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CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Galerie des Sources - Hulsonniaux (No. 24)


 

LOCATION:
Province: Namur
Locality:  Hulsonniaux  (Houyet)
Coordinates: X=191,39   Y=100,73   Z=144
Map: 53/8
At the bridge of Gendron-Celles, take the little road that follows the left bank of the river "Lesse".  Follow this road (direction "Chaleux") untill you pass under a railroad-bridge.  Park the car there.  Walk some 100 m back from were you came and traverse a prairie.  Climb up a steep footpath leading to the upper entrance, about 40 m above the prairie.  There also is a lower entrance (sump), at the level of the prairie.

HISTORY:Historical picture: this beautiful formation got broken in 1986
In 1971, divers of the G.A.S. passed the sump at the end of the lower entrance. and found an important network, 700 m long (Réseau Daniel).  In 1979 the C.P.L. (Liège) dug through the upper entrance, found a beautiful cave (Réseau C.P.L.), and made the junction with the Réseau Daniel.  After having seen the cave vandalized within the very first months after the discovery, the CPL decided to close the entrance again with concrete.  But in 1985, the entrance was re-opened (blasted) by cavers without scruples...Within two years, the cave was totally devastated. 

ACCESS:
The upper entrance is since a few years closed with a steel door (UBS-padlock).

DESCRIPTION:
Length: 1890m,  Depth: 53 m Galerie des Sources in 1985 (still beautiful)
This cave is so complex that it is nearly impossible to give a good description here... Several levels interconnect with each other.  Coming from the upper entrance, the obvious way leads into the Réseau CPL, once one of the most beautiful caves to be seen in Belgium (lots of calcite crystals).  Sadly enough, in hardly 10 years time this part was devastated by us, CAVERS!
As if this wasn't already bad enough, unknown "cavers" stained all formations with red paint in +/- 1993.  Several cleaning-weekends  (with Kärcher high-pressure cleaners) were organised to try removing the paint, but the results weren't very convincing.
Near the very beginning of the Réseau CPL (first room), a sort of muddy crater (left) leads to the junction with the Réseau Daniel. One arrives at a "T"-crossing.  Left leads to the sumps (traverse-lines are necessary).  Right leads to a high rift, that must be chimneyed up to reach a high-level gallery.  This is the biggest gallery in the cave, however very low (about 1 m high) and well decorated.

RIGGING:
To go to the sumps a climb, a long traverse and a pitch must be taken.  Fixed ropes could be in place, but just in case you better take at least 70 m of rope along.
To go to the big gallery in Réseau Daniel you need about 30 m of ropes (chimney up rift, airy traverse).  No fixed ropes are present!

COMMENT:
As already said, this was once a beautiful cave... It is probably the best example that can be found in Belgium of why caves like this should be protected.  If you want to find out what is left of it, then please do it carefully!  This is a muddy cave: don't make the formations any muddier than they already are, please.  DON'T USE CARBIDE PLEASE!!
 
SURVEY: Click here to see the survey

Contacteer/contact us:  SC Avalon vzw
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