Gouffre de la Legarde 2002: Dry Caving

After a little practice on a tree the previous day, my brother Didier took me on my third dry cave trip. This one was a little more challenging than the previous one, which was good. The third guy is Jean-Pierre Maurus, a very experienced rock climber, spelunker and canyonist. So I was in good company.

It was a very vertical experience: 130 meters depth for about 15 meters walk. The 130 meters were a series of shafts: 28+9 (one rope), 30+42 (another rope), 10 (one rope). Then it took us a while to find the continuation: 5 restrictions, 3 of them major-remove-all gear restrictions.

Didier, my brother is getting ready to show us a great cave.
Setting up the top of the cave,
still in open air.

The two brothers... One prefers o remain anonymous.

Didier went ahead, I followed and Jean-Pierre was last. The first restriction felt hard to me (I don't like them). Second one was shorter but there was water in the bottom part of the U were we had to squeeze, so it got us soaked. Didier and I went through this. While Didier went further to see if this was really the way, Jean-Pierre stayed on the other side of the water. Didier passed 2 major restrictions (contortion required, one arm before the other, all gear off) and saw the next shaft after the 5th restriction. He decided this was too much for us to have a major restriction on top of a shaft. The map we had did not indicate that stuff... So we turned around and had some fun getting out.

This is the crazy brother getting through one of these three major restrictions that neither Jean-Pierre nor I felt like doing...

Didier eating just before we start going back up. He will go in front, then me, then JP will remove all the gear as he comes up.
JP eating before starting the 130 meters of straight ascent. The smoke is actually coming from us: evaporation.



Last Revised: Dec, 2002.