January 22, 2015

Inside Cueva Del Falso Tributario
Rolf came over to Tom's house early so we could get a early start to a long day we had planned ahead.  We drove up to Lourdes to get some breakfast and chat a bit about how Rolfs Cueva larga project is going, as well as some of his future endeavors that he is looking to accomplish regarding karst morphology.  We continued on to the Lares area and the landowners property where Dos Ojos, Larga, and Dugon are located.  We had to park next to the landowners house and the only spot to park was next to a pile of broken glass and garbage which was a bit sketchy since this was a rental. The road leading to the property wasn't the best either and in the past, Tom had his car siphoned  while parking down the street from where we parked the cars now...Nice!!  We were re-assured that nothing will happen to the cars and that everything will be fine.
We head out on the trail over the mogote saddles and down the steep and slippery mogote slopes to a dry wash where the junction to Larga and Dugon can be decided upon.  It is not that easy to hike up and down the saddles of the mogote mountains even though they are more like large steep hills, the dense vegetation and the amount of mogotes in the area are so plentiful that it can easy get lost and find it hard to cut through the jungle to get to where you want to go. We hike up to another saddle and I see some trail tape. we hike down and around an area where I was last year that contained small fragments of a cave system which might have been a connection to Dugon and Larga in the past.  I pursued all of the leads but it did not go anywhere.  We continued up another saddle and came to a narrow canyon with sheer cliffs 50-60ft to the bottom. We hike up and around this canyon and it continued to be sheer all around the collapse.  This is Dugons collapsed entrance.  We would have needed to bring rope and rig to a tree in order to get into this entrance of Dugon. 
On the other side we could see the large entrance of the cave.  It was quite impressive but with some cords at hand, I continued to look for the horizontal entrance to the cave.  We hiked down to another collapse where the waypoint took me and this was not successful.  These cords are off again. We looked around a bit more and I could not find the way in.  We searched on the other side of the saddle without success. Here we are, standing on top of the entrance with a large canyon with sheer cliffs that extend to another entrance and we can not even get inside this thought it was amusing and a bit of a slap in the face at the same time.
Time was running out so Rolf went to Larga while we went to meet up with Tom at Loudres to Visit Cueva Del Falso Tributario.
Eventually we met up with Tom and we drove to the parking spot where we geared up and headed down to Cueva Del Falso Tributario.  Tom was explaining to me that people may not have been to this cave for over 20 years and since his recent last visit, ropes are required to descend inside the cave. The report was that there is a climbable drop and than there is another drop that leads into a walking passage where water can be heard, Lots of water.  This is significant as the camuy disappears under the valley area where we were near and resurges farther down towards the ocean.  There are other systens that feed and recharge from the camuy but nobody has ever been able to connect the camuy or find where it goes from when it insurges to where it resurges so Cueva Del Falso Tributario is a good lead which may help answer this question.  We are now right in the middle of the questionable area, in a valley, possibally above the underground camuy system.
At the bottom of the first drop in Cueva del Falso Tributario
We hike through the valley and pass leaves that are large.  After a while, we make it to the entrance of the cave and it was a dry wash leading into the system. We gear up our vertical gear and made our traverse towards the first drop while crawling around large logs and under formations.  The first drop were short and one was indeed climbable, but we rigged a rope high into a natural hole with a lot of stone to ensure the anchor did not break.  there were no other good anchors and of course there were no bolts or pitons in the area.  We pad the sharp and nasty lip with Tom's bag and descend down to the bottom where the next drop was located.  I moved some rocks and started my descent down to a platform where the next drop was located. Our first rope ended before the lip of this drop but I flaked out the second rope and fed that down the drop and found that there was not enough rope!  Even if I tied the two ropes together, there still wouldn't have been enough rope to make it to the bottom and I would have short roped myself.
Padding the rope with a bag in Cueva del Falso Tributario
 I could hear water dripping from different locations, water landing in pools of water and large echos that traveled for up to 5 seconds including my voice when I yelled into the unknown. I was amazed to hear how much room was down there and I really wanted to get to the bottom but we just did not have enough rope to make it happen. Thinking back at it, I should have just rapped down and did a change over to see what was down there but I came back up and attempted to look for more rig points at the bottom of the first pit. Tom pointed out one was margionally good if there were some other anchors involved but the other two were quite sketchy, in my opinion, so we opted to save this one for another time where it could be surveyed and documented once at the bottom. 

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