The first part of the log is traditionally taken up by the journey
If this is of no interest, here is a link to the caving!
Team Rover (Chris Densham, Becka Lawson, Mark Fearon & Penny Reeves)
Set off from Cambridge at 6.30pm on Monday 15th August. Despite Rover losing incredible amounts of oil on the way, the 11.59pm ferry from Dover to Calais was reached on time. Once off the ferry it took 26 hours to reach Hilder's, where Rover arrived at 5am on Wednesday morning, to find that Hugh had arrived from Greece the night before.
Team Rover Amendment
Animal had unfortunately only screwed up the rocker cover bolts finger tight so they poured out oil. Eventually sussed out what it was and arrived at Dover. I wrote 8 letters on the ferry, then they refused to take the berluddy things. Then off to Hilda's. 4 of us in Rover, ie. 3 in the front, then this mangled dwarf had to squat in the back, in a cubby hole. Chris made it comfy enough, by dint of shoving all the gear onto the front seat, so we were all perched at 45°, lifting the windscreen... Later, Chris got so overheated, he stripped off to his luscious pink Y-fronts - unfortunately, he didn't get any more decent when he set off driving - got out at a petrol station and asked the shocked attendant "Normal?". Stuffed Chris back to Rover to get him decent and filled up. Various problems with windscreen wiper, ie. had to be operated manually. Some sod overtook Chris, then braked, so Chris managed to actually skid Rover... We overheated quite badly on the final pass (110° engine), so I walked it, as Rover cooled off. There'd been an enormous storm last night and lots of soil had washed down onto the road. Eventually arrived about dawn, dead.
Team Hugh arrived from Greece after an eventful two weeks there - including the exploration of Bekiris Cave on Spetsai (survey on request!), a rather nice sea cave. A few days in Athens were followed by the amazingly slow train to Belgrade, where life was sharpened by running after a rapidly accelerating train (containing (a) luggage, (b) passport, (c) the only way to get to Austria !) which decided that it wanted to go to München rather more rapidly than I did. After eventually catching up with my possessions, I went to Salzburg with Karin (an amazingly dumb American girl) [Tautology - Ed.] and thence to Hilda's, where I was allowed to kip in her sin-bin type place (rather confusingly called the "lager" which has visions of sleeping lots of beer!)
Chris, Sue, Jared, Adam.
Left Calais ~12 o'clock
Got lost nr. Luxembourg; Nearly running out of petrol due to Jared falling asleep (maybe).
Autobahn became rather busy, full of maniacs pulling out at 60 when everyone else was doing ~100.
By ~10am getting very hot in the car. Drove a lot. Got mildly lost going into Saltzburg, although fairly quickly got through the traffic jams. Arrived at Hilder's at ~1.30 & went up to the lake to find those already walking back. Pissed around in the lake with Ian's blow up boat, tried to sink a buoy & punctured the boat.
Had tea, drank beer, sacked out.
Something exciting may have happened but I was probably asleep at the time.
All up to the col where the following holes were assessed:- (Hopefully Becka still has the piece of paper with the bearings on !)
These holes may be the initial targets for bashing... Chris D, Rebecca, Mark "call me Fief" F, Penny, Hugh.
The area looked at is about 1%-5% of the available area ! Only hopeful entrances are marked.
Bright and early start to <???> of Expo88, noone had need to stoop as low as moaning at Rebecca with their cuppa.
Down to Bad Aussee (on foot as Rover was poorly) to miss bus to Loser by 5 mins. Chris D and RL head off to hitch up intending to investigate a little into the previous day's finds.
Team Sloth head on foot, via bier vendor, to Hilda's for a swim, sunbath and a few beers to the accompaniment of Mozart. This being all too much, we took the dinghy up to Grundlsee for another arduous bout of swim, sun etc.
Penny comments that the chances of a passing (yucky) orange Fiesta with UK plates not being the Millar brothers are rather remote. She was right - enter C & S S, I & K M, JW, AC. Of course, this brings on a relapse and, armed with a second dinghy, more swim, sun etc.
Back to camp - food, beer, latern, beer, chat, beer.
A highly successful day's caving !
Rover was kaputt, so, feeling unhealthily enthusiastic, we decided to hitch up to the plateau. V. fast ride up, & good hitches, plateau by eleven. Trogged up to Thurs recce trip, looked at the long shaft (no draft) by the top path, we saw yesterday. Stuck in 2 bolts over lunch and sunbathing (ie. 1 hr per bolt). Down - needed another rig, Chris bored, me cold & feeble, so out. Ambled round very ineffectively looking for other shaft, Chris down, all on natural belays (of which he was inordinately proud!) Unfortunately I saw "B10" over the shaft, & it blocked anyway. Chris, fired with non-infectious keenness, wanted to finish the first shaft. Bottomed it - mebbe 40m about vertical down, then another 20m straight down in the boulder choke at the bottom - v. big chamber. Found a nice skeleton here and an old colander ! Out 10.30 ish walked back. Lift home (well, poor guy all but hijacked by us) by Karl Gaisberger, who we met on Thurs - he took us all the way home, after showing us his 5 houses, 3 car garage etc. On top of the plateau, at the Bergrestaurant, there were 3 blokes watching moths, with lights and a white sheet.
T/U (3 hours or so !)
Nothing significant found in searching on the far side of the obvious coll looking from the initial place thought for a campsite - not much of a description I know but I haven't got a map. loads of promising looking holes but none draughting & most filled with snow plugs or infill. Nuf zed.
