Tunnocks - Camp Kraken: below Snake Pit

Wed 02 Aug 2017

On 1/8/17 Becka and co came out with instructions of pushing beyond Snake Pit pitch which they had descended on the previous trip.

We were underground by 9am on 2/8/17, in the back of our minds that it might rain that morning. But we sailed past Procrastination with no trouble. Onwards to Kraken arriving after ~5 hours. This was Ash’s deepest trip by a very long way and due to be Pete’s most substantial trip post hip op. so all was good. After quick noodles, we set off again, marvelling at the beauty of Octopussy and Living the Dream. First job was to derig Indian Rope Trick so that we had more gear for rigging.

NOTE: it was impossible to unscrew the clown hanger at the pitch head so we had to cut the rope out and leave the hanger in situ.

Then followed Becka’s detailed instructions down Snake Charmer and Snake Pit to the impressive stream falling from two inlets. We took he flood overflow ‘dry’ streamway, arriving at due course at the pushing front. For expedience I started bolting - a short traverse then partially down a small pitch. As the rift at the base was small, we progressed at part height before descending the second part further along.

Rigging topo

Then the rift degenerated into small and catchy passage. After initially trying to go for a ‘look-see’ in case of another pitch, I returned and stripped off all the drilling paraphernalia. I thrutched at mid-height then climbed down and squeezed through at low level. Meanwhile Pete and Ash surveyed behind, and poked an alternative route in the roof. We both independently popped out into the base or side of a muddy boulder choke.

Inching forward we entered a larger passage. Sadly very soon it became clear this was Song of the Earth. I found a survey station for us to tie back into. Then we derigged back to the base of Snake Pit. Here we left ropes in allowing for pushing of the streamway, but also untied the rope here from the base so that it could be derigged from the top easily. Left a gear dump at the base of Octopussy. Back to camp 14 hours after entering Tunnocks.

Nice enough night at camp then out by ~6pm the next day. Just in time to miss the impending thunderstorm.