Matienzo 2008

Cave exploration around Matienzo during 2008

New Year
   A couple of people stayed on after Christmas / New Year, doing the usual "light exploration" and finding new holes.
   Around the Ozana area, Tree Gallery in Cueva del Coverón was visited and some photos taken. Interesting unexplored shafts at sites 2808 and 2813 were documented.
   Most time was spent on El Naso where sites 2806 and 2812 were entered into small collapse chambers; 10m of new cave passage were discovered in site 2811 and sites 2809 and 2810 remain unexplored. Cueva Roja, site 1235, was photographed.
   The list below shows links to those 14 sites which were extended or newly discovered in January 2008, or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

El Naso 68 Fiesta, Sima de la; 77 Rascavieja, Cueva de; 145 shaft; 1235 Roja, Cueva; 1271 cave; 1556 cave; 2806 cave; 2809 dig;
cave; 2811 cave; 2812 cave;
Ozana 2 Coverón, Cueva del; 2808 shaft; 2813 shaft;

   In early February, the updated survey of Cueva Llueva (png file, 1.3Mb), showing the major extensions discovered last summer, was completed in Tunnel by Paul Fretwell in time for inclusion with the Matienzo '07 article in Speleology. The draft colour version can be seen here.

   A few days were spent on the hills. A tight rift at the back of Cueva de la Mantequilla (site 90) was opened up and the cave beyond re-explored. A few holes were located for future exploration: sites 2814 and 2815 on the southeast flank of Mullir and sites 2816 and 2817 below Cruz Llorada. The Mullir sites were reached by a relatively short walk from Cruz Uzano: up to the top of the track to the pasture and then northeast through the woods to a faint ascending track on the hillside. By parking at the top of the track from Cruz Uzano, it would be possible to reach the Mullir slopes within 40 minutes, carrying tackle.

   The list below shows links to those 16 sites which were extended or newly discovered in February 2008, or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Cruz Llorada 2816 shaft; 2817 shaft;
La Colina 381 Entrambascuetos, Cueva de; 1026 cave; 1027 cave;
La Secada 85 La Cuevona, Abrigo de; 90 Mantequilla, Cueva de la; 1292 cave; 1293 cave; 2084 shaft; 2818 dig;
Muela 217 shaft; 1069 shafts;
Mullir 1977 cave; 2814 shaft; 2815 shaft;

   A (very incomplete) list of "things to do" at Easter can be found here, sorted alphabetically by area and name. There are many sites missing from this list, including most of the digs. But 132 sites is enough to be getting on with.

   Easter was very early this year, and the weather was seasonal - very wet with most days seeing heavy rain and on a couple of occasions the Matienzo river flooding the fields.    Many predicted the weather and stayed in houses, flats and hostels in the area.
   Eighty two people attended the expedition meal at Pablo's, a record number of cavers and associates.
   Despite the weather, there were more than enough speleological activities to get involved with: nearly 6km of new cave passages were surveyed, and 229 sites were visited, including 165 documented new holes.
   Highlights included almost creating the Five Valleys System by pushing Cueva del Torno in Fresnedo to within 50m of the Four Valleys System, and finding a new system in the northwest sector of the permission area. This may well open up the elusive Cobadal - Aguanaz network.
The following is a summary of the Easter activities. All the sites visited over Easter are indicated in the final list with links to the updated description.

The Four (or Five?) Valleys System
   The Four Valleys System brings together at least the waters on and below the Riaño, Matienzo and Llueva valleys and resurges in the Secadura valley. The Canyon Passage in the southwest sector of Cueva del Torno at Fresnedo was dug on a number of occasions and entry gained through the boulder choke in a low level crawl to open passage. The main route varies between 1.5 to 3.5m wide with roof approaching 20m above in places. The draughting route finishes in another dangerous boulder choke collapse, 50m from the Road to Torno in Cueva Riaño. An inlet near the end was bolted up during an 18 hour trip but the water emerged from a tiny hole. To prove the connection, a smoke test with molephones should be the way to go. In all, 667m were surveyed in this section of the cave, including 120m in a high level rift passage that heads south east from the initial boulder choke.
   Elsewhere in Torno, within 10 minutes of the entrance, a climb up from the main passage gained a complicated and generally small series that heads out to the west, paralleling the entrance hillside and ending up close to the valley that runs up to Barrio Regolfo. Surveying and digging out sections in nearly 1.1km of new passage provided several teams with a project over a number of days. Along with a couple of other small links and choked passages, the total surveyed in Cueva del Torno was 1.9km, taking the length to nearly 5km.
   Perched about 90m above the Canyon Passage 1st boulder choke, site 2414 proved interesting. Because of the wet weather, a stream was heard rumbling through the back wall of the entrance depression (which already has 2 entrances to short lengths of passage). This third hole was dug out to small, wet passage. A 14m pitch was eventually descended in a chamber with a waterfall, where digging has been left until a dry summer. Above this site, two holes were explored: site 2976 is 14m deep and a stream sink; site 2977 chokes 18m down.
   Elsewhere in Fresnedo, site 2840 was reported as a vertical drop into a large rift and site 2841 as a dig which may drop into an open crawl. Site 2960 is a 4m deep shaft; site 2961 is a shaft belling out with warm air and tight passage off at the bottom and site 2962 is a p5 with a crawl to a large rift passage that closes in.
   In Cueva Riaño, further exploration happened at the end of 89 Cents Tinto chamber, where the route, apparently very close to the surface, ends in breakdown. A new site, 2904 sits over the end of the passage. The Pray Aven was also bolted up but not completed? The Acid Bath was also bolted and passage entered. The total surveyed in Cueva Riaño was 155m. (Descriptions needed).
   In Cueva Hoyuca, Gour Inlet was climbed and pushed to a 369m metre extension heading east upstream. The route involves some muddy crawling, with walking in fine rift passage and passing a boulder choke. The original exploration and survey was carried out in very wet conditions and the passage currently ends at a 6m diameter chamber (Sensory Deprivation) which was filled with spray, wind and noise, with possibly more than one inlet cascading in from above. The details of the exploration can be read in the log book account.
   Last year, site 2691 at the base of a deep depression was molephoned to within 7m of the top of rifts climbing up from the Gorilla Walk some 65m below. This Easter, the Giant Panda entrance was opened up and stabilised. This route in should now permit more working time in the far reaches of the cave.
   A number of other holes were documented including site 2856, a "distinctly diggable" site well to the west of the main passages in Riaño and site 2859. This was dug through to walking passage that quickly closed down at loose debris. The unused shaft entrance to Hoyuca (site 2872) was finally pinpointed. Other holes inspected in the Riaño area are shown in the list below.
   In Cueva Llueva, the main discovery was a new chamber down a 7m climb and tight p9 at the end of the high level western passages beyond the Big Red Knob Room. The chamber and side passages were surveyed for 280m. Conditions in the bouldery climbs up were very wet and prevented one trip to the new extensions. A roped traverse at high level has been installed from the bouldery slope down to the river (below the entrance pitch) to the following uphill boulder slope into the cave. This has allowed all weather access even when the fields in Matienzo were in flood. A full colour survey can be viewed as a pdf or png file.
   The downstream continuation of Cueva Llueva has yet to be found. With a view to checking on old leads with new heads, Torca de Cillarón (a major fragment above the downstream route) was tackled up, but nothing new was discovered. Also, Cueva Verdura (site 891) was revisited but ambiguous leads closed in.
   In La Secada, around the major southern input to the Four Valleys System, sites 2826 and 2827 (lying over passages in Cueva de los Tres Niños) were described as good digs. Lying over the Trident Passages, site 2824 is an undescended 8-10m shaft and site 2825 is a resurgence pushed to a flat out crawl in water with 6m visible ahead. In western La Secada, the enticing noise at the base of Torca J.R. was brought closer with some judicious excavations. Perched above the western end of the system sites 2816 and 2817 at Cruz Llorada both provide digging fodder for the summer, when any draught through the visible passages will be felt.
   At Fuente Las Varas, a line of undescended shafts are up to 5m deep. (Site 2823).
   The areas around the resurgence in Secadura and on the ridge between Secadura and Llueva also received some attention. In Three Idiots, the small passage at the head of the big pitch was opened out to allow future exploration across the top. The resurgence at site 2792 was pushed for 10m before it became too small; site 2881 is a 6m deep shaft while site 2882 is a small hole with a 10m aven and too tight passage. Site 2885 is a dig in a mud-filled cave where it is possible to see 5m.
   Other sites in Secadura, away from the Four Valleys System were site 2386, where an impressive shaft dropped 11m to a choke; site 2390 was explored down an echoing and draughting 9m pitch into a good sized chamber where a tight crawl led to a dead end. Site 2875 is described as a resurgence with a descending tube to water that needs pushing.

