Pit of Holy Pierre Martin
Explored by Eugene Baker and Edouard-Alfred Martel as of the end of the XIXe century, the solid mass becomes famous with the discovery in 1950 for Georges Lépineux, of the well which will constitute the first access to the Gouffre of Pierre Saint Martin's day .
In 1951, this vertical of 320 meters, largest from the world at the time, is descended by Georges Lépineux, Marcel Loubens and Haroun Tazieff, using a winch designed by max Cosyns.
In 1952, a forwarding of great width in which still Haroun Tazieff takes part turns to the drama: a cable clamp is unscrewed, Loubens made a fall of 15 meters during its increase and dies at the bottom of the pit. The body is buried on the spot, and will be brought back to surface only 2 years later. This drama at the bottom of the deepest pit of the world is relayed by the world press and will be reported by Tazieff in its book. A plate located at the bottom of the pit commemorates the drama. The epitaph of Marcel Loubens will be engraved on the spot with the graver, at the bottom of the pit, by Jacques Labeyrie, member of the team which tried very to save Loubens.
In 1953, the immense room of the Verna (260×250×180 m) is discovered by Lyons scouts. EDF borer in 1956 a tunnel allowing to reach this room with an aim of carrying out a hydraulic collecting, project given up at the time, then taken again in 2006.
In 1966 Association for the international speleological research of Pierre Saint Martin's day with an aim is created of coordinating various research on the solid mass.
In 2006, a project of pipe pressure starting from the room located at the bottom of the pit is reactualized. It had begun in the years 1950, then the project had been abandoned because the underground river did not provide a sufficient flow. Galleries had been dug to the room, with difficulties and errors of layout. Today, a 600 meters length gallery joined the room.
The project was taken again by the SHEM (Hydro Company Electric of the South, ex subsidiary of the SNCF, today of the SUEZ Group). A building site is in hand in order to create the hydrant to the upstream of the Room of Verna, to pose the drains necessary, so much in corbelling to cross the room, then in underground in the gallery of access and outside, for finally feeding the factory located low at the edge of Gave of co. Engrace.
The purpose of the building site is also to equip the gallery in electric infrastructures, in order to prepare the site with an opening to the public.
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