OF THE AVALON-TEAM
Anialarra III: we're back... the 20 km passed!
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
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....
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!
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
(formerly it was -648 m)
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.
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
Fagnoules: the Sump 2 is
(finally) "gone" ...
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
where one of the biggest "digs" in Belgian caving history is coming to
an end: the "elimination" of the "ex-terminal 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
So, come back here soon, for more news!
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
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
Chantoir N4... we keep on digging
... 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
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