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Tresviso Caves Project 2018 Expedition with SUSS -- rope sponsorship entry


New member
SUSS basecamp is operational!

Yesterday the majority of the SUSS team arrived and walked up to top camp at Vegas dear Andara, just over the ridge from the refugio at Caserton Andara. We've got a nice flat spot for camp just off the track with nearby water from a fountain and a beautifully scenic sh*t pit.

This morning was used for kit sorting (and obligatory faffing). We've now got 5 teams headed out to recce Flowerpot (Bill and Ben series), T207, Torca Septrin and the Sara depression. Hopefully by the end of the day we'll have a better idea of both the style of caving and what the next two weeks has in store! We'll keep this thread updated with our adventures :)


New member
Day 3 on the hill

With two successful days caving under our belts, it's safe to say the expedition is properly underway.

Yesterday 2 teams began rigging into Flowerpot, one for Bill and one for Ben series (with only a slight bit of confusion as to which was which.)  Today rigging efforts continued, with Bill reaching a tight but draughting end point pending further exploration. Rigging into the longer Ben series found a new chamber and opened up multiple unclimbed avens for further exploration.

After some equipments issues, the Torca Septrin team only reached the bottom of the first pitch, and were hoping to go back today but lost time wandering around in snow after first retrieving the capping rod from T207 which was stuck there the previous day.

Surface bashing near to camp yesterday relocated old mines and pots explored first by LUSS in the 70s and 80s and more recently by TCP, confirming the sometimes accuracy and sometimes iffyness of our GPS data.

Today, two teams up on Samelar carried on relocating and found the huge entrance to S.53 (/T181?), visable on Google earth, which is normally filled up with snow but this year a lot more open. This will be dropped in the next few days by someone with good bolting kit and balls! It's bloody massive.

All going well so far, with (almost) all the team finally on the hill after some transport nightmares courtesy of Ryanair. More updates soon!


Active member
Now we are beginning to wind down the SUSS Tresviso expedition and talks of derigging trips becoming more imminent, I have taken some time away from camp to write this post.

The expedition has been a wonderful experience so far, with some exciting finds, challenging caving, and an unbeatable backdrop for it all to take place.

Myself and Molly arrive a little earlier than the rest of the group, just in time to catch a talk in Tresviso on the history of LUSS? explorations here in the 70?s. We were lucky enough to meet some of the early LUSS explorers here, John, Nick, and Caroline. The talk was part of a celebration of all things Tresviso, the culture and history, with food, music, dancing (a few more SUSS arrived in time for this) and Bolles, a Cantabrian bowling type of game which we enjoyed losing spectacularly. We partied long into the night in the style only a remote mountain village can offer.

DSCF1856 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

With camp set up the next day after a long walk up the hill with heavy bags, most of the group in place and now raring to go, we relaxed under the stars, with some of us lucky to catch a single incredible shooting star. The landscape and isolation from the city makes for some spectacular scenery 24 hours a day, unless the fog comes in ? which it frequently does!

DSCF1875 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF1909 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF1958 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

On the caving, I can only write about those I?ve been down. One of the first objectives to assess T207 (Boulder Pot), was quickly eradicated as a potential lead, as the bottom would have required around a week of capping to get anywhere.

DSCF1923 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Some team members have been working their way through the task of checking mine entrance GPS locations and exploring these complex workings ? the area is riddled with them, the roads through Tresviso were built by the mining companies!

DSCF1943 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF1935 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Armed with oodles of metalwork, and rope by the sack-load (thanks UKC!), we have been able to work in multiple groups in different areas each day, taking advantage of the large team of ~25 (depending who was up or down the hill with the main Tresviso expedition).

DSCF1975 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF1986 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

While the stores have had plentiful equipment, there was ?the great hanger shortage of 2018? due to a set of 50 hangers and maillons not being packed, 1 drill was dropped down a pitch, another burnt out, these drills became one with some jiggery-pokery. Oh, and the SUSS Disto went in a puddle and became unreliable. Despite these hurdles, we have had great success with one of the leads?

