Matienzo 2011

Cave exploration around Matienzo during 2011

January & February

   As usual, with only a few cavers in Matienzo, no extensive discoveries were made. New sites were found near Las Calzadillas and a number of holes high above Seldesuto were revisited and properly positioned and catalogued. Of course, new sites for future exploration were also found here. One of the caves (3167) has a Bronze Age pot partly buried in the floor. A permit to excavate is being applied for with the hope that the vessel may still have traces of the original contents.
In the middle of February, the results of carbon dating on pottery from Cueva Barandas came through revealing a 7th century BC date - the early Iron Age.
   A short time was spent in Cueva-Cubío de la Reñada testing compatibility between flash slave units produced by Ron Taylor at Cumbria Designs. The i-slaves worked very well.
   Early in February, a small team from Lancaster University spent a couple of days continuing the cave monitoring project on El Naso and downloading collected data. (See Easter 2010).
   Some time in the recent past Roy's gate on Hole in the Road disappeared. This should be replaced but the job is not as urgent as covering site 3334, Road Works Pot. The President of Cantabria recently "opened" the refurbished Llueva road but he probably wasn't shown the twin drops onto the open 30m pot by the gutter. As the shaft was revealed by the contractors, it should be made safe by them.

   The list below shows links to those 16 sites which were extended or newly discovered over January & February 2011, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.
(Some old and unused numbers have been used which is why total number of sites (3483) has not risen since the last update.)

La Secada 1452 Hole in the Road;
Las Calzadillas 1422 shaft; 1785 shaft;
Llueva 3334 Road Works Pot;
N Vega 423 Barandas, Cueva de;
S Vega 48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubío de la;
Seldesuto 660 cave; 661 cave; 662 cave; 1150 cave; 1151 cave; 1152 cave; 2796 shaft; 3167 cave; 3254 shaft; 3255 cave;


   The weather for the 10 days or so over Easter was generally good although some rain was enough to prevent a trip into the flatout, wet crawl in Fuente Aguanaz. Over 50 people turned up during the expedition period and over 2.3km of new passages were surveyed.
Once again, most of the new discoveries were in the northwest sector of our permit area, to the south of Hornedo and San Antonio.
   A table showing where the main explorations and surveys took place is shown on the left.

Southern Sector
   In Cueva Risco, an attempt to bolt up into a possible Arco Gallery extension failed due to bad rock, but a climb nearer the entrance entered over 100m of new passage above the stream.
    To the south, a tight pitch top at the base of the 65m-deep Not Too Bad Pot was tackled up after rock removal but a thin person was unable to descend and exploration requires further excavations.
    The only work under the southern La Vega hillside was a dive by Rupert Skorupka in the upstream sump at the far end of the Rub-a-Dub-Dubs in Cueva-Cubío de la Reñada 2. Torca de Azpilicueta was rigged down about 210m of pitches with another 60m drop in Giga Hall to reach the water level in Reñada 2. Rupert then spent a number of trips ferrying diving equipment upstream to the dive site. Having the cave rigged also allowed other teams to do the Azpilicueta-Reñada through-trip.
   On the dive, Rupert went about 75m metres beyond Mark Smith's limit in 2002. In "idyllic conditions" Rupert turned round at 150m in passage about 4 - 5m wide and the roof out-of-sight. At this point, the tunnel had dropped to -17m and was seen to continue sloping gently downwards. The return to base was less idyllic as silt, disturbed by exhaust bubbles, fogged the water to give virtually zero visibility. Further trips involved Rupert carrying his bottles down to sump 1 and diving the equipment through to the upstream end of Reñada 1. He was met there by a team of 4 who help transport the gear to Squirrel's Passage, closer to Reñada entrance, where a sumped stream is seen which will be investigated in the summer.

