OUCC Proceedings 13 (1991)
Small Caves in the Ario Area
|Proc. 13 Contents.
Dave Horsley, Paul
Brennan and Gavin Lowe
Area 4 is the region around the Culiembro path on the gorge
side of the Cabeza Llambria - Cabeza el Verde - Cabeza Forma ridge.
See separate article.
Located on the rim of the same large depression containing
1/4 (the depression is easily recognised by the large orange rock within it)
approximately 20m further around the rim of
the bowl. A 2-3m climb down to a too-tight rift down which dropped rocks
will rattle for several seconds. NOT diggable.
Located 200m south-west of 1/4, a 10m pitch choked at its
To the right of the route down to 1/4, a 10m pitch to a
Located in the valley north-east of the ridge between
Cabeza el Verde and Cabeza Llambria. A 16m pitch to a snow plug. A climb over a
boulder leads to a short pitch which remains undescended.
Located in the same valley as 5/4. A narrow free-climbable
rift chokes about 10m down.
Located down-valley from 6/4. Boulder slope with 2m free
climb leads to a chamber with no way on.
North of 7/4, a squeeze through a low rock arch leads to
two 10m pitches which end in a terminal choke.
Northwest of 7/4, marked SIE 0, a horizontal passage leads
to an 18m pitch with a second undescended pitch beyond. This cave may have been
explored further by the SIE.
Located over the ridge from 5/4, in a green depression.
Small hole between boulders in valley floor
marked SIE O. A short pitch which continues undescended.
Upslope from 10/4, marked SIE 1 and completed. Undescended,
worth looking at.
Located in the col between Cabeza el Verde and Cabeza
Llambria, in the south-east facing cliff, to the right and about 30m down from
A 10m diameter phreatic tune leads to a pitch. This is
divided into two connecting shafts. The smaller of the two is 12m deep and lands
in a boulder floored chamber with several possible ways on. To the right,
downslope, are a bedding plane crawl, which quickly closes down, and a tight
rift which was not explored. To the left, down slope, is a climb to a small
passage which quickly closes down. Adjacent to where the ladder lands is a climb
up to a small passage, which needs enlarging, but the passage seems to bell out
beyond the constriction. At the bottom of the boulder slope a climb up (about
15m) to a visible passage was not attempted. From the top of the shafts, a
squeeze past calcite opens out above the chamber.
Area 5 is the region around the Xitu col arid includes the
Valle Extremero to the lip of the bowl containing 53/5. Its boundary on the
Eastern side is the green ridge running down from Jultayu. The listing below
contains only those caves discovered or revisited on the 87—90 expeditions. For a complete listing of caves
explored in area 5 in previous years see OUGC Proceedings 10 for a comprehensive
listing and Procs. 11 and 12 for the few extensions and new finds made between
1981 and 1986.
See Proc. 10 for more details. Revisited in 1987 and a
small tube at the bottom was dug out, but the rift revealed was too tight.
Probably connects with La Prevista de Santa Dominico in 12/5.
First visited in 1981 (see Proc. 10), but the description
suggested a return to push the too-tight rift at the end might be worthwhile.
From the junction of the Trea and Jultayu paths, follow the Trea path for about
20m until a smaller path leads off to the left. Cut diagonally left across the
valley ahead, to join a well marked path on the other side. Follow this for a
few hundred metres, to an obvious shaft on the right, with a tree growing out of
one wall. 15m entrance shaft lands on a boulder floor, from where a short
passage to the left leads to the top of a 37m pitch. Descending the pitch to
the bottom, leads to a large rift, which ends at a muddy pool. Penduling
right, 20m down the pitch, leads to a further 5m drop into a small chamber, the
1980 limit. From here two very narrow rifts lead off. The right hand one was
hammered, and the first squeeze passed, to another squeeze. Both rifts seem
fairly deep and draught slightly.
Entrance pitch (PI5)
Natural backup; bolt and natural Y-hang
Second pitch (P30)
Two spike Y-hang; bolt and spike rebelay at -5m;
long tape round block for rebelay at -20m.
