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CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Trou d'Haquin - Maillen (No. 11)


 

LOCATION:
Province:  Namur
Locality:   Maillen (Assesse)
Coordinates: x=188,58   Y=117,86   Z=195m
Map: 53/4
Trou d'Haquin (picture: W.O.F.)Coming from Namur, take direction Yvoir/Dinant.  At Lustin-station, take left, heading to Mont-sur-Meuse. Continue straight on at first crossing (instead of turning right to Mont-sur-Meuse).  About 1,3 km further the road turns left. In this turn, take a small track at the right that leads to a (gravel) parking area.  Leave the car here!!  Continue the obvious track (between 2 fields) by foot (500 m).  The cave is in a large sinkhole at the right, after a sharp LEFT turn of the track.

HISTORY:
The cave was first explored by T. Polet in 1888.  In 1971 a big discovery was made by the Centre Routier Speleo who found the active "Nouveau Réseau", and nearly doubled the cave in length.  In 1989, SC Avalon found about 200 m of new passage (the "Réseau X"), after having cleared a low bedding plane at the end of the "Nouveau Réseau". Finally, in 1996, "Bibiche", a local caver, found some 150m of additional passages near the entrance of the cave.

ACCESS:
The entrance is closed by a steel door with an UBS-padlock.

DESCRIPTION:
Length: 1704m,  Depth: 56 m
Despair in a novice's eye... how do I get out of the well-polished  "Boite-aux-lettres"?The entrance, 1,5 m wide, absorbs a little stream that descends down a steep passage, with big boulders and lots of breakdown.
A) Classic, fossil part
The normal way down leads, at the bottom of the boulder slope, to "Salle du Tunnel". Just follow these big rooms and take left at the end of them (don't follow the water!) and climb towards a big stalagmite "la Sentinelle". (Alternative way down: halfway down the entrance boulderslope, there is a possibility to take the "Galerie des Trompettes", that leads either up to an upper entrance (also gated), either down towards the Salle de la Sentinelle). Follow an obvious traverse at your right hand leading to Salle de l'Attente.  Here are several possibilities.  The most direct way is a narrow, descending rift at your left called "Boite aux Lettres".  Another way is straight on, climbing up a bit, towards the "Paradis".  Both passages lead to the "Salle de l'Espoir".  Here you descend the "Colimaçon" leading to a big room "Salle de Minuit".  The end of the cave is about 50 m further on.

B) Active part (Nouveau Réseau + Réseau X)
Follow the river in Salle du Tunnel.  A series of low and/or narrow passages leads to a very low bedding plane, about 7 m long.  The river runs through this 20 to 30 cm "high" passage, thus making it a very wet experience!  After this passage, climb up at your right (steep, muddy).  Long crawl follows, leading to a succession of small but sometimes well decorated rooms.  Another, but small river is met from time to time.  At the extreme end of this "Nouveau Réseau", a low bedding plane (10 m crawl), dry this time, leads to the Réseau "X".Picture by Bart Kuyle, W.O.F.

Attention: as a result of some stupid digging works by somebody I will not name here, the low passage leading to the Nouveau Reseau is now totally blocked by mud.  So you can NO LONGER visit the Nouveau reseau... (situation in 2002)

RIGGING:
No ropes are required.  However, a 15 m rope can be of use when taking the "Galerie des Trompettes" because the drop down into Salle de la Sentinelle is very steep.
 
COMMENT:
This is, together with the Grotte Sainte Anne, probably the most visited cave in Belgium.  The classic part of the cave is used to guide groups of youngsters or novices around. Despite the fact that this part of the cave is "clinically dead", due to the thousands of visitors each year, it is interesting because of the volume of certain rooms and the variation of passages.
The active part however (Nouveau Réseau), is hardly visited because of the wet crawl at the beginning, and is certainly worth doing.  But take care: don't try it when the river is flooding: the crawl then becomes extremely dangerous!

MORE INFORMATION: click here 

SURVEY: Click here to see the survey

 
Contacteer/contact us:  SC Avalon vzw
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