The SWCC expedition to the Jura and the Doubs

23rd July to 6th August 2005

Martin Hoff in Gouffre du Granges-Mathieu Mike McCombe in Gouffre du Granges-Mathieu Jules Carter in the duck at the bottom of Gouffre de Biefs-Boussets Mike McCombe in Grotte Baudin

A total of thirty-two SWCC members and others have just spent two fantastic weeks caving in the Doubs region of eastern France. Based at a campsite in the village of Ornans, south of Besancon, the team were lucky to have (mostly) good weather, which meant that one of the primary objectives - the classic Vernau traverse - could be tackled with confidence. A total of seven members, in three teams, completed the arduous 9km through-trip from the Gouffre de Biefs-Boussets to the Grotte Baudin in the last week of July. Plenty of other caves were also visited, including Grotte de Chauveroche, Gouffre de Pourpevelle, Gouffre de Baume des Cretes and Gouffre de Baume de St. Anne, and plenty of cave photography was undertaken. Other activities included rock-climbing, canyoning, mountain biking and tackling the area's various Via Ferrata, some of the area's show caves were checked out and a few even ventured into Switzerland on sight-seeing excursions.
This was the latest in a long sequence of foreign trips organised by Fearless Leader Gary Vaughan, and the team would like to express their gratitude to Gary and Susie for arranging the campsite and for all the research and planning that led to yet another outstanding success. Mention must also be made of Clive Westlake's contribution; while not involved in this trip Clive has wide experience of the area and provided much valuable information about the caves, including detailed descriptions and surveys. With everyone now back in the UK, the team are planning a full write-up of their activities for a forthcoming edition of the SWCC Newsletter (see 60th anniversary publication), with the aim of adding to the fund of English-language information on the area's caves.

See more details of the area.

Gouffre de Baume de Sainte-Anne Mike McCombe in Grotte Baudin Jules Carter in the streamway, Gouffre de Biefs-Boussets Mike McCombe in Grotte Baudin

All Photos ŠTony Baker - Click for larger images.