MCG expedition to Southern Spain, 2010
We are planning 10 caving trips and 2 canyoning trips during a period of about 15 days. We will be caving in three different National Parks, namely Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves and Torcal de Antequera
SRT will be needed for most of the caves. Only one trip will be suitable for non-SRT cavers - Cueva del Gato. This is a 5 kilometres through trip, with all fixed ropes, loads of swimming (wet suit required), SRT harness, helmet and Stop or Figure of 8. This cave will be treated like a canyoning trip (but obviously in the dark) because of the dimensions of passages, with lakes up to 1100 metres long (600 metres swimable for us), 6 to 8 abseils (depending on the route) with a biggest drop of 30 metres, huge chambers like Plaza de Toros (the bull ring) where you actually could build a bull ring in the chamber, and a good variety of formations like the Great Stalagmite 4 metres wide and 5 metres high
Our accommodation will be in the village of Villaluenga del Rosario, in the province of Cadiz but very close to Malaga province too; we will be caving in both provinces. Accommodation will be in a bunkhouse run by the Andalusian Caving Federation, there are plenty of bunks, meeting rooms, a rear patio and porch and kitchen with staff cooking for us. Accommodation is 8 Euros per night and 8 Euros per meal
All the caves we are visiting require permits, and as the permits will be printed with the names of all members in the party, we need 100% commitment of those taking part. We also need conformation for booking the accommodation
All caves except Gato will be SRT, and one of the trips will be to Sima GESM; as most of you know, this is a 1100m deep cave. An MCG team may be able to participate in the exploration which is taking place and still finding new passages and pitches. We will be working with the team that has been exploring Sima GESM since 2002 and who reached the new depth of 1100m. This trip is ONLY for hard cavers, as there is a 3 metre squeeze a short distance into the cave, called literally "the f******g squeeze" on the survey
Our caving trips will be taking place in the National Parks of Andalucia, and the park authority issues permits not the clubs or the Caving Federation. The authorities are concerned with the big risk of fire and this is why we need to put names on permits. At least one local caving club has been fined for taking caving gear off the cars without a caving permit. We are already in contact with National Parks, Andalusian Caving Federation and Local Clubs. Sima GESM and Cueva del Gato (5Km through trip) will be pre-rigged and there will be tackle available to rig other caves if needed.
Date for expedition - September 2010 has been suggested. Speaking with local cavers, walking to the caves last August was very hot, so September should be cooler than August but always warmer than the UK.
For further details see this Powerpoint presentation, Spain 2010
Mendip Caving Group. UK Charity Number 270088. The object of the Group is, for the benefit of the public, the furtherance of all aspects of the exploration, scientific study and conservation of caves and related features. Membership shall be open to anyone over the age of 18 years with an interest in the objects of the Group.