DSCF1984 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

The primary cave for the SUSS secondment of the 2018 Tresviso expedition is known as Flowerpot, or for the more data-point-inclined, T169.

The two routes diverge at the first chamber, allowing teams to push leads in both the Bill Series and the Ben Series. The Ben Series has been pushed by the LUSS of the 70's to a depth of some 700-odd metres where it hits a sump, SUSS has been ticking off various high-level leads in there, unfortunately with no alternative way on found as yet. Teams have been working hard at bolt climbing and having a good time by the sounds of things.

The initial rigging was led by Jack Dewison with a team consisting of Jreg (Michael Woodward), Molly Smith, and Jake Sturgeon, however, they went down the wrong series. After some time exploring the Ben Series, Bill was rigged to the bottom and the reigns handed over to new teams to assess the leads and potential. Rachael Rix and Jolene set off up a short bolt climb above the final pitch to a large ledge with an apparent passage leading off around the corner, there was no evidence of this being explored previously, though unfortunately it was fruitless in terms of a way on, but every new metre counts on the survey.

Myself, Conor McGurk, and Craig ?Creg? Hamer went down to the bottom chamber of Bill, to assess the ?too tight rift? that takes the water from the rest of the cave. This rift had previously been pushed some way but not to its full conclusion, after some capping, a tight an acrobatic pitch head yielded 8m drop into a mineral solution rift, with what look like iron flakes, quartz, and all manner of curiosities. Unfortunately this became truly too tight, and the lead was aborted.

However, just as we turned around to head out, happy to have closed off a lead, Conor asked if we?d spotted the squeeze high in the rift. It turns out that sitting around getting cold and looking intently at the passage walls pays off ? who knew?! After some gentle modification, we were through the squeeze and into a leaning rift feature, right at the top in the widest section. It just kept going, so we kept going, dragged along by a crisp, clean, draught we past numerous stals until it looked like our path was blocked by a portcullis of tusks, but this was easily bypassed by moving lower into the rift, as if the cave were made for our exploration. We were through the ?Ivory Market?.

We reached a more spanning traverse above a hole in the floor, we could hear water, and rock drops suggested around 30m, I stuck a short traverse line in, deviated to a rusty drill bit in found my tackle bag and set off down the rift to assess the best tactic. What appeared to be a false floor was a solid bedding to conveniently descending onto, before locating a wide enough window in the rift next to a thick stalagmite, resulting in a lovely clean take-off to a 30m freehang, the Elephant?s Trunk. We left the rigging until the following day.

Once descended, things did not look as promising, we were not in the walking streamway we had apprehensively been dreaming of, we met the water lost only a short while ago, and watched it descend further into another too tight rift. Conor was surveying in the Ben Thompson and Brendan Hall, so we were only two on this trip. Much to my delight, and Creg?s horror, this rift was breached by an arrow-straight, popcorn-covered body sized tube, some 20m in length. The tube contains bat leavings (at -180m), and is a bit of a pain to shove bags through due to the rift in the floor and sharp rock. Coming out of the other side of this by myself is an experience I won?t forget. The familiar sharp spiky rifty nature returns here, with one or two protracted routes to climb through, leading to a yawning pitch head some 5-8m in diameter, a clean tube of much better-quality rock, unlike much of what we had descended though so far. I struggled to find a rock to throw down, but snapping off a handhold allowed a 5 second drop to be measured.

Starting to feel worn out from the repeated trips, the others had a rest day (it was Sunday!), so Jack and Molly joined to find out what was at the bottom. Armed with an 87m rope and a handful of bolts I rigged two short access pitches to reach a convenient traversing ledge, from here I could now aim my light down the pitch unlike yesterday, the bright Scurion spot could only tickle the water at the bottom. Rigging this was exhilarating, with only three bolts remaining and the fact that it looked like a rebelay would be required I set off on a single hang with (shameless sponsor plugs incoming) UKC donated Patron rope, which handled excellently and packed down into a nice small sack.

