Matienzo Summer 2016

Arrived Tuesday 2nd August via flying from Manchester to Bilbao with Scott.

Wednesday 3rd August
Via Ferrata in Ramales
Expedition Meal



Thursday 4th August
Mostajo tourist trip
Crane near Ramales

Scott, Mostajo

Charlotte, Mostajo


La GrĂșa
Friday 5th August
Fresnado II with James Carlisle

We got to "The Howling" mud duck in record time (every bit as lovely as it sounds!), and on to where the current survey ends to start new exploration and surveying. Crawled into a small yet high chamber, which initially looked to have good potential with ways on. James climbed the C.10m loose boulder pile while I hid under a ledge avoiding any likely rock fall. Once James was up, I crawled out and found a short climb down into a lower section, and heard water. I shouted up to James that I had a streamway in a rift and was climbing down to it. The rift passage is very loose in chossy limestone, I started chimneying down to the streamway, around 8-10 metres or so below. I gingerly placed my toe on a boulder wedged in the rift, which started moving so started backing up looking for a better place to climb down, when suddenly without any warning the boulder came crashing down and the whole passage collapsed around me. At this point James had climbed back down the boulder pile, deciding it was unsafe to continue alone, and he found me climbing out of the streamway looking and sounding rather shaken. Fortunately I came out of the fall with a couple of scrapes only.

We started surveying the small chamber, and then both climbed up the boulder pile one at a time. At the top were two big slopes, slippery looking and very loose, it reminded me somewhat of the slopes filled with deads I have seen at Nenthead. James started climbing/crawling up the first one, and was almost at the top when he shouted "BELOW LAUREN MOVE" or something to that effect. I jumped out of the way in time to look up and watch a TV sized boulder come rolling and sliding down the slope, with all the loose sandy stuff running in behind it. It tumbled down the boulder pile we had just climbed up, and took some of it out on it's way. After obtaining a survey point, James told me to come up, as it was safer up there. At the top we were presented with a large chamber, and more loose climbs. We decided it was too much like "death on a stick" and cautiously climbed back down the pile, and went back to survey the streamway passage. This proved quite difficult as everything seemed to be on the move, and we did our best before calling it a day, and started heading out. The way out proved to be a lot more difficult than the way in, once covered in mud from The Howling duck, there is no dry sand on the other side to roll in and get the mud off, as is the case on the way in. The protected traverse was a comedy act of slippery feet and hands, then a long slog out with a stop for some food and water in the "Ecstasy Chamber". Once out we met everyone at Bakers before a quick shower and typically fantastic meal at Bar Tomas.

Saturday 6th August
Walk with Pete Oneill, Phil Papard, and Hilary Papard to look for previously found, but unexplored shafts in the hillside.
Site 3627 partially descended by Pete Oneill, decided a ladder and some gardening was needed.
I looked down a couple more holes nearby that we found along the way to site ????
Phil put a bolt in the top, and I was first to descend the rather beautiful shaft into a smooth walled chamber. Unfortunately it didn't go anywhere, but we surveyed what was there anyway!

New Cave, First Down
Sunday 7th August
Swimming in the Rio Ason near Riva de Ruesga

Crystal Clear
Monday 8th August
Beach day at Noja
BBQ at the Apartment

Tuesday 9th August
Walk with Pete Oneill, Phil Papard, Pete Clewes and Tom Howard to drop the shaft we found on Saturday. Various other holes found and investigated.

Wednesday 10th August
Ramales with Liz
Meal at Bar Tomas

Thursday 11th August
Home!