El Naso area west to Las Calzadillas
   Las Calzadillas, Cruz Llorada, Bosmartín and El Naso were visited a number of times in attempts to "tick off" undescended holes. Nothing of great significance was discovered although 37 sites were visited (and can be viewed below). Dischuffed Chough Pot, above Cobadal, where nesting Alpine Choughs were left undisturbed in 2006, was finally explored down p15, p5 and p7 drops to a mud floor. On the north slope of El Naso, site 2378 was descended 10m into a 10m long chamber. To the northwest, shafts at site 523 were reinvestigated and surveyed to a length of 60m. Near Las Calzadillas, site 3518 reflected the average type of hole: "a tight horizontal squeeze to the head of a 4m deep pot with a very small hole continuing down" and "Tight rift turns 90 degrees. Sloping mud floor drops 4m onto rubble floor. Climb down between loose blocks reaches small chamber."

The Northeast Sector including the Four Valleys System
   The ongoing resurvey of Cueva Hoyuca continues to reveal new passages: over 150m were found in the entrance series. In Cueva de Riaño, Ammonite Choke at the far north end, close to Cueva Torno in Fresnedo, revealed a possible climb up. This will require bolting. In Llueva, Road Works Pot was made safer with the installation (in March) of 2 sets of chains across the exposed entrances.
   New passage was revealed in Cueva-Cubío del Llanío. Set in an key position with interesting possibilities for extensions in all directions, the Easter discovery was minor. Small passage at the northeast corner headed north then west only to almost link back with the known Joven's Loop passage. A nearby major sandy dig broke through into reasonable passage only to immediately find a Joven's Loop survey station from 2009.
   Explorations also continued in Cueva Ruchana to the west of Llanío. Small amounts were surveyed in the recently discovered high level and some resurveying was caried out downstream.
   In the area of Fresnedo, the dig at site 2415 finally "went" after 5 years. The cave dropped down a couple of pitches to a depth of 29m, 20m or so above the resurgence level of the río Campiazo. In the sink at Cueva de Fresnedo, 44m of passage was found just inside the entrance, parallel to the hillside, ending at a choke in one direction and becoming too tight in the other. Only some of the passages found in previous years are accessible, presumably blocked off by flood debris and cobbles. Sites 3512 and 3513 are new sites in a valley to the northwest of Cueva del Torno. Site 3512 drops 5m to a sandstone and mud choke.
   In Secadura, small sites 3520-3522 were investigated. A few people have been unable to find the entrance to Torca de Simon 2 and it would appear that the 2.4km-long system has been filled in at the 6m entrance pitch.
   On Muela, site 116, Torca de Yusa, was visited with the intention of completing the resurvey started in 2003. On a single visit some surveying was carried out and a mud climb revealed the possible continuation of the large passage at the base of the 117m entrance pitch. Exploration should continue in the summer.

Northwest Sector
   Two thirds of the new cave passages discovered were found in three caves in this area, Encaramada, Cow Pot and, a new system, Cueva de Regato.
    In Torca de la Peña Encaramada, the big open passage beyond the bouldery Dickon Trap was found to be too small and eventually petered out after 72m. Over a couple of days last years southern limit was pushed to a large chamber where all routes closed in. The 383m of southwesterly-heading passage almost reached the 500 x 300m depression containing Torca el Hondo. It ended just short of and below the stream sink and dig at site 3170 at the base of the depression. A couple of teams in 3170 reached the conclusion that any excavation would be a long term effort.
   There were three pushing trips and a dive team in Torca la Vaca. One group went to the high level southern extremity to push through a boulder choke only to end a couple of hundred metres further on at another collapse with no route through. The Suit Wrecker Inlet, coming from the La Gatuna area was pushed and surveyed for nearly 250m ending at a boulder choke and some possibilities for future exploration. South of Room 10: The Learning Support Dept, the third extension produced 118m of high level oxbow. Jim Lister and Colin Hayward dived downstream in the Buttermere sump coming out into a chamber after 25m with another downstream sump. This sump may or may not be the upstream end of Sump of the Wild Eels in Wild Mare Cave.
   In Cueva del Nabo, the possible resurgence for some of the water sinking in La Gatuna, the upstream sump remains to be pushed beyond last years limit but the suspected aven above the sump closed in. New holes ifurther up the valley include a stooping height passage (site 3496) and another small cave, site 3495. A 10m deep shaft, site 3497, nearer the head of La Gatuna has yet to be explored.
   Digging in site 3215 above the stream sink (site 1976) to the west of the enclosed depressions at Cobadal made a breakthrough of sorts when an 8m pitch was revealed. At the base, a wide bedding at the level of the sinking water, has possibilities. The entrance to the Sumidero de Cobadal remains blocked but appears to be a 10 minute dig to reopen the entrance.
   Near San Antonio, Cueva Laberinto was dug in a couple of places but no extensions made. Chris Camm dived in Invisible Cave, entered just downstream of the mouth of Fuente Aguanaz. Assisted by Phil Papard, he went in 10m to where the underwater passage could be seen continuing upstream with ample proportions. It now requires line laying.
    Torca el Suto is about 600m northwest of the upstream end of Fuente Aguanaz. This pitches and rifts site is proving to be both awkward and slow to explore. There is evidence of bolting on some of the pitch routes although other ways down appear not to have been previously explored. Exploration continues with an estimated depth of about 86m.
   A new cave was opened up with 2 entrances about 400m southwest of Cueva Laberinto, Cueva de Regato was explored and surveyed as a complicated system of small passages totalling 279m in length and 14m depth.

