Updated 15th October 2008; 17th May, 21st June 2011; 22nd May, 5th, 16th July 2015; 4th May 2016
On the ridge between the doline of site 2963 and "the one behind". At Easter 2008 this was an 18m (Disto) shaft where a stone with a lucky bounce carries on. The site was first explored during the summer.
The entrance is a 19m shaft which continues downward in a tight rift. This was passed with the removal of a few rocks to access a p5 in a rift. At the base is a clean, water washed floor which leads to the head of a 24m pitch. This opens up into a grand shaft with a further pitch of 4m followed by a small ascent and a squeeze down a 3m chimney. A meander that stops at a further pitch head was capped out during Easter 2015. A 12m pitch requiring a rope protector at the top (or more capping!) is split 1/3 the way down by a ledge and a constriction. Another 10m drop follows in a meander of small but varying width, landing on a slippery moon milk ledge. A high alcove here is blind.
At the foot of the next 6m pitch is a constricted meander to a p8 with a flat topped spike/flake at the bottom, leading to a p5 and another p5. The rift then narrowed to a 10cm slot, where a stone bounces its way down a large shaft beneath for around 10 seconds!!
This was also capped open during Easter 2015. In all 7 pitch heads had to be capped out over 3 trips to pass this point, taking 100+ holes and around 400 caps.
The pitch opens out into a grand 58m shaft, descended by three rebelays. The first rebelay is 20m down on the left wall, reached by swinging round over a saddle above a poor ledge. The next two rebelays are also around 20 m apart.
Landing at the foot of the shaft a p5 drops down a smallish slot which leads to a constricted pitch head onto a p10 with a deviation. From here on down the rock consists of a lot of bi-valve fossils, typical of well-developed caves around Matienzo. A p5 gains a window into another shaft of 10m. In the wall at its base a small hole drops down a short uninspiring choked parallel shaft.
Down the final 11m pitch the cave continues into a tight meandering passage, with a lump of rock in the floor preventing entry. Removal of this was attempted with a bolting hammer and short 8mm drill bit to no avail. A couple of round of caps or maybe plugs & feathers are required. "It appears caveable beyond this point but would be a tight sideways wriggle."
When it gets wet, it seems that this point is where all of the water flows.
A slight draft was evident all of the way down the cave at Easter 2015.
(Cave description by Simon Cornhill.)
At Easter 2016, the campaign to widen the wriggle continued. The cave was found not to draught on a cold day and the last two pitches were wet. The end was snappered over two trips and water reached and a corner which was enlarged to allow a view around it: the route continued for about 2m but too tight. It is thought that "another big digging operation would make it yield". A good draught in the summer might persuade a return. At the final corner, a lucky toss of a stone drops into a pool with an echo.
The site was derigged after Easter 2016.
Reference: anon., 2008c (Easter logbook); anon., 2008e (summer
logbook); anon., 2011b (Easter logbook); anon., 2011c (Whit logbook); anon., 2015b (Easter logbook); anon., 2016b (Easter logbook)
Entrance pictures: 2011 and 2015
Underground pictures : 2008 : 2011 : 2015 (Easter) : 2016 (Easter)
Video : Easter 2015 - Capping 1 : Capping 2 : Capping 3 : Longer video of the 4 days capping and pushing (all on YouTube) : Easter 2016 (YouTube)
Detailed Survey : 1:100 plan and 1:500 projected section (old) : Easter 2015 survey
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : yes (Easter 2015) (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)
Survex file with nearby caves Easter 2015