The Pico del Oro Plateau Caving Expedition in 2023 is an International Expedition that is part of a wider series of North Perú Caving Expeditions organised by Espeleo Club Andino (Perú) and Groupe Spéléo Bagnols Marcoule (France).
This highly successful international expedition explored major new caves on the high-altitude (> 3,250-3,550m) on the Pico del Oro Plateau in North Perú, forming part of a wider series of GSBM-ECA expeditions across Perú (www.cuevasdelperu.org); Nord Perú 2018, 2019, and 2022). This high plateau has significant potential for deep caves, as it is potentially underlain by limestone units that may have up to 2,700 m of relief, and it is situated above a very large resurgence of the Rio Negro River. This 2023 caving expedition returned to the plateau with a larger international caving team and more caving equipment, as well as dehydrated food, stoves and equipment needed for lightweight satellite camps.
All of the caving expedition members were combined to explore and map the currently 2,350m long and -205 m deep Tragadero de la Soledad. The second team also made a brief reconnaissance trip to a series of 5 further major river sinks, some of which look promising.
The 2023 expedition was very successful, and discovered a series of major caves that demonstrate the world-class potential of this high plateau, and its potential to host deep caves. Initially, the expedition formed two groups of 5 cavers, who explored two areas of the plateau. The expedition team will now need to return in 2024, with a much larger amount of rope and rigging gear, as the 650m of rope (400m of Kordas rope, where 200m was sponsored by FSE) and rigging gear carried onto the plateau by this 2023 expedition had been placed down major caves by day 5 of 14 of this 2023 expedition