   The list below shows links to those 111 sites which were extended or newly discovered in March, over Easter and into May 2011, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Bosmartín 1889 hole; 1893 shaft; 2104 shaft; 2411 Dischuffed Chough Pot; 3493 depression; 3503 shaft; 3507 shaft; 3508 depression; 3509 depression; 3510 despressions; 3511 depression; 3515 dig; 3516 shaft;
Camposdelante 3215 dig;
Cobadal 618 Orchard Cave; 919 cave; 920 cave; 1874 Snottite Cave; 1930 Cobadal, Sumidero de; 2066 Sewer, The; 2408 cave;
Cruz Lllorada 3492 shaft; 1362 shaft; 3444 dig; 3489 digs; 3490 dig;
El Naso
1597 shaft; 1598 shaft; 2377 shaft; 2378 shaft; 2379 shaft; 3139 shaft; 3140 shaft; 3229 shaft; 3491 shaft;
El Suto 3386 shaft;
Fresnedo 126 Fresnedo 1, Cueva; 2366 Torno, Cueva del; 2415 shaft; 2544 hole; 3512 shaft; 3513 cave;
767 Wild Mare, Cave of the; 978 cave; 2889 Vaca, Torca La; 3170 cave; 3357 Nabo, Cueva del; 3380 Peña Encaramada, Torca de; 3523 dig; 3524 shaft;
Ideopuerta 1976 sink;
La Gatuna
394 Collada, Cueva de; 2241 cave; 3495 cave; 3496 shaft; 3497 shaft;
La Secada 81 Carcavuezo, Cueva de; 1438 dig; 3514 shaft;
Las Calzadillas
1500 shaft; 1785 shaft; 3484 shaft; 3485 shaft; 3486 shaft; 3487 dig; 3488 dig; 3517 cave; 3518 shaft; 3519 shaft;
Llueva 114 Llueva, Cueva; 3334 Road Works Pot; 3344 shaft;
Muela 116 Yusa, Torca de; 299 cave; 300 shaft; 578 Levantada, Sima; 730 caves; 745 cave; 3144 cave; 3504 cave; 3505 dig; 3506 dig;
Mullir 3525 shaft;
N Vega 434 cave;
Ozana 25 Risco, Sima-Cueva del; 2964 Not Too Bad Pot;
Riaño 103 Entrambasaguas, Cueva de; 105 Riaño, Cueva de; 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 1319 Cuervo, Cueva del; 3234 Llanío, Cueva-Cubío del; 3430 dig;
S Vega
48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubío de la; 333 Azpilicueta, Torca de;
San Antonio 713 Aguanaz, Fuente; 3268 Laberinto, Cueva; 3283 Invisible Cave; 3450 El Suto, Torca; 3494 Regato, Cueva de; 3500 hole; 3501 hole; 3502 hole;
Secada/Enaso 523 shafts - 2;
Secadura 121 Simón 1, Torca de; 766 Simón 2, Torca de; 3520 dig; 3521 dig; 3522 dig;

May, June

   A few speleological activities were carried out over Whit and beyond, some of these on a fly / drink stag party weekend.