:- J.J.Rodgers, Del Boy Robinson, M Dougherty & Wookey
Left Cambs at 7.30 ish having completely filled estate with 9 rucksacks for 4 people. Trogged down to Dover all complaining about clutch. Sat watching slowest info display in the universe for about 5 hours. Our boat (00.01) left at 03.00. The car now has 3 doors cos Jeremy is so butch he ripped the handle off trying to get in. Next drove through France (Wookey alseep), Luxembourg (Del asleep), Germany (All asleep) with terminal rain. (It's really hard to drive at 100mph when you can't see) & then got lost a lot in Austria (due to navigation by blind people). Arrived 8.30 (16 hours driving).
More exploration in the rain:
Hugh, Penny, Mark R, Mark F.
Met at the "campsite" to be told it was the wrong one ! So all up to the col between the low + high Schwarzmoochkogelllll, where it started to rain, low viz etc so a retreat (rather than a force onto the path back [stogerweg]) was mooted. On the way back a complex of caves (near 81, 82 etc. etc.) was investigated - Mark R will provide a description of his shaft, I and mark F investigated a railway tunnel sized cave, unfortunately no way down ! There are others........ Dumped gear at the Brauning wall coll, then back to sit at the Bergrestaurant in the rain until the whiskey ran out, then walked down the hill until Chris S appeared. Also, located the entrance to old caves 81, 82, 85 (of unknown explorers and vintage !) and 147 (CUCC 1984).
Forced self-confession - I botched up rigging a shaft. Tied to bunder I went down to a ledge ~5m down to bolt-in. Woops there goes my helmet. Down to bottom - nothing save helmet (15m pitch, 10m crawl choking off). Draft at top - no draft at choke, must have been caused by through draft from otherentrances clearly visible.
21st August 1988
Mark D, Becka, Jeremy, Wookey, Adam, Del
Carried stacks of gear over to the 'far' campsite (near 136). Becka & Adam went for a recce, while Jeremy, Wookey, Del & me (Mark) looked at a hole found by Jeremy. Bolted the top, but ran out of time, as at least 1 & probably 2 rebelays needed to reach bottom. Depth estimated as 50 metres.
Carried gas cylinder up to camp site. Set off with Chris after some festering to look for caves along the upper limit of the limestone where it meets with the Brauning wall. Chris went for a crap & while wandering around waiting for him to finish his business I could help but notice an amazing fault streaking across the limestone. Displacement appeared to be small <1m, but there seemed to be many shafts along the fault & a stream was sinking into the upper end of it. After descending several open shafts finding them blocked I noticed a small square of black - a horizontal entrance. It wasn't drafting but hopefully lopping stones down caused booming for several seconds. After finding Roddick, Juliette & Mark F I borrowing Roddick's gear and went down. Roddick nosed around while I changed & noticed the first bit was free climbable. After this put in three bolts and ended up on a ledge overlooking a 60 foot pitch in a chamber which appears to have several exits. Ran out of rope ! Jared
[map with comment: Becka - (WONDROUS MAP, NO LANDMARKS !)]
NB 136 is large shaft, has CUCC 1983 on, a ring of red, in small valley, uphill & over from 135. (Fairly obvious)
Walked up to the camp site. Mike gave a lecture on the surrounding area pointing out the locations of several 'old' holes. Walked over to Marilyn Monroe höhle surprise, surprise, no draught. Chris made a short exploration (ruining his jacket in the process). Made our way over to 82 where MM assured us there would be a draught - however there wasn't ! Spied on the Millars who were clearly audiable but at least ½ mile away. Went back to the car park and made tea until the rest of the animals turned up.
Mike + Tina
HELLO !! We've arrived in little min !!
The keenies: Jeremy, Mark, Becka, Chris, Wookey, Del & Joe
We all set off up the hill at about 2.00 pm, 7 in car (Wookey farting in back). Trogged uphill in cloud, got damp & squidgy. J&M continued to camp 2. B&C stayed at Camp 1 with W,D&J's gear & tent !? W,D&J returned to camp for a pyromania discussion & a nice, dry night. Wookey
Mark & jeremy went up the previous evening and camped on the col. Went down "mark & Jeremy's" hole at 8 a.m. Situation resolved as follows:
Time underground 5 Hrs.
Walked up, dumped gear, gave up on cooking some soup, and then gave up (totally) and went to Bad Aussee to go shopping.
Hugh, Penny, Chris & Sue S, Ian M
"183" [this is really 161 - don't let the logbook confuse you, Ed.]
[and another crappy sketch, recognisable as an elevation]
[a plan on next page]
Descended straight after Mark D & Jeremy had exited, for 2nd pushing trip. Lobbed in 2 deviations which promptly fell off as I descended. Down the first 45m pitch, Chris started rigging 2nd 30m pitch while I ambled around. I found [arrow to '30m pitch'] above 'Rabbit Warren Series' (rabbit skeleton halfway down the crawl). I returned, descended 30m, as Chris getting hypothermic from bolting in the drips. I went to chamber choke at the bottom, then crawled through an obvious eyehole. Put a bolt in then down ~15ft to boulder slope. Found small stream passage (2m pitch?) to the left, looking out from the eyehole, and to the right, under a crawly few loose boulders, a shaft/steep loose sloping passage, down q a way. Meanwhile Chris put a bolt in at top of 20m pitch, down Rabbit Warren series, and also a bolt at top of parallel shaft to 30m pitch, so two ways ready to be rigged tomorrow. Out late, 8 pm, v dusky, difficult walk back to camp 1, back there with relief, got to car park, set off & found others in Loser Hut, talking to French & German cavers so good lift home, tea cooked for us too !
T/U 6½ hrs
Next trip/Previous trip
The long awaited investigation of "Hugh's" hole - actually a shaft near a large depression type thing on a small fault about 100m downvalley from B11 and therefore 3 min from camp 1.