Below 12/5, a tight, T-shaped passage. Gets worse.
On the northern slope of Cabeza Forma. A large open pot,
25m deep ending in a snow plug. A smaller surface shaft connects with the main
shaft about 10m down. A tiny hole in the secondary shaft continues for 10m to a
A dig under a cliff above 39/5.
Above 5/5 in the Jou de la Cistra. 10m pitch leads to steep
slope and rift decorated with formations. Too tight.
To the south of the Trea path on the slopes of Jultayu, 4m
free climb leads to 15m pitch. Chokes.
Near to 37/5. A large chamber with tiny rift leading off.
A 50m shaft marked SIE 86 and completed, below 12/5 on the
slope down to Trea. Choked.
Located in the left hand wall of a small side valley at the
top of the Valle Extremero. A climb over a large boulder leads to a network of
phreatic passages and another entrance inaccessible from outside.
10m up valley from 40/5. Tight rift closes down.
There is no 42/5. But if there were we wouldn't tell you
where it is.
Valle Extremero. 20m free climb with squeeze at the top,
becomes too tight.
10m below 43/5, a 10m pitch to a too-tight vertical rift
behind a dead sheep. Draughts strongly; stones rattle down merrily.
Next to 43/5, 10m pitch, choked.
Above 44/5, 13m pitch, choked.
Valle Extremero, choked rift containing a dead sheep.
Located in the Valle Extremero, 30m pitch to snow plug, no
Located 400m from the Ario camp on a bearing of 210°,
on the Ario side of a large depression. Located on a bearing of 169° to Jultayu,
225° to La Verdelluenga, and 064° to Julagua. A mud slope leads to a 10m pitch.
A squeeze leads into a 1m diameter phreatic tube with a vadose rift below it. A
few metres beyond the squeeze it is possible to climb down 6m to the base of the
rift, but no further progress is possible as the rift is too tight. Continuing
along the phreatic tube it is possible to make progress for a further 50m or so
to where the going becomes a bit awkward. Further progress may be possible by a
more determined team. About 20m from the squeeze a three way junction is met.
Straight on (130°) is the continuation of the phreatic tube already mentioned.
To the left are two small chambers both too small to enter and one of which
contains a small inlet. Just prior to the threeway junction is a narrow
T-shaped passage. After a few metres it is possible to climb down to the floor
of the passage 6m below. This passage contains a small stream. Downstream flows
into the vadose trench of the main passage, but quickly becomes too tight at all
levels, at a point where there is a 5m aven probably below the threeway
junction. In very wet weather the sound of water can be heard beyond the present
limit of exploration in the main phreatic tube, so this may be worth another
Follow the Trea path from camp until it turns sharp left
where it meets a green valley. At this point turn right to follow the green
valley away from the path. After about 30m two cave entrances will be seen on
the left; the first is 51/5 and the second is 50/5.
A tricky 5m free climb (best laddered) lands in a small
chamber with two ways on. Both routes rejoin at the top of a pitch into a second
chamber with no way on. From the smaller of the two routes to the pitch a small
lands in a passage connecting with 51/5.
Located a few metres closer to the Trea path than 50/5.
Easy climb to a chamber, a low arch at the lowest point of
the chamber provides a 1m climb into another small chamber. A passage back under
this climb eventually connects to 50/5. (Neither 50/5 or 51/5 were marked).
An unmarked shaft near 15/5.
Boulders were removed from the entrance to facilitate entry
to a 2m free climb down past unstable boulder to a tight rift. The rift seemed
to close down around the first bend, but no attempt was made to verify this by
actually entering the rift.
Located on a bearing of 080° to Cabeza Llambria, at the junction of the Valle
Extremero and the valley running down from Jultayu, up the slope to the right
(looking towards the gorge) of a small pond.
The large entrance quickly closes down to body sized
squeeze emitting a large draught. This was pushed to 10m of rift ending in a too
tight squeeze emitting a very strong draught. This hole has been the site of a
concerted digging effort over two years, but so far progress has been limited. A
climb up into the rift yielded another possible digging site which may bypass
the first dig.