Northwest Sector
   A number of interesting holes were entered over Fuente Aguanaz which should be fully documented in the summer. In site 3470, not far from Deep Rifts Passage in Torca la Vaca, a draughting hole in the left hand wall of the entrance rift was opened up. A short ladder pitch dropped into a choked sandy-floored chamber. Some draught was felt at the bottom of the rift and excavation started.
   In the Sewer at Cobadal, some progress was made between the boulders and on a sandstone floor in this presumed inlet to the downstream Sumidero de Cobadal water.

Around the Matienzo depression
   Terry Whitaker has produced the first drafts of a hydrology diagram (updated 23rd June) for the South Vega System. Comments and additions are welcome. He has also started to plot out a hydrology diagram for the 4 Valleys System.
   Digging has been restarted at the draughting site in Cubija, 1399 and, on Mullir, a couple of small possibilities were documented.

   The list below shows links to those 10 sites which were extended or newly discovered in May/June 2011, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Cobadal 2066 Sewer, The;
Cubija 1399 dig;
Hornedo 3470 shaft;
Mullir 3498 shaft (2); 3499 dig;
2964 Not Too Bad Pot;
S Vega 48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubío de la;
San Antonio
3500 hole; 3501 hole; 3502 hole;


   A long period of caving occurred over the summer - six weeks from mid-July until the end of August. Cavers mainly stayed for 10 days to a fortnight and there were a number of projects undertaken. The weather was decidedly mixed and mainly cool. The highlight was the kilometre extension in Cueva Morenuca, pushed and documented mainly by Mandy Fu and Jeff Wade.    Simon Cornhill led the explorations through the sump in Cueva del Nabo, assisted by Dan Hibbert. Over 800m of new passage were explored here, and routes at high level and water level continue.
   A table showing where the main explorations and surveys took place is shown on the left.

Southern Sector
   Cavers from Sheffield University Speleological Society (SUSS) once again concentrated on the resurvey of Cueva Tiva. Small extensions are being made here and also in Cueva Oñite.
   Above, on Muela and Mullir, various teams documented new entrances and repositioned early holes with GPS. Possibly the most interesting is site 3600, an unexplored shaft at 751m altitude.
   Rupert Skorupka dived in Squirrel's Passage in Cueva-Cubío de la Reñada. Over 6 trips both upstream and downstream routes were investigated. Upstream "finished" at 2 large airspaces after 60m and 80m. These are very probably not the chambers found by Dave Ryall at Easter 2009 but a new, continuing section. Downstream, Rupert passed the 1982 limit and entered an underwater 9m deep rift heading north. From here a very complex passage was entered, reaching a depth of -11m. The route then ascended to a canal with nowhere to belay the line. A return to push on and survey is planned for Easter 2012.
   In the "mess area" between Torca de Coterón and Cueva de los Cantones, the Derbyshire Cave Club continue to excavate various draughting digs. More progress was made this summer.
   A number of unexplored sites above Seldesuto were "ticked off". As an example, site 1139 was surveyed to 31m deep, ending at a calcited chamber.

El Naso area west to Las Calzadillas
   In Cueva Morneuca, part of the 19.4 km Cubija System, a undescended 40m pitch on the south side of Happy Holiday Traverses was dropped and linked into Torca de Regaton. The next trip pushed beyond the explorations that occurred at Easter 2009. By crawling another couple of metres beyond one explorer's previous limit and looking up, the 2011 team found large passage just waiting to be explored. "Patrick's Error" was explored over half-a-dozen trips, passing under the large passage in Simas del Picón. In total, 1022m were added to the length of the Cubija System which now has a length of 20.45km. Trips in Picón failed to link with the new passages.
   Torca Lastrilla was also excavated through to the head of a 10m pitch which gives some hope for a link and extension to the west side of the Cubija System.
   In the same area, dig 1399 was further excavated but the hole (which draughts in strongly, drying out the mud and soil) needs more work to remove the boulder blockage.
   Further extensive excavations were also carried out in the strongly draughting site 1438 on the north side of El Naso.
   Near Las Calzadillas, another attempt was made to bolt down and across to possible passage seen near the top of the 70m deep entrance shaft of Sima del Reguilón. The route was abandoned when it became apparent that a bolting chair was required due to the overhanging nature of the traverse.

