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CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Trou de l'Eglise - Mont-sur-Meuse (No. 07)


 

LOCATION:
Province: Namur
Locality:  Mont-sur-Meuse (Yvoir)
Coordinates:  187.904 / 115.953 / 199.24 m
Map: 53/4
Take direction Mont-sur-Meuse, coming from the river "Meuse".  Enter the village and stop at the church.  The cave is in a large sinkhole, opposite to the church.

HISTORY:
Salle de la Cathédrale (picture by Paul De Bie)The cave was discovered by Bernard Magos, after digging out the entrance, in 1950. First exploration by a team of the U.L.B.  Since then, many teams have tried their luck in this cave but really big discoveries were never made again. However, some significant continuations were found (e.g. Réseau du Cimétière) but the authors remain unknown.

ACCESS:
Originally the cave has two entrances, but one collapsed in the 80's.  The entrance that one takes nowadays is a narrow slot in which the (tiny) river disappears.  A heavy steel door, with a U.B.S. lock, closes the cave.  Contact the Belgian Caving Federations to obtain the key.

DESCRIPTION:
Length: 1065 m,  Depth: 78 m
Originally this was one of the most decorated caves in the country!  However, this easy cave was quickly used a "school cave" and suffered (and still does!) from the huge quantities of visitors.
Nevertheless, it stays an interesting and varied cave.  At the foot of the entrance pitch, a meander starts. After only 15 m, you can a)  go on straight forward or b) descend a pit at your left .

In case of a) : this is Passage des Bruxellois. You will meet an easy squeeze followed by a climb down of about 3 m that leads to a big gallery (Grande Galerie). Follow the gallery downwards and you will arrive near Salle Tony and Galerie des Surprises. Continue straight on and you'll arrive at a big crossing where the river arrives from the right (= Waterfalls)

In case of b): you arrive near the foot of "Pas de la Mort". Two possibilities: go left (upstream) and find a passage at your right (Passage Yves Grolaux) that will lead to the Grande Galerie (so this way bypasses the Galerie des Bruxellois); or go right (downstream) and you will arrive near the top of the waterfalls. They can be climbed down without rope.

At the foot of the waterfalls, there is only one way on: the impressive (2 m wide and 15 m high) stream passage.  After 50 m metres, possibility to climb up to the well decorated "Salle des Gours" (6-m. climb).  Another 50 m. further on, the river disappears in a few narrow slots.  One can continue in a fossil 2-level gallery, in West-direction, until it ends. When taking the upper level to come back, one easily finds the way to another part of the cave "Réseau du Babydoll", going East. Here another river, coming from Trou Dury, enters the cave.  The farthest point of this gallery is only 50 m away from Trou Dury.  In the Babydoll, one can admire the most beautiful fossil coral reefs (Disphyllum) to be seen in any Belgian cave!Giant fossil coral in the Babydoll (Picture by Paul De Bie)
 

RIGGING:
The entrance pitch, 7 m deep, is rigged with a fixed steel ladder. 

But for inexperienced cavers, it might be a good idea to use a 15 m rope, since at the foot of the ladder, there is still +/- 5 m to climb down.

You don't need any ropes to visit the rest of the cave.  However, in this cave you can have real fun with ropes too!.

- climb up to Salle Tony (by taking a difficult squeeze and the the "hollow" stalagmit" and descend off the balcony at the other side: 15 m rope.

- traverse in the roof of Galerie des Surprises and descends near the Orgues: 35 m rope

- climb up to "Salle des Gours" and descends to other side: 15 m rope

- traverse high in the canyon, from Salle de la Cathedrale to Salle des Gours: 20 m rope.

Everything is rigged with fixed P-hangers ("broches")

COMMENT:
In wet conditions, climbing up the waterfalls is an absolute must!

IMPORTANT: this cave is situated in the middle of the village and besides a church and graveyard.  Please do not park the cars in front of the church.  Be discrete: no strip-teasing and no loud noise please!

MORE INFORMATION: click here

SURVEY: Click here to see the survey

Download survey as TIF:
Plan Trou de l'Eglise
Coupe Trou de l'Eglise

 

Contacteer/contact us:  SC Avalon vzw
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