying of Cueva la Huelga. Cueva el Osu was visited at this time and Hoyo la Madre was finally located - too late. The remaining six people left Spain on 9th August, three by car and the other three independently.