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



Picos '89 Summary

Pozo del Llastral (β3)

 The main objective this summer was the continued exploration of Pozo del Llastral (β3), left at  the base of Pozo Negro at a depth of 425 m in 1988.

The entrance ramp required re-rigging to accommodate the still receding snow level in the cave. After reaching the 1988 limit of exploration within a week, exploration continued at a good pace. At the time Pozo del Mercenario was descended (to a depth of 692 m), trips were taking at least 20 hours, perhaps only adding one pitch.

The installation of an underground camp at this point, below the Thunderdome (P72) on the Rock of Gibraltar at about 590 m depth facilitated further exploration of the cave. By the end of the Summer, the cave had been pushed to a siphon a depth of 944 m. What appeared to be a draughting phreatic at the top of the final pitch gave the promise of a sump by-pass for the following year.

Sima de los Cuatro Caminos (K897)

The entrance K997 was found whilst prospecting on the border with the Π-Area. by Angus Martin and Steve Brooks, who later found Four Ways Pot (K897) which proved to be an alternative and easier entrance to the same system. Both entrance series dropped into Spitz Cavern. YUCPC pushed the cave as far as Babylon - at 130 m depth. The Spanish, with SCP, continued exploration gaining a further 190 m.

UK Contingent

Dave Binks Steve Brooks Mike Edgington Chris Gibson
Andrea Hartley Pete Hartley Steve Harrop Angus Higgins
Henry Hill Simon Mann David Middleton Bob Riley
Paul Thorlby Martin Williams Andrew Wilson  


YUCPC Journal covering 1989 Picos 89, Expedition Report, Paul Thorlby (YUCPC) in English. PDF (15 MB)
Top Camp Log Book, YUCPC, 1989 in English.
Excerpt from Caves & Caving 49 "Beneath Vega Huerta"; Y.U.C.P.C. Picos '89 Expedition, Caves & Caving 49, Paul Thorlby (YUCPC) in English. PDF (1676KB)
SEG Journal covering 1989-90 Kaos de Bloques No 4 1992, SEG in Spanish. PDF (73 MB) (Cover)

WebAuthor: D.Milne[at]Tesco.Net