Austria 2000

The first part of the log is traditionally taken up by the journey out.
If this is of no interest, here is a link to the caving!

2000-07-15 | Journey - The Incredible Journey | Duncan, Earl, Mark B

Up at 6.30 am. Finished packing. Drive to Sheffield (north from Chesterfield, grrr...) to pick up Mark, then down to Cambridge to fettle the trailer. Much banging, spannering, socket setting and angle grindering on Wook's new driveway later and we gave up with the intended fettle half done as it was going to be far too hard.

Went to the tackle store to pack. Humungous amount of shit, so Earl + I ran away to get more shit from Earl's house, leaving Mark to pack the trailer. Returned to find the trailer FULL, packed with a mountain of shit rising high above the level of the sides of the trailer. Unfortunately, there was still one and a half times as much stuff lying on the ground waiting to be packed.

Advanced trailer packing methods were clearly required so we constructed a palisade of full tackle sacks standing upright round the edge of the trailer, and then filled up the space in the middle, making a mound which rose up well above the height of the tackle bags (there should be a photo of this somewhere). Got Mark to perch on the edge of the back seat of the car, and stuffed gear in beyond him right up to the roof. Eventually everything was packed except one bag of onions (Earl + Mark both refused to have a bag of onions on their lap), and the connector for the lights on the trailer were less than 2 inches off the ground.

En-route to Dover, Mark realised that his passport was in a bag which we had carefully packed into the trailer. Fquit #1. Then Earl found the Tacklestore keys in his pocket. Fquit #2. So in Dover we had some Chish'n'fips and then team Einstein opened the trailer to rescue Mark's passport, then rang up Caius p'lodge to explain where the keys were, and posted them back.

Mark and Earl both enjoyed 15½ hours of driving across Europe; Earl couldn't move his feet and Mark couldn't move anything (in a traffic jam, we spotted some Germans pointing out Mark's face pressed against the window, and laughing), but did get to know whenever I used the indicators, as the buzzer was just behind his head.

Eventually we arrived and everything was alright. The plug on the trailer lights were only a bit ground down due to scraping on the autobahn. Into the Gasthof for Schnapps, food + bier, which did its stuff. Later we went back to the Gasthof again for a sesh, during the course of which I lost the ability to stand up and staggered around, to everyone's amusement, eventually falling over in the middle of the room.

2000-07-14 | Journey - The Fantastic Fiesta rides south ! | Phil U, Simon L

Drove from Lancs down to Cambridge, leaving at 1830, arriving 2230. Off to Tacklestore to be met with a huge pile of shite, destined for my car, which was clearly larger than the car itself. Standard unpack everything, and shove it back in carefully. Roof box fully loaded, requiring two people to close it while I locked it. A sound of muted creakings followed.

Drove down to Dover, and caught the 0245 ferry. Kipped for a bit, and drove to Hilda's.

Journey unremarkable bar -
a) Looney German driving
b) Phil's looney driving (didn't notice caravan)
c) Si's looney driving (couldn't decide whether to go off autobahn or not, so compromised, and aimed for the dividing bit).

All in all, a fairly dull journey.

2000-07-15 | Journey - Mark S, Martin fly to Expo | Mark S, Martin

Left central Cambridge at 05.15 on Saturday for Stansted. Good flight to Munich (Lufthansa, £84 return) & took bus to Munich rail station (25km from airport!) Arrival in Munich delayed us & we thought we'd missed the early train - but it was an hour late and so on we jumped! Got to Bad Aussee via Salzburg & Attnang Pucheim at 7pm. [~£30 quid return Munich <-> Bad Aussee]. Jumped on the last bus 7.05 and arrived at the door of Gasthof Staud'nwirt at 7.15. Put up tent, inspected Potato hut and retired to Hilde's for a fantastic meal of smoked pork ribs, sauerkraut and knödel. Oh, much Gösser was supped too. Met Phil + Si Lee when they arrived and drunk more Gösser. Got pissed. Went to bed. (25 Gössers drunk).

2000-07-16 | Base Camp - Base Camp | Mark S

+ others

Dunks + Earl + Mark roll up in the afternoon. Went and drunk Gösser in Hilde's, ate more spare ribs. Drunk more Gösser. Dunks was knackered so we left, but returned later to sup more. Dunks was wasted and failed to tell a (probably awful!) joke, and fell over an air conditioning unit. Once again we all got pissed and went to bed.

2000-07-18 | Base Camp - Taty hut fester | Duncan, Mark S

Well, right now most have gone to bed. Phil U is face down on the table. Mark B has just sliced his hand open trying to open a Gösser with another bottle, and MarkS has got peanut butter all over his trousers. Duncan (your scribe) is surprisingly conducting himself with considerable decorum.

PS. Mark B is OK, now that he has had his hand plastered by the equally plastered Phil, supposedly Dr. Phil. Hopefully I can go caving tomorrow. Mark.

