Sunday 30th of July 2017
Chris Scaife, James Carlisle, Simon Cornhill, Diane Arthurs
We returned to Coyote Inlet, the new section we had found at Easter, up a climb that we had maypoled at Easter and then fixed a rope. There were two leads to look at: one upstream at the top of a 7m waterfall at the end of the 180m new passage we had found, and one down a short drop above the passage we had been in to get to Coyote Inlet.
I went with James down the pitch that Alex would have got down at Easter if his drill hadn’t mysteriously failed. It led into a fairly big chamber with complex solution rifts in several directions. We followed the draught as far as a low section that needs digging, but seems to continue. It was getting late so we decided to go and find Si and Di.
They had finished bolting the aven above the 7m waterfall, so we went up and had a look. We haven’t surveyed it yet, but it certainly starts off looking fairly promising. We’re going back soon to survey this bit.
Tuesday 1st of August 2017
Chris Scaife and Carol Smith
We had a short trip in this cave, which Carol has been surveying diligently, to inspect a few loose ends. We descended a pitch that we had found at Easter; it drops onto a pile of boulders with no way on. Back up the pitch we also had a look along a short section that led to an 8m high chamber.
We seem to have completed this cave now and have been unable to find a connection with Mostajo, which would have been wonderful.
Wednesday 2nd of August 2017
Chris Scaife and James Carlisle
Just a two man team for the big push. Currently the only other people to have been through the Howling more than once are Alex Anthony Reginald Ritchie and Chriss Shaman, and it’s not looking likely that that number will be increasing in the near future.
We made good progress, reaching Coyote Inlet in under two hours, at the unthinkably early Matienzo time of just 1pm. We started surveying from the bottom of this pitch, an aven that had been entered hand in hand with Xaaaaandah at Easter. Following on the Looney Tunes naming theme we have called this pitch Pepe le Puits, and an awkward squeeze not far from the pitch Suffering Succotash.
Above the pitch the passage is a large rift, with collapse in many places, for about 100m. It then becomes quite narrow at stream level, but we were able to climb up into a roomy passage above. Upstream led to a boulder choke with water entering, downstream led back to a higher part of the rift.
We climbed up into a very large and impressive chamber, which at first glance seemed to be a huge continuation. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a straightforward way on, but there’s a real draught coming from somewhere. In total we surveyed 316m of passage above Pepe le Puits and about 45m in the opposite direction. Added to the 250m we surveyed at Easter, that’s over 600m of new passage in this cave.
Thursday 3rd of August 2017
Systema del Risco
Chris Scaife, Carol Smith, Peter Smith, Lloyd Cawthorne, Lizzie Wilkins
It’s the expedition meal tonight and I had a tough 10-hour trip yesterday, so I was grateful that this short entertaining through trip was an option.
Only about two and a half hours from the top entrance to the middle entrance, but a fantastic cave, with some enormous chambers and a large river passage.
Saturday 5th of August 2017
Chris Scaife, James Carlisle, Terry Whittaker, Simon Cornhill, Diane Arthurs, Sahil Maharaj, Alex Sheppard
Not the early start we were hoping for.
It was about 2pm by the time we got underground, following some severe omnishambles clusterfuck attempt to find the best place to park. I’m not sure how entertaining anyone would find a detailed account of the three hours between us leaving Matienzo and us getting to the cave, so I’ll leave it to your imagination.
It’s a very impressive cave and, once down the first pitch, we separated, with Alex and Sahil off to a boulder choke while the rest of us went to push a stream passage. Some spectacular formations were passed, and a few quite tricky climbs, before we got into unexplored passage.
Most upsettingly, James and I both had meal reservations for the evening so had to leave. Sahil and Alex also had to be back early and Terry decided to come back with us, so we left Si and Di to grab the glory. They surveyed 200m of passage, which apparently is still going.
Sunday 6th of August 2017
Chris Scaife and Lloyd Cawthorne
We went up to dig this draughting hole, a short walk from Matienzo. It hasn’t been looked at for two years, but according to the information on the computer it is 3m long and 3m deep.
It must have been affected by storms in the last two years, because we found it to be 11.5m deep. There is still a strong draught, but it is too tight to get any further without a serious dig of the ground beneath your feet.
Monday 7th of August 2017
Chris Scaife, Carol Smith, Tom Howard, Nigel Dibben
A photographic trip into this cave, just a short walk from the village. This was the first visit to 415 for Tom and Nigel and also the first time I have been in Helictite Passage. The formations in this passage are spectacular, with calcite at all angles, the helictites in places looping around each other. I just hope the photos from Tom and Nigel do it justice.
Tuesday 8th of August 2017
Chris Scaife, Lloyd Cawthorne, Sahil Maharaj, Alex Sheppard
The main aim of this trip was to investigate a draughting hole at the start of Tenebrous Passage (a combined BRCC/MUSC discovery from 2014). When we got there it seemed unlikely that all members of the group would get to the hole safely, so we decided to investigate some question marks elsewhere on the survey.
We found a very well decorated passage opposite the Golden Void. 55m of new passage was surveyed and we have named it Sheppard’s Bush.
Friday 11th of August 2017
Chris Scaife, Carol Smith, Peter Smith, Lloyd Cawthorne
Primarily a tourist trip to see some of the delights of this excellent cave, such as Swirl Chamber, but being in Matienzo there were also some question marks to look at on the way back from the known stuff.
First I climbed down a pit at the end of the Sandy Passage. This looked scary but was quite a straightforward free climb and Lloyd followed me down. We got into a narrow, tortuous streamway, which soon became too tight. It could perhaps be enlarged though and is leading in a direction in which no other cave passage is known.
We then headed towards the Zona de la Massa, where the survey was incomplete in a few places. A question mark on one corner was fairly quickly confirmed to be a genuine dead end, but opposite we surveyed 15m of passage. We then had a look at a low section that, about a month ago, Juan had looked at and said it was choked. We crawled through into walking passage, quite soon linking up with known cave, and have named this part Juan’s Walk of Shame.
I forgot to say well done on the fine in Fresnado, we have a good combined distance now! That big chamber sounds awesome . I see you did not go back after that second surveying visit. Is that it, or have you guys saved something for me, at Easter ? :)
It’s definitely worth going back to Fresnedo. There are plenty of bits to look at. On either side of Coyote Inlet there are short, easyish digs that might well lead to plenty.
I didn’t go back because James had gone home and I didn’t want to go into his cave without him.
I’ve just realised I never commented on this…
0415’s resurvey is now complete. As Chris mentions, we couldn’t find the connection with Mostajo, which is a shame.
I only need to finish the drawing and write a new description. If work lets me have some free time I might be able to finish it before the end of the year.
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