A phreatic tube overlooking 53/5 (visible from 53/5 when
looking back towards the Ario camp).
This cave consists of an upward sloping phreatic tube
trending to the left with, from about 10m in, moonmilk gours on the floor. After
about 15m there is squeeze past a partial stal blockage. The cave ends at a
series of larger gour pools; the passage continuing to the right is too tight.
Located further up the valley towards camp than 54/5, on a
bearing of 114°
to Cabeza Llambria and 91°
The large entrance is clearly used as an animal shelter.
The rift at the back of the entrance leads after 8m to a small 6m diameter
chamber containing a muddy pool. There is no way on except the aven above.
To the right of the main entrance is a small rift about 3m
above the ground. This entrance leads to climbs up into an aven (rope and
protection required). Alternatively a narrow rift lower down is still going.
Located on a bearing of 207° to Jwltayu, 056° to Cabeza Llambria, and 148°
(100m distance) to where the Trea path crosses the green Jultayu ridge. A 10m
ladder pitch to a boulder floor — no way on.
We also looked at a short crawl about 30m southeast of 56/5
and a small hole about 20m southwest of 56/5 both of which close down after a
couple of metres.
Located on a bearing 199° to Jultayu and 124° to 53/5. The entrance is an
'obvious' dark, 8m vertical slit on south facing slope looking down into the
Valle Extremero, reached by an awkward climb. The entrance is not marked.
entrance slope leads to a chamber containing a lot of dead flow stone — no way
Above 55/5 in the
face of Cabeza Llambria a series of interconnected phreatic tubes,
with several entrances / exits one of which emerges part-way up the face of
Cabeza Llambria, about 10m above ground level. All the passages eventually choke
but they may be worth digging (probably not—Ed.). The cave has not been marked.
Located about 20m to the right of 32/5 (looking downhill),
a 4s drop. Marked by the SIE in '86 as finished, but not marked by OUCC. May be
worth a look.
A small draughting hole about 20m from 8/5 (and 100m from
camp) was enlarged by Paul Brennan. A small descending vadose passage ends in a
tight squeeze requiring someone small to push it. The entrance was not marked.
"On the way to the green ridge of Jultayu, in a promising
looking valley with no marked caves" -
— find that if you can! A blind 20m shaft.
At the top of a bed of limestone sloping at 45°,
overlooking the 53/5 valley, near a small shakehole with a choked rift at the
back. About 200-300m down valley from 40/5. On a bearing of 140° to 53/5 (out of
sight), 022° to Cabeza Verde, 074° to the boss on the ridge and 096° to Cabeza
An 8m free climb reaches rift. May go in either direction.
Beware! Loose boulders at top.
At bottom of cliff below Jultayu path, about 200m north of
junction with Trea path. Originally found by dowsing. Very tight, possibly too
tight, slot descends about 5m.
This area consists of the Jou del Jultayu, the bowl between
Jultayu and Cuvicente, and the slopes of Jultayu and Cuvicente. The area is
bounded on the Eastward side by the Bayeya .ridge and meets Area 5 in the North,
the boundary being roughly at the Southern edge of the Jou de la Cistra.
The majority of the caves in this area were explored in
1987. The exceptions, 1-8/7 and 21/7 were first explored in 1981 or 1982, but
have been included for completeness. Full details can be found in OUCC Proc. 10.
Located on the Bayeya Ridge just below the cairned path to
the Jultayu summit. Two entrances lead to an 80m shaft rigged in several hangs.
(See Proc. 10 for further details). Re-examined (and where necessary re-bolted
in 1989), but no way on was found.
See separate articles.
An open shaft about 200m from 2/7 in the direction of Ario,
50m deep but no ways on .See Proc. 10 for further details.
A little uphill from 3/7. A 1.5m climb leads to a twisting
descending rift that soon chokes. See Proc 10 and 12 for details.
Reached by turning left at the Bayeya col, walking past
21/7, and then a few metres down into the bowl. A 25m pitch which becomes too
tight. See Proc. 10 for more details.
