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Western massif of the Picos de Europa
(El Cornion, Asturias, Spain)

Cave G7, photo: Zbigniew Grzela
Marek Jędrzejczak
Speleoclub Wrocław

The systematic exploration of this massif has already continued for three decades. The authorities of the Picos de Europa National Park, acting through the Federación Asturiana de Espeleología, have allotted Poles, coming to this area since 1978, an extensive area in the Asturian part of the massif. The boundary of this area is a line 10.1 km long, running through the Torre de la Canal Parda - Torre los Traviesos - Tiro la Llera - Torre de los Cabrones - Punta Gregoriana - Pica de la Jorcada - Pico Conjuarto - Porru Curenes - Sierra Robecas - Contolimpou - Porra la Altiquera - Camino de los Barrastrosas - Pico de los Asturianos. The area includes northern slopes of the Torre Santa María and Torre de los Traviesos, and measures 4.5 km2. The highest point in the area is the summit of the Torre de los Traviesos with altitude of 2,385 m, and the lowest is the bottom of the cirque Joos de Reseco at ca. 1450 m of altitude.

It happened that a systematic exploration was done by another club in each decade. The history of exploration since the early 70ties till 1996 was published in the special issue of Jaskinie, published for the 12th International Speleological Congress. Let us recall:
The 70ties was the time when French cavers from Speleo Club Orsay de Faculte (SCOF) performed systematic work in 1972-1976. The deepest caves explored during this period include:
• Sima de la Torre de los Traviesos o de los Organos (A-1), -416 m;
• Red de los Barrastrosas (G-7/G-4), -315 m;
• Sima de los Desvios (F-3), - 280 m.
The members of SCOF have discovered about 50 caves. At the same time they started exploring in another massif, the Ozania, which they deemed more promising. As a result, their activity in this area was abandoned.
The first Polish reconnaissance trip was in 1978, but only a year later members of Speleoklub Gliwice (SG) began a planned exploration, continued till 1989. The main achievements at that time were:
• Pozu del Porru de la Capilla (A-11), -863 m;
• G-13, -429 m, explored by Poles from Sekcja Grotołazów Klubu Wysokogórskiego Wrocław (SGKWW);
• Sima de los Desvios (F-3), deepened to -323 m;
• Pozu del Pico de los Asturianos (A-30), -265 m;
• SCP 134, -240 m, explored by Spaniards from Speleo Club de la Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (SCP) jointly with Polish cavers from Katowicki Klub Speleologiczny (KKS);
• Sima Profunda (Prof.), -204 m.
A new club appears with the new decade. Speleoclub Wrocław (SCW) has been exploring since 1991. The following discoveries have been done in 1996:

photo: Zbigniew Grzela

• Sistema del Jou de la Canal Parda (A-30/A-25/A-24/A-1), -903 m; the result of communications between two large caves: Sima de la Torre de los Traviesos o de los Organos (A-1) and Pozu del Pico de los Asturianos (A-30) and of deepening the whole system;
• Sistema del Canalon de los Desvios (F-18/F-17/F-15), -501 m.
Water was dyed at the bottom of Sistema del Jou de la Canal Parda, but the tracer has been not found in the Rio Redemuna, where it was expected.
After finishing exploration in Sistema del Jou de la Canal Parda, intense prospecting began for a new big exploration target.
Zone G was selected for prospecting in 1997. The main goal of the expedition was exploration of the deepest cave in the zone - G-13. Its entrance at altitude 2074 m was found by an expedition of Speleoklub Gliwice in 1988. Exploration was begun a year later by an expedition of Sekcja Grotołazów Klubu Wysokogórskiego Wrocław. The expedition terminated unexpectedly because of an accident at the depth of 429 m. The unfinished exploration left some expectations for continuation. However, no possibility of continuation was found at the bottom. Two side series were found and negatively explored: from ca -270 m to ca -350 m and from ca -170 m to

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