Groupe Spéléologique de Clerval - Baume les Dames

From the earliest days of CUCC's involvement in Austria, we heard reports of deep caves being explored by French Group(s). We were aware that several caves explored by the Belgian Groupe Spéléo Alpin Belge had been found by French, including Denis Motte, whose name seemed to crop up in various places.

This group worked in the 1626 area (Feuertal) in 1974 (Ahnenschacht with GS Doubs & SC Vesoul), and later (1975,77) worked in the Tauplitz area to our east with finds including the impressive Nordwandschacht, containing a huge chamber (320x80x60m).

During the eighties, they visited the Elmhöhlensystem (touristed by CUCC in 1976 and 1977). The results of this work are described in Spelunca number 26 (April/June 1987) pp 10-11 (CTS 88.1407).

Towards the end of this period, the group also had some members exploring on the Vorderer Schwarzmooskogel, who found Larchenschacht (1623/88). The whole expedition worked in this area (from 1987?). Various important connections were made, of which we have very little information to date. We do know that they also explored various entrances further north towards Hinterer Schwarzmooskogel, including one of the entrances to Kaninchenhöhle (1623/161), into the area CUCC now knows as "France". However, they abandoned this particular cave on the assumption that it would connect into CUCC's caves. From 1991, the group returned to the Elmhöhlensystem.

The group publish a journal "Beaunes et Empoues" (issue number 10 was published in 1993), from which the above summary is derived.

Contact was finally made with Denis Motte at the International Speleological Congress in the Swiss Jura in 1997, so CUCC are looking forward to an era of cooperation in connecting the Kaninchenhöhle (1623/161) area caves through GSCB's finds to the Stellerweghöhlensystem (1623/41).