Located on the Jultayu side of the Jou de Jultayu on a
bearing of 196°
to Jultayu, 194° to the 2/7 doline and 238° to Cuvicente. It lies on the same
line as the 2/7 rift series but beyond Pessimists' Pot. A large rift partly
filled with snow. See Proc 10 for more details.
Just outside the rim of the Jou del Jultayu, some 50m to
the West of the Bayeya col. Rifts funnel into a shaft with permanent snow plug,
descended for some 30m in the narrowing space between rock and snow
— see Proc. 10
for details. May be worth another look as snow levels were much higher when this
cave was last looked at.
About 100m to the left of the Jultayu path, about a quarter
of the way from the Trea path junction to the Bayeya col. A triangular opening
climbed into from uphill leads to a chamber with animal bones. A 15cm wide rift
continues down whilst straight ahead the sky is visible through an even narrower
rift. (See Proc. 10 for further details).
In 1990 a second entrance was discovered over the the other
side of the cliff face containing the original entrance. This leads, via 8m of
rift passage, to a roomy chamber; a narrow crack bypassed by a free-climb leads
to a second chamber
— no way on.
On the north-western rim of the bowl, on the outside of the
col just before the ridge rises steeply to the Cuvicente summit. A very large
rift with rock bridges becomes 101m deep shaft, with no way on at the bottom.
Just below the lowest point on the Juracao ridge, a 20m
climb down tight rifts
— becomes too
Halfway around the basin towards Jultayu from 2/7,
approximately halfway to the bottom of the bowl. A 2.5m phreatic tube
— may be
On the grassy patch near the bottom of the Jou a 4m climb
down to a very dubious dig.
Contour to the East from the Bayeya col for 40m. Boulder
choke on the inner slope of the Bayeya rim
A choked meltwater sink at the deepest point of the doline
below 13/7. Potentially diggable.
Never relocated, but probably refers to obvious rift just
above and towards Cuvicente from 14/7.
Choked shakehole some 20m towards Cuvicente from 14/7.
Enter the Jou del Jultayu from the Bayeya col, follow
contours and then descend left hand side of Bar Hill. Shakehole with a small
hole in boulders at the bottom
— does not
A few metres further into the bowl and to the West from
17/7. Boulder floored rift 1-2m
wide 10m long and 6m deep — no way on.
Larger shakehole towards Jultayu from 17/7 and 18/7,
separated by a little ridge from 14/7 and 15/7. Climb down among loose
chair-sized boulders to a partly overhung alcove, from where stones can be
dropped 5m into the interstices between boulders and rock. A crawl winds back to
Close to the grassy shakeholes forming the very bottom of
the Jou, some 25m uphill on the Northern rim in an area of parallel southwest—northeast
Entrance is a rectangular manhole, climbable for 2.5m to a
steep loose soil ramp with fragile roof and walls. This is followed 6m later by
a fine elliptical shaft of 35m which lands in a 3m x 6m chamber. 3m above the
floor a diagonal crack in the northwestern wall opens to 5cm and offers a view
through the rock wall into an adjacent chamber. This crack draughts strongly.
On the northern rim of the bowl, 30m to the West of the
Bayeya col. A small hole in a corner overgrown with plants. 15m pitch followed
by a squeeze leads to a choked chamber
— no way on.
Outside the northern rim of the Jou 150m west and a little
downhill from 23/7. A small entrance leads to an 8m freeclimb to a snow filled
On the Northern rim of the Jou, 100m up along the ridge
from 21/7. 25m deep shaft landing on a rubble floor. A squeeze led into a small
chamber with no way on.
Two thirds of the way from 21/7 to 23/7. An 8m wide
snow-filled pit with a rock bridge halfway along. 20m deep to the snow and
boulders. A climb down between the boulders led to a further drop of 7m down a
rift. Any possible way on in the rift was blocked by boulders.
40m into the bowl towards Cuvicente from 19/7. Shallow
boulder floored rift.
A shakehole a few metres from 25/7.