Anyway went down a 8-10m shaft, placing 2 bolts, one on surface, one rebelay - v loose elsewhere to the remains of the snow plug. Passage off, very shattered to a fifth pitch, est. depth 30-40m - as follows.
Hugh U/G 1 hr (depends on whether hanging 6 ft down bolting counts)
By lunchtime had got to a cave on 1760m contour due E of Gr. Gsollberg in a snow-filled corrie type feature. Inside sloping rubble strewn ramp to left ~30->40m inside a hole down led to a chamber. Following the RH wall (anticlockwise) led to a small slightly draughting slot into a ~10' drop. At this point I returned to meet Del & Wookey to take a few photos of ice formations. Outside we heard German speech. On exitting & conversing we were given the impression that we were "in their territory" according to agreements made the night before in the Loser Hutte. So not knowing the details we left. Unfortunately we had no red paint & so intend to return to paint our mark. However other CUCC recommend that we were perfectly at liberty to be there. On going back to camp I found another cave.
Time underground ~30min.
Rerigged about 2/3 the way back down 158 for a push ...
Underground 5½ hours
Wed 24th Wookey, Adam Cave II
After rushing back to the camp to get some paint to mark the cave before the Germans got there, I had a poke to see if the cave went. Wide horizontal draughting entrance into a pit. The cave seems (so far) to have mostly horizontal development but the draught has been followed to a small gap under a huge boulder needing a handline or ladder rig to get down due to lack of footholds. This was left until tomorrow due to lack of time. Approx posn. of cave: ~500m towards the coll between Vd. & Ht. Schwarzmooskogel from the position of 135 at an altitude of ~100m lower.
[plan which is mostly comments:
crawl between bedrock & boulder slope (not too safe) which draughts strongly.
not too clear on details in this area but basically a high chamber (solution formed) some climbs up reveal top of chamber regularly boulder choked (must be higher blocked entrance) at the lowest part of this section (bottom of a loose boulder slope) a draughting space beneath a large boulder was located. this can be safely cleared and will be investigated. ]
Time U/G Wookey 1½ hrs
Adam 2 hrs
Although this description is a bit vague hope to elaborate in a later
11 pm Chris & Becka still not down from the plateau - no real call out time (they said they might be back at the Bergrestaurant by 8 pm). Nobody very pleased. Contingency plans for rescue made.
11 pm Ian and Jenny set off in the Fiesta to sleep in the car at the Loser Car Park in case they turn up there.
THE PLAN:- 5 am - underground team - Mark D, Hugh, Adam & Joe
(camping on plateau as [nuuer ?]. Penny - driving Rover.
8 am - second team (in the Montego) - Jeremy, Keith, Jared, Mark Roddick.
11 pm - Chris S + Mark F go up, very valiantly in the pissing rain, fog, dark etc. to camp 1 (and camp 2??), however the miscreants were located at camp 1 (at 1.15), having exited at 11 pm. All back to Hildas, where much relief etc.
10 am, Thursday. Much stress administered re overrunning (non-existant) call out times ! etc.
Joe, Chris S, Mark R
This cave listed as "not allocated" was found in '84, but lost before first exploration. Re-found Sat by Mark R + Hugh. *--^
Down ~ 3m entry pitch in rift going into bluff wall on camp 2 side of Vord SchMK on cavers path.
Pitch (10m) drops out of rift 10m into hill, draft comes over pitch from phreatic tube.
[small sketch plan]
- Drafting tube leads (~10m horizontal, 5m down) into chamber/rift (3m
dia. 6m high).
- Draft rises from choke in floor of rift/chamber (continuation of entry rift?)
- Draft rises into 2 avens in roof, one chokes, other leads back up to phreatic level.
- 10m drafting tube chokes.
- All possibilities down the draft phreatic (in diagram) exhausted.
- down pitch to unstable boulder choke/slope. Opening in floor promises another pitch ~20m - another trip needed.
N.B. the tubes are seriously squalid.
T/U 6 hrs
Best example of a Yorkshire cave I've seen so far ! Joe
Tight wet crawls. Mark
Jared, Juliette, Mark F, Mark R
Re-rigged Jared's bit with 70m rope & bolted down another 20m to choke in shaft (draughting). Side rift 5m off choke goes 3m to choke.
V.WET CAVE DEAD (provisional number 181) [160, Ed.]
Rabbithohle ? Becka, Chris D
Rabbit Warren series.
2nd pushing trip by above, running at same time as pushing trip by Mark D & Jeremy down main shaft.
Walk across to camp 2 on col spent building loads of cairns so route back easier (lesson from nights before journey). Before going down at 3pm after Jeremy & Mark, communicated to Jeremy that would be a good idea to come out late which he apparently interpreted as eight (hence debacle on page before last).
Down to top of 2nd pitch, thro' rabbit warren series. While Chris put in a bolt 3m down first main pitch in rabbit warren [see (1) on map], Becka did some exploring on right hand branch after handline down ramp (Chris bolt on pitch down l.h. branch). Becka's passage went for 15m, shaft in roof aven), then small shaft down (4m?). Continuing past shaft, along passage to small chamber, hole in floor, shaft (3m?) down to chamber's left.