2000-07-19 | Base Camp - Piss up. Again. | Duncan, Simon F, Mark S, Earl, Phil, Martin

Had several Gössers and then wobbled across the road to ask about the fridge and sample some schnapps. Couldn't decide which schnapps to try so we had one of each (large ones!) all round. Yum. Then Hilde gave us a big mug of Jagetee, which had such alcoholic vapours rising from it that it could be lit. Polished off the schnapps and Jagetee, then hit the Gössers. Back to the Taty hut for more. I gave up early and went to bed, but the inebriated revelry carried on until 5:30 am.

N.B. we need to remember to pick up the bill. And ask about the fridge....

Thu 20th Estimated number of beers supped: 176 (about 20 gallons = 2 barrels)

2000-07-21 | 204 -Steinbrückenhöhle. | Duncan, Simon F, Martin

Went to rig Steinbrückenhöhle. Had enough rope to rig most of the cave. Found much more snow at the foot of 1st pitch - massive snow slope leading down to head of 2nd, burying the spits. 2nd pitch appears to be several metres shorter than last year, and it looked unlikely that there would be any way on at the bottom. Looked at the traverse to the right, and figured that it would probably be easy with the drill. Bolts placed for the traverse would also allow a descent of the second so figured there was no point expending effort digging out the existing bolts or placing new ones, so left.

Remembered a hole I'd noticed last year about 10m away from 204b. Went to have a look.

TU ½ hour

Thought that we might get lucky and find a way into 204. Didn't, but found a pleasant little cave. Explored + surveyed perhaps 70m, with a handful of uninspiring QMs left for tomorrow....

TU 5 hour (?)

2000-07-22 | 231 - Traungoldhöhle | Duncan, Simon L

Went to worry a boulder that was blocking a draughting crawl heading towards 204. Initially acting alone, I pulled out all the gravel and small rocks around the boulder in question to find a small rock chocking it in place. Wiggled the chockstone until it came out, which allowed the boulder to be rocked. Repeatedly rocked the boulder back, scraping out gravel from beneath it before dropping the rock back down. Thus was the boulder gradually lowered to allow a squeeze over the top which I didn't fancy attempting without some backup.

Went in search of folks to come play. Found a surveying party, and stole Si L. Mendip las Si shot through the squeeze like a greased weasel. There was an alcove on the other side and between us we manoeuvred the boulder into it to clear the way. Down a climb, then a very loose tube at 45 degrees and another two climbs down led to a solid choke. Daylight was visible above the 45 degree choss tube, and we climbed out to the surface. Also connected another branch of the cave to the stone bridge after which Steinbrücken is named, via the hole in the boulder floor.

TU 3 hours (?)

2000-07-23 | 40 - Eishole | Olly, Dave H, Fay, Martin

Walked to Eishole with our kit, set off rather late in the afternoon so it was getting rather dark when we found a cave to dump our kit. Did a bit of Bunde bashing to find the main Eishole entrance. Followed a marked path to within a few hundred metres of the Top Camp path. At this point got very lost and spent several hours Bunde bashing to get to the path.

2000-07-21 | Journey - Julia, Anthony drive to Expo | Julia, Anthony

Date given as 21-24th July

Left Durham on Friday afternoon, drove for a couple of minutes, then realised we were minus one European Road Atlas. Doh! Fetched that and drove to Anthony's house. Watched his sister get married, drank wine, drank champagne(?), ate lots of party food. Later, ate more food + drank Black Sheep, then went home + drank Bunny. The next morning, Anthony drove to Austria...

Lots of tedious traffic near London, but made it to Dover in time to catch an earlier ferry (9.30). Kipped out somewhere in Belgium. Got up and drive here. That's it really. There was a bit of an error at a German petrol station, where Anthony told me to get DM 250 out of a cash machine "just to see if my card worked" before realising that he meant a slightly smaller number of marks, meaning me to get a tenner out of the cash point, rather than 100 quid! Anyone need any Deutsch marks ?

2000-07-27 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Dunks, Anthony

Had sesh in taty hut night before. Awoke early, breakfasted and went up the hill with drill and battery. Had had problems with battery - when we tested it out the previous day, it was utterly dead. In the morning it mysteriously worked. Oh well....

At top camp, spent ages repacking 200m of 11mm rope into one HUGE tacklesack. Christened the rope 'Fat Freddy'. Took turns carrying Fat Freddy up to 204. Arrived knackered about 2:30. We seemed to have used up all our energy and enthusiasm and so sat around for ages.

Eventually went underground at 6:15. Drill was an utter twat, and would only work if the cable from the battery was held at a particular angle, so the drill could only be used if an assistant was less than a cable's length away. Rigged an alternative pitch which bypasses You're So Veined and the next 2 pitches. A fine hang which is straight down the middle of a big shaft. Think we'll call it 'Pot U Like'.

