Matienzo, Easter 2019

Matienzo, Easter 2019

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Xandar 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #7544

    Scaife
    Participant

    I flew out from Edinburgh to Santander, with Carol, on Sunday the 14th of April. Alex, John and Shaman arrived the same day by ferry. We had an unusually low-alcohol first night in Matienzo, ready for the big push the next day.

    Monday 15/4/19
    Fresnedo 2
    Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, James Carlisle, Chriss Shaman

    We were in the car, on our way to the cave by 7:30am, possibly the earliest start in the history of Matienzo caving. The reason for this early start was that we had big plans to push the end of the Honeymoon Series, a long, long way into the cave. Shaman bowed out before the Howling, then we three howlers found very little ongoing at the end; the leads we had been thinking about since last summer were fairly pathetic, with the highlight being about 30m of clean-washed streamway, which led to a pitch down, and then the water disappeared down a couple of too-tight holes. A disappointingly small discovery to show for our 6km of caving.

    16/4/19
    After a heavy night at the bar, I had a rest day and went for a walk up to the Doctor’s monument with Pedro, Phil and Hillary.

    17/4/19
    Cueva Collada
    Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, James Carlisle, Chriss Shaman

    We fought our way through the brambles to get to this short cave, which we entered via the Eastwater Entrance, found by Xaaaaandah and Shaman a few years ago. We surveyed 47m of passage that had been entered back then, but never surveyed – a muddy crawl we called Poo-in-your Colada Passage, which led into Photo Contest Chamber. On the walk back we found a very promising hole with a big draught.

    18/4/19
    I bought some running shoes in Ramales, then went for a run and walk with Carol in the afternoon.

    19/4/19
    Litigation Pot
    Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, James Carlisle, Chriss Shaman

    We returned to the draughting hole near Cueva Collada, a very promising discovery. We laddered the 11m entrance pitch into a large chamber, where we saw a fire salamander. We then surveyed an inlet leading slightly uphill from the chamber, crawling for about 200m. It’s refreshing to survey dry passages in comfort. At the end of the crawling passage, we reached a chamber and climbed up into a tall rift with a dubious false floor. Careful traversing then brought us to a fairly large final chamber.

    #7545

    Xandar
    Moderator

    In addition 18/04/2019

    Me John and Shaman had a nice tourist trip (not a show cave, just no exploroing) into Pecon, a proper continental cave that put the time machine in Daren to shame, it was also far better decorated.

    #7546

    Xandar
    Moderator

    In addition 18/04/2019

    Me John and Shaman had a nice tourist trip (not a show cave, just no exploroing) into Pecon, a proper continental cave that put the time machine in Daren to shame, it was also far better decorated.

    #7556

    Scaife
    Participant

    20/4/19
    Cueva 4474
    Chris Scaife, Alex Ritchie, James Carlisle, Chriss Shaman, Richard Bendall, Phil Parker

    Richard and Phil had done some digging in this cave and found a couple of unexplored leads, which they very kindly allowed us to investigate. First Xaaaaandah, James, Shaman and I went up a short climb at the end of a sandy crawl. We entered quite a big chamber with loose rock everywhere. Using the Total Wipeout naming system, this became known as the Big Red Ballroom. We then returned along the sandy crawl and descended a short rift on a ladder, into some new passage we called the Travelator. Reuniting with Richard and Phil, we then surveyed a bit of calcitey passage that we called Snotty Nose Rift, taking our survey total to 68m for the day. If anyone is unsure of the link between Total Wipeout and snotty noses please speak to Alex Ritchie.
    The expedition meal was held on this night. I was one of those who left early, in bed by 5am.

    21/4/19
    On Easter Sunday, I celebrated the resurrection of Christ the Saviour by painting a pink elephant on to a hard boiled egg and rolling it downhill. My fellow egg rollers were Carol, Jen, James, Juan, Nora and Hillary. Alex and John, in a break from tradition, eschewed the group activity and went for a bike ride. In the afternoon I went for a walk up El Naso, a wonderful hill between la Via and the Vega valley.

    22/4/19
    Mostajo
    Chris Scaife, Lloyd Cawthorne, Raoul Sharman, New David, Mike Topsom, Fran McDonald

    James left on this day, and as Alex and Shaman had still not decided whether they would be caving by 1am, I joined the MUSCeteers in their favourite cave, the gift that keeps on giving – Mostajo. We investigated two leads that were unsurveyed, if not entirely unexplored. First down a pitch that climaxed in a chamber, then down a complex journey through boulders at the bottom of a gigantic chamber, winding our way down into an incredible dry streamway. We surveyed this subterranean river bed, with sharp formations all around us, as far as upstream and downstream sumps, racking up about 320m of passage surveyed for the day.

    23/4/19
    Cueva 822
    Chris Scaife, Carolina Smith de la Fuente, Peter Smith

    I went for a walk in the hills with Carol and her dad, and we took three ladders to investigate site 822, which had not previously been fully descended. We went down on ladders – it’s about a 5m drop on to a ledge, then another 10m to the floor. There was a dog skeleton at the bottom. On the walk back I had a look in a couple of tiny caves as well, just big enough to be worth recording.