[tiny diagram with comments:
crawl, go on, chokes, turn right, stream ~2m below in rift
shaft down, q. deep, 5m? (loose cruddy rock, q. small entry)
Chris descended main pitch down, 8m to floor, 2 round shafts in floor. Descended one shaft (other joins up) 15m down to choked rift (18in-3ft wide, 10 ft long).(see sketch). Back up 15m shaft, along to chamber with 2 ways on across chamber, pitch in rift down. Becka came down, then 2 bolts for pitch in rift. Fine free hang down superb rift approx 40m. Gorgeous base of shaft, choked ramp and huge pitch beyond. Back out so as to use Boris (long rope) to rerig it. Out 11pm, expected to have heard from Mark & Jeremy (realised were out) (We realised they'd got out, as a new bolted deviation in, on the 1st pitch) Fog came down with rain, followed cairns in 'minimal visibility' back to camp 1. Met Chris S & Mark F coming to rescue us since their call out for us was somehow 8pm (was now 12.30 pm [1.15 am, Chris]). Walked back to park, apologies & thanks, as to Jenny & Ian asleep in car waiting for us. Drive down in fog bad, Hildes by 2am.[3 am]
T/U (8 hours)
[extensive plan of "Rabbit Warren" series]
[full page elevation of pitches]
Next trip /
Previous trip to Rabbit Warren & Adrian's
Main way trip on same day
Pushing trip below 2nd pitch. 3rd pitch through eye hole at bottom of 2nd, about 10m to boulder strewn floor. Ways on to left & right.
Rigged short (12m) pitch with one bolt & one natural. Boulder slope down onto pitch head, v.dodgy. Not free hanging so Mark held rope (human deviation) while Jeremy descended to bottom past v. unstable boulders into small sharp chamber well choked at bottom. No ways on so detackled out.
Through small hole under huge car sized boulder resting on loose boulder slope (Help!). Boulder slope on other side, V. unstable descending (30°) to pitch, about 10m from drop tests.
Attached lifeline to large boulders to look down pitch but getting late so left unrigged.
Prussiked out & Mark put in a bolt deviation at top of 1st pitch.
T/U 4 hrs
Rabbit Warren trip on same day.
No one did anything
(except toboganning + salt mining)
Wookey camped Wed night camp 1, noticed major storm with lots of lightning, wind, [illegible] & a v. bendy tent at about midnight. Chris & Becka passed by at about 1 am ?? Sat around Thur morn from 9 am wondering where everyone was. Climbed Bräuning Nase, looked for some holes, got rained on at 2.30 & eventually decided to go down to get a book. Rescued by Jez & Del part way down road.
Team Rover got up horribly early (7.00 ish) & eventually left about 8.15. Looked at weather & went back to Loser Hütte for drinks. Eventually Wook (me), Del & Adam went caving & everyone else festered (again). Went to push 162. Bolted & laddered hole found on last trips, but only led to 20' high boulder choked bit. Could see through 5" holes to rift so dug hole in floor to get to rift but it choked at 38'. Descended 60' wet pitch on ladders (50'). Discrepancy made for some interesting athletic moves until 2nd ladder was re-rigged further down. Cave still going come time to go home.
A draughting crawl was located.
T/U 5 hrs
Finished rigging 158. Mike went to the eyehole that we thought might be worth hitting with a hammer. It wasn't worth hitting with the hammer. He says it was very small and after 10 mins hitting vigourously it was around ½ inch bigger. However we did recover a bolting hammer left from last year. We derigged most of the cave and left the rope at the bottom of the short climb after the squeeze. The walk back was disgusting - cold wet misty dark ughh and ~4 am.
Time underground ~8 hours
(provisional) number assignments so far
159 - "The one Chris + Becka found that isn't B10"
160 - Jared's Hole
161 - Rabbit Hole
163 - Adam's Hole (1)
162 - Adam's Hole (2)
164 - Hugh's hole
Hugh + Penny - walked along the Stogerweg
Jo, Jane, Mark F, Mark R - portered loads in and out of camp 1
slept - [crossed out]
After wimping out at the car park Friday morning, we resolved to go up Friday evening whatever the weather that evening to do an overnight trip. Weather turned out OK & walked up with survey team 1 (Jenny, Jeremy, Mark D) & the push team (Roddick & Keith) & Adrian the Anaconda for use on the big pitches after rabbit warren series. Arrived at camp 2 at nightfall, followed Roddick & Keith down cave. Whilst Chris when to advise the push team on how to re-rig the first part of the pitch, Becka & I started to survey from the start of rabbit warren. Much whining & cursing about the plastic pad & pen for survey notes - they only worked intermittently. Becka managed much better than the other team though - their pen broke in half ! Chris came back & we soon surveyed to the top of the big pitch. Now the problem was how to measure a 40+m pitch with a 30m tape measure. Chris went down halfway with me holding the tape & then intended to measure to the bottom. Unfortunately the author let go whilst Chris was still abseiling so this plan was a total failure. Giving up for the time we went to see how Roddick & Keith were getting on at the push front. Measured pitch on the way up by ingenious use of rope protector - 40.2m. Unfortunately it still wasn't light outside so we had a few hours to kill. Chris & Becka got v. cold whilst I rigged the '5m' pit by the rabbit skeleton & handline. Turned out to ~15m deep v. loose & choked. Fell asleep at bottom of entrance pitch to be woken by Keith. Out about 7 a.m. -> camp 2. Weather pissing on us ! Jared
~8.30pm -> 6.30 am probably T/U (10 hours)
Push trip/ Other survey trip on same day.
Down with that lot [arrow to previous page] just as rain starts. Down thru C+B's "crawl" & rig Adrian down a couple of pitches - one a v.g. rig down - down to where C+B lobbed rocks down 8 seconds. We found a similar fall.
Tried to rig a bolt but v.v.v.v bad & won't go in anywhere (rock disintegration on touch). Natural to big boulder, via 2 natural deviations to good hang to ledge (20m) then walk down rift (~5-10°) to a bridge (20m) off dodgy bolt & down to floor (5m)
T/U 10 hrs
Survey trip/ Other survey trip on same day.