TU 6½

2000-07-28 | Journey - Andy A, Julian + Becka drive to Expo | Andy A, Julian + Becka

Julian + I set off yesterday from Liverpool after a fine Green Fish lunch. Down to Bill's house near Oxford. Dumped the car + Andy A picked us up + we stuffed all our crap on top of all his crap and his two bikes. Missed our 9.30 pm ferry, got the 10.45 one + off on the traditional Dunkirk, Mons, Namur, Luxembourg, Pirmasens route. Then cocked up + ended up going on #7 to Ulm then finally hitting München. Andy A & I driving, both far too old for this lark, swopping every couple of hours and very fuzzy heads. Did the non-motorway route to Salzburg + wandered feebly round but finally escaped. Arrived ~ 6.30pm to find a load of pissed cavers who'd had their trip to see the Austrian cavers postponed until tomorrow but, having come down the hill on the run, had decided they'd better have a sesh anyway...

[There follows one of those illegible scrawls that periodically appear in Expo logbooks when someone gets very pissed indeed. This one is more illegible than most and my thanks go to Wookey for translating it. WebEditor]


Fucking Pissed.

Fought Dour.


punched him. - didn't mean to.

I'm sorry But I'll go home if it is terminally wrong.

I think it is.

I really don't know why this happened.

Background: Biers at Hildes. I wanted to go to bed because it was going round in circles. I thought in my pissed way that I wasn't allowed, punched Dour. Ricoched off onto Tony. Didn't mean to. Went to bed. Then woke up to hear voices. Thought (in my own pissed way) that I was being criticised for dropping out of the conversation about way.

Oaths. Went back into Taty hut. Had Argument with Dour that I didn't understand. Next bit I don't remember for fear of being sued.

Very sorry.

Go home tomorrow. Life Finished.


2000-07-21 | 195 - Driver diver | Phil, Earl

Finally went caving after vast quantities of beer and festering. Tootled up to 195, and had a think about rigging it. Finally got around to rigging it, and I dropped the driver down the hole. Bum. Rigged everything off naturals instead. Earl went down first, and found the driver and a small hole. I went down to have a look, declared the hole too small, and sent Earl down it. It didn't go.

2000-07-27 | 204 - 204 | Phil, Mark B, Martin

Mark B starts:

Thursday morning we left top camp at 9.05 and surface surveyed in the rain. By the afternoon everyone else turned up. I went with Mark B and Phil to 110 a day. I raced Mark B to take off our SRT kit so Phil would take it along 110 a day in a tackle bag, where he would rig the pitch QM 16A. Unfortunately I won. Mark B and I went down the crawl QM 11C, leaving the sediment-filled chamber with only one footprint. The crawl energed in a walking sized junction. Mark predicted a pitch to the left, which miraculously turned out to be one. After initial excitement and the usual stone throwing, we explored to the left going into a hole in the floor and followed small passages based around a fault line. We did some surveying to the pitch, where we saw Si and Si walk past the top of the pitch and thus it was identified as Pendulum. I decided to go out with them as Phil was planning to go on all night. Unfortunately my SRT kit was the other end of 110 a day, I had a light failure (as is now standard), and on the way back to thread I took a wrong turning down either 12C or 13C which went quite a distance looking quite like 110 a day before I realised my mistake. This led to Simon Flower waiting an hour for me (whoops). But Si Lee and Brian had food for us when we got back. Phil meanwhile finished rigging the pitch and descended....

Phil takes over:

Having rigged the pitch-head off one natural, one bolt and an iffy deviation (using an MR - crab provision failure), I lobbed down, and put another deviation and a rebelay in. Meanwhile, Mark was cooling down from the 110 a day slog. At the bottom, there was a small hole, about the same size as me. Took all my gear off (including carbide, which was now dead). Spent 10 minutes going through the small bit to get to a very small chamber, with a much-too-tight rift leading off it. Eventually managed to turn round, and spent 20 minutes going 2 metres through the squeeze on the way out. It was not very nice. Spent another 10 minutes getting my breath back, and left, derigging as I went. Gave the tackle bastard to Mark, and left the cave, steaming up the pitches. Waited for about 2 hours under the stone bridge, and went back to top camp, arriving 4:40 am. Lovely. Only got lost twice.

2000-07-26 | 40 - Eishöhle -poking | Mark S, Dave H, Olly, Fay

T/U 3 hrs

Walked to Eishöhle from the car park. Eventually arrived without incident at 40a (the large entrance with the plaque). Earl had helped carry gear up, so Olly went back with him to Top Camp, inadvertantly discovering the correct path to Bunter's Bulge from the Appelhaus turning on the way. Meanwhile, Dave, Mark and Fay poked around the row of entrances terminating at 40e. Went down one of the two large entrances back from 40e (the one with a rubble slope leading in - old French bivvy site we think).

This terminated in a shaft of say 20m. New ARGE survey stations visible (May 2000). Turns out this entrance is "Nichts 50". Then we looked down a hole further back still, thus:

<graphic to add>

Short passage ends at a 4m pitch. Decided to return the next day to bolt it.

2000-07-27 | 40 - Eishöhle | Mark S, Dave H, Olly, Fay

T/U 6 hrs

Mark and Dave returned with drill to bolt 4m pitch; descended into chamber. Despite the good draught felt at the pitchhead the source of it in the large rubble-filled chamber could not be found. Loose scramble to the top of the rubble slope; no way on found. Olly and Fay found a hole down through the rubble but abandoned it after a few metres as it was too unstable.

