A full day caving exploration during which you will face most of the techniques for progression: go through narrow passageways, go down wells with ropes and discover large rooms. To carry out a Speleological Exploration, we will meet you in the Gorges du Tarn in Lozère. Several meeting places are possible according to the practice sites: Castelbouc or Saint Chély du Tarn.
The cave of Castelbouc:
From Florac, take direction Ispagnac, Blajoux, once past the latter village continue for 1.5 km and turn left following the sign Castelbouc sign. Continue by car, cross the river Tarn on a submersible bridge, continue for 500m and you will arrive at the village of Castelbouc.
The business to take:
– hiking shoes or basketball
– long-sleeved clothing, it is 12 degrees in the cave, no down jacket either
– 1 liter of water per person
Course and duration of the activity:
Your instructor will wait for you at the car park where he will have prepared all the necessary equipment for the progression: Speleology combination, kneepads, helmets with powerful lighting.
At first, we dress on a tarpaulin at your disposal.
We cross on foot this charming little village of Castelbouc with the ruins of a castle overlooking the village. Dating back to the 12th century, this castle belonged to Etienne de Castelbouc, vassal of Elie de Montbrun. The latter is commander of the Knights Templar Larzac.
In the 16th century, during the war of religion, the state of Gévaudan ordered its destruction to prevent Protestants from using it as a refuge. Its destruction is dated 1592.
After five minutes of walking in the village and in blocks we arrive at the entrance of the cave. A briefing describing the environment in which we will evolve will be done before returning, it is a slippery and sensitive environment. The important thing is to leave no trace of human passage, we can watch the formations but in no way touch them or degrade them. The explanations necessary for the proper use of the helmet and the light will be given to you.
Speleology in Castelbouc:
We go through a small passage that will take us into the entrance hall of the cavity. After a little de-escalation, we arrive in the room of the Sub-prefect, a little larger size, we manage to stand inside. At that moment, no more connection with the outside world, no more phones, GPS and other technological devices. Here, only caring and team spirit will be useful.
We continue our exploration to the shell room where we can observe fossilized sea urchins, brachiopods and two ammonites. These shells are real vestiges of the sedimentary period called the Jurassic.
All the caves are different and each one gives us its secrets, just be curious and know how to observe. We continue our exploration in volumes more or less narrow or we will have to crawl, the cave will be a little more sporty from there. Small rooms, however, will allow us to regroup and share these moments together.
Once these small passages are overcome, we will arrive in a large room of impressive size, located on a geological fracture, we will be able to observe the work of the earth through these last million years. From this moment the atmosphere changes radically, we can move up and walk on the blocks of the room.
This outing is a first geological approach, it will also allow us to familiarize ourselves with the caving environment, we will be able to observe fistuleuses which are small hollow and really thin stalactites resembling a tube. Stains are visible testimony of the passage of water and some oxides such as iron, manganese.
At that moment, we can take our picnic in this kingdom of silence, it’s a great moment of exchange where people often tell what they expected before doing the activity, a small coffee or infusion We will warm up and allow us to go back to discover the rest of the cavity. Several rooms are connected, in fact, we follow a geological fault and we head into the sand gallery where we can observe a water arrival. A few meters later, it is a real sandy beach that offers us and we will see the erosion work done by the water. We will descend below to reach the siphon of Castelbouc, small underground lake it is really a show all by itself.
After skimming over all these blocks, crosses several rooms we are halfway through our exploration, we must begin the return and be alert to the blocks that move. Before going back to the narrow passages we will pick up the transport bags and head to the shell room and the famous mailbox. After about 6 hours of activity, we are again at the exit.
The recommendations to make the cave of Castelbouc:
-Want to do the activity: crawling, discovering, observing, looking for passages, living the adventure.
– Be in good health, report any problem you may have: back problem, asthma, sight … we will do everything possible to ensure your safety.
You are interested
- Exploration : Full day
Groups : from 3 to 8 people
Individual : 52 €/pers
Groups (+4 pers) : 50 €/pers
Groups (+6 pers) : 48 €/pers
Photo Gallery of caving exploration
Bring shoes like trainers or hiking shoes, clothes that can get dirty, picnic and drinking water for a day out.
• Caving suits
• Helmets with flashlights
• Caving bags and containers when necessary
In order to perform all activities, we strongly recommend you to be covered by a Civil Liability insurance. On our side, we also subscribe a Professional Liability insurance.