Friday evening was amazingly fine ie. we could actually see the Burger hut before we almost crashed into it. Because we had decided to survey down, we were to wait until the others had all gone down. This meant we had to wait while the elements got worse + worse getting colder and colder. Nevermind we thought, Sepp Steinberger had said the next day would be lovely so it would be worth it. On arrival at the pitch head both Jeremy's + Mark's lights failed to work so I descended first. By the time Jeremy reached the bottom [illegible] & his hands was completely numb and we were all fairly cold. We managed the grand total of about 6 survey legs. I then went down the 2nd pitch while the other two tried to survey the top. Unfortunately we found out the 2nd law of spirit pens, the first being they don't work when rain is on the pad, the second being that when the tip is pressed with force exerted from the arm of a muddy caver they retreat in fright making the recording of survey data impossible. I fumbled up the 2nd pitch and we went to find Becka in case they had a spare pen. As they hadn't we decided to wimp out and Jenny started to prusick out while Mark explored down the cave a bit. I have omitted to say my light decided to light the cave a bit better, not content to burn carbide it started on its own pipe and lifeline - v. silly. By the time we reached the tent (camp 2) via fog + rain we were extremely cold and things did not improve during the night, until about 6.00 when Chris woke us up and we were evicted to walk and stumble home.
Time Un.gd. 4½ hrs
Push trip/ Other survey trip on same day.
It pissed down again. No caving (except to avoid caves)
Time underground - None
P.S. many crates of beer consumed
Many hangovers. Jeremy puked in his tent.
PM - but, wait for it SUNSHINE
Team fester - Bekka, Chris D, Mark D, Jeremy, Jared + Mark R
Jeneral tidy up around camp & off to grundlsee with 2 dinghys + a crate of beer. Hand dinghys on to team stogerweg & return to camp ~ 6. Rotate tent 90° clockwise to avoid squallor of past weeks deludge. (PS. hope this doesn't anger the rain god).
Quote from Jeremy -
"I don't like them in trousers!"
Hugh & Penny
Down 2.30pm-ish. A nice hot day so the cave was draughting well (far too cold for my liking!). Some time spent looking for the only part of the cave wall solid enough to put a bolt in! Every bit of wall you touch at the head of the 2nd pitch comes away in your hand. Hugh finally put in enough bolts to reach the solid bit of the cave reasonably safely and descended an approx. 15m pitch to a ledge. From there the following is visible
Time U/G 3 hr
Mike M, Chris S, Sue, Gwynneth
Ambled up around lunchtime, stopped for sarnies around Windloch (32) strolled on round to the path to 113. Couldn't find it - walked up + down the Stogerweg a while, then decided it was too nice a day to not go swimming, so we did a token survey from Q1 to Q2 (about 100m). In Grundlsee by 6. Oops, forgot: snow plug in 152 has gone - potential way down, had a dig, got muddy, will take a rope in the next few days to hoist the rocks out. Chris
Team:- Hugh + Penny
Hole 164 - still no sign of previous exploration
Down to do the second half of the 2nd pitch - turned out not to need bolting, only a deviation (a bit of a close-to-the-rock/ prussick very gently one !) off a natural belay (the first solid feature found in the cave so far!). Pitch drops into a lowish cahmber, sloping downwards and full of choss (most of which seems to have come from the ceiling). This goes to a short bit of steeply sloping passage and ends in an undescended c 5m pitch into a chamber. A way on appears to go straight on, following the fault line. Another possible lead appears to go off on the right hand side of the chamber.
Time U/G 1½ hrs
Surface survey. From P0 (Austria point) to 161 - passed camp II to 147 - then rain stopped play.
Joe + Mark, after camping last night at camp 1 (loverly moonlit night after a gorgeous hot sunny day) pushed final pitch in 147 - involved bolting horrid cheesy rock, so carefully backed-up to a boulder in the chamber. Gardening by trundling some nice lumps to create some big bangs left us a nice pitch to ledge 15' down. Chamber off opposite has drafting bedding plane (dug but no go). Pitch continues down slanting shaft to sudden end (small drafting hole only couple of inches high).
* THERE ARE SEVERAL PLACES in 147 where there is definitely an enormous stretch of cave beyond a frustrating choke - this cave HAS POTENTIAL *
More idiots going caving: Del, Wookey & Adam (again)
Checked out various holes/draught in 162 & 163. In 162 found draughts all disappeared up phreatic tubes in roof. Also found bottom of snow plug in bottom chamber. In 163 draught went down 3-4" rift. Nice ice formations & frozen streamway. Formations there last time had nearly all melted. Camped at camp 1.
162 & 163 are dead. Derigged. 5 hrs U/G
Really impressed to see Jared, Mark D, Chris & Becka walking past at about 7.00 am ! Eventually went down 161 about 12.00. Surveyed 1st pitch. Met Jared & Mark D who sent us down Adrian to survey. Fucking cold & clino was illegible & ran out of time so left. 2 hrs to get out with major downpour outside causing mega-rain on 1st pitch.
5 hrs U/G
Next Adrian's Trip/
Previous push trip
Jared/Mark's Adrian's trip/ Chris/Becka's trip - new route (on same day)
Down entrance pitch, then down parallel shaft to original 2nd pitch shaft. I descended & found you could get to this shaft through an eyehole in the original 2nd pitch shaft, so we rerigged the 2nd pitch rope into our shaft & chamber. Over the chamber (large, v. bouldery, q. few ways off) couple of small pitches, all v. loose to a pitch at the end. ~10m. Down onto a 45° boulder slope doubling under the chamber above. Small pitch probably [?] ahead, but we descended one perpendicular, still loose ~20m. Down (small carbide pool) a little rift off into streamway. Could chimney/clamber down ~8m vertically down, until sides a bit smooth to descend - needs a ladder probably Q. tight, 18" ?
