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Anialarra III: we're back... the 20 km passed!Galerie Yoko Tsuno

YES! We got the nice weather you all prayed for (I hope). So, we went back for another week of intense cave exploration in the Anialarra System.

Where did that big inlet go to? To the Gouffre des Partages?  And how did the Galerie Terranef continue? Did it go through fossil levels to the Gouffre AN8, or did it provide an access to the river that we had lost in the terminal sump of the Haddock river? And what about the Rantanplan network, that had only been superficially explored and where at least 10 side-passages awaited exploration and surveying?  Read all about it here!



Anialarra III: a gamble

Yes... we are going back for another 4-5 day trip in the cave system, during the first week of November.  The goal is to catch up with the surveying work, because in August/September we explored many hundreds of meters that haven't been surveyed yet.  If there is still some time left then, we might even push the exploration a bit further (there are plenty of possibilities!).

Of course, going this late in the season is a bit of a gamble. If it starts snowing early, than we'll have to cancel our trip. So, all pray with us for some nice weather, next week. More news in two weeks.

Chawresse-Veronika: a second connection!

Sunday evening 15/10/2006, around 17 PM, three Avalon cavers (Rudi Bollaert - Bart Saey - Paul De Bie) have realized the second connection between Chawresse and Veronika. Twenty-two years after the first connection (in 1984, by GRSC) both caves are connected again, but at a totally different place.  Read on here....


Anialarra Expé Sept 2006: finally... the river

Yes we're back, after the most exiting 4-days in the cave ever. We found the river. We explored over 1 km of new passages. We have leads and possibilities everywhere. We discovered a major inlet.

Read all about it here.


Anialarra Expé 2006: take me to the river!

We can look back on a very successful expedition. In the Anialarra System, we surveyed +/- 1000 m of new passages, bringing the total length of the cave at 17,8 km.  More important, for the first time since 1986, the cave became deeper: the depth is now -707 m (formerly it was -648 m)

The way to the AN8 cave, where the river reappears, has again become a bit shorter.  But, we still have a long way to go, over 2 km in distance, and over 250 m in depth.

We saw many passages and leads that haven’t been explored yet, and we even heard the river!  So the perspectives for our September expedition are very, very good.

Read all about it here


JULI 2006

Fagnoules: the Sump 2 is (finally) "gone" ...  

Friday 21st of July 2006, Belgiums national holiday, was the perfect day to write a small piece of history. That day we passed the S2 (the Siphon Ex-terminal) "dry", for the first time without pumping or diving. Almost two years of frequent and heavy work was needed to eliminate this obstacle.  From now on, the sump can be passed with a simple neoprene suit and with the head (just) above the water... all the way.

It is the end of the biggest dig ever in the history of our club, and one of the biggest in its sort in Belgian cave-digging history. We made a tunnel through compact rock, measuring over 10 m long, 2m50 high and 1m wide.  A similar dig, but vertically then, had already been performed between 1974-1978 by the SC de Belgique, to by-pass the first sump of the Hotton Caves: the 10 m deep Puits Atlas Copco.  In Hotton this pit gives access to several kilometres of splendid galleries. We hope that our work in Fagnoules will lead to similar results.

In Fagnoules we will now remove the constructions (pipes, dams) that have allowed us to empty (pump) the sump during the digging works.  And then... we will continue the exploration of the part behind that sump!

JUNE 2006

Fagnoules: new dive

Almost one year after the previous dive, dating from 24/6/2006, the divers came back to dive the S5 (Siphon Moche) and S6 again, and to continue their dig in the room with the too narrow S7.  Diving the S5 proved once again to be difficult bacuse of the very narrow passages.  Here you can read more and see some video footage.

Anialarra in 3D

If you have Google Earth 3 on your computer, then you can visit the Anialarra in 3D.  Visit the Anialarra lapiaz, and fly through and over it in 3D, following the trace of the cave system (green or blue). This page explains it all.