25m towards Jultayu from 19/7 close to 16/7. Steep
shakehole funnels into a square pot 4m across and 6m deep. A stooping height
hole in the Southern corner leads to a chamber which is choked with sand. To the
left a bedding plane closes down after 2m.
On the top of Bar Hill, taking the left of two grassy
gullies after the Bayeya col. A series of pitches 37m deep ends in a boulder
floored chamber. In one corner a rift continues but is blocked by a chockstone.
The local dip is South and not North as elsewhere in the Jultayu area. Gould be
the results of local folding
— maybe Bar
Hill is a huge erratic tilted out of its original position.
A few metres towards Cuvicente from 19/7. 3m deep manhole
leads to a tight rift.
30m towards Jultayu from 16/7, close to 6/7. Large doline
at the intersection of two
From 30/7 follow the rift leading South past the next
shakehole. Boulder floored rift that can be walked through.
Position uncertain. Possibly diggable.
Choked shakehole 20m from 25/7 (in the direction of
Large shakehole just beyond 33/7 with a choked sink in the
A few metres from 34/7, a 3m shaft with no way on at the
At the lower end of the shakehole behind 35/7, a 3m climb
in a loose boulder choke that might be diggable.
A choked shaft 5m from 36/7.
Across the long shakehole just above 37/7. 7m high vertical
slot visible from the Bayeya ridge which close down after a few metres. Before
this a hole in the Southeast wall can be entered to a climb up that ends just
below the surface.
Reached by going up and to the West of 7/7, 25m to the West
of 21/7. Entrance under a very large
boulder gives access to a 16m pitch down a twisting rift. At floor
level a squeeze leads to an undescended 10m pitch.
Outside the Northern rim of the bowl, 70m downhill from
23/7. 2m wide rift in the slope with boulder floor 11m below the lower end.
6m wide circular pit in steep slope to North
of 22/7 visible as a slot from
41/7. A handline or ladder is advisable for the descent, but the rift appears
choked in all directions.
50m straight downslope from 22/7. Undescended.
50m North of 43/7.
Large rift filled with snow, no way on in 1987, may be worth another look
in a low snow year.
An inconspicuous entrance in a gravelly slope, near the
Jultayu path, slightly below the level of 2/7.
A 10m handline climb drops onto an unstable debris slope,
at the top of a fine 31m free hanging pitch, Spinal Tap. This drops into a fine
chamber with a large number of rebecco and wolf skulls littering the floor. A
short drop in one corner leads into a bouldery area, where an easy squeeze
between blocks enters a small chamber. Here a tight and awkward hammered hole,
The Eft, drops into a tight rift; a howling gale blows out of a long, 12cm wide
slot, below which is an undescended 20m drop.
Wire round boulder, bolt.
Spinal Tap (P31)
Large natural; tape deviation at -10m.
This is the area on the slope of Pico Gustateru facing
Xitu. 1-3 and 5-8/8 are described in OUCC Proc. 10. Brief details of all the
caves in area 8 except 12/8 are to be found in OUCC Proc. 12.
There are two 12/8s: the real 12/8, and cave Dl explored in
1982 (see Proc. 11 for a full description of Dl) which a pillock descended not
noticing the Dl number and renamed 12/8. (PS it's not even in area 8).
The real 12/8 is located on a bearing of 040°
to Pozu del Xitu, 090" to Cabeza Llambria and consists of a 10m pitch down to a
snow plug with a 3m climb up one wall to reach a crawl blocked by a single
Area 9 is the area around the 306m vertical shaft Tras la
Jayada between areas 7 and 8. Details of 1-9/9 are to be found in OUCC Proc. 12.
Details are only given here of caves that have since been revisited or new
A large 306m deep open shaft explored by the SIE in 1980. A
return was made to this cave in 1986 as it was thought to be worth looking for a
way on. The cave was re-rigged using modern SRT methods down one wall with
several rebelays, thereby giving several hangs of reasonable length rather than
a single 300m pitch. The team thought they had cracked it when about 50m above
the floor of the main shaft they managed to pendule into a parallel shaft.