The Fuente Aguanaz - Cobadal System
   Proven by dye testing, this potentially huge system is starting to reveal underground passages. The main new cave find of the expedition (with the working name "You Know What" - site 2889) has provided 2.1km of cave at various levels which could be an entry point into the "main system". Discovered near the end of the expedition, the cave was first explored down 32m of climbs and pitches into a streamway and then into higher level, old, large phreatic passages and narrow rifts, very well decorated in places and also quite complex. The location is not being published just yet, until the original explorers (who had a boat to catch after surveying the grotty streamway) have a chance to catch up and push leads deliberately left in the higher levels. These include open walking passage and 30m drops with the sound of running water. The Survex 3d file shows the various levels in the cave.
   In Barrio de los Urros, site 2918 has a short pitch into a 8 x 5m chamber with 3 inlets where the water sinks in the floor. Site 2916 is a shaft over 20m deep with a powerful draught which has yet to be fully descended - again the location of this site is kept back until the finders can return in the summer.
   At Barrio La Mina, the strongly draughting Pallet Hole was descended through boulders to a bouldery slope and ruckle.
In the complex enclosed depressions at Cobadal, site 613 - Torca de Torcida - is now requiring a complete re-exploration and survey as well as the boulder choke on the high level being worked in less wet conditions. Snottite Cave was pushed at the bottom end crawl, but progress was held back by too much water. In the main cave, the Sumidero de Cobadal, one trip surveyed 33m in the Wounded Knee Series, linking through to Meander Passage. Progress in The Sewer (site 2066) was also held back by wet conditions. A short dig was carried out above the pitch at the end of site 2121, Cueva del Campizo. Various resurgences, sinks and digs were also noted in the area: see sites 2931 - 2946 below.
   At Hornedo and Fuentecil, a walk to GPS the 60m deep Torca El Hondo found a number of resurgences and sinks at the same level - sites 2954 - 2957. During a flood, the amount of water coming out of Cave of the Wild Mare (site 767) was comparable with the main Matienzo river, perhaps 1.5 cumecs. This raises the possibility that this cave (normally without visible flow) could be a flood overflow to Fuente Aguanaz. Sites 2906 and 2907 are sinks next to the road which will repay further attention.    Other interesting sites include a "cave entrance in long scar in field leads to possible drop" (site 2920); site 2947 is a "draughting low entrance to a 4m pitch which needs checking out on a hot day", as does site 2948 - a 7m long site with a possible dig at high level. Site 2950 is an unexplored cave over sandstone, and sites 2951 and 2952 are both sinks that could be dug.
   At La Gatuna, a resurgence cave (Hypocritical Cave - site 2887) was surveyed for 78m with a possibility for extension. At San Antonio, to the west of the back-end of Fuente Aguanaz, site 2831 is a resurgence and sink that could be excavated.

Toad in the Hole and the Seldesuto / Las Calzadillas areas
   Torcón de la Calleja Rebollo (or Toad in the Hole to it's friends) was the focus for a 6 day onslaught. The trips included pushing the end of the Move It extensions. A drop down a 20m pitch landed in lots of mud, suggesting "a pretty terminal area". Draught testing in Man Down showed a route through dodgy boulders and a climb down a 25m pitch. This lands in a very muddy chamber which sumps. There is a small stream with mud banks and no draught which was not followed. A couple of the avens at the end were also climbed but no passage gained. Closer to the entrance, between Cloud Nine and Cargo Rift a phreatic maze was entered and surveyed in Girly Day Out. The sound of water comes from a large aven with a big waterfall coming in from above. Water sinks in a tight rift but the roof of the aven cannot be seen and this area is a good lead for next time. Over half a kilometre of new passage was surveyed, taking the total length to 7902m. The deepest point reached was at an altitude of 182m, the same height as the South Vega resurgence, Cueva Comellante.
The finds in Toad gave a good reason for prospecting in the rain and a number of sites were found in the Las Calzadillas area: sites 2922 - 2930 are sinks or digs.
   Some high level holes were inspected over a kilometre north of Las Calzadillas. This area could drain to Toad, Fuente Aguanaz or the North Vega System. Site 2862 has a dig at the base of a 4m pitch; sites 2863 and 2864 are draughting, dangerous and not so dangerous sites in the same depression - the latter is an easy dig; site 2866 is a 12m deep choked shaft; site 2867 is choked at 4m depth and site 2870 is a 10m long hands-and-knees crawl to a small chamber and a tiny exit.

