Oxford University Cave Club

Oston 2004 Expedition Report

Picos de Europa, Spain

Oston 2004 Index

Other Expedition reports

OUCC Home Page

Pozu Chicago Description

The cave starts out as a rift, and the entrance is a vertical slot at the back of the indentation in slope/cliff. It's fairly narrow, but not tight. The first pitch is immediately down the entrance rift and was rigged off a bolt with a large chock-stone back up. Two single bolt rebelays then follow and a ledge is reached. Back towards the entrance a short pitch leads to a boulder filled area with no way on. The other side of the ledge is the second pitch, Adrenalin (26m), rigged off a bolt and backed up by the previous pitch. This descends via a single bolt rebelay to a large boulder pile. At the edge of this is Don't Stop! pitch, which was rigged with a bolted y-hang and backed up off a large boulder. Half way down this 70m pitch is a single bolt rebelay. At the bottom a climb up to the left (facing away from pitch) leads in to a parallel shaft with nothing at the bottom. To the right is a short climb down to a rift. CAUTION: there are several loose rocks at the head of Don't Stop! Pitch.

Climbing down to the bottom of this rift leads to a small stream-way crawl which quickly becomes impassable. The way on is reached by an awkward traverse along the rift at a mid level until a bolt signals a short climb down followed shortly by a pitch of approximately 30-40m. The chamber at the bottom of this pitch contains a narrow unexplored unpromising rift off to the left and a slippery climb up a slope to the bottom of Disposable Belays (see below).

Returning to Don't Stop! pitch, a number of windows are visible. Swinging into one about 5m below the rebelay leads to the fossil Wild West passage. The passage begins with a rift with a calcite and boulder floor. Soon a traverse past a large column is reached. Beneath, the passage opens out but was left undescended as it was assumed that it would drop into known cave. Continuing past this leads to another traverse, lined off boulders. A second lined traverse past an impressive column leads to the top of Disposable Belays pitch. To the left is a continuation of the passage leads down via a calcite slope to the top of a climb.

About 35m down the pitch is a large ledge (Tacklesack Ledge), from which a small passage which quickly turns into an unpromising tight crawl. Following a traverse opposite this ledge leads to a pitch.

Continuing to the bottom of disposable belays via a bolt rebelay on the right hand wall dividing to passages leads to a junction in a rift with three ways on. Straight on leads to the bottom of the pitch from Tacklesack Ledge. A maze of passages ensues, but all soon become near impassable. A dedicated effort might get through one or two of the improbable squeezes which have limited the current exploration, but nothing looks particularly promising. The most likely places to extend Chicago from are the windows on Don't Stop! and Disposable Belays.


  Pitch Rope Belays
Rift Route Entrance pitch 140m Bolt, Chock-stone backup, two bolt rebelays (-4m,-8m)
Adrenalin(26m) " Bolt from ledge, bolt rebelay next to ledge on 2nd wall, -10m
  Don't stop pitch(71m) " Bolted Y-hang on left wall, with boulder back up, bolt rebelay (-35m)
  Rift pitch 40m Natural Y-hang, with natural backup lead to main hang a bolted Y-hang
Main Route Entrance Pitch 125m Bolt, Chock-stone backup, bolt rebelays (-4m) *maybe two*
  Adrenalin(26m) " Bolt from ledge, bolt rebelay next to ledge on 2nd wall, -10m
   Don't stop pitch(45m) " Bolted Y-hang on left wall, with boulder back up, bolt rebelay (-35m), tied off to natural for pendule into wild west passage
  Traverse 50m Rock at start of 1st traverse to rock between 1st and 2nd traverse to thread left of Disposable belays pitch head
  Disposable Belays (35m) " Y hang from thread and bolt, backed up by traverse, deviation from thread (-10m), rebelay 10m from bottom.
  5th Pitch (5m) " Single bolt, backed up from last pitch.
  6th Pitch (30m) 35m Chock-stone backed up by spike, needs improving.
  7th Pitch (5m) 15m Large boulder, followed by bolt rebelay at end of climbable part