Since 1993, spekul, in close collaboration with our Spanish colleagues UEV Valencia, explores on the Central Massif of the Picos Europa in Northern Western Spain. Several deep caves were found: Pozo del Madejuno (-1255m, 1995) and Poza del Sedo (-800m) in Hojo del Sedo. Pozo Tras Llambrion (-840m) in Hoyo Llambrion. In Hojo Grande we expored Pozo de la Cornisa upto a final depth of -1509m (2007, at that time the 9th deepest cave in the world). Actually, we are exploring Pozo de Hojas in Hojo Grande where we reached -800m (status summer 2015).
From 2001 we have been exploring in Pozo de la Cornisa, located in Hoyo Grande, a large glacier valley on the western edge of the Central Massif. A French team of speleologists found this cave and explored it during several years (‘80ies). They ended on top of an unstable pitch (P60) at -440m. When we visited this cave in 2001, we bypassed this unstable area via a parallel pitch of 145m (Pozo Clandestino). During the following years the cave was further pushed to -700m, where all leads seemed to end up in a large chamber, the Sala Negra, leaving us with little hope to get any deeper. In 2004 the way was found, leading to -1040m. The following years we pushed the cave to a final depth of 1509m (2007).
Pozo de la Cornisa goes down quickly in Picos-style along a series of deep pitches (P90, P145, P95, P130). Something that is rather rare for Picos and other Alpine caves are the beautifully decorated passages and meanders, as well as areas with variety of formations. Here are the coupe and plan of the Pozo de la Cornisa.
MASSCHELEIN J., DE ROEST D., LAGROU D., JANSE W. & COESSENS V. (2009): Sistema de la Cornisa – Torca-Magali (-1507 m) (Picos de Europa). 15th International Congress of Speleology. July 19-26 2009. Kerrville, Texas, USA.