CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE
Trou OZER - Pepinster (No.
Locality: Bévércé (Chodes)
Coordinates: 268,80 / 126,80 / 458m
In Malmédy, take direction Robertville. Not far after you
have left Malmédy (+/- 1 km), turn left, direction "Chodes".
There is a sign indicating a holiday parc. The road climbs
and arrives at the holiday parc (camping). There, take right into
a dead ending street.
Park the car near the end of that street, taking
care not to disturb the owners of a house that is situated near the end
of the street. At the right of the house, there is a gate that
gives entrance to a long prairie. When looking in North-East
direction, you will see (if the weather is clear...) the summit of a
big, concrete water tower, about 500 m. away. Go through the prairies and
head towards the tower.
Attention: the landowner asks that, as from
October 2006, people do not longer trespass his prairie. The following
alternative is proposed: 50 m before the end of the street, there is a
small road at the left (sign "cimétière). Take this, and then take the
first one at the right which also goes to the concrete tower. Both roads
are only possible by foot or by off-road vehicles!
The cave entrance is max. 15 m away from the
base of the tower, and max. 7 m lower. It is closed with a
big, steel door, horizontally to the bottom.
This cave is situated at very high altitude (458m), unique for Belgian
cave was explored for the first time in april 1968 (Courtois, Heinen
& Ozer). They arrived at the bottom of the cave (-66m).
In 1989, the caving club "C.L.A.P" found 150 m of new
passages, in what they later called the "Réseau
89". It is in this part that the G.S.C.D. and CASA
found in 1991 a vertical rift, giving access to a new, important
part of the cave (>200 m).
Cave closed with a steel door and UBS-padlock.
Length: +/- 500m, Depth: 65m
visit to this cave is unforgettable! It is unique in Europe,
because it has been formed in the so-called "Poudinghue de
Malmédy". This pudding-rock is formed by round polished psammite
pebbles (up to 40 cm in diametre!), incrusted in limestone.
Thanks to the limestone, a cave has been formed, but the walls, ceiling
and floor consists out of thousands of pebbles in all possible sizes.
The cave starts with a muddy pitch, about 5 metres deep. It leads to
a balcony, dominating a spectacular 25 m drop (Salle Pascale). At the
foot of it, an 8 metre pitch (Puits Courtois) offers two possibilities:
a) straight down, leading to the original part of the cave (the
Metro, a big gallery)
b) traversing near the top of the pitch, into a rift that climbs up
again rather steeply (at your left, when looking into the pitch).
Crawl up the rift, about 10 metres higher you reach the highest
point. Then you descent again, in a very steep and narrow
pitch. Attach your rope to one of the iron things (you'll see
what I mean!). About 5 m lower, you can go down a narrow hole (YOU MUST
USE A ROPE! ) in
the floor (at your right, looking down the pitch) that dominates the 35 metre
pitch below it.
possibility (but more difficult to find) is to follow the rift,
and then through some kind of slalom in the pretty narrow passage, you can find
access to the head of the P35 (Puits Gyser).
The 35m pitch is, of course, a rift, about 60 to 100 cm wide.
At the bottom, you'll arrive in some big and impressive passages, again
high rifts, that you can follow for several hundreds of
metres. Pebbles everywhere! Some nice flowstone as
well, please don't make it muddy.
In the past, this was pretty
difficult! One needed a lot of inspiration to rig the
cave. There was a chronicle lack of belays, and natural belays are nearly
In 2004, the cave has been entirely rigged with fixed
P-hangers ("broches") by the UBS. Rigging has become a piece of
P5 (Entrance) and P25 (Pascale): 45 m rope
P8 (Courtois) and traverse into rift: 25 m rope
P35 (Gyser): 45 m rope
Take at least 15 carabiners , and a few slings/dyneema's as well.
This cave is a must. You will probably never see
anything like it again.
here to see the survey