T/U 8 hours
[elevation labelled "grade 0 NOT TO SCALE"]
Next Trip/ Previous push trip/ Jared/Mark's trip/ Del/Wookey/Adam's trip
Went down Adrian's route to bottom to check out leads. Phreatic tube doesn't go - choked with earth. Found another way through choke but this led to v.v.v. small hole that we couldn't fit through. Climbed up boulder slope in last chamber - doesn't go (I think).
T/U 7 Hrs
Previous push trip
Chris/Becka's trip/ Del/Wookey/Adam's trip
Set off down 161 to push the new route found, by swinging off the 2nd pitch. Carried on down the pitches until we reached new territory - a free climbable rift ending in a very tight pitch. Spent about an hour enlarging this with a hammer before Wookey went down. This rift then enlarges and merges with another rift into a HUGE phreatic passage. Followed this for about 200m, with another short pitch, until another drop for which we had no tackle. Did a quick grade 2 survey on the way out.
T/U 8 hours
Previous push trip
164 Hugh + Penny
Went down the pitch previously located (entries passim). This was a bit longer than it looked, maybe 8m or so, freehang from a rockbridge. Lands in a wide chamber that has three ways on. Ahead, continuing along the fault - this gets small + maybe diggable - about 40m of passage. Right is a bedding (!) up a climb, left a smaller tube on a shelf at the same level (ie. the cave intersects a joint/another fault), both left + right choke. Will return on the morrow to survey + explore the direct way on.
Plan of chamber - grade 0
[a plan rendered completely illegible by ink bleeding through from the next page]
We have lost the draught - it appears to rise from the chamber floor
Penny has just said to me
"What do you mean 'freehang' ? It wasn't until you hammered all the rub
This is only 90% true.
161 Push (from Animals muddy slope)
- handline down sandy slide (5m) to left of boulder-bridge/pile then line down 3m free climb. Under boulders to right & back under slope a slot to ~ 5m wet drop (from line)
- left and through boulder choke brings one into more rift, up & over a pile of boulders brings to top of long (~100m) boulder slope in rift.
- undescended pot (~5m) to left (coming in from aven indicating other cave joining). Ditto stream way 4m down.
- boulder floor turns into boulder bridge with holes dropping into rift below.
- traverse line bolted to chamber v.v.large 2.7 sec fall (free) to boulder slope floor ?
[sketch with annotation: draft noticeable in rift (~5m high, 3m wide)]
T/U 8 hr
Next RHR trip/
Previous push trip
161 pitches 1-4 rigging guide
[full page sketch]
164 Attempted derig + survey trip
Penny twisted her ankle on the walk so Hugh went down solo to do as much surveying as possible and to derig (light rain on surface meanwhile turned to heavier rain....)
Went to the final chamber and identified where te main way on and the draught are - about 15m up the far wall. Pottered about looking at holes up climbs then realised that I could hear the second pitch - about 50m away so derigged 3rd pitch, went up to the bottom of the wet pitch, which was um, well, very wet. Decided to go for it, and got up, very wet, having been hit by a couple of boulders washed down the water, one of which caused me to lose my whistle. The interesting bit was passing a rebelay underwater. Then I went up the first pitch to find a rather releived Penny on the surface.
will return on a nice day to finish survey + derig.
N.B. Rain start to flood pulse time - 10 min.
147 - Rerigging for survey Mark F & Jeremy
+ Photographic record & check dead.
Rigged without trouble. Checked possible ways on all dead.
Took few photos - although had trouble with flashes. Met surveying & detackling party on way out.
T/U 4 hrs.
161 survey/Photo trip/Derig Ian, Del, Adam
Intended to finish survey of Adrian's Route, look at the sand choked phreatic tube with a possible view to digging. However, on getting there this looked like too much hard work. Took a few photos & began to derig out of this dangerous pitch (for which surveying felt quite risky). This took quite a while due to difficulty in hauling. Detackling not completed due to fact that rope too muddy to lift. Got to entrance shaft to find everyone was there simultaneously. So had to tandem out & took ages.
