Oxford University Cave Club

Cabeza Julagua Expedition 1993

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8/13: Pozu Cabeza Julagua

Tim Guilford

This is an old SIE marked cave, described in Espeleosie 27. To find the cave, walk up the Cabeza Julagua ridge from the refugio. After the ridge starts to descend from the summit, a steep fault line runs away and 8/13 is the highest entrance in this.

A waist-high rock wall in a comfortable alcove is the take-off for an 18m descent in an open shaft to a rubble-floored break, followed by a further 20m descent to a large scree-floored chamber. Across the scree, a short climb down reaches a knobbly rift traverse and a further climb down to the head of the main pitch. This drops 40m down a long, chaotically-calcited shaft and through a hole 5m from the bottom. A climb out of the small chamber then leads to a climb down into the main passage, which soon meets a 4m overhanging wall. Below the wall, a narrow rift leads down at 45° to the constricted head of a 13m ladder pitch into a beautifully calcited chamber, where `SIE' is daubed in bold black letters on one wall. The way on follows the small stream, under a large, low ledge, down an apparently previously undescended, 4m freeclimbable pot, where the water disappears into a gently draughting, tight (but hammerable) meander.

Back at the overhanging wall, a delicate climb leads up to an old tape on the right, into which a ladder can be clipped. [ From the top of the ladder the passage continues ahead into a broken area, where a couple of constrictions were passed, terminating in a small, muddy, unrewarding chamber.] Back at the top of the ladder, a small passage leads into a rift. A short series of steep climbs lead down to where a constriction was passed into about 45m of new passage, Wet Dreams. This starts as a flat-out crawl, followed by a squeeze into a tiny decorated chamber; it continues across a pool and through a second squeeze into wider, decorated passage. Calcited climbs lead steeply down into respectable, mud-floored chamber. The only possible way on here seems to be high up on the calcited, left wall, but a high level - and fearfully exposed - traverse was unrewarded.

Rigging

Entrance pitch     50m        Bolt belay and bolt backup.                 
(P18)                                                                     

Second pitch       "          Medium wire and bolt on right.              
(P20)                                                                     

Main pitch (P40)   50m         Bolt Y hang; natural and tape rebelay;     
                              natural and tape deviation.                 

Calcited pitch      -         2 ladders attached to calcite bosses.       
(P13)                                                                     

Wall climb (C4)     -         Short ladder clipped to tape.               


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