OUCC Proceedings 12 (1986)

Other Caves in Area F

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by Steve Roberts & Hilary Winchester

Where location is not given, see area map. Locations in square brackets are relative to the Top Camp cairn (location 1° 15'31"W, 43° 13'38"N, altitude 1888m), in the order E/W, N/S, vertical displacement: all in metres.'Exact location not known' means a hole not refound, or found too late to be included in the accurate surface survey. The dates at the end of the description give the logbook entry describing the cave's discovery and exploration.

See also the updates in OUCC Proceedings 13.


Cliff Rift Hard


1° 15'38"W, 43° 13'22"N
[164W, 491S, + 155]
to Top Camp: 18.5°
Located on the flanks of Punta Cregoriana, and easily visible from Pozu Jorcada Blanca (it stands out as a shadow), this is a rift in the side of a cliff. The 20m entrance pitch lands on a snow plug.(23.7.82) Tackle - 22m rope, two long tapes to naturals.



Pozu Jorcada Blanca


1° 15'35"W, 43° 13'30"N
[85W, 256S, + 52]
See OUCC Proc. 11 for description.




Lost and not painted.
Rumoured to be a hole of insignificant depth somewhere down 'Bog Alley'.




Exact location not known.
A shaft on the other side of the ridge from F2. One side is plugged, but a 30m shaft rigged between boulders at the other end drops to a pile of snow and houlders. An unpromising crawl leads painfully to a chamber, with several choked pots in it. No way on. (22.7.83)




[152E, 358S, + 126]
to Top Camp: 337° ; to 'Spike': 254°
In wall of ridge. Deep rift (8x2m at surface), trending 84° . Large snow plug in entrance, revealing two pitches at either end of the rift (W & E).
West descent: 20m pitch to snow plug revealed as 3m block of snow jammed in the top of the pitch. 3m gap to large pile of snow in the bottom of the rift. Pitch ends when narrow rift meets snow (at West end). Shaft appears to continue but is full ofsnow.
East descent: 20m to the top of the snow, where a water drip had made a 1m wide x 20m deep hole down. Worth a decent pushing trip, but probably snowed out for most of the year.(5.8.84)



Pozu Paso Doble


1° 15'45"W, 43° 13'37"N
[325W, 44S, -10]
See OUCC Proc. 11 for description.



Pozu las Perdices


1° 15'39"W, 43° 13'36"N (F7c)
[187W, 52S, -22]
See main article.




[112W, 10N, -39]
A crawl through boulders at the bottom of a shakehole goes into a small chamber with no way on.(5.8.84)




not recorded, but somewhere near F7 and F8
'An interesting-looking crack in the cliff face with a bouldery depression beneath'. A small chamber exists beneath the boulders; no way on.(6.8.83)




[37W, 48S, +1]
At the start of the walk from Top Camp to F2. 'A huge shaft 20m deep with a snow plug in it'. At the bottom a rift closes down after 20 feet.(23.7.84)




[593W, 275S, +146]
to Top Camp: 054° ; to 'Spike': 105°
High in the ridge to the west of Top Camp. A 20m drop, the first 5m free climbable. Below this narrow entrance, a drip enters, and the cave develops into a rift, down which 'stones rumble for some time'. 20ft climb leads to a pitch. 40m freehang to the bottom, which is... choked. A window 20ft up from the base of the shaft is also choked.(22-27.7.84)




[573W, 264S, +154]
Above F7, 20m away from F11 on bearing 010° . Descended for 15m on ladder. Three ways on: (a) down, where stones bounce and crash; (b) across into an ascending passage; (c) along a rift. Chokes ! at least on route (a).(22-23.7.84)




[351E, 2748, $110]
to Top Camp: 322°
Impressive rift-like entrance at base of cliff above scree slopes to SE of Top Camp. Cave is 25m long (large walking-size passage) with a 10m climb at the end. Choked.(25.7.84)




[230W, 138S, + 30]
to Top Camp: 301°
An impressive-looking hole in the hillside surrounded by very chossy shattered rock. Through the hole is a chamber whose floor is covered in a snow cap 3-5m deep. This slopes down to a vertical slit 1m wide by 2m high, above a handline climb of 3m to another snow-covered chamber. A small passage goes on from the lefthand bottom corner for approx. 10m, ending in a small blind chamber. 'There are probably ways on under the snow'.(4.8.84)




[165E, 59S, -1]
to Top Camp: 289.5°
A short passage leads to a small chamber with a snow plug. No way on.(4.8.84)




[203E, 122S, + 2]
to Top Camp: 301°
A very pronounced rift entrance (.. pronounced 'rift entrance'), underneath la Verdelluenga, visible from Top Camp cairn. Go up dolomite band along grassy ledge towards slit. Two main entrances to this cave lead to a snow-filled chamber. The righthand side of the chamber leads into a smaller snowfilled chamber. 'There is probably a way on under the snow'. (Not found in 1985, when snow levels were very low, though).(4.8.84)




[2W, 1 13S, + 28]
to Top Camp: 181°
A long fluted rift, 10m deep, in depression between C1 and C2; choked.(5.8.84) F18 Location [87E, 191S, + 45] A choked hole approx. 6m deep, near to F17.(5.8.84)




[66E, 180S, + 36]
Another choked hole approx. 6m deep, near to F17.(5.8.84)




1° 15'51"W, 43° 13'35"N
[442W, 78S, +49]
to Top Camp: 080°
See main article.




