Batman Series

Wed 24 Jul 1996

Surveyed the large hole just above 5-Ways (2 pitches) and derigged.

We then went round the corner to the left (opposite <Mine Shaft Passage>) and descended Chris's pitch. This descends to a ledge, 6 metres above the blind base of the pitch. Following this 'ledge' back leads to a bold step to a window and then a bold traverse to an ascending phreatic. These bold moves can be avoided by going underneath.

From the top of the short ascending passage a 5m free-climb down leads to too tight hole (even tighter with the large boulder rolled down). Across this a strongly draughting (towards you) passage continues as a crawl over dusty mud. After a z-bend, further crawling leads to a T-junction.

To the right, after a few feet a rift is reached. This was descended (37m rope) off naturals, via a deviation to a ledge and then to the base, from where a very tiny hole leads off. Surveyed up. To the right at the pitch the ascending passage closes down immediately.

Straight across, a short crawl lead to a left hand turn and further crawling to a blind aven. At the turn, to right a passage half filled with mud enters a small chamber. Lummat removed half the mud and gave the pleasure of removing the rest to Chris who first entered this bit (the mud also dammed up a pool of water.) The exit from the chamber was too small.

Back at the T-junction a body sized tube descended gently to the left. This required removal of SRT gear and (so it turned out), a rope attached to the obvious thread at the T-junction so that you can inch your way back out. The short crawl ends at a shallow pit. The passage continues as a vertical squeeze. Going back upon yourself and upwards leads to a blind 7m aven. Continuing, a short drop leads to an awkward squeeze to a pitch. Rigging off naturals and crawling head first out the pitch gives a 7m drop to the base of a typically Picos pitch-ramp. A further 5m drop leads to a second pitch-ramp but the ramp rift is too tight to pass (4 inches thick - could be removed with a lump hammer?) Below an alluring chamber awaits (5m pitch). There is a draught round here somewhere - but do Austrian pitch-ramps go anywhere?!

After carrying out a Grade I survey I detackled the pitch and made my way out of the body sized tube to where Chris was waiting to start the Grade 5 survey back to the Batman Series. We've called this area 'Tipico Asturias.'