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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 Dutch.


DEC 2005

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 SpeleoBase 2.7

NOV 2005

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.


OCT 2005

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...




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 choke.

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.



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


JULI 2005

(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 impossible task.

Click here for more information about this cave

JUNE 2005

New dive in FagnoulesFoto: JC London

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 also the site of JC London who made a picture gallery about this exploration.

APRIL 2005

In grotte des SaribotsBreak-through in Saribots

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 downstream) seems to be the only way on.  So the exploration has to go on, in what is becoming a cave diver's paradise!  Dago attacking the sump
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 non-divers!

More 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


Contacteer/contact us:  SC Avalon vzw
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