OUCC Proceedings 9 (1979)

Smaller Caves NE of Ario

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Pete Ireland

Crow Pot

The expedition was informed of this hole by the local shepherd. Located 20m to the north of the path between La Llomba and Belbin approximately at the half-way point. The entrance which is reasonable well camouflaged by vegetation, measures 5m x 3m. This enters directly onto a 35m pitch. A ledge is located just over half-way down. Another shaft to the SE of the entrance shaft may be the way on, corresponding to a line of choked sinkholes on the surface. This pot was not explored further due to the rather fine collection of refuse and excrement found at the bottom of the shaft.

Dead Sheep Cave

Located approximately 50m along the valley towards Belbin from the pond at La Llomba on the north side, just past the first animal pen, some 4m up the hill slope.

The entrance is blocked by a few small boulders (for various reasons!). One of these is marked by a carbide cross. The entrance is a 4m drop, tight at the top, which leads into a chamber 4m x 4m. The floor of this is covered in a metre of bones, mainly sheep, hence the name. At the bottom of the north wall of this circular chamber a tight crawl 3m long leads north, then eastwards to a chamber 2m x 2m x 1m high. A further tight crawl leads on, but is blocked with stal. Beyond this a further small chamber may be seen with two possible routes on.

Pete's Potty petes.gif (4665 bytes)

This shaft is located SSE of the pond at La Llomba just south of the main (higher) path leading to Belbin. Access to the shaft is via a small steeply inclined doline with a partially buried boulder in the bottom of it. A 2m drop below this boulder leads to a ledge, below which is the free hanging drop to a boulder strewn floor. A possible way on through a tight boulder choke at the bottom of the shaft trends SE. A bolt is located 1m above the first ledge at the top of the shaft. This ledge is composed of mainly small boulders in a mud matrix.

The name results from a nasty experience had by Mr P.A.R. Ireland. When first exploring the cave he started to bridge down the entrance, only discovering it was a 40m shaft after knocking one of his footholds off. This unnerved him, to say the least.

Belbin Sink

Two small streams sink at the collection of shepherds' huts known as Belbin. One disappears in the centre of the valley below the moraine into a sand and gravel floored stream. The other sinks through boulders further to the north at the foot of the northern hill slope. Removal of the boulders and a slight effort in digging may allow access into the subterranean streamway.

Unnamed Cave

Located half-way between La Llomba and Belbin on the south facing slope at the junction of a cliff and steep rocky incline. Two holes drop 3m; one directly into a small chamber; the other into a short horizontal passage with stal, and chamber which connects with the former. Not fully explored.