Whilst Olly and Fay were poking here, Mark + Dave went to the large entrance with a snow-slope leading in (see picture to left [above on web page, ed.]). At the bottom a snow-floored tube leads downwards; the floor soon turns to solid ice. Dave placed a bolt at the top. The draught was fierce, and bitterly cold. Frozen, Dave retreated to let Mark have the pleasure of sliding down the icy tube. It turns out, despite the initial investigation suspecting a pitch that it is just an ice slope which enlarges to a fairly large rift where one can get off the rope (35m rope used). Mark shouted up to Dave to descend and then noticed a strange murmuring sound. Shouted again and heard a large echo. Strolled out into Schneevulkanhalle, emerging from behind the "elephant" formation.

(Thus this entrance is 40h - shown in the wrong place on the survey - we'll resurvey it this year).

Had a quick look around and then popped out for some lunch and to get the others.

When all four were in SVH we inspected the icefall next to the rubble slope which needed investigation. Olly started to bolt up the wall. Mark and Dave went to investigate the "low (wet!) passage just to the right of Elephantengang pitch" (as described by Wookey). Dave attempts to lower the water level in the crawl under the wall but Mark decided to go for it and slid through. The crawl is almost flat-out but is very short; it emerges into an ice-floored chamber with a rock-floored rift leading off and up. This leads to a complex series of rifts and upward-sloping planes. The passage leads to the top of the icefall coming into SVH between the wet crawl and the POV slope. From here further passages lead off and one tube, with a pristine earthen floor, leads via a small section to a canyon. This ends abruptly half-way up a shaft. The shaft is probably 20-30m and almost 6-8m diameter. A stack of four rocks was noticed where the canyon hits the pitch. - maybe a cairn?? If so it was probably placed by someone descending the pitch, as the route to the the pitch appeared never to have been passed along before. Went back to SVH where Olly's done about 2/3 of the bolting up. People were cold so out we went, to return in due course with surveying gear and a recharged drill battery. At least we now known for sure where entrance 40h is!

2000-07-30 | Loser Plateau - Surface wandering on Hinter | Wook, Andy A

Went up to col to survey 96-02,03,04 to Hinter.

Fixed VD1 en route & 161a (VD1 alt: 1774, 161a alt: 1795)

Moved 161a tag from rigging bolt to P161a (red spot above painted number).

Then walked up ridge to 'PLUS', a plus-marked cave found on '96 walk (Wook, Wads, JulianT. Tagged as '2000-02'.

GPSed as '2000-02', alt 1803m, fom 5.4.

Then on to 96-04. Gave Andy GPS and let him find cave with it - he walked right to it - so it can work, even with pre-2000 fixes.

Re-GPSed 96-02, 96-03, 96-04

Surveyed from 96-02 -> 96-03 -> 96-04 then towards Hinter. Found one horizontal cave en-route. Tagged as '2000-03'.

Tube about 1.5 x 1.0m which goes for about 25m to a 2nd entrance which is blocked by a rock. Included this on survey, did sketch & continued. Had to stop when it went dark, threaded through bunde off front of Hinter & followed Steinbrücken path back (reflectors are handy). Only missed call-out by 10 mins.

2000-07-31 | 40 - Eishöhle - POV | Wook, Andy A, Fay, *Bob

Slogged with gear over to 40. Bumped into Mark S, Olly, Dave H party going down. Slow start due to waiting for it to stop raining meant we went underground at about 2:45. In lovely new Eistunnel entrance - great fun. Went in with 100m rope + various bits to improve rigging. Fettled Up, Up, & put handlines on Angle of Dangle climb. Fay went down 40-03 and found it went down about 6m to where it split into 2 too-tight passages. Bob went up 40-04 - climbed about 8m up to where it was entirely choked. Went down pitches, fettling rigging a bit & bolted tight QM at bottom 40-10. Fay went down hole to drop 8m to next level. Wook followed. Andy A tried but had a bit of an epic, got stuck for a while. Meanwhile Wook went down tight slot another 5m to next level where rift was hamster-sized along entire length, so that was that ! Others above relieved to hear they didn't need to come down. Wook struggled back out of bottom slot & then both escaped, Andy A derigging to top of Eiscream where we checked 40-... which goes to a pitch, so left gear for next time. Actually, left in Bob's sack - oops! Out in 2 hours so now rather late for call-out, so Wook & Andy came back via col whilst Fay & Bob went via their gear @ 40a & the Stogerweg. W & A were back faster than they expected in 50 mins, at 11.30, the others got somewhat lost & rolled back in at 2:30 am.

T/U : 7 hrs

2000-08-01 | Loser Plateau - More surface stuff | Wook, Andy A

Andy couldn't face caving so we went to finish off Hinter survey & go down to base at noon. Took rather longer than we intended - got down about 7pm!