16/6: Yippie: a breakthrough

Past Friday, in Hamoir, we have broken through into something "big". We can even stand up here (because the gallery is at places over 10 m high)!  At several places, we can see continuations. We estimate to have added some 125 m to the 52 m of the original length of Grotte D.    We think it might be even possible to junction this cave with Grotte Norbert, which would make a nice little cave-system with two entrances and over 200 m in length.  As always: to be continued.

MAY 2006

Paul in Grotte Norbert25/5: Hot news: discovery of "Grotte Norbert"

Just half an hour of digging in a blowhole in Hamoir, gave birth to totally new cave.  The baby was delivered by Frank and Paul, at 12h23.   Its length is about 20 to 25 m and depth -7m.  Temperature: -8,9°C.   The new little cave is doing well, blows out a lot of cold air and at 3 places a continuation could be possible.

Here you can see a short video of the discovery (3 min - 8 MB)

In memory of our caving friend Norbert Debrauwere (SC33), who passed away in December 2005, we have baptized the cave "Grotte Norbert".  It might remain a small and modest cave,  but that was Norbert too.   And this cave will always remind us, and other cavers, of a nice and warm caving friend.


Bart admiring freshly discovered formations

What have we been doing lately?

The past few months we have been concentrating on two little caves in the Ourthe-region. In the first cave (Grotte D., which has, in our humble opinion a big potential), we have progressed 25 metres after 5 intensive digging sessions. In fact, we have already doubled this cave :-) . Right now, everything is still narrow and low, but we are guided by a good cold air draught, so we'll go on to the end!

In the other cave, after only 3 digging days, a small but well decorated continuation was found. See the picture at the right. Is there a better feeling than being the first human ever to admire a calcite formation.  In this cave too, a lot of work still needs to be done.

Furthermore, a small bunch of "die-hards" continues digging in the N4 (see January), a small sinkhole that is very narrow, muddy and wet.  And of course, every 2 or 3 weeks we continue our work in  Fagnoules where one of the biggest "digs" in Belgian caving history is coming to an end: the "elimination" of the "ex-terminal sump".

  Bart breaking rock in the Fagnoules sump

For nearly 1,5 years now we are working to shunt this 10 m long and 3 m deep sump. Behind it there are over 700 meters of big and varied galleries.  Once the sump has "gone" we will be able to continue the exploration and mapping of that part of the cave. The divers will also continue the dives in the downstream sumps (S5, 6 and 7).

So, come back here soon, for more news!


APRIL 2006

We're just back from a week of caving in the French Herault and Aude.  We visited a number of splendid caves in a beautiful environment.  We met the most interesting and nice people.  We also had the pleasure to be invited on an exploration trip in a recently discovered cave. We found +/- 700 m of extremely decorated passages and pushed the cave to -330m!

So, an intensive week with a lot of emotions, and a lot of pictures as well. I've tried the capture the highlights of this week in a new picture gallery "Herault-Aude 2006". Enjoy!



MARCH 2006

New picture galleries

The picture galleries have been totally reworked. I hope you will like the new look!  I have used a great piece of freeware, called JAlbum.  There are also 2 new galleries: one about the aragonite caves in the French Aude, and one about an Avalon discovery: the Bois de Waerimont cave.

Tip: Press F11 to switch your browser to full screen mode, this way you will see the entire picture and the comment below.

Go to the new picture galleries...


JAN 2006

Chantoir N4... we keep on diggingN4

... but nothing is very obvious here.  Lots of ice cold water, mud everywhere, and above all only a very narrow fissure that seems to be the way on.  Together with the very cold winter weather of these past few weeks, we have all ingredients for a very  "nice" dig!

Nevertheless, the N4-team still goes on... however some doubt is starting to rise. Is there really a bigger cave behind this narrow sinkhole?  Come back here later for more news, good or bad!


Activity 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.

Contacteer/contact us:  SC Avalon vzw
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