    That’s it from me. Xaaaaaandah, John and the Shaman are still there, but I’ve left Matienzo now, having surveyed about 700m of cave passage. It was like being in County Durham.

    #7564

    Xandar
    Moderator

    22/4/19
    Drone Pot
    Alex R, Chris sharman (Phil et all on the surface)
    We spent a few hours trying to dig out the alternative entrance as the farmer had blocked the entrance with lintils. However, once Phile had arrived this dig was abandoned and a way under the sleepers was found. The debris blocking the shaft was then removed. Not certain of the rope condition we replaced the ent rope and a few of the hangers too which looked past the best. As well as placing a new bolt in a better place. At the main pitch we then bolted the traverse over the 80m pitch. The passage led to another pitch down, with solid floor below.

    23/4/19
    Drone Pot
    Alex R, Chris sharman & A guy called Mark.
    Continued the bolting and dropped the pitch, it required a lot of bolts for the rest of the traverse and then down the pitch. Drill ran out of battery and Shaman ran out of patience waiting for me to bolt (I did offer to let him bolt the previous day, but I got moaned at for not being helpful for some-reason). The pitch landed on the “top” floor of the shaft on a shoulder of rock. The large passage heading off was a dead-end, but there was an even more impressive shaft to the side, which unfrotunately looking at the survey dropped into the same passage. But you never know, what’s on the floors between. I left it rigged for someone else to finish off as I knew I would have trouble convincing someone else to come down with me for the rest of the expo. Surveyed was about 20m as Shaman also ran out of patience with the disto which he said was not working. (It would work fine if he had not covered it in mud!).

    A side note is Drone pot is now gated, it will need a normal rigging spanner to open, which you need anyway to the first bolt with. Hopefully the farmer will be happy with that.

    24/4/19 Alex and John P
    Ride
    Sharman went on a dig and me and John went on a 45mile bike ride which included a cave with a very impressive entrance above Remales (Cueva del Mur). Unfortunately, once inside we found it needed SRT and we did not have any with us.

    25/4/19 Alex R, John P & Sharman
    Drive-by-caving
    We took a drive over the Eleesis and Ason gorge and pottering around a few of the known caves on route. It was a quite interesting day. Above the Ason george was a resurgence cave with water pouring out above a large cliff, after finding a grassy traverse to it, I stripped off my shoes and socks and braved the cold water, to find quite a nice river cave. The one at the bottom of the valley is suppose to be an even more impressive cave.

    26/4/19 Alex R, John P & Sharman
    Surface and 4680?
    Surface prospecting in part of new area found bugger all, it was a “wild goose chase” as Sharman put it. However, we ventured south into known territory and re-discovered a cave found a few days earlier. We surveyed the known passage and pushed a flat out muddy crawl in our jumpers and t-shirts to find new 80m of quite nice passage (in places). We surveyed a total of 105m. There is a duck/sump at the upstram end that needs investigating as well as a few mud filled side passages.

    27/4/19 Alex R, Sharman & Juan
    “Shaft near pond”
    Dropped a hole found in the last few days for the expedition. Juan had found a second pitch but had no gear to descend. So I with Sharman we descended it. It was a loose bloody place, but echoed enormously. At the bottom there was a passage into another chamber, a dead end but large echo chamber. A hole in the floor at the bottom of the pitch led to a third pitch which also crapped out. Nice way your spend our last half day.

    #7566

    Scaife
    Participant

    Good work, chaps. Plenty of new stuff found over Easter. Sounds like you had some good days caving after I had left too.

    #7575

    ChrisSh
    Participant

    The ‘guy called Mark’ was from MCG. Both he and I were frozen and bored after waiting on the loose and crumbly traverse over the 80m pitch while Alex did all the bolting. We spent 3 hours or so down there I think, of which around 10 minutes was actual caving. I should have learnt – I’d had a very similar trip the day before.

    #7576

    Xandar
    Moderator

    The thing is Chirs, I let you start bolting the day before and you decided you did not want to. I asked again on that day before starting and you told me to go ahead. If you expect me to come half way down the pitch and then back up so you can have a go and swap all the gear etc, that is not practical, so I am not sure what you expected me to do? Bolting is not easy and is quite scary dangling up there balancing on dogey ledges with bits falling off all the time, I really don’t appreciate being told to hurry up and being moaned at and again moaned at on here, especially when you did not want to do it in the first place, having backed off when I gave you the opportunity.

    I should say I too had spent an hour or two in the same place while James bolted into Haberdasheries 40m below. Cold yes, but it was important work and I did not moan at him, instead I was glad I was not doing it.

    This was a complicated pitch with a long traverse and the drill was not playing ball for the first 15 minutes until I fixed it. It’s going to take time, so yes you should know! I know it took longer despite me being down as I had to put another couple of bolts in so I could get out of the firing line, something I would not have done if you were not waiting to come down, I would have swung out as I planned as the y-hang was positioned so I could do that, but I thought I best let you guys come down. Were you appreciative of this? Nope I was told you were bored and you were going back out again, all this after dodging all the shite you sent down.

    3 hours is not a long time when you take into consideration the time it takes to get out of that slippery rope entrance series.

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