Bad Forecast - chossy slope

Fri 28 Jul 2017

On a wet, claggy day we decided that we should at least try to go caving, so we set out to try and find Bad Forecast, based only on a GPS pin and the instructions: ‘you go to Balkonhöhle, then continue up a bit.’ Given the visibility was ~50m and dropping, it took a long time to get to the right area, and then even longer to find the cave.

Once we had got to the vicinity of the GPS point, we spread out a bit because we were unsure of the accuracy of the fix and the reader we were using, or even if they were using the same datum. We found 2011-01, which we had been told was less than 30m away from Bad Forecast, then proceeded to go in every direction except the right one. We eventually found the cave, right where the GPS told us it was.

Having not found any surveying equipment at the Stone Bridge, we had two objectives: to garden a dangerous slope above the large pitch, and to better cairn the route there. Low visibility prohibited any cairning, so we set off down the steep chossy slope to the pitch head. We had a look down below the pitch to see the large chamber and where the rocks could fall.

Coming back up, I theorised that the second hole near the start of the pitch traverse would connect to the second half of the large chamber, so dropped a rock down to let Corin hear where it would fall. It actually landed in the first half of the chamber, about 2ft from Corin, so don’t do that.

We pulled the rope on the pitch up above the pitch head (undoing the rebelay) to put the rope out of the path of falling rocks for gardening. 2 hours later we had improved the pitch head from ‘loose gravel’ to ‘muddy gravel’, which we decided was as good as we could get, the actual rock floor being several feet below. The walk back was no more visible.