Got back to camp I in dark, many slips. T/U 8 hrs
Previous trip in Adrian's
161 Survey trip.
Becka, Chris D (Chris S sequested to roomier passages, see other survey trip)
Keenies all up at 6am, down 161 by 9 a.m. Progressed to squeeze in stream passage below 3rd pitch, & after a bit of ineffectual hammering, Chris S joined the survey trip above the squeeze. Chris D & Becka then surveyed onto bottom of sandy ramp reached by 2 pushing trips before. Halfway, realised battery in Petzl Zoom was having degenerate effect on compass readings, so redid most of the readings on the way out. Had been a reasonable morning, but suspiciously leaky avens on return journey presaged yet another wet & misty stomp back to Bergrestaurant. Nice cave. Nasty squeeze. Chris didn't notice it, but I had a healthy wriggle. t/u 8½ hrs
Push trip same day
LHR push same day/ Next RHR push
Had to get up early even tho' nice short trip to do. Answer - Breakfast at Camp 1 for last remaining Alpen - Ha ! Arrived at entrance in time for grade 3 change ie. raining. Anyway, combinations of n jammers and n/2 bits of string result in confusion and eventual detackling of Adrian - isn't he a fat bastard ! Barely fits his clothes anymore. Out for grade 4/5 change if you were hard enough - but I'm soft + cuddly so to car in Troll walking suit; lovely + warm. T/U 3 hrs
Previous Adrian's trip/ RHR push same day/ LHR push same day
Can't remember much about it now. Went to push the vertical development of 147. Phreatic passage to first pitch approx 16m to small chamber. Boulder choke slightly awkward move to second pitch, belayed by natural & Joe's bolt, approx 18m,
[full page diagram and short spurious write up break up the flow here. The write up is postponed until after the current one]
WHAT has happened to this paper ???? [rest of write up plagued by crap pen]
including ledge. Small chamber, bouldery rift to 3rd pitch. We spent happy half hour plus gardening [???ing] big boulders, then Jule tried to bolt into nice-looking but squidgy rock + we then decided to give up + go home + come back tomorrow (only I didn't). T/U 5 hrs
Trip Chris didn't fit on
Friday 2nd September. Mark R, Juliette
Jolly exciting pushing trip, we thought. Got up 6.30 am (aagh!) & ate continuously for an hour or so. Good march to camp 1, feeling very enthusiastic, just as we got there a lovely big white cloud rolled over us & goodbye nice sunshine & hello shit. Struggled up in the mist/rain & changed in the same - yuck. Juliette first trip down Rabbithole. We abbed down after a fairly small traffic jam on pitch one, very spectacular. Fell thru the squeeze + stomped down a Great North Road-like rift but at an angle & much looser. Didn't have enough time to do much at pushing face. Put in second bolt to improve traverse-line over "big" drop (which we thought probably links up to chamber at bottom of pitch) & another bolt at pitch-lip. Mark couldn't see anything over the pitch with his light - only blackness so no idea of what lies beyond.
Its getting to be a long way to the pushing faces, we're running out of time (& energy !) at pushing faces. Long way out, especially as Juliette tried to make the squeeze more sporting by squeezing through where the ladder is, not the wide bit ! Got f---ing soaked to the skin on the way out, all perfectly rigged in the new waterfalls ! Not too bad a change in camp 2 & then got down to camp 1 without too many problems but even with 2 people who were supposed to know it, it's a difficult route. Don't talk to me about the night at camp 1 - either the winds were strong or an awful lot of flying saucers landed on the Brauning Wall !
"Pushing" T/U 8 hrs
Next trip/ Previous RH push trip/ LH push trip same day
Medium weather so easy trip to squeeze. A+D's first attempt at this phenomenon, varied + vocal swearing in + out ! Went right at bottom of ladder and followed main passage until end of Chris + Becka's survey at bottom of sandy slope. Surveyed from here down to first 3 bolts of pitch (ie. traverse line) Admired phreatic level, boldly stepped, and then ambled merrily down 50° sand + boulder slope. Not saying this section is very worrying but don't fart too loud. 'cos of a slightly slack start + lack of hangers, no pushing achieved. As usual surveying becomes cold + boring but soon boiling as outside reached. Good-natured weather starts to rain on us to cool us all down - how nice ! Bit of spectator sport as Mark F makes first entrance exit - jammer 1, gets it right first time, aah. J plays party trick with used carbide + closed container to give suitable finale.
P.S. rub point on 3rd pitch ~10ft below rebelay ?
Good times. T/U 7 hrs. see back for survey
Next RHR trip/ Previous RHR trip/ LHR trips same day
Got underground about 10 a.m. Down through squeeze where Chris S was hammering away, no problems. 50m pitch 'Baker' was piss wet but got to bottom fairly dry due to nifty abseiling. Joe asked me for the driver & I found I hadn't got it in my SRT bag; I feel a right pillock and offer to go and fetch one from someone at squeeze. After discussing the foolishness of going back up alone I decidd to go because otherwise trip would be total failure. Get driver from Animal at the bottom of squeeze - back to bottom. Joe rigs traverse line & puts bolt in for 15m hang - then realises he has no hand jammer - he has accidentally left it somewhere ! Not being able to go back we decide to go on & descend 15m hang - the Oubliette ! Find ourselves in rift with two pitches & a climb going down. Joe goes down climb on a lifeline & finds it blocked. We decided pitch to right of rope landing is best for rigging - boulders dropped lost in noise of water !
Debate how to get Joe out. He ascends 15m hang using prussik loop, but decides next pith is too long/wet/too many rebelays & I go up to find a jammer for him. Find Animal at squeeze just about to exit squeeze & persuade him to take jammer to Joe. He curses, not surprisingly, & goes down.
As if this were not enough, the jinx (or just lack of braincells ?) continues. I tip out contents of SRT bag & almost don't notice. Joe gets halfway through squeeze & I remembr I left my glasses at bottom - Joe changes to descender in squeeze (is anyone else capable of this !) & goes to fetch them.
Finally exit about 7.30 into pissing rain & tackle path to camp 1 in rapidly failing light.
T/U 9½ h Jared
Next LHR trip/ RHR push same day
A further pushing trip going underground at 11 ish in the morning. Put two bolts at head of new pitch descended approx 30m to a very very deep shear pitch. Estimated at 100m.
Time underground 9 hours.
Proposed name for very deep pitch.
NIFLHEIM - "A realm of freezing mist and darkness under one root of Yggdrasall (World Tree) Hell lies within it."
(Definition from Penny's book of Norse Myths!)
Next trip/ LHR survey same day/ Previous trip
Surveying 'Left Hand' route from squeeze to [illegible] at top of 6th pitch. Couldn't find pitch despite innumerable holes in the floor & tina & keith's voices coming out of the floor. Eventually heard them returning and crawled under rock to find pitch.
T/U 7 hrs
Next trip/ LHR push same day/ Previous trip
Went down Left hand route to continue rigging Niflheim pitch. First attempt not very successful, so put in a huge Y-belay right across the rift. This hung free for 50m (approx) to a rock bridge over a cross rift (called Bird's Eye). Further 3 second drop one side. 2 seconds + nothing the other. WOW. Then went out, detackling Boris (some trouble at the squeeze!)
