Sunday, 20 January 2008

20th Jan 2008 - PB4 Castril (Spain)

At last the Spanish Branch of the TNC is up and running. Comprising of Bruce and Alistair (Hon TNC member). The project is to explore a local Castril cave known by the imaginative name of PB4. PB4 is a system over 3 km long with numerous levels, many still unexplored and undocumented . At present the total number of people who have been to the end of( the known) system is less than 20. Below is the most up to date survey of the system. Note the ? marks at the end !

Our object on this trip was to follow the main way. First though we had to find it. As to true TNC form this took some time. However after much traversing the rocky hillside the entrance was eventually discovered. Our main aim of this first trip was to find the main way on. This lead to the second route finding problem within 30 metres. After much furkling around a narrow slot lead down to a phreatic passage then on to a hading rift terminating in an impressively decorated cavern. From this point there were several ways on. The most obvious way lead into another huge cavern. From here various dead ends forced us to climb a slippery wall into another narrow muddy tube. A straightforward squeeze opened up into another large passage with huge prehistoric formations. Another cavern gave us a number of option for the way on so we decided to leave that till next week. Our estimated distance travelled into the cave was around 300 m.

On the way back we managed the find the down stream sump. Luckily Phil was not there !

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