The Northeast Sector including the Four Valleys System
   One attempt was made to extend the downstream crawl out of Torno Chamber in Cueva Torno at Fresnedo, but too much water made any attempt extremely unpleasant. "Just like Derbyshire", was the comment. Also in Fresnedo, site 3557 was excavated into a 20m long cave ending at an earth choke.
   Explorations and resurvey in Cueva del Ruchano (Espada) focussed around the upstream entrance where passages were explored almost to site 3222, linked to Ruchano in 2009. A draughting, narrow lead was also noted for the future.
   In the middle reaches of Cueva Hoyuca, 110m were surveyed in Sloppy Inlet. This now ends at a 7x5m diameter aven, disto'd to 48m with a stream trench visible at the top. Two hundred metres of new passage were also entered off this inlet which seems to drop back near Diversion Chamber. One hundred metres of new inlet passage were also surveyed off Las Playas.    Resurveying continued in Cueva de Riaño.
   The northwest ends in Cueva-Cubío del Llanío were looked at. Unfortunately all 9 promising leads - bolts climbs to black holes and pitches to drop - closed in or proved to link in with known passage: disappointing results. To the north of the passages in Llanío, site 3451 was dug to reveal an 11m pitch and a bouldery continuation that needs more work. Other caves to the north and west of Ruchano (sites 3555, 3556 and 3566) also show some promise. However, a small hole by the roadside (site 3584) has no prospects after the entrance was enlarged and a choked floor reached.
  The jungle, valley and cliff face between Torca de Cillarón and Los Boyones resurgence was investigated but only a couple of small sites were found.

Northwest Sector
   Explorations in Torca la Vaca are being hampered by total immersion half an hour into the hole. Not all capable cavers are happy with an out-of-depth duck / sump. Another entrance is highly desirable to increase the the number of teams that can explore beyond this feature. The area of wooded hillside (The Langdales) about a kilometre south of the Torca la Vaca entrance has a number of potential "top entrances". Torca de Luna de Miel (Honeymoon Pot) was excavated down a 9m shaft to a tight section into a chamber with muddy and unstable boulders guarding a strongly draughting drop into "large passage". This now appears to be at the right level of development to link with Torca la Vaca (or start another system). Other draughting holes also give some hope of a more comfortable entrance.
   In Torca la Vaca, only 86m of new passage were surveyed, passing under Deep Rifts Passage from Ed's Birthday Passage.
   At Fuentecil, to the south of Fuente Aguanaz, site 3581 was explored in 50m of walking passage to a calcite choke.
About 500m to the west of Fuente Aguanaz, a couple of sites were further investigated. Site 3041 (named The Temple of Doom) was pushed down a narrow scaffolded climb between boulders to further climbs down where the strong draught emerged in a number of places. Explorations continue in Torca El Suto and the survey has been started. Four hundred metres to the northwest, Cueva de Regato was "finished" with possible leads looked at and photos taken.
   Cueva del Nabo, behind the resurgence at the northern end of the La Gatuna enclosed depression, was dived upstream at Easter giving a total of 461m with passage continuing. In the summer Simon Cornhill again dived through, later accompanied by Dan Hibberts who quickly re-aquired his diving skills. The pair explored and surveyed over 800m - in the streamway to another sump, and in continuing high level passage.
   Renewed activity on the surface in La Gatuna revealed a number of interesting sites, although site 2236 could not be pushed due to bags of dead animals blocking a possible route. Site 2246 was opened up, stabilised and pushed down through muddy and constricted passages for 457m and a depth of 44m. Stream and high level passages appear to be at the same altitude as those at the current end of Cueva del Nabo. Sites 3564 and 3567 were pointed out by a local farmer. The former has walking sized passage to a calcite constriction, excavated over a couple of days to provide a total of 82m and a dig in the floor near the end. The latter was also explored through mainly walking-sized passage to stal and sand chokes. Sixteen holes in total were investigated around La Gatuna.
   Summer explorations in Torca de Peña Encaramada added over 450m to the length in 10 batches of survey data, all quite close to the entrance.
   Surface prospecting between the Cueva del Nabo and Cave of the Wild Mare resurgences revealed 9 holes: site 3568 has a 5m deep rift ending at an undecended 10m pitch; site 3569 has an undescended 6m drop, and other draughting holes remain incompletely explored.

