0383: Escobal, Fuente el
Riaño 30T 450873 4800247 (Datum: ETRS89. Accuracy code: G) Altitude 131m
Length 276m
Area position

Updated 16th September 2017; 5th January, 5th May 2018; 1st October 2019

   [In April 2018 the site was GPS'd and this is shown above rather than 30T 450898 4800291 used for decades.]

   The cave entrance is in trees below the road, entered 5m above the trough at the rising. According to the information board erected nearby, the name of the spring is Fuente el Escobal and not Fuente de Escobar as previously documented. After heavy rain in April 2018, water was seen issuing just below and to the right of the resurgence and also seeping from other small holes throughout the hillside near the fuente.

   A squeeze enters a small chamber and then a tight tube pops into the roof of a 3m high chamber where the stream is met. Both upstream and downstream become too low. The roof passage continues as a crawl until the water is met again emerging from a gour-pooled slot. A small chamber on the other side has the water and draught issuing from another slit over a gour pool - this time too tight. (Old description)

   The site was re-explored on 7th August 2014 (account in 2017 summer logbook) and water could be heard falling in the distance over the final gour pool. Some progress was then made in lowering the final gour pool . The constriction was dug and capped over two sessions and the cave surveyed for 42m over Christmas 2017 / New Year 2018. The excavations were carried out in cold, fast flowing water and an apparent enlargement is visible 3m ahead.

   A number of trips in April 2018 extended the cave to 276m surveyed length after demolishing constrictions including a moonmilk dam and calcite blockage. There are a number of constrictions to negotiate including Mrs Slocombe's Wet Pussy (the final excavation) where a squeeze through in the stream requires one arm forward and one back, Superman-style. Flat-out crawling becomes knee-height followed by thigh-deep pools in walking passage with two ways on. The left passage (with the most water) was explored to a climb up and a number of routes explored. At the end of the left hand passage a number of red-legged spiders were seen and some collected for the Entomolgy Project. (RH passage?).

   The cave survey, the work of Simon Cornhill and Diane Arthurs, was awarded a Distinction at Hidden Earth at the end of September 2019.

References: anon., 1982 (logbook); Corrin J, 1983c; anon., 2017c (summer logbook); anon., 2017e (Christmas logbook); anon., 2018b (Easter logbook)
Entrance picture :
Underground picture(s): April 2018
Video: Inspecting the final chamber (YouTube) : Extensions and constrictions, Easter 2018 (YouTube)
Detailed Survey : 2017, 2018
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : after Easter 2018