Red Rose Millennium Expedition

22 July - 5th August 2000

Click here to See Link to Hugh St Lawrence Recce Trip

Pyrennes Exp Newsletter Articles


See Page with Maps
Click here for Slug's Photos


The cave system has over 30 entrances and is about 90 Km in length and 1,004 metres deep making it the 12th longest cave in the world and the longest cave in France. It is located in the beautiful forested Massif d'Arbas in the French Pyreneean départment of the Haute Garonne 70 km SW of Toulouse. The area is not that popular with tourists and the older forms of French agriculture are the norm.

The caving is excellent and ideal for a club trip as the caving varies from a gentle trip into the normally dry resurgence to deep SRT trips and long through trips. It has a magnificent streamway, some big pitches (140m) and the enormous Salle du Vent (300m x 25m x 45m)

Andy's Photos


Inside Pene Blanque Entrance

The climb up to Pene Blanque Entrance

Jolly campers

What can I say for this!


Inside Pene Blanque Entrance

Fountaine de Ore parking spot for the Gouffre Mile etc


Geting changed near The Resurgence Cave

Entrance to the Goueil di Her, the resurgence cave for the System

Dr A Hare with some of her patients!

Maz de Zile, the road goes thru' this show cave


The two best maps of the area are:

France IGN 1:25,000 map No. 1947 OT £7.50

Randonnees Pyrenees 1:50,000 map No. 6 £8.50

These can be obtained from The Map Shop, 15 High St, Upton Upon Severn, Worcestershire WR8 0HJ by return of post. (Carriage 75p) or do what I did and order by email and they arrived next day. email address:

The system is near the small town of Arbas and a guide book for the system ( in French) is available in the Club library. Accommodation in the area is varied including a bunkhouse, camp sites and several gites. More of this later. The reasons for choosing this cave system are as below:


. We were based at the campsite in the village of Mauvezin de Prat 15 km NW of St Giron. It has good facilities including free hot showers,a washing machine, electric points for lamp charging and shady campsites. The nearest shop is 2 km away and there is a desent supermarket at Mane, 4 km to the NW.

Mons Bulf, Camping L'Estelas, Mauvezin de Prat, St Girons, Haute Garonne, France

Tel: 0561 96 65 80

Further reading

In case people want to read up on the cave system here are the best refs: All are in the Club Library

1.'Le tour de la Coume d'Hyouernedo en 24 cavites', by Stephane Boyer & Jean Flandin (1994)

2. TSG 16 Journal of Technical Speleological Group pp42-57

3. Shepton Mallet CC Journal 10 (2)

Andy Hall

2000 R.R.C.P.C