Muela / Mullir - the mountains to the east
   The newly realised track from Cruz Usano up to the north east onto the slopes of Mullir has given a new impetus to prospecting and exploring, although there were not many visits this Easter - there is no point in being up there in cloud and rain! A number of sites were relocated with a GPS and some, such as site 209 with its impressive surface features, deserve a re-exploration and survey. Site 212, the deepest straight drop in the area, was one of the holes relocated with the realisation that site 1785 is the same hole. The stats for 212 now give a straight drop of 164m with a total depth of 184m. In 2004, site 810 was left as a tight pitch head opening up to 8-10m width with water heard and looking very promising. This was dropped at Easter as a p40 with a possible p20 beyond another constriction that requires enlarging.
   New unexplored holes now also include site 2819 (p6m?), site 2820 (p5?), site 2966, 2967 (p10m? with rocks continuing to roll), site 2968 (p10m?) and 2969 (p5m?).

West of Cruz Usano
   Site 2813 was discovered in January as a short drop in a shakehole. At Easter the cave was explored through an excavated crawl, down a p5 into a calcited chamber with a wet crawl and bouldery slope closing in - a total length of 52m. The memorable final trip involved umbrellas being hastily lowered during a thundery hail storm and strong winds with sleet and snow during the walk back - hardly "sunny Spain".
   A set of dolines runs down from site 2813 and these revealed a number of interesting, undescended holes. Site 2846 is an 8m deep rift in an area of joints that requires more investigation; site 2847 is a wide hole about 5m deep and site 2848 is about 15m deep. Below the pasture at the start of the walk through the wood, 3 sites require descending: 2963 - 2965.

South Vega
   A small amount of prospecting and underground pushing was carried out over the 31451m long South Vega System. In Torca de Coterón, a traverse around to the left of the Edge of the Universe (p70) entered a passage which closed down after 15m.    The boulder choke at the end of Cueva del Zorro was poked and the narrow passage at the base of the nearby site 1512 was enlarged. This dig now requires drier weather to progress. Some unexplored sites were "ticked off": site 2654 is a 9m deep blind pot; 2655 is about 5m deep; 2658 is a free-climbable 6m drop; 2699 is a fenced, walk-in cave as is site 2701; site 2890 is 3m deep; site 2894 is a climb down to a dig; site 2896 is a small rift cave with possible dig. Others are documented but undescended: site 2891 - 9m deep; site 2892; site 2895 - 9m deep with water heard falling; site 2897 a small climb into a cave that needs enlarging; site 2913 - p4m; site 2972 - an open short drop on the side of a valley that needs descending and site 2973 - a low half tube that goes at least 3m.
   Cueva Tablons (site 242) was dug on one occasion.
   To the south, and accessed from Arredondo, Cueva Vallina was entered on three occasions - it would have been four but the team was put off the walk by the driving sleet and snow storm. Passage to the south of Clapham Bypass revealed 96m but the main focus was on climbing avens in the same vacinity. Smelly Hat Aven yielded 275m of passage and it would appear to be very close to the base of site 753, Torca de Rotura where a sandy floored chamber has a 10cm wide fissure emitting a cold draught... The total surveyed in Cueva Vallina was 371m ,taking the total length to 31572m.

Other areas
   On El Naso, site 2850 was dug out and 10m of 1x1m passage entered to a choke; site 2851 is a crawl under a sandstone roof into a small chamber and site 2852 is a 2m crawl to a 2m wide rift that drops down a p4. Site 2975 is a walk down entrance near to site 150 with a slope into a medium size fossil chamber.
   In another hunt for "Joe's Lost Cave" (100m of well decorated passage) above San Miguel, three small sites were found 2837 - 2839 but Joe's find remains lost.
   At San Panteleón de Aras, surface prospecting revealed sites 2842 - 2844.

   Thanks must go again to Pablo and family at Bar Germán - the use of the restaurant as an expedition base during the larger expeditions is vital and greatly appreciated. The Ghar Parau Funds committee has awarded £300 to Matienzo 2008, which we hope will be in the Matienzo bank account before the summer. Thanks are also due to the people who supported the fund raising event at the Station Hotel, Ribblehead, arranged by Andy Pringle.

