Updated 19th February 1999; 26th October 2001; 20th January, 7th June 2002; 1st February 2006; 28th October 2007; 7th January 2011; 26th December 2012; 9th September 2015; 30th June 2018
The above grid reference is at the centre of the shaft as seen on Google Earth, 2015. The survey starts at 30T 450360 4794982, the east side of the northern edge. This has not (yet) been altered. The Survex 3d file below show this as two entrances.
The length includes Cueva-Cubío de la Reñada (48), Torca de Azpilicueta (333), Torca de Papá Noel (1471), Torca de la Vera Negra (36), site 1338, Torca
de Coterón (264), site 675 and Cueva Comellantes (40). A table of the depth within the South Vega System from each entrance can be seen here.
In 1995, the cave was linked into the South Vega System by bolting and climbing one of the avens in Stuffed Monk Gallery in Cubio de la Reñada (site 48). A tackle list for a pull- through trip is included at the end of this cave description.
Holly trees surround the top of the roomy 27m Black Crow Pitch. The landing is on a boulder slope which chokes at its base. The way on is through a slot on the right. Following the inward draught through tight passage leads to the constricted head of a 21m pitch. The 3rd pitch of 7.5m follows immediately as does the 4th of 38m. Passage at the bottom stretches in both directions.
The East Wanders is reached by ascending a 10m wide sand- floored passage. A side passage descends to a series of partially collapsed phreatic tubes (which eventually join up with the pitch chamber) and a passage which leads to a large hall half full of house sized blocks. Back in the main phreatic level a four ways junction is reached. The right hand passage soon closes down at a well decorated chamber and rift; straight ahead is a sandy crawl under stalactite grills to a well decorated chamber after 100m; straight ahead is the main way on. This leads to a continuation of the main chamber mentioned before. Turning right here leads, via various boulder scrambles, to the final choke after 120m.
At Easter 1996, the area beyond station 63, marked as unsurveyed, was briefly examined. It appears worthy of a visit as it is draughting and open. During that summer a small extension was surveyed in the East Wanders which returned to the main passage in a 59m loop.
In the eastern arm, 50m north of the big pitch, small crawls and narrow traverses lead to a point where the collected water pours down a large pitch. This excellent free hanger is followed at once by a 15m pitch. The stream disappears down a tiny hole but by carrying on over the top through a muddy passage, another short pitch is reached which chokes at the base. Other leads remain to be pushed.
West Wanders starts from the base of the 4th pitch and traverses the same phreatic level as the East Wanders for 150m to a T junction. Both branches choke. There are a number of shafts along this route ranging from 15 to 70m in depth all of which have been explored? One of these holes, 150m from the main pitch, in a chamber on the right, is the route down to Reñada.
A few metres west of the 38m pitch base, a hole in the south wall leads to a small side passage, the start of the Easter 1995 extension. Climb up a narrow rift gains a chamber and, after a low sandy crawl has been negotiated, an area with several holes in the floor is reached. A 5m descent drops into a lower chamber with no obvious way on.
Traversing back over the earlier narrow rift and entering a small phreatic maze in the left hand side, a voice connection with the main passage may be achieved. Straight ahead however, a view down a climb requiring a ladder looks out on a chamber(?) that doesn't appear to be related to the main passage.
In the west wall off the final breakdown chamber in West Wanders, a 15m wide sandy ledge marks the start of Knobs Passage. This appears to be a continuation of West Wanders. Crawling on the right eventually leads to a much larger area containing a 70m(?) high aven and many formations. In the northern side, a small passage leads to a series of small chambers and a large stal column marks the end. A strongly draughting choke is in the wall straight ahead and a climb up to the left into an extensive grotto has an undescended short pitch, both of which might warrant further investigation.
Crawling over 'cornflake' calcite flooring to the left of the big aven and through a stal barrier, the passage continues westwards. Gradually the height becomes better and a boulder choke on the right marks an entrance into a chamber. The choke is extensive but now ay on was found. Beyond the chamber, calcite progressively fills the passage until it eventually chokes the entire route.
The northwesterly corner of the East Wanders appears to come very close to site 388.
Pitch details for pull-through trip
The first pull-through trip left all the drops rigged, i.e. Y-hangs, traverse lines, slings and maillons.
Entrance pitch (27m) Climb down gulley and rig around large tree above head height.
2nd pitch (21m) Tight take off. Thread and bolt belay.
3rd pitch (8m) Traverse line down to lower ledge. 2 bolts.
4th pitch (6m) Sling around thread. (Probably counted as part of the 38m pitch originally).
5th pitch (35m) Thread and bolt Y-hang. Slight rub point halfway down; not serious for pull through.
Approximately 150m up the West Wanders is a pit in the floor off to the right of the main route. A Ren -> sign in carbide on the roof and a cairn at the edge mark the spot.
6th pitch (29m) Two slings on a rock pinnacle. Scramble 20m down a small, steep, keyhole passage.
7th pitch (10m) Sling through a thread in the floor of the keyhole passage. Climb up and down into small chamber. Free climb down 4m ramp to a rock bridge and the next pitch.
8th pitch (28m) Thread and bolt belay. Descend more open side of rock bridge (by thread) to moonmilk-coated slot. Pass slot to find bolts for next pitch below.
9th pitch (39m) Two bolts. This is a hanging belay with only enough room for two people with toes on nobbles on the wall. It is advised that both pitches are rigged with pull-through ropes. First down rigs both; last down de-rigs both.
Tackle requirements: a double 30m rope (60m) and a double 40m rope (80m).
References: anon., 1974b (logbook); anon., 1974a (survey); Fernández Gutiérrez J C, 1975; Manchester University Speleological Society, 1982 (survey); Mills L D J, 1981; Mills L D J and Waltham A C, 1981 (survey); Corrin J S and Smith P, 1981; anon., 1982 (logbook); Addis F, 1982; Corrin J, 1983c (photo); material in file; Corrin J, 1983a (survey); Garcia J L, 1987; Corrin J, 1992b (survey); anon., 1995a (Easter logbook); anon., 1995c (logbook); Corrin Juan, 1995a; Corrin Juan, 1996; anon., 1996a (Easter logbook); anon., 1996b (logbook); Corrin Juan, 1997a; Corrin Juan, 1997b; García José León, 1997 (survey); Corrin Juan, 1999; Corrin Juan, 2001a; anon, 2001d (Christmas logbook); Corrin Juan, 2003c; Corrin Juan, 2005; Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2007; León García José, 2010 (Volume 1 and Volume 2) (line survey section); Papard Philip, Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2014; anon., 2015c (summer logbook)
Entrance picture : yes entrance view in 1982
Underground picture(s): yes
Detailed Survey : on photo of 1982 SVS survey
Line Survey :
On area survey : South Vega System
Survex file : yes (2015: has centre of shaft and survey start marked) (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)
Passage direction rose diagram: South Vega System (30/6/2018)