Unfortunately this landed after about 70m on a rubble floor with no way on,
extending the cave by no more than 15—20m.
This cave was re-examined in 1987 and a route on past the
snow plug was found. A number of large chambers were found with sky lights to
the surface. No way on from these chambers was found. The find added
approximately 44m to the depth of La Jayada to give a total depth of about 100m.
From the giant entrance of La Jayada, head leftwards and
uphill, past the large shake-hole 'The Wiggly One' (13/9), to a shaft above a
The cave was originally explored in 1980 to a depth of 50m,
where the shaft was blocked by a large snow plug. By 1990, this snow plug had
been greatly reduced in size, and it was possible to continue to a depth of 90m.
At the bottom, there was still a snow plug, although this appeared to be resting
on a boulder floor. It is just possible that a way on may exist, and so it may
be worth revisiting this cave in a few years' time, if snow levels are again
Spike with thread backup
P20 Old Lags Can't Rig
Spike and bolt Y-hang; natural deviation at -10m
P55 Global Warming
Spike and bolt Y-hang; spike and bolt Y-hang
P5 'Snow Way On
Up slope from 12/8 a 30m pitch to snow ledge, choked
Located on a bearing of 126° to Jultayu and 172° to Cuvicente, a small
entrance, needs hammering, leading to small pitch.
Above an eyehole on the side of Gustateru. A 12m vertical
phreatic tube to a chamber. A crawl leading off becomes too tight but draughts.
8m down to snow plug.
An extremely large shakehole located about 100m from La
Jayada. Triskelion shaped like the Isle of Man emblem, each leg being about 5m
wide and 10m long, containing a large snow plug. There are possible ways on past
the snow plugs and this cave is definitely worth another look.
Area 10 is the region between the green ridge running down
from Jultayu and the gorge and includes the Valle Extremero from the lip of the
bowl containing 53/5 to the gorge (i.e. everything to the east of the
The cave is located about 300m down the Trea valley. Just
below the 'prow' of rock that divides the upper part of the valley, leave the
eroded path and strike off on a contour, rightwards (facing downslope). Two
small valleys must be crossed before a climb down can be made to a small stream
bed (normally dry). Ascent on the other side leads to a vertically descending
hole, about 2m by 4m.
The shaft is about 60m deep,
in approximately 20m, 20m, 15m and 5m stages, with only standing-sized
ledges between pitches. The
landing is in a slightly sloping boulder floored rift about 50m long and 2-5m
wide. Upslope the roof is about 25m high with
water coming in from roof level.
The water disappears into a grovel at the downslope end, and possibly resurges
Initially, it was thought that this area, and this cave in
particular, might provide a lower entrance to 2/7. This is still possible, but
the surface survey showed that 1/10 is not close to the line of 2/7.
Located on a bearing 009° to the dolomite boss on the ridge to Cabeza
Llambria, 049° to Cabeza Llambria and 098° to the obvious entrance in the
Central Massif. Further down the Valle Extremero from 53/5, walk down the valley
with the 53/5 ridge going up from left to right. Follow this ridge up at an
angle of about 30°; the lie of the ground forces you to the left. Eventually you
see a line of entrances in the ridge in front of you. 58/5 is the left-most of
these, a fine 4m high triangular entrance with a hidden eye-hole above it.
From the entrance a 30° mud slope leads after 10m to a small chamber. A
climb down to the left leads to 15m of passage ending in a flow-stone blockage.
A passage ascends to the left. A narrow slot in the floor is the head of a 5m
blind pitch. After 15m, the passage leads to a small chamber, where a tight
climb or a 10m pitch unite in a chamber. A crawl down a loose boulder slope
leads to a three way split, with each way choked.
The cave might be found if you follow the instructions
below. Walk up the green ridge towards Jultayu until you are at a height just
below the top of Cabeza el Verde. To the left is a large bowl; one end opens out
to look down on the Trea path. Walk about 2/3 of the way around the cliff face
that forms the back wall of the bowl. The entrance is a 4m high slit in the
The lower half of the entrance is too small to permit entry
of a person, but a climb up into the top of the entrance reveals a series of dry
cascades descending at 45°
— unexplored. This cave was originally found in 1989, but couldn't be relocated
in 1990, despite several attempts.