   The list below shows links to those 229 sites which were extended or newly discovered over Easter 2008, or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Arredondo 733 Vallina, Cueva;
Barrio de los Urros 2916 shaft; 2917 cave; 2918 shaft; 2919 dig;
Barrio La Mina 2070 dig; 2834 Pallet Hole; 2836 cave;
Cobadal 613 Torcida, Torca de; 926 cave; 1163 Casillas, Cueva; 1874 Snottite Cave; 1930 , Sumidero de; Cobadal 2066 Sewer, The; 2121 Campizo, Cueva del; 2908 Bus Stop Shelter hole; 2931 sink; 2932 sink; 2933 resurgence; 2934 dig; 2935 sink; 2936 shaft; 2937 hole; 2938 shaft; 2939 hole; 2940 hole; 2941 sink; 2942 dig; 2943 shaft; 2944 cave; 2945 sink; 2946 cave;
Cruz Llorada 2816 shaft; 2817 shaft;
Cubija 71 Mostajo, Torca del;
El Naso 68 Fiesta, Sima de la; 989 Rosa Roja, Torca de la; 1556 cave; 2377 shaft; 2378 shaft; 2850 cave; 2851 cave; 2852 cave; 2884 dig; 2910 cave; 2921 dig; 2975 cave;
Fresnedo 987 dig; 2366 Torno, Cueva del; 2652 shaft; 2840 shaft; 2841 dig; 2886 sink; 2909 cave; 2960 shaft; 2961 shaft; 2962 shaft; 2976 shaft; 2977 shaft;
Fuente Las Varas 2823 shafts;
Fuentecil 1167 Hondo, Torca El;
Hornedo 767 Wild Mare, Cave of the; 2889 "You Know What"; 2906 sink; 2907 sink; 2920 cave; 2947 cave; 2948 cave; 2949 cave; 2950 cave; 2951 sink; 2952 sink; 2953 cave; 2954 resurgence & sink; 2955 resurgence & sink; 2956 resurgence & sink; 2957 resurgence & sink; 2958 dig;
Ideopuerta 2860 shaft; 2861 hole;
La Gatuna 2887 Hypocritical Cave;
La Secada 85 La Cuevona, Abrigo de; 90 Mantequilla, Cueva de la; 366 J.R., Torca de; 2824 shaft; 2825 resurgence; 2826 dig; 2827 shaft;
Las Calzadillas 2862 dig; 2863 shaft; 2864 shaft; 2865 cave; 2866 shaft; 2867 shaft; 2868 resurgence; 2869 cave; 2870 cave; 2922 sink; 2923 shaft; 2924 sink; 2925 sink; 2927 hole; 2928 sink; 2929 sink; 2930 sink;
Llueva 109 Cellaron, Torca de; 114 Llueva, Cueva; 2959 dig;
Llueva/Secadura 891 Verdura, Cueva;
Moncobe 2821 sink; 2822 shaft;
Muela 131 shaft; 132 cave; 188 shaft; 209 shaft; 211 cave; 212 Sima M-49; 230 shaft; 810 shaft; 1065 shaft;
Mullir 1977 cave; 2819 shaft; 2820 shaft; 2966 shaft; 2967 shaft; 2968 shaft; 2969 shaft;
Ozana 13 Cuatribu, Cueva de; 242 Tablons, Cueva de los; 517 XLs, Torca; 521 Arrendajo, Sima del; 1967 shaft; 2813 shaft; 2845 shaft; 2846 shaft; 2847 shaft; 2848 shaft; 2926 shaft; 2963 hole; 2964 shaft; 2965 shaft; 2970 shaft; 2971 hole;
Riaño 105 Riaño, Cueva de; 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 207 Cuvia, Fuente de la; 255 resurgence; 718 cave; 1805 cave; 1809 cave; 2691 Giant Panda entrance; 2849 shaft; 2853 sink; 2854 sink; 2855 sink; 2856 dig; 2857 sink; 2858 dig; 2859 cave; 2872 shaft (Hoyuca entrance); 2898 hole; 2899 3 A-tree-goes, The; 2900 cave; 2901 hole; 2902 cave; 2903 Church Entrance (Hoyuca entrance); 2904 hole; 2905 hole; 2974 Number 1 entrance (Hoyuca); 2978 Ostrich Farm entrance;
S Vega 264 Coterón, Torca del; 345 Zorro, Cueva del; 1384 dig; 1512 cave; 1888 shaft; 2424 shaft; 2541 shaft; 2654 shaft; 2655 shaft; 2658 dig; 2699 cave; 2700 shaft; 2701 shaft; 2890 shaft; 2891 shaft; 2892 shaft; 2893 shaft; 2894 shaft; 2895 shaft; 2896 cave; 2897 shaft; 2912 hole; 2913 shaft; 2914 shaft; 2915 shaft; 2972 shaft; 2973 cave;
San Antonio 2831 resurgence & sink;
San Miguel 1768 Sima CR-2; 2837 cave; 2838 shaft; 2839 shaft;
San Pantaleón de Aras 422 Entrambascuevas 2; 2842 dig; 2843 cave; 2844 cave;
Secadura 205 shaft; 206 shaft; 2386 cave; 2390 cave; 2786 Three Idiots; 2792 resurgence; 2871 shaft; 2873 dig; 2874 cave; 2875 resurgence; 2876 cave; 2877 resurgence; 2878 cave; 2879 cave; 2880 cave; 2881 shaft; 2882 cave; 2883 shaft; 2885 cave; 2888 hole; 2911 resurgence;
Seldesuto 258 Calleja Rebollo, Torcón de la;
Solórzano 2414 cave; 2476 Carcass Cave;

   A small team concentrated on holes in the western sector around Barrio La Mina, Camposdelante, Cobadal and Las Calzadillas. Some holes were explored to a conclusion and others left as draughting digs. One hole - Dos Perros at Cobadal - was described as suicidal, and remains undescended.
   On El Naso and the north Vega slopes, site 2997 was explored in two short caves and site 2999 was excavated over a number of days towards the top of a 20m drop.
   Near La Colina, Alpine Chough Pot was found again and the entrance GPS'ed, while a couple of months previously Cueva de Tali 2 was "lost" as the entrance was covered over with soil and building rubble.
   The interim survey for Torca La Vaca was produced and is now available.
   And another "milestone" was passed: the Matienzo area now has over 3000 documented sites of speleological interest, from a 50km system to small draughting holes.

  The list below shows links to those 42 sites which were extended or newly discovered over and around the Whit period 2008, or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances located with a GPS.

Barrio La Mina 2834 Pallet Hole; 2980 cave; 2981 dig; 2982 shaft;
Camposdelante 2983 dig; 2984 dig; 2985 dig; 2986 dig; 2987 cave;
Cobadal 2988 Dos Perros;
El Naso 60 Arnilla, Torca de; 361 shaft; 1829 shaft; 2997 caves;
Hornedo 2889 Vaca, Torca La;
La Colina 99 Alpine Chough Pot; 0898 cave & shafts; 3001 dig;
La Secada 90 Mantequilla, Cueva de la;
Las Calzadillas 1815 cave; 2989 dig; 2990 shaft; 2991 cave; 2992 dig; 2993 shaft; 2994 cave; 2995 cave; 2996 cave;
Muela 316 shaft; 317 shaft;
N Vega 429 shaft; 2576 cave; 2663 shaft; 2998 Pretty Fox Cave; 2999 shaft; 3000 dig; 3002 shaft;
Ozana 31 Tali 2, Cueva de;
Riaño 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 2691 Giant Panda entrance;
Secadura 2871 shaft; 2979 sink;

   The weather throughout the summer period was generally excellent, with no repeat of last years rain in August. The expedition was a long affair with groups, including new faces from Manchester University, from mid-July to the end of August. Excellent results were produced.    Over 7km of new cave passage were surveyed, mainly in Torca La Vaca in Hornedo and Cueva Hoyuca in Riaño. Together with the Easter finds, this year has seen more than 13km of new cave surveyed, the best since 1975 (except for 1989, when Cueva Vallina shouldn't have been surveyed!)

