Updated 19th February 1999; 3rd February, 26th October, 11th November 2001; 8th April, 3rd, 7th June, 12th November 2002; 5th November 2003; 19th December 2008; 3rd May 2009
The large entrance, which acts as a goat shelter, is well hidden in trees.
(A trip in the summer of 2002 had the visitors infested with fleas). The
grid reference shown above is the third attempt to give an accurate position;
this GPS reference is some 330m from the original map placement, but is accurate
The route starts as a jog in passage 9m high and 4m wide with stalagmite columns and gours slowing progress. The passage develops into a high rift and ends at a blind 6m pot after passing some fine helictites. Climbs at the end have been checked out.
The cave is an archaeological site with paintings and artifacts. The S.E.S.S.
found a medieval pitcher (picture
from Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008), 17cm high, with a single
handle, half-way through the cave. The passage also contains some 50
schematic-abstract paintings, including complex and representative figures,
sometimes painted on stalactite. (The black markings in the cave are described
and discussed in Smith Peter, 1998b (survey), Muñoz Emilio et al,
1995 and Ruiz Cobo Jesús
and Smith Peter et al, 2001). An iron axe head and small fragments
of prehistoric pottery have been found at the entrance and several
bear skeletons, Ursus speleus,
are located at different points along the passage. A
line drawing of the axe head is reproduced
from Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001. It is suggested
that the cave had pastoral uses during the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages
(Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008, p119). The developing
Acanto web site (by the Federación de Asociaciones para
la defensa del Patrimonio Cultural y Natural de Cantabria) has a section
Rupestre esquemático-abstracto. The Cuatribú section has
cave survey which brings up photos of the black markings.
During a visit at Easter 2009 a number of high alcoves were seen with bones.
There is a muddy climb up at a corner which needs checking out.
References: Fernández Gutiérrez et al, 1966
(survey and photo); Kendal Caving
Club and Manchester University Speleological Society, 1975
(survey and photo); Manchester
University Speleological Society, 1982; Smith P and Munoz E, 1985 ; Cox G,
1973; Mills L D J and Waltham A C, 1981 (survey); Corrin J S and Smith P,
1981; Corrin J, 1983c; Smith P, 1985 (survey); Smith P, 1983; anon., 1994b
(logbook); Muñoz Emilio et al, 1995; anon., 1996b (logbook); anon.,
1997a (Easter logbook); Smith Peter, 1998b (survey); Smith Peter, 1998a (photo);
Smith Peter and Ruiz Cobo Jesús, 1999; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 (photo,
survey and diagrams); anon., 2002a (Easter
logbook); anon., 2008c (Easter logbook); Ruiz Cobo Jesús et
al, 2008; anon., 2009a (Easter logbook)
Entrance picture :
Underground picture(s): yes
Detailed Survey : from 1964: low res high res. from 1975: low res high res
from Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : yes (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)