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Hot News  NEWS OF THE AVALON-TEAM - 1997


DECEMBER 1997
NEWS ABOUT OUR HOMEPAGE
* Take a look at a new page, the Picture Gallery of the Grotte des Emotions; a beautiful cave discovered by us in 1995!!!
* Counter problem has been solved...
* Our activity reports of 1994-95-96 have finally been translated in English thanks to Guy!
* Some jerk at SKYNET (our Internet providor) has lost all counters.  This means that our counter has been reset to zero!
* A picture gallery with nice pictures was added.  This is only the beginning, wait and see!  Meanwhile, take a look by clicking  HERE.

* Click on this logo and go straight to a new item: the "Access News" that will bring you news and information about access and protection of our Belgian caves.

CHAWRESSE
We finally (after 6 months of summer-rest) retook the dig in the Chawresse cave, in our "Bolero".  At the foot of the 13 m-pitch, Rudi, Guy and Paul forced the very narrow terminus.  Rudi went down a small pitch (3-4 m), followed about 6 m horizontally untill it got too narrow again.  Further on, it seems larger... This really is like Ravel's Bolero!

ROCHEFORT
For several weekends, we helped Jos and Chris of Persephone in their discovery near Rochefort.  We stabilized a very unstable (of course!) passage that gives access to a big room.  An impressive construction of aluminium tubes and panels is now in place and will make it possible to continue the exploration in a safe way.

NOVEMBER 1997
PYRENEES, EMOTIONS AND OTHER STUFFBizarre aragoniteformations in Reseau Lachambre
We're just back from a 10-day stay in the French Pyrenees and still dazzled after having visited the fabulous Réseau Lachambre; probably the most beautiful cave in Europe. After having seen this, we'll have a hell of a time getting used to Belgian caves again...
Anyway, we continued digging for several weekends in the Grotte des Emotions (not in the "Pigs Hole", that will have to wait 'till Summer of 1998) but no real progress was made.  Meanwhile we're helping two friends of ours, Jos & Chris from SC Persephone, in a cave near Rochefort that they discovered last year.

OCTOBER 1997
GROTTE DES EMOTIONS
Our dig (called the "pigs hole") above the sump had to be abandoned after 3 days of hard work because of the very rainy weather that we had the last days.  It will of course be continued... in the summer of 1998.  Another dig in this cave however seems to be promising...

CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
The "Topo Foutue"-series can now be considered as "terminated".  Final extension is 615 m.

SEPTEMBER 1997
GROTTE DES EMOTIONSLuc Funcken in the sump of the Emotions
The dowstream sump was dived again, this time by two divers (Luc Funcken and Serge Delaby).  They stayed 4 hours behind the sump and did a +15 m climb up to a higher level.  Some surveying was done as well.  The potential of the cave behind the sump was confirmed: it goes on!  We also saw that there is a possible way of shortcircuiting the sump by digging through a mud-filled rift above the sump.  Of course we quickly started digging there: after 2 days of work in unbelievably muddy conditions we progressed 3,5 m in good direction.  Problem is that we are here in a very dangerous part of the cave that floods up to the roof in case of rain...

14/09/1997: CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
The survey of the new part "Réseau de la Topo Foutue" is finally finished.  We just passed the 600 m-mark: total length = 601 m.  Meanwhile a third junction with the classic part of the cave is allmost realized.

07-08/09/97: GROTTE DES EMOTIONS
Emotions-Main DrainThe downstream sump (100 litres/sec!!) was dived AND passed by Luc Funcken (S.C.U.C.L.). About 50 m of large galleries were quickly explored. Several leads seem to go on. To be continued! During this weekend a big fluoresceine dye-test was conducted. Also we measured the amount of water passing in the underground river (100 l/sec), and resurging at the resurgence (200 l/s), some 2 kilometres further. Take a look at the picture: it shows the super-muddy but very powerful underground stream, near the sump.

MORE WEBSPACE!!
Our Internet providor SKYNET gives us as from now a very comfortable 10 MB of free webspace; instead of the miserable 2 MB we had before. This will allow us to show more and better quality pictures and drawings and solves all our space-problems regarding the "English translation" of this site. As a direct result, this "HOT NEWS" has already been illustrated with a couple of pictures.

