The Noel's Cave journal n°1


n° 1 - November 1994


More than one year ago, A.R.S.P.A.N. was born.
What happened during these few months ?
This yearly journal's objective is to tell you about it.
And as the asociation's founders committed it, it will be distributed to every member of A.R.S.P.A.N. or to anyone who left an address on a Noël cave's visit sheet, as well as to C.D.S. 07 clubs.
You can find :

    A summary of the different actions led by the association for a year to make the cavers and non-cavers sensitive to cave's protection.
    A statistic extracted from the information written on the visit sheets, which bring precious informations about Noël cave's frequenting.
    The last news about the research state and the rules of the use of the cave.
    Noël father's account.

At last, wishing you a good caving season for 94-95, A.R.S.P.A.N. ask you to make its action known around you and so to participate in the ideas about the protection and the safeguard of an environment which is very dear to us, the underground environment.




It turns out that all the climbings made in the main passage and the upper passage are vain...
These are balance chimneys, what a shame !!!

The Noël cave association of caving researchs and protection being created, here is its address :

Mairie de Bidon
07700 BIDON



Noël cave is open to all the cavers.

An agreement for the use of the cave system has been signed between the St Marcel d'Ardèche town council (owner), the Bidon town council, the inventors and A.R.S.P.A.N.

The result is that A.R.S.P.A.N. have to establish a regulation for the cave access that mentions notably the obligation for the cave's visitors to prove an insurance "charges for research and rescue in underground environment".

The door eliminates the risks of stone throws in the cave situated in the Ardeche gorges' reserve and limits the air current's effects created by the desobstruction of the entrance.
You make an appointment with the person in charge at (33) 4 75 xx xx xx

Avoid to make it at the last minute...

The sheet which will be given to you and filled in after the exploration allows us to implicate you in our protection's worry.
Don't forget to return it...

Enjoy yourself underground

Jean-Michel & Gérard



    We look for photographies on Noël cave and the protection for an exhibition A.R.S.P.A.N.
    Send your copies to A.R.S.P.A.N.... in advance thank you.documents

    You have an experience or only good ideas about the protection ?
    Don't hesitate to contact us and share this with us.

    We still have some stickers with the A.R.S.P.A.N. logo to sell (10F)

    A brochure on Noël cave's protection exists. Ask for it...
    (Enclose an envelope 21x29,7 with a stamp and an address on it)
    An English and German translation is undergoing preparation.



Since it's creation, A.R.S.P.A.N. multiplies the safety measures and the actions in favour of the growing public awareness of the cave protection. It was notably present at the national congress in Montélimar (29,30,31 May 1993) where it got the best associative stand's prize for its work on Noël cave.

Also present for the last two years at the Bidon festival (at the end of August), it allowed the cavers, and especially the non-cavers to discover this underground heritage of which they don't know the existence and the richness... and therefore, make them aware of its fragility, requiring an effective protection.

Finally A.R.S.P.A.N. held also a stand at Essone festival (Yerres 91) in this way getting in touch with Ile de France's cavers.
To protect, is also to educate...




After some computers setbacks, here are the first results of our inquiry on the Noël cave's frequenting.

It concerns the visit's sheets during the period from 01 April 92 to 01 July 94.

We recieved 170 sheets (~75 % of given sheets came back).

Here are the results :

    the caver's average number by visit : 4 , 8

(there should be fewer than 4, too many groups of 10 are often found, which implies wait and damages)

    average time spent underground : 8 h 53

(you must think of having enough light and films for eight hours)

    simultaneous presence with an another group : 26 %

(reserve in advance to spread out the visits, too many people at the same time will thus be avoided.)

  •     the visit's reason :

  •     does the marking disturb film shots ?

  •     does this protection measure seem effective to you ?

  •     the marking seems to you...

  •     the door's presence seems to you...


It is clear that Noël cave is a cave frequented for everybody's pleasure of the eyes (principal objectives : walk and photographies). For that reason, most cavers seems to be convinced that safety measures are necessary and that the presence of a door doesn't disturb the visit in any case...

For the marking and film shots we are studying any suitable solutions at the moment (fence threads, diving ropes,...).

To finish with, i believe that each of us who is "a dream and beauty consumer" must find or even improve  pleasant and effective safety measures, without forgetting that the worst constraint would be to see all this destroyed.
Thank you to all of you



Download the journal n°1 (pdf in french)

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