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Oston 2004 Expedition Report

Picos de Europa, Spain

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Shaftbashing was the primary goal of this expedition. As it happened, the exploration of Pozu Chicago managed to become quite a focus, but there was nevertheless a lot of surface work going on. In this section of the report I will not list all the new holes discovered and old holes logged on GPS - the complete list of known OUCC caves in this area will be updated in the OUCC Shaftbashing Guide (currently available at http://users.comlab.ox.ac.uk/gavin.lowe/Caving/Spain/total.pdf) - but I will say a bit about a few of the more interesting discoveries.

UTM 0344922 4788446
"La Cueva de la Mariposa" - the entrance to downstream 2/7?! Near the end of the E-T ridge, following the line of 2/7 but beyond Huerta del Rey/choke Egbert, a rift in the ridge reveals a hole which can be entered. Progress is halted 2m in by a scary boulder choke, but a large rift cave is visible beyond and it draughts well. A fair digging effort is required. Possible other entrance: a hole in the clif just beyond (following the line of the rift), a very dramatic abseil above nothingness.
UTM 0343452 4789869
At the head of small valley 50m south of the path with a 2m high small cliff above is a very strongly draughting grassy hole. You can see 3m down through squeezable boulders. A possible alternative entrance is in the second of two shakeholes about 5m behind the grassy hole.
UTM 345090 4789633
A 10-15m shaft in shakehole just uphill and to the north of 23/13, with no bottom visible. Inhabited by a pair of nesting birds (2004)
UTM 345078 4789619
A strongly drafting choke in a rift in the hillside overlooking La Texa. Rocks dropped through holes in the choke rattle for several seconds, and it is easily diggable; would probably take less than half an hour.