Showed Ol lower route to col. Stopped for ½ hour to document small cave '2000-04' about 40m from 145. It's a descending joint-controlled cave about 10m long, choked at end/bottom. Tagged '2000-04', GPSed (Wook & Ol) Photoed (Julian T camera), surveyed & drawn.

At VD1 Andy fettled bunde a bit whilst Wook looked for WK5 & 6. GPS location was about 50m out, so it took half an hour or so. Once found, WK6 was tagged 'WOOK6' & photoed. WK5 was photoed but as Andy started bolting the hammer head fell off, down the cave & through the hole too miserable to do without gear! So it's not yet tagged! Survey from WK5 -> WK6 -> 205 (Nordalpenhöhle) (located by GPS). Couldn't change tag there from CUCC99-BO-01 to 205 as no spanner - damn. Photoed.

Then 'followed' survey data to nearby shaft with pre-drilled spit hole & put in tag - called it '1999-10' to be sure of a free ID. Talking to Brian there is >50m of passage so it needs a real survey.

Finally, headed off to Hinter to connect unfinished survey (96-02,3,4) to Hinter, then back via SteinB path. Noted several holes that need designations. Big Hole, 2 big rifts, another shaft & nearby horizontal low-arched cave (visible from TC). These must all have been checked before, but until they get numbers it will keep happening. Only had < 1l water all day between us so tired on return. And now its 1:53 am & I've agreed to get up at 7:00 to go caving.....

2000-07-30 | 161 - 161D - Regurgitation I | Becka, Julian

T/U 3 hours

Regurgitation. No-one tempted to come with us to 161d. Quite lonesome. Rigged the surface walk and rebuilt the cairns (could do with some lessons). Weather was so shit and rainy we decided to get changed just inside the entrance where the wind freezes your fingers. My carbide was not working at all, so used crappy electric on pilot. Not surprisingly it ran out by the time we got to Regurge. Very pissed off after all that walking in the rain. Dumped tackle near the way on, left SRT gear at top of Regurge pitch, climbed out and walked back in the fog.

2000-07-31 | 161 - 161D - Regurgitation II
| Becka, Mike TA, Julian

T/U 7 hours

Spent the morning (in the freezing fog) getting help to fettle my carbide. The tube and the pipe in the generator were completely packed with soggy 'bide. Brian fixed this by whipping it against the ground & probing the generator with a fork prong. Mike TA had poked in Regurge some years ago with Tina and found no way on, so was curious. (I had found way on with Mark Sh. last year, but it was not properly pushed). The lead goes out of the chamber behind a rock opposite the pitch through a scrotty hole which drops you straddling over a deep rift. In spite of its free-climbability I was out-voted and they put a handline along it and used the 2 bolts already there to rig the pitch. Halfway down you step into a rift, follow it into a tight squeeze and drop into another streamway rift where the climb down caused more complaints. Mike put a rope in while I followed upstream along the floor (as I'd done the previous year when lost & following Becka's howls at the pitch in Roomination) into a void underneath the boulders of Regurge where there were a couple of loose boulders. I pulled some of them down and climbed round to the bottom of Room. pitch and brought Becka in by that route. We scooted along the stream to a tight bit in the water which Mike didn't fit through. We backed up and traversed higher through the rift and climbed down to the same spot (on the other side of the tight bit) and reached a pitch. One natural and one bolt by me while they surveyed a bit got us to a ledge below, then a crap bolt used as a deviation over a sharp rock into a wet v. drippy aven. Mike freeclimbed down and up while I bolted (the deviation) and said a rope would help. Very splashy. Round the corner another pitch in narrow rift where I sat and bunged in two bolts either side while the others surveyed out. The perch of my bum on the cold rock nearly caused a spontaneous shit. As it was I managed to hold it in only until the end of Mohr-im-Hemd. Becka whinged about 'Black Suspender' [Editor's note - this is not actually the place called Black Suspender - some confusion by the authors] but was getting used to it. The rain had completely cleared outside so Mike decided to leave his gear at the entrance and come back tomorrow. But he washed his hair and left in the middle of the night to walk back down to base camp because somebody had smelly feet in the tent. My other electric failed too. And I ripped a huge hole in the bum of my oversuit.

2000-08-01 | 161 - 161D Regurgitation III | Julian, Becka

BECKA: No date given for this trip in the digital log book - have given it the date after the last trip to Regurgitation since I went caving elsewhere on the 2nd and 3rd

T/U 8 hours

Someone brought a club light up for me so I could cave without light failure for once, which would be good with only two of us. We had to be careful to not spook each other all alone miles away from where anyone else was caving without any proper cavers (eg. Wookey) around to dispell the irrational fear. I'd had nightmares about 'Suspender' [see note in previous write-up - Webeditor]. The trip went without incident save for rigging the next pitch (the one I'd put 2 bolts in for yesterday) with a too short rope at first. This required a deviation to get out of the water and a rebelay from a ledge. The rock was all bright and crunchy sharp like flapjack - exactly the sort of cave I hate because its the kind which stonks right down to 500m without doing anything interesting.

