Beneath the Mountains

Exploring the deep caves of Asturias

David Rose and Richard Gregson

Beneath the Mountains

OUCC Home Page


The 1986 expedition, in which we both took part, discovered a lot of cave: but alas, the Picos was up to its tricks once more. Ridge Cave, which 2/6 entered at Dinosaur Beach via a series of magnificent, roomy shafts, ended after a long section of rediscovered streamway at about 650 metres depth. Its objective dangers caused three accidents: a loose rock knocked out one of Fred's front teeth not far from the entrance, Steve Mayers was hit on the neck while climbing Fred Flintstone and, more seriously, Ukie fell from a loose climb at the very bottom, while looking for a sump bypass. Unconscious briefly, and unable to move for half an hour, she eventually got herself out with an immobilised left arm and a black eye with the aid of Richard's jokes and hot soup.

F20, far the hardest system explored by OUCC, continued as foul as ever. At last, just as it appeared to have hit the big time in a large chamber with waterfall inlets, it too sumped, 582 metres down.

With this, Top Camp area would appear to have been worked out. Yet still possibilities remain within OUCC's designated area: the back of Jultayu, and the hills between Ario and the gorge must contain something to take away the rain and have hardly been examined. A team returns in 1987 to find out.

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