Exact location not known.
A large hole near the top of the ridge, above F20 (to Top Camp: 084° ). Entrance is a walk down into a large entrance in a dolomite band. Shafts enter from above; blue sky can be seen through them. Eventually a huge rift is met, which can be walked along (approx. 1.5m wide, 10m high, with daylight at the top). Ends after 20m. Climb through a hole to peer over the ridge into the next valley!(6.8.84)




[503W, 44S, + 38]
to Top Camp: 083°
Entrance is a large shaft near the bottom of a gully (right hand side), a little higher than Top Camp. The shaft is 10m deep and maybe choked but it could be possible to enter under boulders.(6.8.84)




[406W, 36S, + 25]
to Top Camp: 085°
Near F22, but lower down on the right. Approx. 25 foot shaft.(6.8.84)




[515W, 27N, +25]
to Top Camp: 093°
Large shaft approx. 20m deep.(6.8.84)




[631W, 44~N, + 46]
to Top Camp: 094°
Entrance near ridge on the right hand side of a gully. A rift which you can walk down, with further progress possible under boulders (?).(6.8.84)




[635W, 101N, + 16]
to Top Camp: 099°
Hole approx. 8m deep in the bottom of an amazing surface rift (rift is 20-25 feet deep).(6.8.84)




Exact location not known.
to Top Camp: 100°
About same height as Top Camp. Hole in the bottom of a gully (on right hand side), below the rift containing F26.(6.8.84)



(formerly 'F6', 'F20')


[103E, 318S, + 102]
to Top Camp: 342° ; to 'Spike': 252°
10m deep entrance shaft (opening out to 3x4m) leading to a snow plug. Rift trends into mountain and closes off after 5m. Graham-sized passage leads off to the left & then round a corner: 'couldn't get in it, Guv' says Jan.(6.8.84)




[387W, 55N, -29]
At base of depression at the bottom of the F20 gully. 15m entrance pitch to chossy floor with small snow pile. Daylight entering from West through unlocated entrance (possibly a depression with some snow at the bottom?). Numerous narrow rifts enter, but pitch disappointingly closes off to a 1mm cleft in the rock. No way on.(6.8.84)



Ridge Cave


1° 15'52"W, 43° 13'43° N
[475W, 145N, + 26]
to Top Camp: 107°
This is another name for 1/6 ! See main article.




[331W, 88N, -52]
To the left of the path from the bottom of the Jorcada Blanca depression up to 1/6. A Im diameter shaft with a snow plug, but stones rattle beyond this.(27.7.85)



(formerly 'F21', 'F29')


[217E, 2268, + 10]
Beneath F5. A 1m x 4m shaft with a 3 second rattle. A snow plug is visible, but the shaft seems to continue.




to Top Camp: 097°
Higher up in the same gully as F29. 5m tight pitch, not fully descended.(28.7.85)




[404W, 62N, -15]
to Top Camp: 097° ;
to La Verdelluenga: 113°
Pitch approx. 6m to boulders. From here, another 3.5 metres down to snow plug and boulder floor. Possible way on through boulders upslope; slight draught.(28.7.85)




[450 due W, + 3]
to Top Camp: 090° ;
to La Verdelluenga: 109° .
Pitch approx. 15m, chokes, no way on.(28.7.85)




[432W, 45S, + 23]
to Top Camp: 084° ;
to La Verdelluenga: 106° .
Open shaft 10-15m deep, 10m long x 1.5m wide, choked at the bottom.(28.7.85)




Exact location not known.
On the right side of a gully ascending from the 'Arch Caves'. A small hole descends down a steep rubble slope with two squeezes to a small aven. No way on.(29.7.85




[122E, 2268, + 23]
Enter past large snowfield to large chamber with fine ice column (in 1985, at least!). Pool at back of cave is covered in a thin layer of ice. This was the Top Camp water supply at the end of'85 and in '86.(3.8.85)




[107E, 199S, + 24]
5m drop past snow to a choke. No way on.(3.8.85)





1° 15'56"W, 43° 13'44"N
[555W, 186N, + 22]
Walk up the grassy slope from Ridge Cave. On the ridge turn right and walk down the ridge for about 100m to a large depression in very metamorphosed limestone. To the left of the depression is F40, a vertical crack about 4m by 1m.

The first pitch (15m) is rigged from a large natural on the right and a flake and lands on a small ledge. Two short climbs, with a blind pot to the left, lead to the second pitch of 10m. This lands on a large rock bridge with pitches to the left and right. The best hang from the natural belay is down the lefthand shaft. This 9m pitch lands in a small chamber. The pitch continues below, but the way on is through a slot above and to the left of the continuation of the third pitch. This leads to a 2m climb with a pitch to the left and a blind pot to the right. You are at the bottom of the shaft to the right of the rock bridge.

A traverse above the fourth pitch (10m) leads to a good natural belay. The pitch lands on a small ledge. The next pitch (19m) is reached by a short pendule to a rock bridge and uses a small flake above the bridge as a belay. Landing in a boulder-floored chamber, the way on is a short rift Im wide, ending in a tight vertical squeeze on the left: the Salamander. This drops into a small chamber with a sloping boulder door, leading straight to the next pitch. As the top was loose this was rigged from a very rounded flake with nothing much stopping the tape rolling off. This pitch (20m), though small at the top, opens out after a few metres and is very impressive. It lands in another large boulder-strewn chamber. An ascending scree slope finishes at one end. The opposite direction soon closes down to a narrow rift half-filled with boulders. After four metres this pops out into a small chamber, where the draught present in the rest of the cave disappears up an aven. The only way on is down through boulders. The passage then closes down, ending in a sandy choke into which you can stick a welly for about a foot. (3.8.86; 17.8.86)

1 40m This pitch is divided into: 15m pitch; 15m roped climbs; 10m pitch 50m rope Naturals, 2 natural rebelays
2 9m 20m rope Natural
3 29m A traverse is followed by 10m & 19m pitches 45m rope Naturals, Natural rebelay
4 20m Disappointment Pot 30m rope Naturals