Monday, January 9, 2012

Return to Zumbo

Cueva Zumbo is one of those magical places you want to go back to. Two years after our first visit I went back. Katrina was not able join us because of her injured elbow. Cueva Zumbo requires more upper body effort than any other cave I have been in.
We started our journey by meeting at 8AM in San Sebastian and carpooling from there. I only included this boring detail because I was able to leave my new house just a few minutes before 8AM! There were five of us, Tom, Anthony, Julie, Tim, and I. We made good time hiking to the cave.

Right from the start you have to take your pack off and squeeze by an old log. Then, into the cold water!

Moving through Zumbo is like climbing through a narrow block of swiss cheese about 10 feet wide. Up down, up down, into the water, swim, duck under, take your helmet off to squeeze through to keep your mouth above the water, up, up ,up, down.

Then we got to the “sump”. This is where Katrina and I stopped a couple of years ago. This time ropes were in place to climb over the sump. I put my vertical gear back on here and went up the rope then down the rope on the other side. There were more ropes to climb and rappel. Finally we were “behind” the scenes of Zumbo in a big muddy “dry” room(s). The character of the cave changed significantly. We climbed more ropes and searched for ongoing passages but found none.

We finally got tired and headed back. But to do that we had to rappel down a very muddy rope with very muddy hands. We were very concerned we wouldn’t have enough friction to go down slowly. It took us 45 minutes to get 5 people down a 30 second 40’ rappel. From there we moved much faster.

About 30 minutes from the exit we noticed a little weird bubbling stream. We pondered it briefly and continued our way out. A few minutes later we all independently realized what it meant and we all moved a little faster (as fast as we safely could). We were close to the exit so we weren’t too concerned but water was coming down on us from all over and the color of the water was not the nice clear water we had at the start! It wasn’t supposed to rain but it was!
It was getting dark when we got to the exit. Tom was ready first and up he went. There were some loose rocks at the lip and one shoe size rock whizzed by my helmet and landed right in front of me as I was preparing to get on rope. By the time we all got to the top and put our gear away it was dark! We needed our headlamps to hike out of the jungle. Our trail was a small running river. 



Mike said...

Katrina, we (OK, just I) need a cat update. How are they adjusting to the new digs? Any disappearances? And what happened to the chickens?

Thanks, Mike

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Cat update: we moved 8 and the other 3 we could not find/capture after 4 additional trips down there. 2 were very feral and the other I guess freaked when her buddies were gone even though we left beds and bowls. Of the 8 Bepo (which surprises us took off never to be seen again). Princess has now been gone for 3 days which is kind of unusual - Rip has been chasing her so I doubt she will be back.Jackie has joined us so we are now 8. Big Red took off to join the neighbors' flock and his white bitch hangs in the yard alone.