grotte la verna

SAINTE-ENGRÂCE LA PIERRE SAINT-MARTIN

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

   
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Marcel Loubens – 1952Conveyance of equipment - 1952Winch designed by C. QueffélecExpedition into the Lépineux Discovery of La Verna - 1953Transportation of expedition equipment – 1953Portage to  Lépineux - 1954 Hoisting the coffin with  Loubens’s remains out of Lepineux - 1954 Loubens’s Coffin - 1954Arpidia ravineDigging of tunnel to gain access to La Verna Digging of tunnel to gain access to La Verna Digging of tunnel to gain access to La Verna Arpidia ravineLa Verna tunnel

The pioneers: adventurers from another time


When La Verna was discovered in the early 1950s, certain outdoors activities were as yet almost unheard of.


Speleology was a clandestine practice still in its infancy, which meant that equipment was rare and inefficient, techniques were waiting to be discovered, clothing and food were inappropriate, and assistance in the event of an accident was virtually non-existent. Everything had yet to be invented. We can only marvel at the bravery, or foolhardiness!

Getting to the cave entrance involved days of walking. Equipment was transported with the aid of mules and donkeys, guided by local shepherds. The only way in was down the 320-metre vertical drop of the chasm "Lepineux". It entailed many hours in a painful harness, suspended by a thin steel cable.

 

 

 

See also...

 

Animated historical overview


The caves


Flying underground


Virtual tour

Kakuetta gorges

 
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