THE ANIALARRA 2001 EXPEDITION
THE 5th ANIALARRA INTERCLUB
After 3 weeks in the Pierre-St-Martin area, more precisely the "Sierra
de Anialarra" (Spanish side), the 5th "Anialarra Interclub" presents the
1) This time we used another entrance, the AN51 (Pozo de los Dos Acuarios),
a cave that has, after it's discovery in 1986, probably never been visited
again. Rigging the cave, re-bolting it entirely (at least 30 bolts added),
surveying it entirely and partially derigging took about 5 to 6 days of
work. It is a very nice, vertical cave. At the base of the final
pitch one is at -387m, and in the heart of the Anialarra System!
2) This cave provided an "easy" access to the upstream parts of the cave
system. We had to do some work in the very narrow junction at
-420 (where upstream and downstream parts of the cave connect) , in order
to make it wide enough for everyone.
Then, we did 2 raids with underground camping, to the bottom
of the system at -648m; one raid of 3 days (Paul & Fritz) and one of 2 days
(Mario & Tom). Unfortunately, despite a lot of long and difficult digging
work near the end of the cave, we could not bypass the boulder-choke that
blocks the caveystem at -648m. So we decided to uninstall the
underground camp again...
and exploration of the upstream parts (in between -450 and -350m) :
6 days of work. In total, AN51 included, 2000 m was surveyed, of which
560 m "première" (new). +/- 150 m première hasn't been surveyed yet. An
important upstream branch has been discovered, going in NE-direction.
We explored it over 350m of length; big gallery (5 by 5m) ending in a big
room, where several galleries have remained unexplored, because of a lack
of time. (NB: the total length of the "Système d'Anialarra" is now
11 km, the depth remains -648m. Already 8,3 km have been resurveyed.
4) Dye-test at -75m in Gouffre de Caou-Couges (FR3). Fluoresceine-tracers
have been put in all important tributary rivers of the Anialarra System
(between -400 and -500m). The FR3 gives access to an important underground
river, which unfortunately cannot be followed downstream (too low).
Th destination of the water was unknown. Thanks to our topographical
work, which has repositioned both the FR3 and the Anialarra river considerably,
it became clear that the FR3 had to be a tributary-river of the Anialarra.
Our dye-test has now confirmed this. At -480m, one of the rivers of
the Anialarra coloured green. This river appears from under a boulder
choke and cannot be followed.
to 8 days of hard digging work in AN60 (-95m) in a meander with ice-cold
and powerful airflow, at a depth of only -40m. We have worked in the meander
over 20 meters now, and we are approaching a very big pitch. We cannot
see it yet, but the echo is well over 10 seconds.
This cave is well positioned above the Anialarra System, not far from
the l'AN3-Pozo Estella, at an altitude of 2150m. At least 450m of limestone
separates the entrance and the Big Canyon of the Anialarra System.
The exploration of this (possible) 5th entrance will surely be very exciting.
Wait and see in 2002!
6) Because of a lack of time, only 4 days of surface prospection:
3 in the upstream zone, 1 in the downstream zone.
7) 3 days of digging in a blowhole (AN701) which is perfectly
well positioned above the end of the Anialarra System. We hope, one
day, to find an access here that will arrive AFTER the final boulder
choke of the the cave system!
8) And in between all the work, three of us quickly made a Pierre-St-Martin
(SC3-Verna) traverse in only 13 hours. Many thanks to the British
club that allowed to use their ropes in the SC3!
Worth mentioning: thanks to two full automatic surface VHF radio-relays,
and the two caveradio's, we could made a perfect radio link between
the underground camp at -600m, the St-Engrace Camping(15 km further)
and the surface camp near the entrance of the cave. Thanks Herman
10) And last but not least: the numerous and inevitable walks to the
surface camp, most of the time heavily loaded...
Belgium - SC Avalon (organisation): Rudi Bollaert, Paul De Bie,
Filip Declerq, Herman Jorens, Annemie Lambert, Mario Lebbe, Wilfried Speelmans,
Annette Van Houtte, Michaela Vandecasteele
Belgium - SC 33: Oswald Pauwels
Belgium - Technico: Tom Van Rooy, Ulrik Potters
Belgium - Styx: Lieven Demeyere
Holland - Speleo NL: Tjerk Dalhuyzen, Erwin Lokhorst, Monique
Spain-Catalunya - Fritz Kunzel
France - Tritons: Benj Richard