Next "pitch" was a sling hang off a boulder down 3m. Then the next pitch rigged as a Y-hang from 2 bolts on the same wall. It was cold and wet. The series could be called 'Irrigation'. Splashed along the stream a couple of metres till it went through the floor again and we reached a window into a vast aven and pitch with more water coming from the right and the space continuing to the left. Now out of rope so we surveyed out and derigged to the entrance thinking that no-one would be interested enough to come back this year.

Survey first leg unreadable, the deepest leg of a miserable survey.

2000-07-31 | 204 - [I assume this is 204, Webeditor] | Earl, Julia, Brian

Me a bit pissed. Brian went first, then Brian, then me. It was harder than last year 'cos of all the snow + stuff. The 2nd pitch is a snow plug, so you go through a tube which isn't nice backwards. Then down. One of the leads was shite, well it needed gear anyway. It looked bigger than where we were. Me n Earl surveyed the shite bit. One of the leads was good. I too tired so I went out, yes, I jacked. Earl went to find Brian & waited a long time (~¾hour) for AJD to rebolt the pitch. Then I went back to my pit. The end.

2000-08-02 | 40 - Eishöhle | Wookey, Fay

Back to POV. On way in Fay stuffed herself down 1999-40-06, which I had previously declared too tight. Climbing down onto a shelf leads to a short pitch (10m?) into quite a large space, but it doesn't draught, and she had to take her gear off to get back out. So better put it back on QM list.

Then went to top of Eiscream & dropped 1999-04, 08, 09 (actually the same QM). This went down about 15m in narrow canyon that got too tight near the bottom. Water can be heard at one end, but not seen. Did a quick drawing, derigged & left. Fay got to spend ages stuffing 30m of PMI into a tacklesack - ridiculous stuff - but good for dropping pitches with no rigging worth mentioning.

Next went up at 1st junction in North Utsira, alleged not to go last year by both Becka & Simon Flower, but found by Andy last trip to go significantly. This is where most of the wind in N.U. is coming from.

Surveyed to the chamber where lots of passages join, but ran out of time to do more. Slogged out with all the gear. After we got changed it started raining as it went dark, the thunder & lightning getting closer. The walk back turning into an extremely miserable experience slogging through the driving rain surrounded by lightning flashes. Got turned around in the gulley up to 163 (very confusing place in crap weather) but worked it out after a bit of wandering. Found that waterproof wasn't & got soaked to the skin & very cold. Fay was knackered so it took 1½ hrs back to TC. Couldn't find start of upper route near VD1 it was so shit, so used Wook alternative instead, which fortunately went OK. I haven't had such a thoroughly miserable experience for years - getting into a warm pit & having noodles brought by Fay was glorious. Bloody rain even had the gall to stop 10 mins after we got back!

T/U 7½ hrs

P.S. Couple of ropes left rigged: backup for 'Hooked on Classics' - 10m & c 18 afterwards (~15m + hanger (twist IIRC))

2000-08-03 | 40 - Eishöhle bits and bobs | Wook, Andy A, Mike TA

Dinner day so a slack trip in order.

Sorted out 188, 99OB03 & 99OB04 (right by lower TC) & marked them. Tags needed.

Then went to Eishöhle with Mike (taking his gear). En-route we fettled a few things:

Put a spit in 145b (not at previous stations)
Put a spit in at WK5
Put a spit in at 163. Unfortunately fixed point was under snow so used a new location.
Put a spit in at 'H88...' the 80's cave downslope from 163 in the gulley (may be Schwarzblatthöhle?)

Did all these as we were carrying the drill.

Finally, got to Eishöhle & showed Becka & Brian which ents were which & how to label them:

40e Brennerbeselschluf: 1623/40e
(Small ent. ignored)
Next ent (low, wide) 'CUCC 2000-05' - need to see if it connects (now: 215)
40h Eistunnel: '1623/40h'
'Nichts 50': 'CUCC 2000-06' (now 216)
Cave at bottom of snow cwm with spit 'CUCC 2000-07' (now 217)

Whilst we got changed, Mike realised we weren't going back via TC - no-one had told him so he had no pit! He resolved to have a short look-see trip & then go back & meet us at the car-park, despite having come via a circuitous route bolting above caves. We wished him luck and gave him a GPS !

Surveyed Eistunnel entrance to new bolt, went to Grüner eingang & rigged up-pitch with proper rope & bolts, tried to dig G.E. out (it is still under 2-3m of snow, but a chink of light could be seen) & left a 7m rope at pitch into 'old cave' before coming out.

For the 2nd time in 2 days it started raining as we left the cave & soon was a full thunderstorm. Got soaked to the skin again in the 57 mins walk back.

All the paths were brown rivers flowing into shakeholes - I have never seen it like that before ! Parts of path were ankle-deep - remarkable. Back for dinner with perfect timing.

T/U 3 hrs.

