161 - Alternative Universe

Thu 24 Jul 1997

Mike gave us the briefing as he'd been the only one down last year. Gave Jon a brief lesson in surveying. Found a random carbide mark half- way down the boulder slope ~100m before Bulemic Pit. At the bottom of the boulder slope, you drop down a hole in the boulders (q. loose) and follow a tightish rift steeply down for ~5m to a Y-hand (2 bolts) which Mike had put in. Took out the rope which had been put in last year and rigged out _nice_ skinny 9mm. Q. drippy down the pitch. 28m down to a big ledge. Found Mike's single dodgy bolt on the balcony to the bridge + Jon put in a second bolt for a _nearly_ rub-free Y-hang. At the ledge, I dropped the 5m pitch off 2 naturals - 2 well preserved _bat skeletons_

[ sketch showing locations of bat skeletons ]

(as plan) and an eye-hole through to the main pitch Jon was bolting. No other way on.

Jon + I down the next pitch, Y-hang _just about_ OK with a rope protector and tacklesack on each arm of the Y-hang, but bad rubbing on the lower part of the pitch. Estimate 30-40m. Mike hadn't bottomed this last year [Oh yes I had - Mike TA] - not enough rope. Even drippier at the bottom of this pitch. Person-width rift led off. We thrutched

[ sketch plan of chamber ]

down as far as a short drop (15ft or less) where the rift opened up and continued around the corner - couldn't see how it ended,

Requires surveying from bolt at the head of 2nd pitch and probably a rebelay and deviation (at least!) on the 2nd pitch, plus a bolt for the short climb down the rift.

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