Thu 24 Jul 1997

BECKA - no date given for this trip - but I was on the 161 trip that Sam and Dave were part of so looking at other dates I think this was the 24th. This makes sense as no caving happened on the 25th as we'd all been up half the night before.

Having had a successful first trip in the cave (well, noone died anyway) we exited into blinding sun, er, clag, mist and light rain. We all left together, Dave and I bringing up the rear and all was well trolling up the gulley back to top camp. Twilight had set in so now we had clag, mist, heavier rain and failing visibility - what could possibly go wrong - well.... <center><h3>WE GOT LOST</h3></center>

At one point we traversed round a bit both of us recognised as being an alternative route instead of going up a climb on the 'Authorised' route. Sorry this pen's a bit crap - switching to a new one .... This one's better ... Rather than do the sensible intelligent thing and turn back we persevered on our present course assuming we'd meet the path again. I mistakenly headed rightish (North as it turned out) up a different gully and then carefully kept a vague dark blob of a hill to our left. The vague dark blob of a hill was in fact the Hinter Schwartzmoos Kogel. More dark and more rain. We were now thoroughly lost. Dave had a compass and I had a vague notion of which way we should go - East and maybe a bit North and downhill 'cos we were definitely too high. Ten minutes later it was completely dark and tipping down (still misty and claggy) and it was decided that more walking in which ever direction would get us more lost so we found a rock shelter (dripping, misty, claggy and a pleasant breeze blowing through). We donned every bit of available gear including rucksacks - every bit of available gear was wet of course, and layed in a slight depression in the rocks. It was now 9:15pm, Dave fettled his carbide up and we huddled round it breathing warm carbide soot, and very warming it was too. The rest of the night was sleepless, very cold, always quarter to something and raining, dark, misty, claggy and windy. We waited for a reasonable amount of light and I decided if we headed South and East depending on terrain we would arrive back somewhere useful no matter where we were. 5:30am we set off (in the mist and clag but no rain hooray!!) - the walking around warmed us up and as we got lower the clag cleared marginally. A cliff face covered in Bunda ... mmmmm ... we found what looked a bit like a path and followed it - a bit of dithering around in the Bunda and we found a gulley - no way out at the bottom. 'BUT' a little way up we found a definite path - sawn off branches and all and .... oh, we were at the Bunda traverse leading to 161d. Turn around and 15 minutes later we were back where we had gone wrong 10 hours earlier, still alive mostly thanks to having a carbide and a compass. 10 minutes further on we found Becka bellowing sweetly through the mist - rescued at last. After a brew and a bowl of Tom Yan Noodle soup we all went back down to base camp and what turned out to be a nice sunny day.

Many thanks to the people who had to get out of their just warm pits, put on their boots (after they'd tipped the water out) to come and look for us (twice) - next time it's your turn to hide.

Sam (only seven lives left now).