Oxford University Cave Club

British Speleological Expedition to the Cantabrian Mountains of Northern Spain, 1965

in conjunction with the "Espeleologos de Penalba", Leon

British Speleological Expedition 1965 Report

Other Expedition reports

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The reasons prompting our move of camp

Two weeks had passed and by splitting up our members into small groups the caves and the area between the rivers Bernesga and Porma had been fairly thoroughly searched. The expedition's potential had not "been fully realised, (i.e. We had not had to man any underground camps although a number of quite large caves had "been found.) and the chance of finding any other large caves in the area seemed remote. Furthermore the expedition's base at Valporquero was rather isolated. It was also shortly to be cut off from the outside by road and bridge constructions, and as all water had to be brought in from the outside it was by general consent that we decided to move camp.

The area to the immediate west of the Picos de Europa in the locality of Canvas de Onis had since very early on in the planning of the expedition Iron considered as a potential caving area worthy of investigation. We therefore had some knowledge of the area and were aware of the fact that little or no work had been done there by previous expeditions.
To the cast of the area we knew of a large shaft "Jou Cabou" which had only been partly explored. In 1963 it had been located by a small reconnaissance party with neither the equipment or time to make the full descent. In moving to Cangas de Onis we could thoroughly investigate this shaft, and by remaining semi mobile, and working from a central camp site explore the locality.

We regretfully parted company with our Spanish Colleagues who were committed by a prior arrangement to make an accurate survey of Cueva de Valporquero, and moved off to Cangas de Onis.