• Christine Grosart


Updated: Feb 16, 2020

The Dutch were eager to head over to Coudouliere and make a few parts of the entrance boulder choke more Suex friendly.

This seemed like a good opportunity for me to deploy my Disto X and PDA combination and get some survey data of the dry passage leading to the sumps.

Over the last 6 months or so I’ve been trying to build up a paperless system and with help from various people, I now have a working upgraded Disto X which measures distance, compass and clinometer readings.

This talks to a basic PDA via Bluetooth and stores the data in a neat free program called Pocket Topo. This also enables the user to sketch and draw cross sections as they go.

Even better, the data can be transferred via another neat program called Top Parser (Andrew Atkinson’s genius) to Therion survey program. Therion makes my head hurt and we were fortunate to have Jan Mulder (NL) along who was far more confident with it than me.

Gour pools in Coudouliere. Photo Rick van Dijk

One advantage of Therion of other programs is the ability to tie in additional data without having to re-draw – it simply adjusts the drawing as you go.

But even so, it is not easy to learn and earlier this year I organised a weekend of all things Disto and Therion. It was oversubscribed so I should think we’ll be doing another one over the winter.

I had left my tippex in the car, which I was going to use to mark the survey stations. But we were saved by Pedro Ballordi’s pink nail varnish which Anton took a shine to…

We surveyed the boulder choke down to a junction and took the right hand branch, which led to a different sump, via a steep slope which needed a rope. Pedro set about putting some bolts in and rigged up a rope. The rock was similar to the Perdreau, with poor rock for bolts and we ended up tying into a huge boulder instead.

Anton takes a shine to Pedro's pink nail polish

With this part of the survey done, we headed out and were met by a scooter making it’s way up through the boulders. Now that scooters fitted, the next trip would be less problematic.

We retired to the pub in St Jean de Bueges for cold pressions all round.


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