2000-08-02 | 161 - 161D | Becka, Bill + *Sharon

T/U 3 hours

161D tourist trip to Staudn'wirt Palace, looked at top of ladder climb then along Triassic to look at Fear-on Traverse, top of Knossos + Spatial Awareness. Removed the last candles from the Guillotine + pootled out. Took the 2 tacklesacks of ex-Regurgitation gear + Mike TA's kit back to Top Camp along with the 2 surface handlines, V. hot work in the belting sun.

2000-07-31 | 40 - Eishöle | Dave H, Mark S, Olly

TU 5½hrs

Eishöle - split into two parties. Olly continued to bolt up the ice waterfall whilst Mark and Dave went to survey the "Night Manipulations" series. The attempt to reduce the water in the entrance crawl by chipping a drainage channel with an ice axe has worked to some extent as there was much less water - you still get wet though.

Surveyed only the main line - side passages / ? still need doing. Stopped at the really narrow bit, cos both Mark & Dave were freezing and Dave didn't like the tight bit. Mark went through as far as the big pitch & confirmed by talking to Andy A who was exploring POV that the pitch was one of the parallel shafts at Radio 3.

Went back to main chamber to find Olly just about finished bolting, but run out of hangers so Dave prussiked up, removing one of the now redundant ones used lower on the bolt climb.

Olly rigged to the top to find a further short climb up the ice; then a 20-30m pitch down. It might also be possible to traverse up & over the pitch. Having run out of tackle we came out.

2000-08-01 | 40 - Eishöle | Olly, Mark S, Dave H

TU 6 hrs (less for Mark)

Olly to continue rigging the pitch series down from the ice climb, Dave H & Mark to survey it, Mark not very enthusiastic.

Olly: Rigged 90m rope down 25m pitch down side of big icicle, then down ice ramp. No idea whats to come, or how many holes the drill will do, so just one bolt + 3 naturals. Bottom of ramp leads to icy pool which narrows to an unpleasant crux ("Francohydrophobia") which appears to be where the french turned back. Given the draught (which blows ripples in the pool) and the knowledge that 136 lay not far away I forced my way through, then along a short crawl with gloopy sediment floor to a rifty pitch with 2½+ second drop. Back through pool to get 56m rope, then mimimal rigging down pitch to choked bottom. Back up, through window and down to just about reach floor with available rope. Crawl leads to large aven-ed chamber. Out of time so returned to find concerned Dave on ice ramp pitch.

[a page or so of rigging guide for Regurgitation not yet scanned]

2000-07-31 | 204 - 204 | Mick, Dunks

[This trip to rig rest of Ariston to the pushing front was apparently successful (see next day) but never written up, Webeditor]

2000-07-31 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Anthony

TU 4 hrs

Plan was for Mick and Dunks to rig rest of Ariston Series whilst I sorted out the rigging on Stitch This (the new way into the top of Thread pitch) then follow them down and push the bottom. By the time I'd finished bunging in an extra bolt and undoing the knot at the rebelay (which took 20 mins) it wasn't worth following them, so I buggered off out.

2000-08-01 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Dunks, Mick, Anthony

TU 10 hrs

Dunks and Mick had rigged to the pushing front the day before, so we planned to push the big pitch lead at the bottom of Ariston. Bombed down the Ariston Series, which is very nice apart from the last pitch which is loose and nasty. There are two holes at the bottom which connect to the same shaft. Dunks dropped one of these last year to land on a soggy ledge overlooking a 10m diameter shaft with a 3s drop. Plan was to bolt the other hole in the hope of missing the ledge. Much wibbling at the exposure, and eventually Mick got kitted up with the drill. 1½ holes later the battery packed in. I banged in a hand bolt and descended to a place for a hang bolt. From here we were obviously going to land on a ledge ~20m down - almost certainly the same ledge Dunks reached by the other route last year. Hand bolting on a wet exposed ledge not being our idea of fun, we pulled the rope out and went to look at the other pitch lead at the bottom of Ariston which looked much more friendly. Pitch starts as a narrowish hading rift, and stones lobbed down rattled a bit - we estimated it at 20m. Rigged off a couple of naturals and headed down a little way to where the pitch becomes more vertical. Rocks lobbed down from here seemed to go further than 20m. Mick went down and found the least shit bit of rock for a bolt, went further down and put another one in, then Dunks had a go. By the time we packed in Dunks had descended about 30m, could see a further ~30m of pitch to a ledge with a big black hole in. Could be quite a big one, but is fairly friendly in that it doesn't feel exposed.

2000-08-02 | Loser Plateau - Surface Bimble looking for 187 & 192 | Earl & Anthony

Walked to 161a and then up onto the ridge to the Hinter to look for 187, which is allegedly marked "CUCC 90". Wandered around for yonks, lots of Bunde bashing and falling over, but couldn't find any such cave. We have one bearing off the Nase and one off the central peak of the Dachstein. Assuming the bearing off the Nase is right, the area to search is very small indeed because you can only just see the Dachstein from the very top of the ridge at that point. The most likely candidate is a hole which could reasonably be described as a "5m climb down in a nearly vertical bedding plane" (which is really jointing). However, there is no paint (however hard we tried, we couldn't persuade any of the pink bits of lichen to spell CUCC 90) and the 1990 log describes the cave as being by an isolated patch of bunde on a slab. Our hole is in the middle of loads of Bunde and therefore it probably isn't 187.

