York University Cave and Pothole Club

Explorations in the Picos de Europa

View over the Cares Gorge from Vega Huerta (Photo: Dave Milne)



Expedition Summaries
1984    1987    1990
1985    1988    1991
1986    1989    1994

Pozo de Cuetalbo (M2)
Pozo de Llastrale (β3)
Sima de Cotalbin (K903) Thesaurus Fragilis (M921)

Survey Galleries

Image Galleries

Camping in β3, 1990

Caving Clubs
Caving in the Picos



Location    Elevation    Plan    Description

Pozu de Vega Huerta (I8)

Exploration commenced in1984, but due to high snow levels, did not continue until 1986, I8 consists of a 100 m shaft leading into a 60 m high conical chamber with two ways on: one culminating in a boulder choked chamber at -195 m.

Location    X:    Y:    Z m    Depth    -195 m



The entrance is in the corner of a snow filled shaft about 15m by 8m on the surface. Entry is through a small slot overhung by some large, loose boulders; there is a strong, cold draught. Ten feet down, the shaft becomes bigger, about 3m by 1m, dropping not quite vertically but hanging against a wall of snow and ice with a rock wall above. Several rebelays are necessary as the first 100m of the pitch continue like this with the snow and embedded boulders getting looser further down. Until about -100 m the descent appears to be down the side of a very large snow-plugged shaft. Then after the last particularly gruesome section of hanging death the pot gets bigger, the final rebelay being 60 m above the floor of a conical chamber 50 m by 100 m at the base. 160 m down from the surface you finally leave the rope and climb off onto the top of a 10m high snow pile! From the highest point in the chamber a loose climb up leads to another 30m pot, but this goes into a small, solidly boulder-choked chamber.

The other route is at the lower end of the main chamber. The sound of copious amounts of water invites you up an interesting climb. Dropping down the other side a rift is entered and a large (by Yorkshire standards!) stream appears as a spout from a small hole. The rift goes on a few more metres before a 8 m pitch is encountered. This leads into a rift which becomes choked with boulders after 8 m.


Excerpt from Caves & Caving 29 Expedition to the Picos de Europa 1984, Caves & Caving, Aug 1985, 29, 26-28, Dave Lloyd, YUCPC. PDF (964KB)
Excerpt from Caves & Caving 34 York University - Vega Huerta, Picos de Europa, Caves & Caving, Nov 1986, 34, 21-23, Dave Ashley in English. PDF (847 kB)

WebAuthor: D.Milne[at]Tesco.Net