The Four (or Five?) Valleys System
   As part of the on-going re-exploration and re-survey of the 50km Four Valleys System (coordinated by Paul Fretwell), the Gour Inlet extension was pushed from The Thunderdome. At Easter, this was a chamber full of noise and spray; during the summer explorations a dry 25m high aven greeted the explorers. The first rash of bolts met a slope to a large passage heading west. This was later pushed to the top of the original aven in "old" Gour Inlet and, with various loops and side routes, the total length of this segment came to 816m. Also along this passage are fine fossils including corals and a set of vertically stacked fault chambers, where huge blocks have dropped off sandstone beds to create a 30m high series of voids.
   The water inlet was then bolted across to and a streamway entered. The explorers surveyed in for over 550m on a NE trend in walking passage about 2m wide and up to 20+m high. The passage continued for an estimated 350m past grottos and up a set of half metre cascades where it changed to a hands-and-knees crawl. The water emerged from a choke of large, rounded cobbles. The whole of this streamway is on a very shallow gradient with a cream flowstone floor. There is knee deep wading in the upstream section. For the next trip, as well as surveying the final section, there is also the possibilty of a high level phreatic route to investigate.
   Much closer to the old entrances, re-surveying of Roofers' Way, Quadraphenia and Marathon Passage provided a small amount of new passage and, possibly more importantly, gave z information for the new survey.
   With the focus on Torca La Vaca, there were only two trips into Cueva del Torno in the summer, despite the enticing possibility of Torno linking with Cueva Riaño and creating the Five Valley System. On one trip, a bypass to the traverse before Torno Chamber was discovered and on the second, 204m was surveyed at the end of a passage discovered at Easter, in a complicated vertical mess above Torno Chamber. Above this system, the digs in the chamber at the base of site 2414 were excavated but require further enlargement.
   On the northern side of Fresnedo, Slaves Cave was enlarged and a breakthrough made into substantial, steeply dipping upstream and downstream segments - nearly 100m and over 60m respectively. 120m to the north, site 2739, Coercion Cave was extended beyond a swinging slab into walking passage, a fine chamber and cross rifts, ending at a sump. Other holes investigated at Fresnedo are listed below.
   Further sites in Riaño were investigated including a re-positioning (after 2 days looking) and re-exploration of the overgrown cave complex at Fox Cave (site 936). The draughting site 3026 continues to be excavated - this is a good 500m from any known cave. Also in Riaño, site 3016 was found to be a tight, 5m deep shaft, but not before a calf "explored" the drop the day before. Both human exploration and calf rescue were a success.
   On the ridge between Llueva and Secadura, Cueva Andando and Three Idiots continued to engage a number of people and some sort of conclusion was reached. The survey centre lines show both sites almost meeting 45m down (26m from the base), but the exploring surveyor was not at all sure that where he was in the complicated shaft agreed with the old survey. Another trip is required with a more detailed survey.
   Hole in the Road, an entry point to Cueva Bollón. and hopefully through to the 4 Valleys System, was again found to be sumped off, thwarting efforts to climb up to a tantalising hole. A very long spell of dry weather is required before any pushing trip in here.
   High above the Trident Passages in Cueva Hoyuca, site 2824 was dropped 6m to an 8m long rift and a too tight p5; the resurgence at site 2825 was pushed to a flatout crawl with the continuation open ahead; site 3003 dropped 5m into a well decorated, circular chamber and site 3004 was excavated to a 13m pitch dropping into a fine 20 x 15m decorated chamber. The ridge across the centre of the chamber hid a deep static sump pool on the far side.

The Fuente Aguanaz - Wild Mare - Cobadal catchment
   The new cave, Torca La Vaca, at Hornedo was a prime focus throughout the summer and over 4km was surveyed in the hole, taking the length to 6.3km (survey 10Mb). Once the original finders and explorers had assembled, the business of pushing the system began. The various levels of the entrance series were confirmed as being mostly truncated by sandstone chokes or clusters of formations. At a number of places on the top level, pitches were dropped about 35m to the base level, often meeting segments of the underlying stream passage. One early trip had an original explorer cutting the tape at the start of the Dingle/Pringle Pretty Pushing Passage, left from Easter, only to meet a sandstone choke 70m in, after traversing past columns and calcite flows. The roomy high and middle levels heading south were a temporary stopping point with more sandstone. Pushing down a tight p5 and a larger p6 (past a 1m thick bed of coal) on the far side of the sandstone reached the open river at Lake Bassenthwaite. The immediate first hurdle was a spacious duck with the wind whistling through. This proved to be straightforward - 10m long with a pull-through rope and passed more or less upright in out-of-depth water. The route south then split, the watery passage upstream or the high level up a climb to the right. The following few days were a fever of pushing and survey.
   After about 300m of exploration in both passages, the routes reunited at Can You Hear the Buzzing, a complicated chamber with an inlet from the west that requires a shovel to continue through a draughting muddy crawl. The explored route south from here is out of the water at high level in generally walking passage with some loose boulder climbs. After passing through the A590 Vindication Highway, a junction is met at the Whites Haven, half a km almost due south of the duck. The Whites Haven is a dry, tall side passage, well decorated with gypsum. Continuing along the main passage more boulder piles are traversed and a loop to the right has (possibly) a kilometre of passage to survey in a joint-controlled network.
   Tuna Can Corner, 750m due south of the duck, is another focal point, where the water can be regained in a series of smaller passages called the Mancunian Candidate. Continuing along the high level a major bouldery, draughting mess is met which stopped progress for some time. The route south was found down at water level in the Mancunian Candidate. An aqueous route upstream was pushed to the southeast and southwest to end at a bouldery pile just south of the major collapses at high level. A squeeze up through the Rib Tickler brought the explorers back into the high level with a boulder choke a few metres to the north. To the west and south the way on was open in large tunnel which eventually rose up to the roof at Shoulder of Mutton Chamber, some 1.1km due south of the Lake Bassenthwaite duck. Surveying from here on the way out, the exuberant explorers made a wrong turning at the bottom of the Rib Tickler and surveyed upstream instead of down, adding another couple of hundred metres by mistake.
   The system is by no means finished - there are holes down near the current end, streamways need pushing in various directions and inlets and avens need exploring. The survey shows the current leads and the current end, almost under the summit between Hornedo and the large depressions in Cobadal.
   All of the water met in the cave is believed to drain to site 767, Wild Mare Cave, gathering under the northwest corner of Torca La Vaca - where the shafts from high level reach water - and then passing through a flooded phreatic area. The water emerges in Wild Mare cave and eventually resurges in the main river bed in normal flow or backing up to flow out of the entrance in moderate and severe flood. Wild Mare Cave was thoroughly explored and pushed over the summer providing new leads at high and low levels, all of which petered out.
   The potential for the Wild Mare - Cow Pot system is huge. About 1.5km to the west, Fuente Aguanaz is the major resurgence in the area and optical brightener has been used to prove a link from the Sumidero de Cobadal, 3.5km to the southeast. There are various possibilities for the drainage, none of which can be currently discounted:
1: The drainage from the Sumidero de Cobadal to Fuente Aguanaz is a discrete system and has no connection with Torca La Vaca, which picks its water up from the western depressions in Cobadal, ie the Orchard and Snottite Cave area.
2: During a high flood, water from Fuente Aguanaz may back up underground to overflow into Torca La Vaca and resurge at Wild Mare Cave. This would account for the large amounts of water seen pouring out of Wild Mare in flood.
3: It may be that the Sumidero drains to Torca La Vaca during normal flow and overflows underground into Fuente Aguanaz during high stage. During the dye test, there was a flood event which considerably raised water levels. There were no detectors in Wild Mare Cave and optical brightener only reached the detectors in Fuente Aguanaz because of the high levels over a few days.
   On top of all these possibilities, there is the question of where else both Torca La Vaca and Fuente Aguanaz are fed water from - perhaps Alisas and from part of the Miera. And there is the question of previous water routes... These suggestions are outlined here.

