NEWS OF THE AVALON-TEAM
And we end the year in beauty! In
the Chawresse our 6 days of work have l led to the direct
connection between the Réseau Persephone and
the Classic Réseau!
So, in the future, when arriving at the
foot of Puits Dany (P14) in the Classic Réseau, you walk
over the sharp rockflakes, and then, instead of going
straight forward towards the big gallery, you climb up 2
metres on the right wall, where you will find a hole.
Slide into it, you'll arrive in a chamber where the new
bit starts. After 30 m. of easy passage you'll find
yourself in ... the big room of the Réseau Persephone!
This connection opens up some
possiblities: one can now visit the Classic Réseau
without any rope, since you can go down the Persephone
part without rope. Or, after having done a
Veronika-Chawresse through-trip, you can visit the
classic part (and why not, visit the "Rezo B"
Finally I would like to remind you that
we are still busy (since 1997) to re-survey the whole
cave. Some more patience please!
Our dig in an active sinkhole near
Profondeville is also promising, we are now at -10
metres, but it stays difficult and wet.
Since several weeks now, the digging
fever has struck again! We are digging in a
sinkhole near Profondeville, where we managed to get from
-5 tot -10 m. But this wet, narrow and difficult
cave resists very well to our attacks! We are
also digging (again!) in the Chawresse. We
are emptying a nice bedding plane, we can see several
meters further and there is a good draught. The
question is: are we heading to a known part of the cave
or not. Revisit this pages often, if you want to
know the answer!
mini-expedition in the Pyrenees (Anialarra) was bothered
by the bad weather. Only two days of sunny weather
permitted us to continue the systematic prospection of
the limestone plateau. Then we progressively "snowed
in" and one night a storm (with wind speeds up to
140 km/h) nearly blew our tent away. Midweek we
decide to pack our things and go down again... On
friday we visited Arresteliako Ziloa (alias Trou
Souffleur de Larrandaburru). This beautiful and
very varied cave system was discovered in the nineties,
near the Gorges de Kakouetta, and has now a total length
of well over 50 kilometers! We made an unforgettable trip
in a cave that is very diffrent from all the other on the
You wont believe this, but hardly
back from our 4-week expedition, some fanatics (3 of
them) are returning to the Anialarra again, in a couple
of weeks. We will stay there only for a week this
time, to finish some surface surveys and to continue the
systematic prospection of the lapiaz. Everyone
please cross fingers for good weather!
ANIALARRA INTERCLUB 2000
Right, we're back from our 4 week expedition in
the Spanish Anialarra. “We” is in fact the Anialarra
Interclub 2000, organized by SC Avalon but with
participation of 1 Styx member, 1 Technico, 1 GS Rennes
(FFS) and 9 members of Speleo Holland. We had 3,5
weeks of sunny weather: a record for the PSM!
We had two main goals:
1) try to get past the end of the
cave, blocked at -711m by a giant boulder choke.
2) re-surveying as much as possible
of the cave system, since the old surveys were hardly
usable (in the stream-up part of the cave system,
errors of several hundreds of meters!) . In
order to explore and prospect efficiently, we need
we installed our altitude camp (6 person camp) at 2000 m
altitude and we carried everything up the mountain (only
for the cave already 17 kits) . After rigging Pozo Ibarra
(with its 222m pitch) we installed two comfortable
underground camps, for two cavers each. One at -500m, for
the survey teams, the other one at -600m, for the
exploration teams. During two weeks these camps
were intensively used, and we all had a great time there,
despite the very cold and rather hostile
environment! Thanks Annette, for preparing us such
comfortable camps, thanks to the sponsors that provided
the tents: The Berghut, Northface, Ferrino,
And the results?
The boulder choke at the end of the cave
was so unstable that we did not start digging there. But
an artificial climb (21 meters) nearby lead to the
discovery of a fossil level. More than 400 m was
explored; one part went in the good direction, with a
strong draught but then gradually narrowed.
We couldn't get through, because of a lack of digging
equipment, but one day this gallery could very well be
the key to the discovery of the rest of the cave!
The survey teams surveyed about 4,3
km of the system. We now have it surveyed from one
entrance (Pozo Ibarra) till the bottom. Last year we
already surveyed a good part, so by now we are beginning
to have a good idea of what the cave system looks like.
And the suspected errors were there, even bigger than we
had imagined (the depth of the system decreases from
-711m to -640 m)!
After two weeks the underground camps
were dismantled and the remaining survey-trips were
one-day trips. In the second part of the expedition
we concentrated on surface prospection, exploring new
caves and digging. About 1 kilometer of new caves
was surveyed, the deepest cave being AN534 (-134m).
