CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Réseau de Fresnes - Lustin (No. 10)
Follow right bank of the river "Meuse", coming from Namur and heading towards
Yvoir. About 100 m after the "Café au Rocher" (= caving pub!), leave
the car near the big quarry that you see at your left. Continue by
foot along the road until you arrive at a water-purifying plant (CIBE).
Take a small path at the left that climbs up in the woods and follow for
some 200 m. The entrance is at the left of this path. It is
an artificial and gated entrance.
Originally, the cave, which has no natural entrances,
was cut through by a railroad tunnel! The two caves that thus were
discovered (Resurgence Lucienne and Grotte du Solitaire) were explored as
from 1962 by the Société Spéléo de Namur. Over the years, several
big continuations were made by GSCN, Speleo Limburg, but essentially the
SSN. They made a third artificial entrance in the woods, after
the railroad company had decided to electrify the railroad and closed the
entrances in the tunnel. The junction between Solitaire and Lucienne
was made in 1987.
Situated on private land. Closed with a steel door. Permission
is fairly easy to get: Groupe Spéléo Sambre et Meuse; Jacques
Simus, Rue des Hayettes 17, 5150 Floreffe. Ask for
permission at least 2 months in advance!
Length: 3838 m, Depth: 78 m
Complex maze of galleries and rooms. Multiple levels. In the lower
level an important river can be followed upstream. Several sumps can
be avoided by taking the upper levels. Finding your way in this cave
is not that difficult if you take a good copy of the survey along; the cave
goes pretty straightforward. The new parts (Réseau Jacques Simus) past the
ancient terminus (Puits de l'Oppo) are absolutely worth visiting.
In the entrance pitch there is a fixed steel ladder. All other passages
are rigged with fixed handlines. Normally you don't need any ropes
of the biggest Belgian Caves. This is really a great cave to do, because
of the variety of passages. In general progression is not difficult.
Some nice formations. A pity that the river is so polluted...(very smelly!).
In the past, it was much more fun to do this cave, since the entrance was
in a tunnel of a very busy railroad-line! One had to sneak into the
tunnel at night, perform the 6 m artificial climb up to the entrance in
the roof, and hoping that no train would arrive! One night in 1987,
we had 3 trains in a row! Each time the whole party had to lay flat
on the ground, besides the tracks, while the train was thundering above
our heads. And as for the guy that was doing the climb... he could
here to see the survey