Oxford University Cave Club

Expedition to the Picos de Europa, Spain, 1994

"La Verdelluenga"



The entrance is located on a north facing slope high on a ridge that is directly East of and parallel to the main La Rena ridge which heads NE from the summit of La Verdelluenga; co-ordinates from C3: x = -68.27m, y = -6.85m, z = 17.92m.

Cuvicente 268° , declination -5° , ~1950 m.

A free climb down reaches a boulder floor, which leads round a right hand bend to the head of a small pitch, landing in a small boulder floored rift. The scale of the cave increases significantly below the following pitch head, which bells out to form Virtual Reality (P26). From the foot of this pitch a large rift heads eastwards, but this rapidly chokes.

The way on is reached by penduling across to a large window 6m above the floor of Virtual Reality. A short ramp leads to a 12m pitch, which drops down the wall of a fault chamber. Two small holes in the floor are choked. However, on the left a climb leads up to the Smarty Run passage. After passing beneath a probable connection with the rift heading off from the floor of Virtual Reality, a short free climb down a hole in the floor leads to a possible continuation. The Smarty Run ends at a large aven (unclimbed).

Once more, the way on is a pendule, this time into a rift half-way down the fault chamber. A short crawl then leads past some precarious boulders to a small chamber with a slot in the floor, which is the head of a 42m pitch called Hot & Steamy. From the chamber, a boulder strewn ramp leads on the right to a small choked chamber. A belay for Hot & Steamy was originally sought here, before the intended belay descended the pitch. To the left of the pitch head, a crawl leads to another chamber with a climb up to a choked window at the far end.

Following the pattern of the rest of the cave, the bottom of Hot & Steamy is choked. 12m down from the pitch head, a bolted aerial traverse leads along the right hand wall to a climb up to the Round Window. This climb was uncompleted since one of the walls comprises a slightly overhanging wall of loose rock. Descending a further 10m it is possible to pendule to the Square Window, a clean-washed inlet which was climbed until a constriction prevented further progress.

Chris Densham