Oxford University Cave Club

El Regallón 1997

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  Small Caves Explored in 1997


On flank of Cabrones, above F5. Bearings 300° to F2, 244° to right hand end (cliff) of Punta Gregoriana. A small crawl into chamber chokes.


About two levels higher than F89. Snow pole 8°, top of F13 rock 56° (about 200m). Cave slightly higher than F13 rock. Impressive rift with snow plug heads into hillside. 25m pitch onto snowplug. All ways on choke.


6m right (true left) of main F5 shaft. Narrow crack leads into cliff face. Bottom chokes, but 'top might be hammerable'. Very good draught.


Between main shaft and F5b. Bold step across shakehole into small phreatic tube leading into cliff. Tight but might be passable. Slight draught.


Chokes; no way on past the snow (see shaftbashing guide)


Chokes; no way on past the snow (see shaftbashing guide)


Unnumbered shaft in continuation of F19 rift, a few metres SW; hand-lined climb of about 10m. Rocks rattle down a slot to the left for a few seconds; "I dug at this for a bit, before realising the slot was only 10cm wide".

(GL, LM)

From W end of Vega Aliseda, follow valley to L uphill, following cairns, for about 150m into area of shakeholes. Cave is in R (true L) hand side, overlooking obvious shakehole. Verdelluenga 128°, Cabrones 172°, climb out of Vega Aliseda on direct route to Los Lagos 84°. Cave descends at 45° for 5m to choke, but on left just inside entrance is hole  through boulders looking into chamber. Well-aimed rocks rattle for a few seconds. Draughts. Needs a crowbar.

(GL, LM)

Further up valley from F91, scramble up to the left along fault on bearing 138°, hading at 40° down to NE. 126° to Pico Aliseda. Awkward 10m climb down into rift. A few metres ahead is a drop of maybe 20m. Next shaft up may go with digging. 

(GL, LM)

Overlooking F92, phreatic tube at base of cliff. Goes 5m, and then gets low. Needs oversuit (!)


In middle of scree-filled valley running along base of Cabrones towards the pass. Cave is about 100m from col leading to F38. Bearings 1/h peak of Cabrones 104°, r/h peak 214°. "Basically it's in a fairly naff place, and I'm surprised its not already full of rocks". 10m shaft.


Near F94, at base of cliff jutting out from Cabrones. 10m shaft may continue past snow.


2/3 of way up valley is snow field at base of cliff. F96 is at top L (true right) of this. A rift heading into the mountain. Not tagged.

F97-99 are on a 25m x 20m ledge, to SW of F96 snowfield, a short climb above the scree slope. Bearings F2 12°, pass 292°. The  easiest way might be to continue up the main valley, climb up a scree runnel, and then traverse up to the ledge.


Near N end of ledge. Several parallel shafts to snow.


SE corner of ledge, shaft to snow. Skylight above, possibly with parallel shaft.


SW side of ledge. Walk into 8m x 8m ledge. Appears to be blind, but needs checking with a light.


Revisited (see shaftbashing guide). Climb over final meander gave some pretty formations but ended in a choke after 10m.

(PH, IB)

NW of D9 and 40m lower. Climbable meander descends 10- 15m to further pitch head - 10m pitch into canyon. Soon choked. Slight rattle and intermittent draught.


Due W of D9 and 30m lower is 'shepherd's cave'. About 25m N of this descending gully in loose rock. Chokes after 20m.


146° to La Verdelluenga. 180° to next peak W. Awkward 5m climb down obvious fissure entrance chokes about 25m down. Rebecco skeleton in 1997. Alt 1733m 43. 14.146N;4.57.321W


Follow Vega Aliseda to W end and turn N into large doline. D16 is large shaft on N edge of doline, about 20m deep and undescended. La Verdelluenga 141°, 180° to next peak W.


50m W of D16 and on the same bedding/fault is 1m x 2m meander descending at 45° for 15m to small chamber with four small outlet. Needs dig/blast.  draughts out. Alt. 1773m. 43.14.019N;4.57.342W


Follow path W uphill from end of Vega Aliseda. Entrance under cliff which bounds r/h side. About half way up. Ramp descends 5m to diggable choke with  draught. La Verdelluenga 130°, next peak W 172°. Alt. 1848m 43.13.884N, 4.47.355W

(PH etc)

On W side of small hill S of Vega Aliseda at W end. Large open rift with snow plug. La Verdelluenga 139°, next peak W174°. 10m pitch down to rock bridge over meander. Obvious way on ahead follows bolt traverse over large boulder and down ramp on r/h wall to a 30m pitch into a very large boulder-filled chamber. 10m pitch at the far end of this drops into water-worn but thoroughly choked smaller chamber. Trending back underneath the entrance, the westwards continuation of the fault goes down 10m, 5m and 20m pitches, through a small arch to tall perpendicular rift passage, which appears to be upstream passage and pinches out after about 40m. Boulder floor by arch is effectively downstream and  draughts but is completely choked. Cairned entrance E of D19 undescended.

(LM, RBG etc)

'The cave in the bowl with lots of moonmilk that Rob showed me...' An obvious entrance at the foot of an outcrop between the 'notch' and the Vega Aliseda, skirted on either side by the two conventional routes to Top Camp. A crawl from the entrance leads to a small rift. Round a few bends it enlarges to where a single ladder pitch lands on a false boulder floor. L, a pretty 7m high passage goes 10m to a  draughting choke. A way through the boulders from the main passage leads to a descending rift that pinches out. R at the bottom of the first pitch through boulders leads to another pitch (two ladders). Turning R at the bottom of this pitch leads to a boulder filled chamber with no way on.

(JC etc)

On N flank of La Verdelluenga, immediately above F71 in an outcrop overlooking the valley below Top Camp, and directly to the W of the green ramp running up towards the 'dolomite knobble'. 10m long rift with faded Polifemo markings. Pot at N end is 15m deep but blind. Tight entrance at S end through a squeeze (The Mink) leads to a 45-50m pitch (Tubular Bells) rigged from natural belays with one bolt rebelay. Window through to parallel shaft 30m down, before landing on a small snow cone. Obvious hammered continuation on shelf just above snow cone is blocked by a 'ship's prow' of rock, beyond which is running water, and a pitch. A good prospect, although probably related to F64.

Two caves in area of bare limestone down the ridge E of El Regallon


200m on 255° from El Regallon. 43.13.7N; 004.56.3W. Steeply sloping narrow streamway enters too-tight crossrift at -10m. No  draught._


Obvious large double shaft at top of bare rock area. 20m deep, 10m diameter with a snow plug and boulder floor. No  draught.


Tagged but not in shaftbashing guide. Small hole in base of shakehole with incredibly faint  draught. Alt 1773m. 43.13.8N; 004. 56.2W

Pozu Xastre

(See SIE material). "Hammered through the rift described by SIE as 'impenetrable with a 20m drop beneath' in two places. Convinced myself that there is nothing but a 3" slot below. No  draught".