Other holes
   With a major high level route and streamway heading south through a hill to a potentially large catchment, there was bound to be much surface activity in the search for "top entrances", over both La Vaca, Aguanaz and the northern Cobadal areas. At 200m higher than the A590 Vindication Highway, site 2907, an open sewer sink was even entered - there is a possible continuing crawl that is open to anyone. More salubrious sites included various sinks and digs at site 3035; site 3047, a draughting goat pen; site 3048, a more serious, strongly draughting dig that was checked out by the expedition's no.2 thin person; site 3049, a sink with too-tight passage - and so on. These are just a few random examples. In Barrio de Los Urros, to the east of the far reaches of Torca La Vaca, a number of more promising sites were explored. Draughting shaft 2916 was named "Not Enough Ladders" then "Not Enough Rope" as various attempts to reach the bottom, some through clouds of flies, were thwarted. The base was eventually reached at -51m where a narrow rift and mud choke prevent further progress. Site 3034, The Langdales, provides a different experience with draughts emerging up between large sandstone blocks. At site 2917, a small passage in a man-made fridge requires further enlargement to progress. In the same area, sites 3066 and 3067 are digs while 3068 is a dig with an icy draught at 295m altitude (200m above the underground stream) and site 3069 is a large depression with a shaft excavated for 2m to an unstable block with the way on visible...
   Above Fuente Aguanaz at San Antonio, a number of sites were investigated. Sites 3005, 3006 and 3007 are small sites but site 3008 was an open walk-in cave that closed down after 45m. This set of caves was brought to our attention by Lea Ziebold who has a house in San Antonio. (Lea also grows mean green beans). In the same area site 3011 is a short drop onto a chamber with a p12 to a tight rift with a draught and good echo. Site 3012 ends in a chamber after 17m and site 3014 is a flatout crawl under a rockface to a standing chamber. From here a set of draughting pitches is met. The site is currently about 100m long, 30m deep and ends at a very small draughting tube. Site 3027 draughts well and has a boulder and mud floor that needs digging and site 3041 is a tight entrance to a choked streamway 12m down.
   Further south, at the summit and down into Barrio La Mina, Camposdelante and Cobadal, the draughting bouldery mess in Pallet Hole was considered finished after half a dozen visits since last autumn and site 2836 was dug through into a decorated chamber. At Dos Perros (site 2988) an supposed unstable boulder over a pitch was found to be safe but the site finished at a small sump and upstream choke. At 390m altitude and 500m due south of the end of Torca La Vaca, draughting site 3056 was pushed over a couple of days down between loose boulders to a depth of 40m. A good number of digs were undertaken in the areas and these are listed below.
   The large depressions of Cobabdal, a proposed "top sink" area for at the current streamway in Torca La Vaca, was also the scene of great activity. Orchard Cave, a stream cave, was visited and a way on found then enlarged between boulders into more boulders and with a possible route when boulders above have been removed. The water disappearing in this cave would be interesting to trace. The nearby Snottite Hole was not visited but must be a priority next time. A large remnant, Torca de Torcida was re-explored, pushed and completely surveyed in roomy high levels and tighter rifts. The cave is now 673m long and may well drain, in the lower reaches, beyond Snottite and on to Vaca.
   Probably on the periphery of the Torca La Vaca catchment, site 1815 near Las Calzadillas was pushed in a tight tube for a few metres. Other digs were carried out in the area, for example site 3044 where a 2m climb dropped into 6m of passage.
Just outside the northwestern boundary lies the resurgence cave of La Verde. This is supposed to be about 14km long and has a TV programme made about it. Getting hold of a video or survey is proving difficult. However, this system could well drain part of the Moncobe area and perhaps intercept water draining down from Alisas. Holes that were opened up this summer that are in this area include site 3024 with multiple entrances and site 3029 with a good draught.

El Naso and North Vega
  On the southeast flank of El Naso, Cueva Caracoles, first documented in 1981, was finally surveyed to a length of 28m. The cave must have been an entry point (now blocked) to a ramp from the streamway at the far end of Cueva Molino. Flints and shells suggest the cave was a temporary shelter of mesolithic age; calcite on a low wall at the top of the connecting ramp in Molino has been dated to 10.9 - 35ka BP. (Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003).
    Few visits were made onto El Naso. The most interesting sighting was a draughting hole at the base of shakehole, site 3052.
   On North Vega, the large open shaft at site 429 was reinvestigated and finally completed - both pitch branches close down. Pretty Fox Cave, site 2998, closed in almost immediately but the entrance at site 2999 was enlarged on a number of occasions before a thirty metre pitch cwas found to hoke.

Muela / Mullir - the mountains to the east
   On the north side of the mountain, the new track for installing pylons continues to chew up the limestone and ruin the landscape. This will eventually join up with another track coming across the head of the San Miguel de Aras valley. The track and pylon footings appear to be obliterating very few shafts: site 1780 is one that may have disappeared. Others are being explored: site 2969 is a 5m deep shaft to a boulder choke; site 3038 is a 15m shaft with a choked base; a shaft that needs widening at the top to descend is site 3039, about 30 - 40m deep and site 3001, a draughting hole that has been excavated from a fist size hole into a 55m long and 21m deep nicely decorated remnant, still with a draught that requires further investigation.

The Ozana area
   The resurvey of the Risco System (coordinated by Pete Smith) is continuing: this summer, the Dambuster Series was revisted, photographed and extended by 120m - the length of Risco is now just short of 10km. Other holes explored include site 2846, a 5m pitch to a choke; 2848 where a p15m leads to a short length of passage and 3060, a choked 14m deep shaft. To the east of Cruz Usano, site 2964 is a 65m deep series of shafts.
   In Cueva Jivero 2, it was noted that the crayfish population appeared to be thriving.

South Vega and Arredondo
   Cueva de los Cefrales was reinvestigated and extended around the top entrance where phreatic rifts were explored. This cave is now over half a kilometre long and very close to Hidden Hole, itself an isolated 1km fragment, and both good prospects for linking into the South Vega System. A couple of trips were made into Cueva Vallina. One extended a bouldery chamber beyond Roads to Glory into a continuing crawl. Beyond the middle boulder choke, a long trip to Elephant's Passage found that to push a lead noted a few years ago actually needed a ladder.

Other areas and events
   Near Entrambasaguas, the sump at the end of Famous Five Cave resurgence was dived again, meeting an awkward underwater dig that becomes too small. At Barrio del Corral to the northeast of Hornedo, right on the northern boundary of our permitted area, a small stream sinks into a limestone face. Above, there are small rifts to investigate.
   In September ,the area was visited by a biologist from Bilbao University looking at microscopic oligochaeta in the silt from resurgences with water that had never flowed on the surface, eg Comediante would be OK but not Cuevona or Boyones.

