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




Descending the snow ramp (Photo: Dave Binks) Find out about some of the exploration of the Vega Huerta area from 1984 to 1997
Gain a detailed description of the three deepest caves in the area:
Pozo de Cuetalbo, explored between 1984 and 1987 to a depth of 986 m.
Pozo de Llastrale, explored between 1984 and 1990 to a depth of 944 m.
Sima de Cotalbin, explored between 1990 and 1992 to a depth of 723 m.
Return at a later date to see further details of our explorations dating back to 1983.
Take a virtual tourist trip of caves in the area: photos will appear as you hover over different parts of a cave survey headed by the flashing camera symbol.

Location map of SpainFor several decades people have been exploring the potholes of the Picos de Europa in northern Spain. Map of Northern SpainThis region has been uplifted and eroded to form a limestone mountain range stretching to 2700m above sea level. The Picos are divided into three ranges - the Eastern, Central and Western Massifs - separated by deep gorges. The area is well known for deep caves of over 1000m.

York University's area was situated on the Western Massif, south of the Peņa Santa Ridge in the Covadonga National Park - Peņa Santa Ridge from Camino del Burro (Photo: David Milne) with Oxford to the north east. This small area has a potential for caves of up to 1350m depth, realistically. Notable caves already explored include Pozo de Cuetalbo (M2) sumping at 986m, Pozo del Llastrale (β3) sumping at -944m and Sima de Cotalbin (K903) which has been explored to a depth of -723 m.

 This site will summarise the exploration carried out with other groups including SEII, SEG and SCP between the years 1983 and 1993.

WebAuthor: D.Milne[at]Tesco.Net