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Because of the length and difficulty of the cave, and to avoid the overlap of many speleologists that may provoke an impact on it, the landlords decided to give the entry permit only to one group at a time. To realize speleological expeditions, national or international, is necessary to book in advance a period (normally a week) in which the cave will be only at the disposal of the group that booked. The landlords will provide all the necessary logistics.
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The Rio La Venta Cave crossing presents a long series of risks not to be underestimated. The most insidious is the constant difficulty to spot the path trough grandiose salons, landslides and many lakes, often made dangerous by quicksands. From the entrance of Sumidero II to the Rio La Venta you have to walk for over 10 kms in length and 405 meters in height, passing through a series of underground scenarios of rare beauty and impressiveness. A route of this length and complexity can be faced up only by expert and well trained and equipped speleologists. Once you haul the double rope up from the pit that leads to the Lago de Los Perezosos , you cannot turn back.

Access
The Sumidero II entrance is in a private land owned by the family of This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , inhabitant of the Colonia Lopez Mateos, who is also a speleologist and a guide. Before approaching the cave, is necessary to contact him and ask the permit to local authorities (Commissariato Ejidal of the Colonia Lopez Mateos). Manuel himself or other local guides, already trained in speleology, can take you to the entrance and eventually accompany the whole crossing.

Pits and equipped parts
Along the route, from the upper entrance to the exit on the Rio La Venta, you will meet 15 pits and 3 ascents. The minimum height is 40 meters. The main descents are equipped with stainless-steel anchors offered by the Italian firm Raumer. This anchors, called Full Time, are formed by a plate and a ring and are particularly suited for the starting anchoring of double ropes. Furthermore, the longest leaps are equipped with double-anchor chains, also using Full Time anchors. The traverses to arrive to the beginning of the descents and ascents have been equipped again with new fixed ropes. Unfortunately the cave is periodically affected by floods that rise the water level even by tens of meters. So you can’t be totally sure that the anchors (particularly the fixed ropes of ascents and traverses) will be in place after long periods. If you are interested in repeating the crossing, we suggest to take with you drill and anchors to solve any troubles along your route.

Practicability
The cave is crossed by a river that, in the final stretches, has a flow of 500-1000 liters per second during the dry season. There are many flooding parts, starting with the “Lago de los Perezosos” in the first part of the cave. It’s impossible to stay dry in the second half of the cave. Luckily the temperature is high, like a tropical cave, and if you keep moving you will resist well the cold and dry quickly. So we don’t recommend the use of wetsuits. The best solution is to come in with, under the speleological suit, light and easy to dry clothes. During the crossing of flooding galleries you must pay attention to quicksands sometimes difficult to spot, that can cause troubles and loss of time and energy. The route through the salons is well marked with reflecting triangles in the first part, while in the final salons you will find only a few heaps of stones, often dragged by the flood, so you will need to follow the description and to choose, possibly with a strong light, the best route. A compass could be useful. La Venta Association, however, has the purpose to improve the technical equipment of the cave and to position other signals by 2012.

Crossing time
The crossing time may vary between 18 and 30 hours, depending on the number of people and the unexpected events, plus other 5-6 walking hours to come back. Almost certainly you will need to camp after reaching Rio La Venta Canyon, at the “Campo de la Cruz” shore. If you’d like to enjoy the cave slowly, we recommend to camp inside once or twice and to complete the crossing in 2 or 3 days. There are two camping sites of stunning beauty: the “Salon de la Ciudad Perdida” (at 1/3 of the route) and the “Corredor de los Tapires” (near 2/3). It’s not necessary to bring tents or heavy clothes with you, but you will need a complete change of dry clothes.

Equipment
This material is fundamental to complete the crossing:
- n° 3 40-meter ropes;
- n° 1 20-meter rope;
- at least a 30-meter rope to be abandoned for eventual re-anchoring;
- Drill, anchoring bag, several anchors and some karabiners.

Warning
The crossing is possible only in the dry spring season, from March to May. It can be done in November or December, but only after periods of prolonged dryness and with stable weather conditions. During a flood some salons become huge lakes, anchors and ropes are swept away by the violence of the waters, while many passages become siphons making impossible the way out downstream. You should be informed on the weather forecast and not to take risks during abundant precipitations.

 


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