Balkon - end of Dark Arts via Bipedal

Tue 12 Jul 2016

The first aim was to derig Bipedal traverse; which was soon dispatched by Fleur. The 40m rope was then taken to the end of Dark Arts. There was some climbs and traverses along Dark Arts, including final climb that stopped Fleur and Pete two years ago. The new end was down a short 5m pitch and looked rather good - with a strong and exciting draft. The dry pitch on the right had been dropped, so Fleur started bolting the drippy shaft on the left. At 2pm the drips suddenly became a waterfall onto a ledge -so the team headed out rather nervously wondering about the entrance pitch. Sure enough there was lots of water and rumbling at the entrance pitch. ???. The forecast was for the amount of rain to increase - so that made just sitting it out tricky. After watching the water for 5-10 minutes they decided it was not getting worse, and Pete headed up. the pitch was very drippy but fine, and the team were soon at the top. Aidan had some excitement with his central maillon, and did rather well. Indeed, it was sunny when they got out and walked back to camp. Very nice. But at 7pm there was a large storm that blew rain into the nether regions of the bivvy. The other team in Balconyhohle that day were not so lucky and got flooded in by this second rainstorm for a couple of hours.

Note that the flood pulse we saw at end of Dark Arts was almost immediately after a short period of rain. It is an A* lead with draft, but needs dry and settled weather!