   The list below shows links to those 141 sites which were extended or newly discovered over and around the summer period 2008 (mid-July into early September), or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances located with a GPS.

Arredondo 733 Vallina, Cueva;
Barrio de los Urros 2916 shaft; 2917 cave; 3034 The Langdales; 3066 digs; 3067 digs; 3068 dig; 3069 shaft;
Barrio del Corral 3010 cave;
Barrio La Mina 2834 Pallet Hole; 2836 cave; 2981 dig; 3057 dig; 3058 dig; 3061 dig;
Camposdelante 3021 shaft; 3022 hole; 3023 dig;
Cobadal 613 Torcida, Torca de; 618 Orchard Cave; 926 cave; 2938 shaft; 2988 Dos Perros;
Cubija 71 Mostajo, Torca del;
El Naso 59 Molino, Cueva del; 149 cave; 262 cave; 540 cave; 541 shaft; 859 cave; 876 cave; 2910 cave; 3052 dig; 3053 hole; 3054 dig;
Entrambasaguas 1072 Famous Five Cave;
Fresnedo 2366 Torno, Cueva del; 2414 cave; 2687 cave; 2738 Slaves' Cave; 2739 Coercion Cave; 2773 cave; 2976 shaft; 2977 shaft; 2841 dig; 3018 shaft; 3019 hole; 3020 dig;
Fuentecil 3065 dig;
Hornedo 767 Wild Mare, Cave of the; 2889 Vaca, Torca La; 2907 sink; 3035 sink; 3047 dig; 3048 dig; 3049 sink; 3050 dig; 3051 cave; 3055 cave;
La Colina 3001 dig;
La Collada 3056 shaft;
La Secada 81 Carcavuezo, Cueva de; 247 Caracoles, Cueva de los; 512 shaft; 1288 dig; 1452 cave; 2770 dig; 2824 shaft; 2825 resurgence; 3003 cave; 3004 shaft; 3064 dig;
Las Calzadillas 1815 cave; 2992 dig; 2995 cave; 3044 shaft;
Llueva 3062 shaft; 3063 cave;
Moncobe 3024 cave; 3028 dig; 3029 cave; 3030 dig; 3031 dig; 3032 dig; 3033 hole;
Muela/Mullir 1068 dig; 1583 shaft; 1780 Sima M-41; 2969 shaft; 3036 shaft; 3037 cave; 3038 shaft; 3039 shaft; 3040 cave;
N Vega 429 shaft; 2998 Pretty Fox Cave; 2999 shaft;
Ozana 17 Jivero 2, Cueva de; 25 Risco, Sima-Cueva del; 2813 shaft; 2846 shaft; 2847 shaft; 2848 shaft; 2964 shaft; 3059 shaft; 3060 shaft;
Riaño 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 936 Fox Cave; 3016 shaft; 3026 dig;
S Vega 42 Cefrales, Cueva de los; 48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubio de la; 0772 cave; 1512 cave; 2558 cave;
San Antonio 0713 Aguanaz, Fuente; 2374 cave; 3005 cave; 3006 shaft; 3007 shaft; 3008 cave; 3009 resurgence; 3011 shaft; 3012 CTB, Cueva; 3013 dig; 3014 cave; 3015 cave; 3017 dig; 3027 dig; 3041 shaft; 3042 cave; 3043 holes; 3045 cave; 3046 cave;
Secadura 689 Andando, Torca; 2786 Three Idiots;
Seldesuto 1151 cave; 1152 cave; 1250 Lorca, Torca; 3025 dig;

   The autumn discoveries got off to a good start with Cueva Chispas, a 92m long, well decorated cave.  (This was later found to be Cueva Grasienta, site 396, "lost" since 1982). Site 3071 was excavated. A small group spent a week in Matienzo starting at the October fiesta - they found lots of sites around San Antonio and Barrio La Mina, pushing the numbers up by 53 to 3114, including site 3105 which is over 150m long.
   Fuente Aguanaz produced another flood, this time appearing on national television. A picture of the resurgence the day after the flood is shown here.
   Concern about the effect of cavers on the caves brought about fact-finding and conservation / restoration trips into Cueva-Cubio de la Reñada and Torca La Vaca. In the former, Blood Alley was found to be smothered in silt and some other formation smeared with mud. The problems are outlined here. In Torca La Vaca, a couple of stalagmites were mended and two areas of formations cleaned up. A couple of routes were taped around formations, rather than through them. The work carried out can be viewed here.
   In early November, Torca del Hombre, site 3115, sitting beyond the upstream limits of Torca La Vaca was finally pinpointed and explored to -57m.
   The infants' bones discovered in site 2741 in 2007 were removed for further study including carbon dating and DNA analysis. There are almost certainly 2 individuals. The re-survey of Risco is continuing and the latest 3d file including Oñite is found on the description page.
   On the same afternoon as confirming that Grasienta was Chispas (and descending the 5m pitch first mentioned in 1982), shaft 397 (thought to be 1249) was inadvertently descended and an undescended shaft 3070 found. However, site 577 in the same area remains elusive as apparently does 1249.
   Further explorations, taking the site numbers up to 3128, took place over a long weekend around the San Martín fiesta, visiting Hornedo, Fuentecil and San Antonio. Small lengths of passage were entered and more digs noted. (Sites 3081, 3117-3128 and site 3154, active links below)

   The list below shows links to those 75 sites which were extended or newly discovered over and around the autumn period 2008 (September into November), or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances located with a GPS.

Barrio de Los Urros 3034 Langdales, The;
Barrio La Mina 3058 dig; 3061 dig; 3099 shaft; 3100 hole; 3101 cave; 3102 hole; 3103 cave; 3104 rift;
Camposdelante 3115 Hombre, Torca del;
Cobadal 1930 Cobadal, Sumidero de;
Fresnedo 2366 Torno, Cueva del;
Fuente las Varas 3127 shaft;
Fuentecil 3117 cave; 3118 dig; 3154 dig;
Hornedo 3072 shaft; 3073 cave; 3074 dig; 3075 shaft; 3076 dig; 3077 shaft; 3078 dig; 3079 holes; 3080 dig; 3081 cave; 3128 shaft;
La Secada 3071 cave;
N Vega 423 Barandas, Cueva de;
Ozana 25 Risco, Sima-Cueva del; 27 Oñite, Cueva;
S Vega 37 Cabritilla, Sima de la; 48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubío de la; 396 Chispas, Cueva; 397 shaft; 577 Limestone Lump, Torca de; 1249 shaft; 3070 shaft;
San Antonio 713 Aguanaz, Fuente; 3082 dig; 3083 cave; 3084 dig; 3085 cave; 3086 hole; 3087 hole; 3088 dig; 3089 shaft; 3090 cave; 3091 shaft; 3092 dig; 3093 dig; 3094 shaft; 3095 cave; 3096 cave; 3097 cave; 3098 dig; 3105 cave; 3106 cave; 3107 hole; 3108 hole; 3109 cave; 3110 hole; 3111 hole; 3112 shaft; 3113 dig; 3114 resurgence; 3119 dig; 3120 rift; 3121 shaft; 3122 cave; 3123 shafts; 3124 cave; 3125 hole; 3126 cave;
Seldesuto 2741 Callejón de Seldesuto 2;

