Spain 1973, 1974,
Name: Sima de Garma Ciega
Location: 3km NW of San Pedro (Ramales area)
GPS: N43°13'56" W3°34'03" (from description below, included in route GPX)
UTM: 30 T (various sources)
454022 4786895 (close to where ‘cave’ symbol shown on current 2016 maps)
453900 4787350 (possibly different pot)
Survey: (see below)
Description: Deep pothole explored by French, Spanish, and British personnel in the late 1970s; see: Garma-Ciega-descripcion.pdf.
Likely route to cave from San Pedro: Garma-Ciega-route-and-entrance.gpx (but note that road up from Astrana gets to same route and saves 200m climb).
1977 – Easter and summer expeditions
Tackle [Transcribed from the 1977 Summer log ‘Technical’ pages, after 1977.07.27.]
Tackle carried up the hill:
35m Bluewater (not in bag – for Pitch 1)
Bag 1: 92m Bluewater
Bag 2: ?m Bluewater
Bag 3: 80m Marlow 10mm
Bag 4: 35m Edelrid, 30m Marlow, 15m Marlow
3 bolting kits, thimbles, 6+ rope protectors, etc.
Second trip up hill:
Bag 5: 45m Marlow
1 tent, 1 bottle of wine
Rigging [Transcribed from the 1977 Summer log ‘Technical’ pages, after 1977.07.27.]
Pitch 1 (Entrance, 33m)
Rigged from tree at East end of general take-off area. Backup back to Polish/French? bolt. Handline for traverse to rope advisable.
8m down to first changeover (intermediate rope protector used at −4m)
4m down to second bolt, then free hang for remaining 21m
Rigging time 1½ hours (including decision-making and bolting).
Pitch 2 (40m)
Used French fishplate on left of ledge, but replaced bolt. Rope protector round corner, to bolt at −5m. Then free hang for remainder
Rigging time ¾ hours.
[No detailed notes for remaining pitches – not rigged by MFC.]
Rifty but plenty big enough.
Clean drop, lower part in water in wet weather.
Edelrid recovered from ‘dead end’ and untangled.
Pitch 6 (6m)
New bolt put in, rope rigged back to two old bolts, one immediately above (70cm) and other on right further upstream. Simple pitch (Edelrid initially).
Rope carried on down to use as handline (later removed), with one v. difficult bolt put in.
... at end of rope was rigged and all tackle, bolting kit, etc., left there.
Progress down beyond “point 12”: steep and at times difficult. Much abandoned (Polish?) rope found. Reached to near 36m pitch.
Phil/Antonio down for 20 hours; pass Salle Blanche and get near bottom (i.e., big chambers).
Pete & Mark → −750 (beyond 16 July Chamber). Also take photos, go some distance up Cellagua, and take notes of pitches. 19 hours. Lower stretch of “entrance series” sharp and strenuous; 2 pitches, as described by French, rigged.
Expeditions to the Picos de Europa and elsewhere since 1973.
Please e-mail Mike Cowlishaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bill Collis (email@example.com)
if you have any corrections, suggestions, etc. See also the SpeleoTrove speleology section ».
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use only. All content © Speleogroup 1973, 2021,
This page was last edited on 2019-10-24 by mfc.