   Just west of the Cobadal depressions, the open site 3554 was explored down an 8m handline drop and into about 100m of passage that has still to be fully pushed. Just above the sink in the streambed, 90m below this hole, draughting site 3215 continues to be excavated.

   Early in the expedition, John Wilcock spent 3 days dowsing for cave passage over the lower lying areas in the north of the permission area. There is a separate page for the techniques used and his results and postulations. It is too early to say if the results have shown some routes for underground water but the new system behind the resurgence at Fuente de Culebro in La Gatuna proved to be to the west of the reactions. However, this could also be due to actual passages not yet being explored underground or no dowsing work occurring over the line of the cave! Other areas dowsed included upstream Fuente Aguanaz and around the Cobadal depressions.
   As the summer expedition was finishing Chris Jewell and Artur Kozlowski dived in Cueva Molino near Bustablado. Over 2 dives, using rebreathers, they surveyed past Rupert Skorupka's 1997 and 2007 limits. In all, the surveyed dive was extended from 240m to 885m, passing through -93m depth and rising to -12m where Artur ran out of line. The passage is heading northwest towards the sump and draughting bedding plane in Torca del Hoyón and the sink at the Sumidero de Orcones in Bustablado where there is an ongoing downstream dive by French cavers.

   The list below shows links to those 177 sites which were extended or newly discovered over the summer expedition, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Alisas 1969 shaft; 2035 shaft; 2036 shaft; 2037 shaft;
Arredondo 733 Vallina, Cueva;
Barrio de los Urros
2916 shaft; 3034 Langdales, The;
Bustablado 727 Molino, Cueva del; 3602 Orcones, Sumidero de;
Camposdelante 3021 Michelin, Torca de; 3215 dig; 3543 sink; 3554 cave;
Cobadal 613 Torcida, Cueva de; 618 Orchard Cave; 1930 Cobadal, Sumidero de; 2066 Sewer, The; 2091 dig; 2908 Bus Stop Shelter hole; 2945 sink; 3583 cave; 3585 shafts - 3;
Cubija 75 Picón, Simas del; 774 Morenuca, Cueva de la; 892 Regaton, Torca del; 1399 dig;
26 Tiva, Cueva de;
El Camino 3541 resurgence;
El Naso 76 Campo, Cuvia del; 1442 shaft; 3559 cave; 3586 dig;
126 Fresnedo 1, Cueva; 2366 Torno, Cueva del; 2415 shaft; 2539 cave; 3557 cave;
Fuentecil 3539 dig; 3580 ; 3581 cave;
979 Culebro, Fuente de; 2889 Vaca, Torca La; 2949 cave; 3357 Nabo, Cueva del; 3380 Peña Encaramada, Torca de; 3568 Split Entrance Pot; 3569 Twin Entrance Cave; 3570 cave; 3571 sink; 3572 Big Rock Cave; 3573 Farmer's Hole; 3574 Oak Tree Cave; 3575 Golf Ball Hole; 3576 cave; 3591 shaft; 3594 Luna de Miel, Torca de; 3595 dig; 3596 cave;
Ideopuerta 1976 sink; 3196 shaft; 3578 dig; 3579 shaft; 3582 dig;
La Colina 272 Cubillones, Abrigo de los; 382 Entrambascuetos, Sima de; 1033 caves - 2; 1102 shaft; 3538 dig; 3551 dig; 3552 cave; 3553 shaft;
La Gatuna 153 Tree Root Cave; 394 Collada, Cueva de; 2236 shaft; 2241 cave; 2246 shaft; 2673 shaft; 3560 shaft; 3564 cave; 3565 dig; 3567 cave; 3577 cave; 3589 shaft; 3590 dig; 3592 dig; 3593 cave; 3598 dig;
La Secada 137 Coreano, Cueva del; 1438 dig; 1681 cave; 1682 dig; 3526 cave; 3527 collapse; 3528 cave; 3529 dig; 3530 dig; 3531 cave; 3532 cave; 3533 shaft; 3534 shaft; 3535 cave; 3536 cave;