It just kept going, and going, and still free, and going, by now I was wishing I had an umbrella as there was now way to stay out of the moderate drizzle from the pitch head that seemed to now span the whole pitch. *Ziiip-Thump* as the knot hit the back of my hand ? the rope was 4 metres too short! Terrified at how close the knot was to the end of the rope I made a quick vow to always tie my own knots before screaming a couple of expletives caused by the frustration of not being able to reach the way on ? the water is visible descending into another slot.

Flowerpot by tommypmoore, on Flickr

Red marks the previous limit of exploration, blue shows the route the water now takes.

Jack took over and rerigged as I was done for the day, ascending ?Invasive Species? had taken it out of me, and the poor (shameless plug) Hikoki Multivolt system drill was sodden. While Jack rerigged I tried to get a Disto Splay down the pitch, but with more ?Info 255? errors than I could handle, I gave up. The longest was ~50m, which tallied with the rock drop, but Jack said he could see the Disto hitting a slightly sloping wall and not the true bottom while he was hardcore crimping whilst drilling in a deviation (someone get that man a skyhook!).

DSCF2038 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

The final pushing team went down to check the end and finish the survey while I had a day off to follow a misguided dream of being a wildlife and/or landscape photographer, the way on drops into a small pool chamber, which Jack dubbed ?Water-Way to Spend Sunday?, with a rift becoming too tight to progress further, at least on this expedition. There is potential for leads to be examined over the top of the 30m and 70m pitches (as we now know after the survey team returned armed with data), but these will have to wait until next year, as tomorrow the derig and photography begins.

DSCF2004 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF2104 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

DSCF2156 by tommypmoore, on Flickr

I think we all owe Conor, one our newest members, a beer or five for his spotting of this very fruitful lead.

Photos and full surveys to come?



Well-known member
Sobra valley. The first through trip in tresviso valley, nearly connected. After 5 days of roaming the hills, I have not been doing much write up. Cider or coffee liquer required.

I need a day off tomorrow, surveying write up and just sleeping needed!

I will keep you on the hooks! Though there might be people going in tomorrow to do the job of installing the 100m of Ukcaving rope we' ve been given.

5 days nearly sober, I've had a fair few tonight!


Well-known member
Sobra valley is part of the stream catchment for cueva del marniosa, very little was known about the stream sinks until 5 days ago. Cueva del marniosa is one of the two well known stream caves in the Tresviso region.

Imo furlong, Stu coxon, Derek Cousins and Alastair Gott started the ball rolling by doing some gorse, bracken, karst and bramble wading. Finding various areas of interest. Aided greatly by stu's verbal sonar "boop" and imo's "cooweep". Both of these sounds really carry in the woods.

A return was on the cards for the next day, without a drill, we descended a cave named cueva donga. Down various sections to a constriction. Kelda Jones, stu coxon, bob the juggler, Adam Spillane and Alastair Gott were present on this day.

The third day we returned with a drill, 5 ropes of various sizes, a keen biologist called Will Burn and breaking gear. With 2 objectives descend IM2 "practice pot" and cueva Donga. AG descended practice pot and placed 2 bolts in plain clothes and SRT gear, realising his rope did not reach the bottom, he returned to the surface and kitted up.

Whilst AG and SC descended practice pot, the "other two" KJ and WB had a dig to connect donga via the stream sink and collect biological samples, putting many bugs into alcohol for further analysis.
After getting bored with that they went for a wander and found another hole which needed investigating. Rigging a rope from a tree Kelda fearlessly descended...

Practice pot was going well, bolts being placed and the Derbyshire digger (AG) doing what he does best and digging at 30m depth, (after surveying) finding approx 6m more passage to a mixed mud and rock constriction. AG and SC got bored with this, surveyed it and returned to the surface.

KJ1 "silvestre" had reached a leafy ledge and needed some bolts, AG and SC joined Kelda (KJ) and Will (WB).


Well-known member
About 4.30pm AG and SC were teaching KJ how to place a bolt. KJ was desperate to descend.

