OF THE AVALON-TEAM
Activitity report 2005 now online
It has once again been a very busy year for us.
Over 100 different activities in one year!
You can read about it here, but time being, the report is still in
Speleobase 2.7 is here
This time, I have focussed on improved filtering
possibilities. You can build more complex filters than ever, and you can
save them as "favourite filters" so you can apply them afterwards with a
single click of the mouse. Another first, is the new "Export to CSV"
possibility: you can now export your caves to this format that is very
easy to import in Excel. The export to PCX (compatiblel with Garmin
Waypoint format) has also been improved. Finally, SpeleoBase now
can print to PDF.
Here you can find
Chawresse-Veronika: new junction so close ... and
still so far!)
Taking advantage of the very dry autumn, we have continued the
exploration of the Rezo BB (Bibber & Blubber) that we have
discovered a few years ago behind the "Siphon Suspendu" of the Rezo B.
More than 280 m of gallery has been discovered which brings us at only 2
meters of the extreme end of Réseau des Gours in Veronika! Even at
the correct altitude! We have been working at both sides, in difficult
situations, but the junction is still not made. Should we make
this connection, then an enormous underground circuit would become
possible. The precise calculation is still to be made, but it
would be at least 1,5 km. And it would be extremely difficult too!
Above you see a screenshot of the survey. In green, the
discoveries made by SC Avalon. The only parts still missing in the
survey are the Réseau de l'Angle Droit and the area of the Grand Puits
in the Réseau du Comblennois. Everything else has already been (re)surveyed).
The official length of the cave is now 5349m.
Chantoir N4: finally a small breakthrough
We have been digging for 7 weekends in a small sinkhole situated
near the N4 motorway Namur-Marche. After having dug for 13 long
meters in a narrow meander, we have finally reached a small chamber. The
water arrives by a small waterfall and disappears into a narrow crack.
The way on seems difficult but as usual, we will go on...
The ANIALARRA SEPTEMBER EXPEDITION ... the
During the last week of September, 4 Avalon-members and
2 Frenchmen went back to the Anialarra System. Just to refresh your
memory: in August 2005 we made a historical break-through there: the
downstream boulder choke at -648m was passed and a big lead was
explored, with enormous rooms and big fossil galleries.
We were especially eager to rediscover the river, that disappears into
the boulder choke but was not yet found in the new part behind the
Unfortunately it all started very badly for the expedition leader, Paul
De Bie. Only five days before the expedition started, he injured (broke
?) a rib in some sort of “artificial squeeze” during a caving happening.
Going down a difficult 650 m deep Alpine cave for many days seemed
impossible... read on here.
RESULTS OF THE 9th ANIALARRA INTERCLUB EXPEDITION
a historical episode!
During the first 3 weeks of August 2005, the 9th Anialarra Interclub
expedition, on the Spanish side of the Pierre-St-Martin karstplateau,
took place. As always, organized bij SC Avalon, club of the Flemish
Union of Speleologists, Belgium (V.V.S.) but with participation of
several Belgian, Dutch and French cavers.
The past years we made a lot of progress in the upstream part of the
cave, where many kilometres of huge passages were explored such as
Réseau des Affamées and Réseau de Nostradamus.
The downstream part of the cave had been “attacked” by us in 1997, 2000
and 2001. But we could not find a way to get past the massive boulder
choke at -650 m, which has been the terminus of the cave since it was
discovered in 1976. This giant and unstable boulder choke was judged to
be “unpassable”. But oh boy, was that a mistake! In
less than 3 hours, the obstacle was a thing of the past...
read on here
(Again) A historical dive in de Grotte des Emotions
Past Sunday, 17th of July 2005, Michel Pauwels dived the Sump 2 in
Grotte des Emotions.
You'll remember (I hope) that Sump 1 had been dived in 1997 by Luc
Funcken. Since then Avalon worked for many years, in very difficult and
muddy conditions, in order to bypass this sump. This was finally
achieved in November 2003 and allowed us to explore over 100 m of
additional, big galleries. The end was again a sump: Sump 2!
So, this S2 was our objective past Sunday. The weather was dry and
stable...just what we needed.
It was a memorable trip, carrying heavy bags for hours through the
extremely muddy lower levels of the cave. The diver had to prepare his
equipment and clothing, standing into chestdeep water! Then, Michel
disappeared into the muddy water, equipped with 2x6 liters bottles. He
stayed away for nearly 20 minutes, but at his return, he told us that he
had been unable to pass the sump. This sump, quite big at first,
descends to about -3m50 but then becomes too low. Michel had been trying
to dig his way through, but without proper digging gear this was an
Click here for more information about
New dive in Fagnoules
Sunday 13/6 Michel Pauwels & Jacques Petit dived
again in Fagnoules. It was a real "interfederal activity", with 6
Avalon members (VVS) and as many UBS cavers that were the "sherpa's" for
carrying all of the diving gear. For them it was a nice
opportunity to visit, as the very first non-Avalon members (except for
the 2 divers then) the impressive part of the cave behind the second
sump. That second sump was easily pumped dry by us, thanks to the
nice summer weather. The divers dived again through the very
narrow S5 (Siphon Moche) and the following sump. They both arrived
into the room that Michel had discovered in February. The new sup
(S7) in that room seemed too narrow to dive, but they found an
interesting mud-filled gallery in which they can hear a river, and feel
draught. They dug for two hours and progressed 2 meters. The
work has to be continued one day, that is for sure! Anyway, the
Fagnoules isn't finished yet... the potential is still huge. See
the site of JC London who made a picture gallery about this
Since a few weeks we are digging in a small depression
in de Province of Luxemburg. Recently we made a break-through: a 3
meter deep pit gives access to a nice little gallery (see picture). Big
boulders are hiding a possible continuation, they will be eliminated
during the next weekends. Time being, we have baptized this cave,
measuring about 15 m, "Grotte des Saribots".
Suspense in the Fagnoules
Sunday 20 Feb 2005 Jacques Petit and Michel Pauwels
dived again in Fagnoules. Because of the high water level we could
not empty the first sump (S2 downstream) and so the divers had to do their
thing without us helping them to carry bottles. Near the very end of the
cave, Michel dived a narrow sump (S5 downstream) that he had already passed in
2004. After 35 m of dry gallery he had to dive a new sump, S6,
which gave access to a spacious room (10x15m). But a new sump (S7
seems to be the only way on. So the exploration has to go on, in
what is becoming a cave diver's paradise!
A misunderstanding between both divers (Michel stayed behind the sump a
lot longer than agreed with Jacques) finally resulted in a small rescue
operation being organized. Luckily, before the "big circus"
arrived, Michel immerged from the sump. By 1900 h both divers were back
and by that time we had assistance from some friends of "Spéléo Secours"
to carry bottles out!
By the way, Avalon is busy for quite some time now to
eliminate that dreaded S2-downstream. Since a year it is already
possible to empty the sump, through an ingenious system of hoses and
canalisations, but this is only possible when water levels are low and
even then it is "risky business" to adventure ourselves behind a 13 long
sump that is continuously being filled by the river. So, we are working
hard to get rid of that sump, and if we ever succeed, a magnificent
active river cave, totalling already 1,5 km, will be accessible for
information about Fagnoules.
New SpeleoBase version
You can download a
new version here (v2.6.2) which fixes a few bugs.Especially
recommended for people that are using the Import Wizard.
Mark Michiels has been chosen "Anialarra Doorduwer
2004", and receives a award that is given each year to an outstanding
member of the Anialarra expedition. Mark's motivation,
enthusiasm and caving skills are an example to all of us.
Here you can read more about
the Anialarra Expeditions