La Zuela 1754 Hoyo del Ramón, Torca del; 2147 shaft;
Las Calzadillas 1815 cave; 2991 cave; 3550 cave;
Moncobe 3544 shaft;
228 shaft; 3144 cave; 3504 cave; 3587 cave;
219 rift; 220 rift; 223 shaft; 226 shaft; 3599 shaft; 3600 shaft; 3601 shaft;
N Vega
427 Lastrilla, Torca de;
17 Jivero 2, Cueva de; 25 Risco, Sima-Cueva del; 27 Oñite, Cueva; 3537 shaft;
Riaño 103 Entrambasaguas, Cueva de; 105 Riaño, Cueva de; 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 575 Resurgence Riaño; 1365 shaft; 1673 Chisel Cave; 3222 cave; 3232 Ruchano, Cueva de; 3234 Llanío, Cueva-Cubío del; 3451 shaft; 3555 dig; 3556 cave; 3558 shaft; 3566 cave; 3584 shaft; 3597 shafts - 4;
S Vega 48 Reñada, Cueva-Cubío de la; 881 cave; 894 cave; 1062 cave; 1139 shaft; 1186 dig; 1243 cave; 1624 shaft; 2288 cave; 2306 shaft; 2590 White Chamber Cave; 2591 shaft; 2593 dig; 3460 dig; 3461 dig; 3462 dig; 3463 dig; 3467 shafts; 3540 shaft; 3542 shaft; 3561 dig; 3562 dig;
San Antonio
713 Aguanaz, Fuente; 3041 shaft; 3450 El Suto, Torca; 3494 Regato, Cueva de; 3588 shaft;
3521 dig; 3547 dig; 3548 dig; 3549 dig;
Seldesuto 35 Arenal, Cueva del; 46 Reguilón, Sima del; 1140 cave; 3545 hole; 3546 dig; 3563 dig;


   A season of two halves, broadly split into October explorations, based around Matienzo, and a November team which stayed at La Cavada and explored sites in the northwest sector.

Part 1
   The earlier group had exploration success in Cueva-Cubío del Llanío when a Danish team spent 4 days documenting 424m of new passage. A stooping passage with breakdown floor heads north from near the top of the 32m aven. A 25m pitch is then met which drops down to the lowest levels and still has leads to look at. A passage part way down the pitch was entered and explored to a boulder choke which could be the one seen in site 3454, Llanío 2.
   Further information was passed on by Guy Simonnot - French divers in the Sumidero de Orcones (catalogued as site 3602, but out of our permission area) have further explored downstream to what appears to be an inlet. Upstream may be heading towards Torca del Hoyón; downstream is still heading towards the upstream limit (at -12m) of Artur Kozlowski in Cueva Molino.
   Digging in Torca de Luna de Miel at Hornedo enlarged the tight section at the base of the 9m entrance pitch but also loosened a large flake which may have to be completely removed before any excavation further down in the site can be carried out.
   The AEC Lobetum group from Cuenca have carried out recent explorations in Torca CEZ in the Hoyo de Mortiro above Riva. This 2.3km system is coming close to Cueva del Coverón.
   A permit to study the pot in site 3167 (see January & February, above) was obtained by Pete Smith and pieces have been removed for further study. At the end of the 40m cave is a small boulder choke through which daylight can just be seen and outside wind heard. If opened up, the cave would provide the first Matienzo - Arredondo through-trip as the cave lies at high altitude, just under the ridge.
   Both the Riaño cave survey and the combined Cueva de Riaño and the entrance series of Hoyuca have been updated as pdf files by Footleg.