AG found himself at the base of the shaft, I would say the shaft is approximately a tenth of the size of eldon hole, similar width to length proportions. At the base approx 10m down, AG then put a bolt in to rebelay the rope to help rigging the y-hang. The rock here was quite hard to place a bolt, but in two places it was possible to place. despite the cherty conglomerate. Below this, AG rigged a rebelay and told KJ and SC that it was ok to descend. Three leads were immediately obvious. A wet lead "upstream", a dry lead and the downstream lead. The chamber leading to these leads was approximately 10m by 10m.

All upstream leads have been left to further expeditions.

KJ was still keen, despite AG's protesting. Rigging a handline down a 3m climb, her first bolt placement, the drill ran out of battery for further bolts.

KJ climbed down even though AG said if she descended he would leave her, AG soon excitedly followed, keen not to miss out. "Fear of missing out"

KJ, SC and AG then found themselves in a bit of stompy stream cave approximately 30m long. Ending in a gaping hole to the unknown. With no battery they returned to the surface.

All four of us returned to the hut, including Will Burn our callout. AG had a celebratory shower, 1st shave of the Expedition (Gott to look good for the photos!) and wolfed food down, lovingly cooked by the other members of the expedition. Potentially Helping with the washing up (can't remember) AG was feeling pleased with himself. But tired.


Well-known member
We returned again on Monday. The trio were together again Kelda Jones, Stuart Coxon and Alastair Gott, this time as surveying team.

Sir Phillip of Thirsk had said we needed some "adult supervision" so we were joined by Bob the Juggler and Jason Gotel, who immediately became the rigging team. Storming through the cave they excellently rigged 7 pitches, of varying length. At the start of the day, sir Phillip said we could only take the Crap rope. So we left 200m of brand new rope at the "hut" and cracked on. As it happens, JG and BTJ (Bob Cockeram) did a very good job, all the ropes were actually the right length.

The surveying team only followed the way on and did not survey the numerous sinks joining the flow on the way. They caught up with the rigging team at the head of the seventh pitch, "electronica pitch" the PDA ran out of battery at this point and the rigging team had swapped batteries in the drill to ensure they could reach the bottom. Rigging style by Jason Gotel was classic "by the book" rebelays to keep the cavers out of water. Top work.

The 58m rope landed on a ledge with space for 5 or more people, the pitch remaining was estimated at 17m by Bob the Juggler. At this point drill battery was low, it was suspected that the drill batteries were cold, and could get the remaining half a hole needed to rig the pitch. Therefore JG and AG each had a drill battery under their armpits to warm up. It worked, and a bolt was placed to complete the 70m ( ish) "electronica pitch".


Well-known member
Electronica pitch is a fantastic pitch, with white lines running through the rock, and approx 14m wide and 30m long chamber, straight down not unlike some of the Yorkshire style places, i would say the equivalent in Derbyshire would be the NCC shafts in terms of vertical walls, except electronica is bigger.

Without surveying, the team continued downstream, the dimensions of the chamber close down to a rift type development with cherty conglomerate ( approximately 1 and a half body widths wide) much like the entrance pitch. The team found an ethical problem with a bridge of rock glued together by mud and calcite, the team decided it was quite dodgy, so two sandstone boulders were chucked at it to see if it would collapse. It didn't, but there's a video made by Stuart Coxan, which may get posted up later.

The team, then continued downstream to a point where the stream drops down a pitch. The remaining 50m rope was left for futher exploration the next day.


Well-known member
A return was in order for Tuesday, objectives were to continue exploration and survey electronica pitch.

AG did a sterling job of forgetting the drillbit and also forgetting the waterproof protection for the surveying tablet he had borrowed from "sir Phillip". Eeeeep!

AG ran back up the hill via the muddy track when he realised he'd forgotten the drill bit and called "sir Phillip", who dispatched Adam Spillane in a car to deliver the drill
Bit. The team then descended to the head of electronica pitch, where AG realised his error with the tablet and tried to "make do" with a zip-lock sandwich bag.