The area however still offers nearly unlimited potential
for finding new and important caves.
explorations in Belgium are slowed down a bit because of
all the preparations for our summer expedition in the
Spanish Pyrenees. Two evenings per week we are
training our SRT-techniques in an old warehouse, 20
In the mean time another important job
has been done in the Bretaye System! This
originally very spectacular river cave had been drying
out because of some works in the outside river that were
performed by the Belgian government. We
finally found a solution to restore the waterflow in the
cave, and since a couple of weeks, the upstream parts of
the cave (that have been dry for at least 4 years now)
have become acitive again.
Long time, no hear, you might think.
Well, we have been very busy: continuing the work in the
Waerimont cave, preparing the Anialarra 2000 expedition, we
went to the French Doubs and so on. But I was also busy
working on the website; I bought a slide scanner and I have
spend many a night scanning slides... The result are 4
picture galleries, with almost 100 beautiful caving
pictures. Enjoy them, and take your time.
Bookmark the page because you won't be able to see them all
in one evening!
We went to the VAR (France) for ten days, where we did al lot
of caving. We also worked on our tan, thanks to the
verry sunny weather.
Now we'll spent another 3 days at the
European Explo 2000 meeting in Profondeville, en then we will
hopefully find the time to continue with our explorations in
Not a lot of news, except for the progress in the "Mecano
Passage" where, after 5 weekends of
kamikaze-digging, we have now reached a small but stable
room. However, the (visible) contiunuation is again
between very loose and unstable boulders... The two
mechanics, Paul and Flip, are confident that they will find a
solution for this situation, given some time and some special
ONLY A FEW MORE DAYS AND OUR SITE WELCOMES ITS 5000th
Still digging! The "bravest of the brave" are digging in the far end
of the Réseau du Printemps (the trip alone takes 4 hours),
while some others have started a very technical dig, baptized
"Passage Mecano" near the entrance of the cave.
In this dig we are trying to follow the draught that flows
through a terribly instable boulder choke. In the meantime,
the entire cave length totals 4300 metres.
AVALON thanks the Flemish Caving Federation (VVS)
Thanks, guys, for the Petzl kitbag that we received as a gift for
our "10 KM-drink" that we celebrated recently. At
your right, you'll see the very last picture of this kitbag in
it's original state....
AVALON SITE: new page "Welcome to Avalon"
If you want to see some really ugly faces, go and have a look at
our new introduction page "Welcome
AVALON SITE: surveys have been rescanned
What a luxury: our Internetprovider now offers 30MB of
webspace. This gives me the possibility to put better (but
bigger...) scans of the cave-surveys in the site. In the
past they were really ugly. This job is now nearly finished
for "The Belgian Cave Guide" ; the rest will follow in
the next days.
AVALON YEAR BY YEAR... new at our site
At the celebration of our 15th anniversary, in November 1998, we
presented 15 posters featuring for each year, the highlights,
soms historical or crazy pictures, or a small survey. These
posters have now been converted to webpages. Click
here! (for the non-Dutch speaking readers: English
translation is going on. Please come back soon.)
I would also like to remind you that "The Belgian Cave
Guide" is nearly finished: already 20 out of 25 caves have
been done. And last but not least: the detailed
"activity report" 1999 has now been translated in
English: click here if you want to find out
what we have been doing, month by month, in 1999.
AVALON NEW LOOK VERSION 2
Thanks to everyone for the positive remarks! One good
remark was that the black topbanner is pretty but very
ink-consuming when printing out the pages. I've replaced
the banner by another one. The problems with missing
navigation-buttons have been solved, and some big pages have been
segmented in smaller subpages (The Technical Pages,
A new page was also added: "The
Big Ones", a small overview of the big caving trips that
Avalon did over the years. Another page gives a selection
of comments that we received from you, dear visitors. Click
THE NEW AVALON WEBSITE HAS
As you will have noticed, the entire site has been
refreshed. All pages now have a consistent look and
built-in navigation buttons, new logos and banners, a new main
page and so on. The structure has been improved and still
will improve (some big pages will be split up in smaller
sub-pages shortly). All this became really necessarry,
since this site was growing so big (several hundreds of pages,
both in Dutch and English!) that I just couldn't manage it
anymore in a manual way . The site now has been ported to
Frontpage 2000. Unfortunately, some bugs in Frontpage
remain (such as no navigation buttons showing up in several
sub-level pages) but I'll have a word with my friend Bill one of
these days. I hope you like it, feedback is always welcome.
I also found the time to translate in English the report on
our exploration in the Anialarra mountains, last summer.
Read all about the exciting descent of the "Pozo
Ibarra" with its 222metre pitch in our