Balcony - Hilti-a-Plenty "Roundabout.svx"

Mon 11 Jul 2016

Pete and Fleur's first caving trip of 2016 expo - to a lead in Hilti-a-Plenty following a tip from Rob Watson et al. We rather enjoyed the Hilti pitches, where we met Andy Atkinson. Nicely sculpt firatic shaft action, top notch. Then we went to Boulder Chamber down some sandy tubes, and arrived at a pitch that Rob had free climbed across. We put a rope across, and found two possible ways on. Pete bolted the more obvious way on down a 5m pitch, whilst Fleur and Nathan survey up a 3m climb to a higher level that also stopped at a pitch - which was left undescended. It is a reasonable lead, probably only 5-7m pitch, with a traverse (3 bolts -easy) to a continuing small phreatic passage.

Meanwhile, the team assembled at base of Pete's pitch, which carried on as a small rift that descended and carried on for ~50m to a larger rift chamber. Then a very nice 3m wide descending phreatic tube was spied and looked very exciting. Nathan just free climbed down it, whilst the others put in a handline. Unfortunately, Nathan found a survey station - so this must connect back. Back in the chamber above, another clean washed phreatic tube headed upwards. Nathan climbed that to the base of a choke, with the others following to survey. Then back to the ranch for tea and medals, or at least a curry.