Having no experience with surveying pitches AG then tried to survey on the way down, but soon realised that he wouldn't be able to download the shots till the base of the pitch. The team today consisted of Alastair Gott on tablet and Stuart Coxon on disto shooter. Bob and Jason continued the rigging.

At the base of electronica, AG tried to download the shots from the disto with a damp tablet. Every time he tried to select the download button the sandwich bag decided to touch the first shot collected at the top of the pitch to start the survey. Needless to say this method was dispatched rapidly. Mars bars were extracted from what looked like a dry bag, and the tablet was turned off and enclosed within, it turns out this was a "damp bag". So the tablet was not much better in here. Rice to the rescue for the second time on "the holiday".
Surveying continued with disto and book, noting the legs of the mostly north trending rift. Any bad LRUDs (left right up down) or forward legs were noted for deletion later.
AG picked a permanent marker which it turns out is not as good as pencil! Another lesson learnt!

We had done so well the day before of hiding all the old rope in the cave, so "sir Phillip" deemed that we could take 100m of New rope. Mmm, we hid this in the cave as well!

At the base of the "water fall junction" pitch we found at the continuation of electronica, we found three ways on.

Straight on, 23deg is the direction of hall of the mountain king in cueva de la marniosa. Some 300m distant from the head of electronica, we were closing the gap...

Behind left (dry but descending) and behind right (wet pitches) were also leads.

We progressed two leads, picking the dry options, straight on and back left. Leaving the wet option for the end of the day. JG and AG went for straight on and BTJ and SC picked back left.

BTJ rigged with SC as support, and used up the rest of the 50m old rope, phew! The pitches ended in a sump.
JG progressed the straight on lead, with AG stopping at a climb he didn't like, JG reckoned 180m of passage, paced. The lead took a slight trickle of water, but nothing more, it was exceptional fossil passage with popcorn formations.

The team made a decision to exit the cave, it being after 7pm.

It has been reported that hall of the mountain king only takes a slight trickle of water...


Well-known member
Today was a day off for Alastair Gott, Stuart Coxon, Kelda Jones and Jason Gotel. AG getting up at midday + 30mins. Coffee and tea straight off then a spot of brunch in the bar before decamping computer, tablet and disto to the bar for investigation. Some data sorting required. A lovely leisurely day starting in the sun, turning to mist/cloud.

Bob the juggler, Dave "mate" Collins and "Gay" Dave powsland were dispatched today to investigate the wet lead and the dry 23 deg lead (to marniosa).

The wet lead was pushed by bob the juggler to land in water. It is assumed this is a sump.

Dave Powsland entered the 23 degree passage, and investigated for some way before retuning to some hot food cooked by Dave mate. The three returned in time for dinner, rather than the 10pm time that we've been returning on other days.

Tomorrow Jason Gotel plans a return for the through trip, a team will probably be assembled. Otherwise we will savor the treat for next year...


Well-known member
Silvestre through trip to marinosa, did the lead killers make the through trip? Find out at hidden earth 2018 in one week.


Well-known member
So Hidden earth came and passed. Those who were there will know that although a through trip was not made this year, we can be reasonably pleased that next year it's almost a dead cert.

On Thursday the 13th of September a crack team of cavers from all over volunteered themselves to sort out the mess I made of the Survey of Electronica. And I have to say they did a great Job, the pitch was surveyed to excellent standards, so I could draw it up in Therion (and now it's on the Cave registry archive in it's current therion format for all to process and get the PDF).

Chris Jones and Hannah (H) Moulton took charge of the Surveying while two cavers went for glory and rigged the rest of the various climbs through the beautiful virgin fossil passageway north towards Marniosa. What lay in front of them were several short climbs/pitches.

Jason Gotel and Dave Powsland took the lead on pushing on towards the goal, despite being the second to last day they pushed on.

At some point Jason must have mentioned to Dave that he had stopped at a certain point on his last trip, perhaps marked by a particularly hard climb or some other obstacle. Progressing further along the passage, at one point they encountered a puddle and stream, knowing that by the survey they were approximately 50m above the floor of Hall of the mountain king, so this could be the trickle that enters the aven part way down. This was encouraging news for them.

