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In September 2004, we went again to the Anialarra for 1 week of “cave-hunting“.  “We” were Annette, Rudi, Paul and Raf.   We had one week of splendid weather, sometimes even too hot. So we carried our thick coats and gloves up the mountain for nothing!

AN60: Annette and me continued for 4 days in the “dig” in this very promising cave. For several years now we are enlarging a very small gallery that exhales a strong cold draught (wind is a better word).  This time we made good progress and we even arrived in a small 5 metre pit. Unfortunately, at the bottom of this, a too narrow meander starts.  We had hoped to arrive in a giant pitch but no, the digging work just has to go on. We were quite disappointed.

AN107: Bad luck too here. We had hoped that the ice that stopped us in August, would have been gone, but this was not the case. In the third pitch several tons of melting ice made a further exploration really too dangerous.

Really a shame because there is a strong, descending airflow. We have closed off the entrance with a strong canvas, supported by steel wire. Hopefully this will keep out the snow during winter and prevent the formation of more ice. 

AN639Prospecting: we spend most time searching for new caves.  As always, we did this by marking 100x100 m big squares in which every stoned was turned around, and every pit descended. Half of the squares were situated near the big cliffs.  In total we managed to do 10 squares, which is some sort of record!  None of the caves went any deeper than +/- 60 m (but some of the caves were really nice). The most spectacular cave was AN639, with a 40 m free drop as an entrance and quite complex (several meanders and other pitches). Despite a strong draught, everything was blocked by rocks. No upper entrance to the Anialarra system, this year!

Anialarra System: because there was still one spot were a continuation was possible, we did a trip to the most remote area of Réseau Nostradamus. A total height difference of 930 m (one way) to get there, and this at the crazy pace of Annette!  The interrogation point was a black hole above an artificial climb so we carried everything we needed to do that climb.   After a couple of hours and after having put 6 spit-bolts by hand, I reached the black hole and arrived into a bigger gallery.  Only 25 m further this end at the foot of a giant ascending shaft (at least 75 m high). At a height of 10 m one sees a big platform, with big boulders. It really looks like the edge of a big room. Is this the 5th room we have been looking for?  Have we located the continuation of Anialarra?   The answer will be given next year, in August 2005. 

Anyway, this 13 hour trip surely was worth it.

So far for this short overview of one week of adventure and fun.



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