Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 27 Feb 2017

Expedition details (GPF2017a-005)

Expedition Name (& Club): Pozo Azul - 2017
Destination country: Spain
Region: Burgos
Lat: 42.7370 Long: -3.8005 Elevation: 695 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mr Jason Mallinson
Total cavers: 8
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 0
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 1
UK/nonUK cavers: 4/4
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 15th Aug 2017 - 10th Sep 2017
Duration (days): 27
Man-days in field: 230 Man-days travelling: 60
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

Continue the exploration of the Pozo Azul resurgence, beyond the current limit in sump 6, which is over 11km from the entrance. Also survey and map all the current known passages beyond Sump 4.
This will require a camp in the cave of around 7 days, beyond sump 3.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

GPF have assisted with this project before, and this helps greatly with the transport and subsistence costs whilst on site.

Note: Not all expedition personnel are entered in expedition personnel area.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

Following a solo trip to the end in 2015 when Sump 6 was discovered and explored for 120m with the way on continuing, the conclusion was that an Alpine style approach to further exploration was no longer worthwhile due to the limitations of the time allowed at the furthest point. And so this years expedition will use 'seige tactics' in combination with an advanced camp beyond sump 3 (3200m).
At this point all the long and technical diving is finished (so far) and so multiple trips to the end from here are feasible using just basic cave diving kit and fin power. This will also allow us time to survey the numerous side passages with potential to find bypasses to sumps 4 and 5. The camp in the cave would be around 7 days, with 3 divers.
Day 1 - Pass S2 and possibly S3 and set up camp.
Day 2 - Pass S3 and/or S4 and begin survey of dry passages
Day 3 - Pass S4 and S5 and continue dry passage survey, Possibly dive S6
Day 4 - Finish all dry survey passage - dive S6 (and beyond)
Day 5 - Dive S6 and beyond
Day 6 - Retreat to Tipperary for final night
Day 7 - Exit cave
In addition to this there will be around 1 weeks set up time to establish an interim camp in Tipperary and stage kit throughout S2.
Also around 1 weeks detackle will be required.
We would also like to establish communication whilst in the camp and we will be trying to get some loan units from CaveLink as per 2015, otherwise Hey units.
A large support team is required for this expedition and this is traditionally provided by a combination of British , Spanish and Dutch personnel
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

The Pozo Azul project has been active since 2001, with trips carried out almost every year.
All dives are detailed in CDG Newsletters No.s 130,141,140,152,160,163,173,177,183,189,193

Hidden Earth Lectures have been given on several occasions

Also various articles in caving and diving magazines have been published:

Diver Magazine Nov 2010

Dedicated website:

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
Travel for British team members will be via Channel and drive through France to Northern Spain, as vehicles with large amounts of specialist dive gear required.
Spain ferries direct tend to be prohibitively expensive in the summer.

Dutch support - drive through France
Spanish support - drive from various locations in Spain

# from UK: 4 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £3,200 Ferries - £800
Fuel and Tolls UK to Spain x 3 vehicels return - £2400

# from outside UK: 14 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £2,200 Dutch Support 3 vehicles (4 persons)
Fuel and Tolls Holland to spain - £1800

Spanish Support 8 vehicles (10 persons)
Fuel and Tolls £400

Travel total: £5,400 Travel p.p. from UK: £800
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £157


Total: £600 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £33 Camping £5 p/p/p/n
6 people 21 nights - £630
10 people 12 nights - £600


Total: £819 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £46 Sofnolime 4 tubs 20kg @ £78.50 ea = £314
Oxygen 50l 300bar £100
Helium 50l 200bar £100
Diveline 3000m £75
Compressor Fuel and filters £230

Special 1

Total: £630 Comments:
Special 1 p.p.: £35 Oxygen sensors 3 per rebreather for push divers = 9
@ £70 ea
Exped Total: £7,449 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £913
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £270
Mean Exped cost per person: £413

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
Total shortfall: £7,449 Mean shortfall per person: £413

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Mr John Cordingley
Affiliation: Friend

Reason: Good knowledge of the expedition, objectives and equipment

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr David Ryall
Affiliation: friend

Reason: Good knowledge of the expedition, objectives and equipment

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Jason Mallinson