Meanwhile the surveying was continuing with Chris and Hannah linking up Electronica with Waterfall Junction and then going down the flood overflow which heads in a south westerly direction from Waterfall junction. Excellently Surveyed, they continued to press on northwards towards Marniosa, surveying as they went being careful to note drafts and water flows all the way.

"stop, are they footprints?!?", The two pushing on at the front had spotted something which didn't hold in their virgin passageway with no signs of any cavers having passed through before, a set of footprints adorning the floor. What?, how?, who?, when?, why?

All of these questions flooded through their minds as they stared at these footprints in the floor. allowing themselves to relax into the situation their eyes started to wander around the space they now found themselves in, looking for any further clues as to where they were, other than the obvious (where they had come from).

As they relaxed in this new environment, they had an assault on the senses.


Written with Carbide on a rock in front of them.

The penny dropped, a dream that had no hope 6 days before, had become a reality. A short climb down from a grotto was all that separated them from entering the Marniosa streamway meters downstream of Hall of the Mountain King.

The team finished up the survey in Hall of the Mountain King and had a quick splash downstream to see what it was like before heading out the way they came, out in time to have a celebratory drink in the Bar. Priorities were such that Undersuits were still worn with pride.

The last day was derig day, I'd got my eye in the day before derigging a bolt climb in Marniosa, not far from the climb down into the streamway from the entrance series.
Now it was back to the grinding stone, back to the entrance, where my head was slowly getting bitten away by the blighters which inhabited these woods. Today, it was Alastair Gott, "Bob the Juggler", Arwel Roberts and Kelda Jones. A quick blast to the bottom, then some careful caving through the Fossil Passageway, till I found the bit which I hadn't overheard in conversations the night before.
Written in Carbide.

There's one thing reading about things or hearing them from mates, but it really makes your head spin when you see it. Did the others put it on the rock yesterday as a laugh (carbide, where would they have got that from?!) No, don't be silly.

Then a short climb down into the streamway, making sure not to break any stals off the roof, and then a short foray upstream to Hall of the Mountain King.

We were on a tight timescale, deep down we knew that all of the rope we had put in would be trashed if we went straight for the Through trip today. As there would be no one to derig and Silvestre takes water from most of the Sobra Valley and dumps it down Electronica, I'm damn sure I don't want to be there when there's much water flowing. What's more, we had the team dinner down at Anna's in Sotres, this has been an institution for British cavers visiting the area dating back to at least 1986 (if not before) with a reference to LUSS having visited back in '86 http://www.tresvisocaves.info/Reports/journal87.html

How could we miss such an important meal, well, no we couldn't. So derigging it was, with a quick survey down to the active sump by waterfall chamber on the way out.

After the Survey (I stayed dry by getting others to do it for me). Like usual, I just took a bag and got out of the way of the derigging to speed things up.

In next to no time we were on the surface, me and Arwel having got changed first, so when they surfaced, we quickly decided to pick up all the kit we could and carry it to the van at the top of the Lumberjack's lane. As we reached the top, sweating buckets Arwel reminded me that we were going back down to help the other two with their bags. Eeep. Another trip up and down the hill, my third for the day (don't ask!).

Shortly, all four of us were in the van making our way down the valley to Tresviso for a shower an important question was raised, we'll be in Sotres with no way of keeping the Bar open! Has anyone bought the beer in?!? flagging down several cars in the mist, the first being mere civilians. We soon found out that no one had bought any beer in, so a quick trip to the bar to overbuy a few crates of beer ensured that no one would be going thirsty tonight.

A quick shower and then off to the meal followed by drinks. A top holiday.

I've attached a bad paint copy of the survey I produced to give you an idea, The entrance is in the south (red section, pitch down just to the east) and the Hall of the Mountain king is in the north, slightly south east of the main drag.
Stats on the Survey, Length of Passages 787m and height difference 228m.


