Balcony - Nothing To See

Tue 01 Aug 2017



My first trip on the hill having arrived and walked up the day before. Good introduction to Balcony pushing in the Nothing To See area. Kristian tried bolting the pitch at the end, only to find his two drill batteries were flat. So he went back out to get fresh ones from Top Camp.

Meanwhile Adam and I rigged the pitch from the naturals available, first dropping a tube to the right of the traverse which was choked with boulders partway down. After unsuccessfully trying to clear the boulders by kicking them into the void below (too stable to be safely moved), we then dropped the main lead to find it also choked by boulders below the second pitch. I was able to squeeze past into a 8x3m chamber below, but Adam declined to continue. From the chamber, a tight meander could be slithered along for seven body lengths before becoming too tight. To the right a phreatic passage 3m above the floor was choked by mud. In the roof two shafts came in, both appeared choked with boulders part way up, the right-most shaft being the one I had dropped earlier, and the leftmost joined the bae of the first pitch. We surveyed from above the boulder squeeze, but having forgotten a pencil Adam had to engrave onto the page.

We had finished by the time Kristian returned with the ‘fresh’ battery. So we went to investigate the climbing lead Adam, Luke and Rachel had previously tried but thought it needed bolting. It was an inclined phreatic tube ~30m high, easily free climbable but exposed. From the top, another parallel shaft was to the left which continued up but also needed bolting.

To the right a narrow passage soon joins another shaft similar to the other two, which we suspect drops down to the choked pitches we had rigged earlier, but also continues up, requiring bolting. At this point Kristian’s fresh battery was also flat, so rigged off a natural and then made our way out. The shafts need a return trip to survey and possibly bolt.