16-JB-01: Nervous Breakdown

Thu 21 Jul 2016

This had to be our final trip, so we could carry gear down the next day. Managed to get underground at 9:05am to maximise our chances.

Whizzed down to the pushing front and Olly started off with the rigging, from the final bolt of yesterday, a couple of naturals then a bolt got us down to a big boulder slope - a scary boulder slope at about the critical angle of slope failure, with boulders arange of sizes. Olly crossed the slope to the other side and put another bolt in before I crossed. After I crossed and Olly was placing the next bolt, some of the slope started moving towards me. We survived.

Another few bolts got us down a short pitch (formed by some very big boulders) to get more boulder slope. this was marginally less steep and therefore considerably more stable. This was fortunate because we had run out of rope.

Continued down the slope - passage got narrower, and was noticably draughty (out). Finally the roof came down, the passage appeared to end. The draught came out of some gaps between big boulders. This looked stable, and plenty big enough, and appeared to drop about 10m. It did not look freeclimbable. We contemplated going back up, cutting the end off the rope and going down, but there really wasn't going to be time. So we looked down one last time, imagined the caverns measureless to man that lay beyond, and surveyed out.

Looked at a few inlets/alcoves at floor level on the way up, but nothing went. Higher up there are many inlets 1/2 + way up the walls. Derigged as we surveyed and survived the boulders again.

Surveying finished, I shuttled bags as Olly derigged. Placed a hilti at the entrance, to which we added a tag two days later while pcking the bivi. Noticed that the entrance is incredibly close to the old path to 204/topcamp (i.e. the one in all-with-tracks).