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Well-known member
Next year we'll need to make an effort to tie in the surveys, partly by progressing the survey down towards Marniosa. I think it could be easier to do it this way (downstream), also we need to get an accurate height fix on the Silvestre Entrance. Normal GPS only gets you so far, Chris Jones took his all singing and dancing watch to Marniosa and magically pulled the altitude of the entrance higher up the hill for us. Clever things these watches.

Hopefully he can send the altitude of the Silvestre entrance down next year, so we can be happy that the entrances are where they should be.

Then either we spend a day doing the through trip, surveying as we go. Or we find another entrance on the Sobra Hillside which enters Yorkshire Inlet (even further downstream of Hall of the Mountain King).

Something about the surveys doesn't marry up yet, and we don't have original data for marniosa, so there's a big question mark over that. but my money is on the survey I did! Out of everything, I'm most happy to blame myself for the surveys not joining. I'll hardly complain if I have to go back to this wonderful cave and resurvey.

And the Divers will be pushing for another entrance to Marniosa down where they're pushing Sump 2, Although whether it will be easier for them to push via another entrance remains to be seen.
The devil you know vs the devil you don't. (a potential for the surface to have harsh limestone underfoot, Gorse bushes, Brambles, Dense woodland, Steep unclimbable slopes and/or a long carry of diving kit from a vehicle/hut). When underground, the divers have reported the passages beyond sump two are a bit gnarly, so know what they might encounter through another entrance.


Well-known member
Also, there is a bad paint copy of the Survex file which shows Silvestre Highlighted in yellow dots (in the survey attached above), with the rest of the Marniosa system sprawling out to the east, It shows there are some lovely reoccurring patterns in the plan view which might be interesting to follow in subsequent years. especially as we know that ours joined in on a right angle bend in the streamway dominated in upstream silvestre by a rift type development.

I'd be adding question marks in my head on every right angled bend in the streamway to see if anything can be gained from Bolt climbing etc.

I've very unskillfully cut off the higher levels of Silvestre, as there's some data tidying to do up there when we've got the surveys linked. It doesn't look too pretty yet in Survex.


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Well-known member
No fancy drone flyovers from me i'm afraid, you'll have to get a flavour from a google earth image. Pretty self explanatory, but the Passages from Silvestre are not on yet, and the entrance to Silvestre is in Purple.

The two Hiking stick men are the start of the Lumberjack track and the turn off for Silvestre. not our original route in, on the first day of prospecting, that was due south of Silvestre from the car park at the head of the Sobra Valley.

Google maps has made some assumtions about the route of the Rio de Sobra and just placed it over some hillside rather than in the river itself, who knows they might be right! but it gives you a rough idea of where you're looking at on the image below. https://goo.gl/maps/uu4pc8k5ZAT2


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Simon Wilson

New member
I have only just seen this thread. I had some time off from UKCaving last year.

I was really excited to read that Flower Pot has been revisited and significantly extended. Fantastic news and well done.

Flower Pot was discovered in 1980 on an expedition organised by LUSS but with a large contigent of Burnley Caving Club members. The whole expedition had a day off from caving to concentrated on prospecting. Under the guidance of our geologist Pete Hartley we all set off to go up the surrounding mountains and walk down ridges. The theory was that entrances on ridges are far less likely to be filled with regolith.

One of the parties, which inlcuded Pete Hartley and Bob Riley, discovered Flower Pot and it was named as such because the entrance doline had flowers in it. The following day Bob and I descended the first pitches of both series and named them Bill and Ben.

It might have been the same day that members of LUSS discovered Dossers Delight. That was named because it was thought to be the easy cave for the dossers to play around in - ha ha - easy cave in the Picos?

It was a very busy expedition with parties down many caves over four weeks including major extensions of Sima 56 and Tere (discovery of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers series of shafts). That expedition went out with very few prospects to go at. The main objective was 56 but we were told it didn't look promising. We were told to attempt to traverse above the Far Canal Pitch. It was only the second or third day of the expedition that we burst out into Humbug Hall then set up camp one in a rift beyond it. Things were turned around that year and the expedition ended with several very promising going caves.

There is huge potential in the Eastern Picos.