Old Cave in Venezuela


Well-known member
This is unlikely to be of interest to more than a couple of people, but I'm letting you know about it just in case.

I was recently contacted by a Venezuelan caver for some further information about some caves we explored on an expedition in the Sierra de San Luis in Falcon, in 1973. The first request was for a location of a cave they hadn't been able to re-locate. Unfortunately, as it took us six hours to find it again, I couldn't really help him apart from letting him have transcripts of the expedition logs for those days in the hope that they contained some clues.

The second request was for more details about the exploration of the Hait?n del Guarataro, which is still the deepest limestone cave in Venezuela (although there are deeper quartzite caves in the tepuis of Amazonas). It has since been descended twice more, including by the group of which my correspondent is a member.  As I had a bit of time on my hands, I transcribed the expedition logs relevant to that exploration, together with a selection of photos, and parcelled them up into a PDF. It does give an insight into the way we went about things 50 years ago, and in particular, into the early days of British SRT.

The PDF file may be found here

For a more up-to-date account of the cave, the Venezuelans filmed their latest expedition, and it is available on YouTube.



Well-known member
Cantclimbtom said:
Why carrying 2 fig of 8s? (page 11)

If you look at the photo of Mike Farnworth, you will see that we weren't using cow tails. When negotiating a rebelay, with two descenders we could attach a figure-of-eight to the lower rope whilst still attached to the upper rope with the other.