CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Trou de l'Enfer/Trou aux Fissures - Sprimont (No. 08)
Coordinates: Fissures: 241.05 - 133.85 - 198 Enfer:
243.04 - 133.83 - 187
Take the Motorway E25 Liège-Ardennes in Southern direction. Exit at Sprimont.
In the village, continue direction Poulseur. Take the second road
at the right and park the car at the old, white plant. The entrances
are in the quarry: "Fissures" only 2 meters under the edge of the quarry;
"Enfer" at the bottom of the quarry, just beneath the entrance of "Fissures".
Info feb 2001: because of the quarry's activities, the entrance of "Enfer"
has disappeared! The entrance of Fissures has almost undergone the
same faith. It is more difficult to find than it was before: it is opposite
of the left wall of a concrete building. You can only see it
from the other side of the quarry.
Originally, these were two small caves situated in the same quarry. In 1989,
the C.R.S.O.A; started working in these caves and, after two years of very
hard labor in difficult (wet and muddy) conditions, they had connected both
caves at 3 different places and found a cave system that totalled 979 m and
was 57 m deep!
Actually, and unfortunately, the Enfer entrance is closed due to the works
in the quarry. Through trips are no longer possible.
Visitors are asked to be discrete, since the cave is situated in a quarry
that is still active and it is important to maintain the good relations
between the owners of the quarry and the cavers!
Length: 979m, Depth: 57 m
Complex cave to describe! Let's give it try...
Trou aux Fissures begins with two pitches (P6 and P7), then a low crawl
and easy going to Salle de l'Oppo. A 7 m-climb and a ridge are rigged with
a fixed rope. One arrives at the top of a 13 m-pitch. At the bottom of this
wide pitch, an small hole in the wall (enlarged by means of explosives)
leads immediately (be careful!) to the top of the 16m-pitch. At the bottom
you are in "diaclaze Colleye". Descend the muddy slope and you're in the
galleries of Trou de l'Enfer. Climb up at the left, follow a series
of narrow passages (rather complex) that end in an "S"-turn, often filled
with water. If filled, use a can to empty the duck! Just after this
obstacle, keep LEFT and don't miss a high-level passage that leads to the
bottom of the narrow entrance chimney (8 metres high) of Trou de l'Enfer.
It is absolutely worth the effort to visit the downstream sump as well:
when descending the P16, swing at -10 towards an obvious platform.
A long meander (150 m) begins here, with lots of very slippery, small pitches
(fun to climb up again!), and ending at a sump. This meander
has also an upstream part, that can be reached by descending the P16 only
for 4 metres, and then traversing horizontally. A long meander follows,
featuring a P7 and a P14, badly rigged
Note: since the Enfer-entrance is nowadays closed, be prepared to leave
the cave again via the Fissures. So DO NOT pull your ropes through!
According to the survey, a connection between the two caves must exist ("junction
nr. 1") near the exit of Enfer, but I do not know where it is located.
P8 : Rope 15m
P6+P7: Rope 25 m
E7+ridge: fixed rope in place
P13: rope 20 m
P16: rope 25 m.
P7: rope 16 m
P14: rope 20 m
A total of 12 carabiners and a few slings should be sufficient.
Very sporting trip, with squeezes, pitches, meanders and some really difficult
climbs (in the downstream meander). A pity that the through-trip is no longer
here to see the survey