Thursday, 2 August 2007
ULSA’s most popular cave on foreign soil was about to be visited yet again, and what an awesome through trip it proved to be!!
A pleasant 3hr or so trip on the tuesday saw tom, patrick and myself take some inflatable things (rubber ring etc..) to the start of the lakes via the Coventosa entrance, as only myself and Tom had wetsuits. The lower end to the cave is very impressive with a huge river passage, the superb lakes and some pleasant horizontal caving. The draught issuing from Coventosa was particularly impressive!
We also had a look at the awesome formations to be found in the lower end of the cave.
The next day saw us pottering around some other cave in the area while Carmen was recovering from a cold.
An early start on thursday saw us sweating our way up to the entrance to Cueto which was found without too much fuss. The only incident was a broken tacklebag strap, but this was soon sorted. We were underground around 11am and within a few seconds at the head of the 300m entrance shaft. Fortunately for us, the entrance series was already rigged on 9 and 8mm ropes, as bolts etc were being replaced, and so we didn’t have to endure the pull-through descent! 🙂
Needless to say, an hour and a quarter of continuous abseiling saw us down the pitches and down to -580m. The passage from here to the start of Red Intermedia is HUGE, and it certainly feels like you are on the top of scafell pike on a calm night. Lots of boulder hopping and slopes brought us to the pitch into the start of the red intermedia. A quick stop was had for a sandwhich. The next section down to the lakes provided enjoyable and varied caving with climbs, pitches, traverses and short crawls. Towards the end a narrow pitch is descended, The Turbine, with an impressive draught. Then more big stuff before the pitch down to the start of the lakes.
Tom and myself swam these whilst Patrick and Carmen came across on the rubber ring. Then familiar territory saw us at the entrance to Coventosa after an excellent 9hr trip, that is certainly well worth doing. A 25min walk saw us back at the car and then soon later the bar where many beers were consumed.
The next day saw us in a really nice little cave called Cobadal, which has a superb 1km long streamway.
This concluded our time in Spain. The next part of the tale takes us to the PSM area. To be continued…..