P.S. Both Mike & I saluted this pitch in the customary manner of pissing down it.
T/U 8 hours.
Next trip (derig)/ RHR push same day/ Previous trip
After camping trogged over in rain to serious grade 3 change along with keenies Mike, Mark D & Hugh who had come up night before. All U/G by 10.00 am. Hugh only managed 1st pitch as already really hypothermic due to soggy gear, so retired gracefully to Loser Hutte & had to walk down as festerers all buggered off.
W & A down past squeeze v.quick (50 mins) went to push R.H. route. Rigged pitch amongst much freezing in non-bolting half & dead legs in bolting half. Pitch 35m, lovely freehang for 25m.
Falls into huge chamber. near foot of boulder slope. Passages out at low end, rift out in boulders on top right. Wandered around stream passages for ages finding big (35+ pitch) & then got very lost trying to find rope amongst boulders, despite having checked once !! Eventually trogged out in 2 hours.
T/U 7½ hrs
see map over
Survey trip/ Photo trip/ Derigging/ Next push (in 1989)/ Previous trip
Del & Jeremy
Underground by 10.30 despite the weather.
- v. quick trip down to bottom (1½ hrs)
Started survey from top of new 35m pitch & Del managed to drop our only pencil down into the boulder slope from the rebelay. Thought we would have to come back out but by some incredible stroke of luck Jeremy found the pencil within reach in the choke.
Chamber too big to get idea of size without much more light, so spent ~2½ hrs surveying not really knowing where we were & eventually arrived back at pitch, much to our surprise.
Didn't have time for any detackling or proper surveying of side chamber (also huge) so made speedy exit. Del had problems at squeeze & vowed never to go through it again.
Jeremy (mug) took Boris up climb & 4th pitch before rope started exploding out of knackered tackle sack.
Proceeded out without serious problem.
T/U 7 hrs
Photo trip same day/ Derigging/ Next push (in 1989)/ Previous trip
Went in at around 6.30 pm in windy weather all the way down the right hand route into the main chamber. Took about 6 photo in large chamber with about 20 flashes/bulbs per photo. Other photos were taken at 45° boulder slope, Phreatic tubes, ladder pitch.
Exited to find first 2 pitches very wet. Arrived out of cave at about 4.30 am to very windy weather with rain. Slowly walked down to car in carpark to return at campsite for 8 am.
Time underground 10 hours
Survey trip same day/ Derigging/ Next push (in 1989)/ Previous trip
Serious rain all night & in morning, so all got up v.late. Wookey had to borrow Hugh's furry (v.soggy) as he is v stupid. U/G by 11.00 when rain eventually stopped. Pitches pretty soggy (esp. 3rd !). Zoomed down to bottom & as no survey gear & time to spare wandered around trying to suss geography of chambers (see diag). Derigged 'Bastard Getoff Pitch' + other string as far as peephole pitch. Had hard time getting string back through beer belly blues. Exited 7 pm.
T/U 8 hrs
Results of 'survey' of 'Tower Blocks': smaller chamber off below big one. Used compass for passage dirns but everything else guesswork.
Survey trip/ Photo trip/ Derig to surface/ Next push (in 1989)/ Knossos discovery trip
Very wet overnight. Hugh came with Rover in the morning expecting to find 5 jackers but instead we all went caving. The rain sort of held off and we went underground ~11.30 in semi-drizzle. I got very cold + wet at the 3rd pitch but got persuaded to carry on by Jared. Survey'd from arrow chamber (carbide mark on flake), to 'butcher' (ie. the pitch before Oubliette). Derigged the left hand route and dumped the rope below the 1st pitch.
T/U ~8 hours
Comp. 543693 Tina
Next LHR trip (in 1989)/ Derig to surface/ Previous trip
- MarkD, Juliette, Del, Jeremy
Jeremy wizzed off down to squeeze to detackle while Del descended 3rd to pull out Boris & Grandfather Marlow.
Mark D & Juliette stayed at 1st pitch to set up tackle hauling rig from bottom of 1st pitch/2nd pitch eyehole to ledge in 1st pitch.
All went v.smoothly & ended up with HUGE pile of tackle on ledge which Mark & Del pulled out.
Greased all bolts & finished detackling just as others arrived to carry rope off plateau.
T/U 4 hrs
Adam "It stays up forever when you're pissed"
+ Judy's involvement & georges photos (which weren't published) or developed !!!!!
P.S. Adam left early. Someone was sick in the men's bogs ?? - probably me.
[this last in a different handwriting - doesn't work in ascii :-( Ed.]
Eventually (after much fear !) down to the bottom of 2nd pitch to detackle, with Mark F on the surface with a whistle to inform me if any rain fell (after Hugh's epic the other day !!!). Detackled messily, but fairly quickly and without drowning !!! I am extremely relieved to finally get this cave detackled - I was beginning to have nightmares about continuous rain until the end of the week, and having to swim down the pitches !
Time U/G ~ 1 hr
Sorry forgot to write it up in its proper place. Jenny and me hurried to 147 thinking the others (ie. the re-tackling trip) would be finished. But no they hadn't gone underground when we got there. This was all to the good 'cos that meant there was no way we could go wrong - just follow the voices. Survey trip was nice and efficient. Detackling didn't take too long. Since I'm writing this afterwards I can say its a pity there's a compass error on all the figures 'cos I used a metal torch. This was the first female only trip. It was a really good trip in spite of the cave being a shitty one and comeing out with everything brown.
T/U ~ 7 hours I think !