Located near to the woods in the Valle Extremero, in the
right hand cliff, a 1m by l/2m entrance. A 5m horizontal rift leads to a 7m
pitch which lands in a chamber with a pool. No way on. It is possible that a 15m
climb above the entrance may lead to another entrance into the same rift.
Located on the green ridge of Jultayu, 50m on a bearing of
010° from the
point where the Trea path opens out above the gorge.
A small hole is the top of a 7m ladder pitch into a boulder
floored chamber. At the base of a short boulder slope, a crawl over a small hole
in the floor leads through a 5m long, 10m high chamber to a draughting choke.
This was dug into a crawl, passing a narrow pot to a small chamber. A hole under
boulders to the right leads to a choice of routes. A 10m pot connects with
the narrow pot and is choked at the bottom. Opposite the hole, a small tube
above a dangerously poised boulder leads down to a choke. The main route
leads to the left into a chamber extending to a sloping boulder floor.
Downslope leads to a choked rift. At the top of the slope, a crawl left
leads to a surface connection (currently too tight) situated at the bottom of a
deep shakehole; this is the source of the draught.
Located in the large depression, Huerta del Rey, near the
top of the Trea Valley, which is believed to have been formed by the collapse of
Choke Egbert in 2/7. A large rift in the south west corner can be abseiled into.
Four separate passages were explored and all choked.
This area consists (roughly) of the region between La
Verdelluenga, El Regalia and Pico Gustateru and bounded on one side by Area F
and Top Camp and on the other by the Vega Aliseda and Areas 8 and 9. This area
is not often visited perhaps because it is all at high altitude and a bugger of
a walk from any of our camps. Descriptions of El-4 appear in OUCC Proc. H and
both El and E2 may be worth another visit as both were blocked with snow when
visited in 1982.
Located to the South (left when walking from Area 9 to E)
of the path (to Top Camp?), a shaft marked Polifemo 1982 Sima Estrecha. It
consists of a 3m deep by 2m long rift entered via a 1m diameter entrance. The
rift is choked with boulders though there is a slight draught from under the
phreatic roof. Bearing 134°
to El Regallon and 260° to what the discoverers thought was probably Cabeza del
Located on a bearing of 350° to La Rasa, 195° to La Verdelluenga and 110° to
El Regallon. A 10m drop down a rift pointing towards La Verdelluenga enters a 3m
diameter chamber with two avens. Clambering on down leads to a climb into a
vadose rift choked with earth and small stones.
Located on a bearing of 090° to El Regallon and 180° to La Verdelluenga. A
body sized entrance in a dolomite/grassy area descends for two body
lengths before closing down.
The most promising area is located up the Southern edge of
the grassy/dolomite band ascending towards La Verdelluenga, past the numerous
holes marked Polifemo 17.8.82 on the right and SIE O opposite in the direction
of a yellowish nobble. The SIE cave may be worth a visit as it ends after a few
metres in a body sized crawl draughting slightly with a mud floor. The following
caves were found in this area.
Just before the nobble and to the right, a 9m long by 3m
wide rocky floored phreatic tube remnant, no prospects. Bearing 297°
to Pico Conjurtau, 165° to La Verdelluenga.
Traversing to the right and ascending slightly for
approximately 50m leads, via a long narrow rift filled with snow, approximately
20m down to two imposing entrances below a subsidiary summit to the west of La
Verdelluenga. The first is a shaft 10-15m deep to snow with a possible way on at
the back and a connection to the next entrance marked E9.
From the base of a boulder slope E9 has a 10m drop to a
steeply descending snow slope down an imposing 3m wide by 10m high passage. Both
caves are still continuing.
Another shaft about 30m below E9 dropping 15m to snow
A sink hole at the west end of the Vega Aliseda which emits
a substantial very cold draught from a diggable boulder choke. Entrance is an
approximately 4m climb best rigged with a ladder.