Winter and Publications
   Pages 17 - 33 in volume 16 of Studies in Speleology (April 2008) is an illustrated article by Peter Smith, Juan Corrin and Jesús Ruiz Cobo about the crania found in Torca del Cráneo (along with pottery) and Cueva del Torno. Titled Heads Will Roll: Prehistoric human remains and pottery from two sites in the Matienzo area (North Spain), the article dates both skulls to the Bronze Age and suggests associated open-air settlements, in both cases at the heads of valleys (Cubija and Solórzano respectively). The pottery from Torca del Cráneo is comparable to pottery from a number of other sites in the area (Cueva Collusa, Cueva de Cofresnedo, Cueva de las Grajas, site 179, La Cuvia de la Vega, Cueva de Reyes and Cueva de Germán). The "burial" sites are typical of the region and age, ie a small entrance (often covered over) and the remains placed not far underground. The article mentions other similar sites such as 709 and Tres Niños and larger caves where bodies are placed at the side of large chambers or amongst boulders, eg Rascavieja, dated to c.2500BC and Cofresnedo, dated to c.1700BC and 1250BC.
   Another recent publication is a British Archaeological Reports (BAR) volume entitled Entre La Marina y La Montaña - Arqueología del Medio Asón (Cantabria, España) written by Jesús Ruiz Cobo (Chuchi), Emilio Muñoz Fernández, with Alejandro Bermejo Castrillo, Pedro García Gómez, Mercedes Pérez Bartolomé and Peter Smith. This is part of the BAR International Series 1799 dated 2008 and the 353 page soft back book is available for £53 from John & Erica Hedges Ltd (
   The volume brings together up-to-date information about excavations and discussions about cave and surface deposits around Matienzo, Rasines, Ramales, Lanestosa and Carranza. These range from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Medieval. Over 51 Matienzo sites are detailed and usefully summarised with surveys and line drawings of artefacts.
   A number of the caves have altered names, eg "Billy's Vision" is now Cueva del Espino and Spear Pot is Torca de la Lanza.
The list of caves below includes those in the two publications: in most cases the web page has been updated with information from one or both. Both volumes are in the Matienzo Library.

   Near the end of December, a trip to re-explore Cueva Covarona in Llueva failed when a new site - Cueva de Cuatro Entradas - was discovered. This was surveyed for 174m. A couple of days later, Cueva Covarona was eventually found, the entrance GPS'ed and new photos taken. The dig in Boil in the Bag was extended under a low arch into a small continuation with a 4m draughting rift. Site 3129, Symmetry Pot, was dug down from the surface through boulders, clag and injection needles, following a strong, warm draught. Enough material was removed to allow exploration of a choked 12m deep shaft. The hole was then re-filled to its original state. Torca La Vaca (site 2889) was visited in January and the repaired stal erected in Penguin Passage. On the same trip, an alcove was bolted up to in the passage south of Red Pike Junction.
   El Diario Montañés, the local newspaper, printed a couple of pertinent articles. The first outlined the circumstances in which people would be charged for rescue (not belonging to an authorised group and taking no account of a weather forecast). The second reported the jail sentence and fine given to 2 men caught by the Guardia Civil in Cueva Cobrante (site 110) as they were illegally excavating and removing bones and other items.

   The list below shows links to those 70 sites which were extended or newly discovered over and around December 2008 to January 2009, or which have had surveys updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, descriptions modified or extended, or entrances located with a GPS.

Bustablado 727 Molino, Cueva del;
Cobadal 613 Torcida, Torca de;
Cubija 975 Cubija, Abrigo de la; 2139 Cráneo, Torca del; 3129 Symmetry Pot;
El Naso 59 Molino, Cueva del; 65 Cofresnedo, Cueva de; 73 Sotarraña, Cueva del; 77 Rascavieja, Cueva de; 138 Coberruyo, Cueva de; 913 Reyes, Cueva de; 1235 Roja, Cueva; 1263 Diente, Sima del;
Fresnedo 2366 Torno, Cueva del; 2523 Pig Nut Pot;
Hornedo 2889 Vaca, Torca La; (photo position corrections and description updated)
La Colina 83 Chica, Cueva; 272 Cubillones, Abrigo de los;
La Secada 85 La Cuevona, Abrigo de; 86 Cuvia, La; 87 Emboscados, Cueva de los; 89 Grajas, Cueva de las; 90 Mantequilla, Cueva de la; 91 Orilla Mijeo, Cueva de la; 146 Garma Redonda, La Cueva de; 247 Caracoles, Cueva de los; 248 Cuevona, La; 565 Tres Niños, Cueva de los; 708 cave; 709 cave; 868 dig; 880 dig; 1232 German, Cueva de; 1289 cave;
Llueva 112 Covarona, La; 1258 shaft; 1259 cave; 3116 Cuatro Entradas, Cueva de;
Muela 489 Espino, Cueva del;
N Vega 423 Barandas, Cueva de; 793 Redondo, Cubío;
Ogarrio 3 Collusa, Cueva;
Ozana 12 Concebo, Cueva del; 13 Cuatribu, Cueva de; 23 Orillón, Cueva del; 25 Risco, Sima-Cueva del; 39 Coquisera, Cueva de; 1162 Orillonzuco;
S Vega 34 Adillos, Cuevas de los; 40 Comellantes, Cueva del; 45 Humo, Cueva del; 50 Serruco, Torca del; 177 Cuevuca, La; 179 cave; 307 cave; 329 cave; 389 cave; 408 Cueva de los Helechales; 732 cave; 825 Coquisera II, Cueva de; 1514 cave; 1911 cave;
San Miguel 110 Cobrante, Cueva de;
San Pantaleón de Aras 113 Chora, Cueva de la; 2152 Cubo, Cueva de; Secadura 119 Otero, Cueva del;
Seldesuto 35 Arenal, Cueva del; 0038 Calleja Rebollo, Cueva de; 0360 Cuvia de la Vega, La; 0370 Cuvia de Seldesuto, La; 0482 Lanza, Torca de la; 0663 Contrabandistas, Cueva; 2741 Callejón de Seldesuto 2;

Juan Corrin, January, February, April, June, July, September, October, November, December 2008, January, May 2009