After Chartreuse Trip
Last summer, I
went out to
The Trou Qui Souffle was a suitable start, and the kind of walk-in that I can cope with! The entrance had a rigid aluminium ladder, which seemed a bit odd, but down I went. After a while I met some French cavers, with ‘les enfants’, who told me it was their ladder, and that it would be possible for me to climb out without the ladder being there. I continued a short time, my notes say “5m down the 30m second pitch”, I can’t remember anything about the trip, apart from the entrance climb out being a doddle. Next day I went in Brodour Grotte, where 30m in was some serious gating. Drove up the hill to Scialet du Toboggan, which took me a while to find. The entrance is a snug vertical pitch, and I continued to the first Metro. Had a bit of a struggle on the way up the entrance series.
Decided to start my journey home, so drove to the Ardeche. OK, not strictly on the way home, but always worth a visit. Tried to find a couple of caves, but just ended wandering around the woods for a few hours – fortunately I had expected that to happen, so wasn’t carrying any caving gear. Next day, I found Aven de la Rouveyrette, which is basically a deep pit with a few pretties at the bottom. Managed to scare myself doing the rigging, as I was a bit out of practice. Headed north, after a bit of a wash, er, swim, in the Ardeche, and a quick look at a couple of Dolmens.
Stopped at a place called “La
Roche Qui Danse” near
Next day took me to the
Went to Grotte Sarrazine, and Source de Lison, both walk-in tourist caves. However, the Sarrazine does have some cave passage beyond the pool, so I returned the next day with caving gear. Rigged a traverse around the pool, and up the calcite cascade, which was thankfully dry. However, I couldn’t find the way on ( D’oh! ). I presume I had needed to climb all the way to roof level, but seeing as I’d needed to ‘leap-frog’ my three hangers to get across the pool, the prospect of a 20m climb using the same method didn’t appeal. Still, I entertained the tourists, and guided some of the braver ones the 20m or so in, to see the pool. I’ll never know if they understood my ‘pigeon-french’ explaination of what lies beyond.
That afternoon, I went to Gouffre de Granges Mathieu. It had a tall fence around the pot, with a sign saying you had to contact the Speleo Club Beaufort. As the cave has houses next to it, I thought I’d best ask permission. I saw some locals walking their dog, and asked them, they suggested I go to the next town and ask in the town hall. So I drove the 5 miles to the town hall, and asked there, even showing them the book, so they could see what I was talking about….”we know nothing about it” was the response. So, I drove back up, trying to decide whether it was worth the risk to pirate the trip.
I saw the same men returning from their walk, and
spoke to them again, I told them that the town hail knew nothing about it, and
referred them to the big sign saying that permission was required from the Beifort club. The local, with full blown French mannerisms
Next day I visited Gouffre Tresor, a large entrance next to the road, and Gouffre de Roy, which took a while to find, but was a nice little trip with some pretties.
One oddity I visited was Grotte de Remonot, a walk-in cave which has been turned into a small chapel !
Jonny Baker Back to:- Contents