Loser Plateau - Surface work near Eishöhle
Gloriously sunny, so we opt for staying mostly above ground. I seem slightly keener, so got to take caving gear, while Steve gets to sit in the sunshine. First jot - survey a leg from the remains of a cairn (on the 2000 surface survey from near portal row to 40a) ot the 40b tag (placed early this expo). That done, we followed the path for another 10 or 20m, then hacked off left up the hill to sort out some caves Martin and I noted in 2001. First was 2001-12. Put in bolt for tag and used it to ab into the large doline. reached floor and checked out the nearest possible lead - a small tunnel which gets smaller - probably too tight without excavations. Then hotice that it's probably possible to enter doline without rope at point where rim is low and there's a pile of rocks. Go round to surprise Steve. We both return to doline and I squeeze through into smaller doline next along fault. Nothing there, so return. Rift at other end looks interesting. Steve finds there's another entrance at the other end, and there's a hole down in the middle - with a spit! It's a crap one, but with a good solid boulder as a backup I rig and descend. There's a draught out. At the bottom a low passage leads off, rising into a ramp then a rift. There's a cairn at the base of the raift just where it becomes too tight. May be possible to traverse at a higher level, but too wide and loose for me to be keen to free climb above. Check out parallel ramp on way out (chokes). Later we conclude this is the cave with a "15m long", "8m high" rift to a doline with a draughting hole in the floor mentioned in one of the writeups by the VFHM people. Put on "2001-12" tag. Then dropped a (blind) shaft just near the second entrance. 5m deep. Next up to "Big Job Cave", 2001-10 - I went into tack, freeclimbed down. Chokes to right. Left could be excavated. Onto Funkberaterschacht (2001-09). Descended on tag bolt and natural. Chokes. Replaced tag and sketched survey. On again to stick a tag on Sorry Tree cave [that is, 2001-06]. As I drill the hole it starts to hail. Steve packs the drill away while I set the spit and spanner the tag. Then we run for 3-entrance choke and shelter until the hail stops.