THE ANIALARRA 1999 EXPEDITION
The AN519 - Pozo Ibarra (-347m)
The third Anialarra-campaign was without doubt the best of the whole lot.
Last year we also explored a beautiful and even deeper cave (Pozo de los Niņos, -410 m), but that exploration went a lot faster and was done by a
small number of people. This cave however, the Pozo Ibarra, wasn't a piece
of cake at all. We had to use all our experience in digging techniques (from
digging out the entrance to widening up the meander); rigging the cave was
quite a job; and last but not least we made many a survey session in this
very cold and windy cave. The cave itself was a tough one (sharp, sometimes
narrow or unstable); we had a few flash floods, and during a thunderstorm
our high altitude camp was partially destroyed! But a team of about 10 cavers
gave everything they had, 14 days in a row and made the whole thing into
a total success.
The Pozo Ibarra is a very nice cave, offering a lot of variation, and
featuring a splendid pitch, 222 m deep (called "The Extremist"). It connects
at -347m with the giant fossil galleries of the Anialarra System and became
the 4th entrance of this system.
Click here for a detailed report on the Pozo
We also had the pleasure to make several trips into the main drain of
the Anialarra System, up to a depth of -500m, which encouraged us (again)
to organise a future expedition with only one purpose: try to break through
the terminal boulder choke of the system, at -711m. The AN519-Pozo Ibarra
is by the way an important find because it now permits a relatively quick
and safe entrance to the Anialarra System. We also (partially) resurveyed
the main drain, and this work could very well be the start of a complete
new survey of the cave system.
The AN534 - Pozo del Eclipse
The small entrance was found by Herman and Annette. Paul went down solo
the next day to -30m, and during one last and ultimate descend, Jos and
Paul reached -120m after a beautiful series of pitches. They stopped at
the head of a new pitch and explored also a fossil meander that lead to
a big room, at least 40 m. in diameter. Of course, we will continue the
exploration of this cave in 2000.
The AN536 - Pozo del Arco
This blowhole, emitting a very strong and ice-cold draught, was found by
Paul and was dug open the next day. After some 25 m of progression, a small
boulder choke in a meander blocks the (obvious) way on. Very good perspectives!
Unfortunately, the work in the AN523-dig (found in 1998 and very well situated
just above the terminus of the Anialarra System) did not yield any results.
This dig was a calculated risk: you can't win them all. We worked several
times in this dig, but could not get through the very unstable choke.
Prospection & classic caving
We prospected often and found a lot of interesting entrances. A number of
them shall be explored or dug out in 2000. We also made about 1000m of surface
surveys, which made it possible to pinpoint precisely all the entrances
of Anialarra's most important caves.
Finally, two of our members, Marc and Frank, made a successful bottom-trip
in the Couey Lotge, -600 m deep!
Click here for the report
of the Anialarra 2000 Expedition!