Sunday, August 14

The largest vertical well in Spain is in Cantabria and is so deep that it takes 12 seconds for a stone to touch the bottom

It won’t have a very name fancy not with much hook, but the Great Well MDTE, located in the Cantabrian municipality of Ruesga, has the honor of being the largest vertical well in Spain. It was discovered in 2016 by the cavers of the Cantabrian Club of Underground Explorations and the Ábrigu Caving Club (and thanks to some shepherds) and its history is most interesting.

It is a well of a confirmed depth of 435.92 meters. And how much is that? To give us an idea, the Eiffel Tower is 324 meters high (if we count the antennas). It is, in short, a pool monstrosity.

It all started in the summer of 2016 …

The history they relate it the ÁBRIGU-CCES cavers themselves. We have to go back to 2016, the year in which exploration groups dedicated themselves to investigate the Karst Massif Zone of Porracolina (at the eastern end of the Cantabrian Mountains). In the words of cavers:

“It all started in the summer of 2016 (06/29/2016). After a prospecting trip in which several interesting cavities were located, in an area near the Mortar Cabins, small caverns near two known chasms could be recorded ( Torca del Tejón and Torca de la Yusa) Later, and thanks to the indication of several shepherds in the area, they indicated that one of the marked caverns, in the cold winter months, expelled a lot of air, which caught our attention “.

There sure was something. During the following weeks it was possible to gain access to the interior. After passing the mouth and a small cat flap, there is a well of about seven meters that ends in a meander. A few meters further on, you access the head of the well.

This is how the first poll began: throw a stone. By throwing a stone, the depth of a well can be estimated (time squared by gravity between two and applying corrections for air friction and temperature, humidity and speed of sound) and the first result was “50 or 60 meters”. “Then a sound would appear that was lost in the distance and after several seconds, when a new stone was being collected for another probe,” the explorers explain.

They began to install the well at -25 meters. They fell even more, up to 50 meters, where there were some kind of embedded blocks. “Our surprise was capitalized when we verified that these were suspended in the” air “over a huge well”, the speleologists relate in their chronicle.

They threw a new stone and they counted “about 10 or 12 seconds” until hearing the sound of the impact of the stone against the background. Estimates were between 400 and 500 meters, crazy. The next day, and with more material, the cavers installed the first 100 meters of the well. Two days, 600 meters of static rope and 57 subdivisions later, the cavers managed to touch the bottom.

It took 600 meters of rope to reach the bottom

The well ends at the call Cursed Room of the Torca del Tejón. And it is curious, because this room also communicates (indirectly) with Los Pasiegos, which until the discovery of the Great Well MTDE was the largest well in Spain. The MTDE thing, by the way, is a tribute to the brand of used caving equipment.

Image | View of Torre Cerredo, the highest altitude of the Cantabrian Mountains – License CC BY-SA 2.5

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