AUGUST 1997

31/8/97: CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
In the "Réseau de la Topo Foutue" we have enlarged the Bingo Passage (= the new link between the classic part of the cave and our new "Topo Foutue"-part). As a result, the time to access the "Topo Foutue" is reduced from 1 hour to only 10 minutes.
Other link: after digging some 5 m far in a little but ventilated gallery, we reached a big passage. New passage? No, a carbide spot on the wall indicated that we weren't the first ones here. This was known territory: in fact we made a new link between the "Topo Foutue" and the "Réseau Bowling"; near the "Galerie des Surprises". The Weron-Dellieux System is more and more looking like a dish of spaghetti. We also continued surveying the "Topo Foutue" thus passing 565 m of development.

29/8/97: AVALON HOMEPAGES
Finally found some time to continue. The part "Caving in Belgium" is making progress; in fact I "only" need to make the 25 descriptions of "classic Belgian caves".
The English translation of our sites is also advancing well. I hope to have it finished in November.
I also want to express my gratitude to all the people that send me (mostly encouraging) E-mails: it gives me the courage to finish this time-consuming activity, called "webmastering".

27/8/97: PIERRE-SAINT-MARTIN
Here we are again, sun-tanned after 3 weeks of exploration in the French and Spanish Pyrenees, in the Pierre-Saint-Martin area. What's new? First we re-explored the Gouffre GASPI and pushed it from -260m to -285m. The cave ends there: very narrow sump. We also found a parallel series of pitches between -70 and -130m, featuring a nice P40.

AN506 Entrance
The biggest undertaking was reviewing Pozo Estella (AN3), a -700m deep cave ending in an enormous boulder choke. After rigging the 450 m of pitches, we held one "raid" to the bottom and inspected the terminus of the cave. Of course, we didn't pass it, but since there is a formidable amount of air (better call it "stormy wind") disappearing in the choke, it would be of real interest to start a dig there. This is however difficult to realize since it is about 2 kilometres away from the base of the pitches; and this in a pretty tough cave!

The big surprise was the discovery of an insignificant entrance (30 x 20 cm: see the picture above!) situated at an altitude of 2200 m. As usual, we found this the last 2 days of our stay. After enlarging the hole, we soon went down a wide 25 m-pitch, a P8, and a beautiful free-hanging 30 m pitch, 6 m in diameter. Then - oh surprise - a gigantic shaft began. Throwing some rocks in it, indicated a depth of well over 200 m!! I went down it for some 90 metres, using our last rope and spits. This cave, AN506, will probably junction with the stream-up part of the Pozo Estella. To be continued in 1998.

JULY 1997

* DELLIEUX
The connection between our "Topo Foutue" and the "classic" Dellieux was realized on July, 13th. Name of this passage: "Bingo". Thanks to this passage we can now very rapidly get into our newly discovered "Topo Foutue". Also, everyone will now be able to visit it (also the fatties).

* CHAWRESSE
After weeks and weeks of hard work Guy & Rik found a nice 13 m pitch. At the bottom a small stream soon disappeares into a little crack in the floor.

*CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
Surveyed length of the "Topo Foutue" reached 535 m. We even reached the same altitude as the entrance by discovering a spacious room were we found a small part of a Mammoth-tooth. This part is very close to the classic part of the cave, so we hope to make a connection between them soon. The total length of the Weron-Dellieux System is now 3600 m!

JUNE 1997

*CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
After 6 weeks of hard work the surveyed length now exceeds 430 m and at least 75 m weren't surveyed yet. We explored a complex collapse-area with lot's of small passages, chokes and rooms. This part rises very high, in fact we must be near the entrance level! Our "intervention" of these past months has pushed the total length of the Weron-Dellieux System from 3000 m to +/- 3500m.

* CHAWRESSE
The small chaps didn't get through neither, so we'll have to use some more convincing methods.. We hear a distant river roaring and that is very stimulating! Meanwhile, after several weekends, we seem to be approaching some sort of pit. We guess it must be over 10 m. deep, but it could be too narrow.

* CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
Over the past 2 weeks we doubled the new part! Total length must be more than 400 m, depth about 70 m. We found a series of wide and impressive avens that we need to climb out. To be continued.

MAY 1997

* CHANTOIR DELLIEUX
Sunday 18th of May Rudi and Paul discovered an important continuation. It was pushed further on over the past 2 weeks. 200 metres of passages have been surveyed, deepest point reached -91 m. We baptised this part "Réseau de la Topo Foutue" because the big survey of the Weron-Dellieux System, that was just finished, has to be done all over again! THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS (thank you, Frank Zappa)

*19/05/1997 CHAWRESSE
Rik & Guy finally got through the fissure that that have been enlarging the past 5 weeks and found a pitch with the amazing depth of ... 2 metres! But all hope is not lost: a narrow crack is visible. The small guys in the club will have to take a look at it first!

 
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