Part 2
   Eight cavers on an 8 day trip in early November opened up site 2538 (El Cubillón) at Moncobe and surveyed over 700m down to a depth of 89m in an expanding system that seems certain to occupy the expeditions for a number of years. Parts of the cave are tight and there are a number of drops involved (including two 19m pitches) to reach 2 streamways. More passage has been explored than surveyed and a number of avens with "large passage" await attention. In late November, a 30m pitch at the end of one of the streams was descended to an "inviting sump". The altitude here is about 115m putting it below the level of the Duck Sink but between 10 and 25m above the resurgence (La Riega) and associated cave - Cueva La Verde (Rio Tuerto) - although the entrance to that cave is over 2.7km away.
   Only half the team were able to fit through the tighter sections and so a number of other sites were also tackled. Site 3420 at Ideopuerta has an impressive entrance at the bottom of a long wooded gulley but the descending passage closes in after a washing machine. Site 3497 at La Gatuna was explored down a p15 to a choke and site 3554 at Camposdelante was further explored around the "calcited chamber". Other sites (3015, 3021, 3215, 3439, 3451, 3454, 3543, 3605 and 3606) were mainly re-explorations or small new finds.

   The list below shows links to those 34 sites which were extended or newly discovered over the autumn 2011, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Alisas 567 Hoyón, Torca del;
1147 cave;
Bustablado 727 Molino, Cueva del; 3602 Orcones, Sumidero de;
Camposdelante 3021 Michelin, Torca de; 3215 dig; 3543 sink; 3554 cave;
El Naso 59 Molino, Cueva del; 76 Campo, Cuvia del;
Fresnedo 3604 shaft;
Hornedo 3594 Luna de Miel, Torca de;
Ideopuerta 3420 shaft; 3606 shaft;
La Gatuna 3497 shaft;
Moncobe 2538 Cubillón, El;
Muela 297 cave; 3145 cave; 3392 shaft; 3504 cave;
Ozana 2 Coverón, Cueva del;
Riaño 105 Riaño, Cueva de; 107 Hoyuca, Cueva; 3234 Llanío, Cueva-Cubío del; 3451 shaft; 3454 Llanío 2, Cueva-Cubio del;
Riva 3603 CEZ, Torca;
San Antonio
3015 cave; 3439 shaft; 3450 El Suto, Torca; 3605 shaft;
Seldesuto 3167 cave; 3255 cave; 3563 dig;


   A quiet end to the year with the main activities being digging and walking.
   At Camposdelante, site 3215 was excavated on a number of occasions and walks around and above the new El Cubillón discovery at Moncobe revealed small sites 3607 - 3610, 3612 and 3613 and sites 3615-3617. A walk high above the Vega valley confirmed the interesting nature of sites 1340 and 2594, both having strong, warm outward draughts. The dig at site 3563 also continues.
   Footleg has produced a Therion file (downloaded as a zip file) which shows the caves around San Antonio, Hornedo and Cobadal beneath a 3-dimensional landscape.

   The list below shows links to those 21 sites which were extended or newly discovered over the Christmas period 2011, or which have had surveys, references or descriptions updated, entrance photos or movie clips added, or entrances repositioned with a GPS.

Camposdelante 1976 sink; 3215 dig; 3614 dig;
2889 Vaca, Torca La; 3380 Peña Encaramada, Torca de;
Moncobe 2538 Cubillón, El; 2758 shaft; 3607 shaft; 3608 shaft; 3609 cave; 3610 dig; 3612 caves - 2; 3613 shaft; 3615 dig; 3616 cave; 3617 cave;
107 Hoyuca, Cueva;
S Vega 1340 dig; 2594 dig; 3611 dig;
Seldesuto 3563 dig;

Juan Corrin, 2011, January 2012