Gave up and went to 161c to look for 192 which is allegedly ~100m away. Wandered around for 1½ hours but couldn't find it. There's quite a bit of snow on that side of the hill, so it might be covered over.

2000-08-05 | 40 - Eishöhle - mission impossible | Wook, Andy A, Michael Allen, Becka

Walked up from base camp as it was not raining for a change. Mike & Becka (who set off first) were nowhere to be seen - they'd got sidetracked onto the Schwabenschacht track & turned up about an hour after us, very pissed off :-) Both even more dismayed to find soggy undersuits!

Went off down Mission Impossible to survey it. Left Mike rerigging up-pitch to remove rubs. Moved deviation of p25 (Good afternoon Mr. Phelps) & start of next sloping pitch (off floor). Wet pool not quite as bad as we had been led to believe, but still not great. Put in a couple of rocks to allow a reasonably dry passage. Laughed at the extraordinary spider-web of rigging on big pitch ( [blank where name ought to have been inserted, Ed.] ) and re-rigged (as we had drill) with a traverse & new rebelay. Rope didn't reach so we used old rope for bottom part. Wook & Becka did tape/plumb parts of survey down pitch.

Very impressive pitch. Traverse across top may lead to somewhere different - needs checking. 20m down it narrows & then chokes - continues through narrow connecty bit to enter side of another big shaft - possible ways on on other side.

At bottom wind comes out of low passage & into low one, blocked by rocks after a few feet (could be dug). Surveyed this horiz. passage after running around quite extensive horizontal development, and pulling 100m rope out of streamway, where it was rigging a 6m pitch. Mike went out as he was very cold. Becka stuck it out & was pleased to prussik out with 100m rope to warm up. Wook & Andy finished off survey up pitches, derigging old rope en-route. Left with 100m rigged on a traverse ready to go down pitch. Good trip. Nice bit of cave - but where the hell is the connection hidden ?

T/U = 8½ hrs

2000-08-06 | 40 - Eishöhle - Plus surface work | Wook, Michael Allen, Andy A, Olly, Mark S

Tagged WK2 & WK3 as '1996, 1623/207' '1996 1623/208' respectively, whilst drying out Mike's kit (Wook's tent leaks and so does his plastic bag).

Then had more tea & went to Eishöhle. Surveyed the 2000-05 ent. with Mike whilst Andy fettled camera gear. Found another small entrance directly above & surveyed to that too (needs tagging). Ol & Mark S arrived (Ol having tried to fall down 40B).

Eventually got underground at 4pm after watching massive thunderstorm off to NE. Photoed Elephant, SVH & Mission Impossible as far as the pool (6" lower than yesterday!)

Ol found bashed knee too bad for caving (got as far as 1st pitch) so he & Mark S surveyed ents on to 40a - which revealed 60m error in old VfHO surface survey, moving potential connection pt. about 50m further up Elin Algor away from the Theatre.
T/U:Wook, Mike:4 hrs
Andy A:3½ hrs
Mark S, Olly:½ hr.

2000-08-06 | 204 - 204 | Duncan, Mick, Mike TA, Mark B

Went to 204 for push down 2 pitches. En-route met Becka who was very excited at having found a new cave (turns out Brian + Earl found same cave about a week earlier). Strolled to 204 via Becka's cave and a cave noted by Duncan, Mick & Anthony last week. At stone bridge, discoverd that Animal + Mark hadn't got a bolting kit or any spits or hangers. This immediately scuppered half the trip and ultimately led to a complete Jack.

In the end, Duncan, Mark & Animal did surface survey from 204 to new entrance, and preliminary investigation of both holes.

2000-08 (not tagged yet) TAGGED

Short pitch (~6m) from chossy naturals leads to large (~4m wide) unroofed passage. Uphill leads to rift, which is choked (corresponding to nearby choked surface rift). Downhill passes a wedged rock to a climb down onto a snowbank. Right is blind, left descends and leads to a blind pit with a too-tight continuation (looks diggable though), with a big echo.

2000-09 (not tagged yet) TAGGED

Horizontal entrance slopes downhill for about 20m, passing beneath skylight and passing a crawl to the left. The crawl leads to a small chamber, where there are two ways on. Left becomes too small, straight ahead has not been pushed but is a crawl.

Back in the entrance passage, at the bottom of the slope there is a wriggle up over rubble into a chamber. From here, the obvious way on is a ~15m pitch, but there is a possible crawl above this (doesn't look promising). At foot of pitch, in large rift passage, a crawl on the left leads to a small chamber. From the chamber to the left leads for ~15 metres before turning left and becoming too tight. Straight ahead, a crawl reaches a junction, with a continuation upwards to the left, straight ahead and to the right, none of which have been pushed. To the right is a further unpushed crawl.

Back in the rift chamber, an exposed (but easy looking) ascending traverse has not been pushed; there is a short climb down, after which a climb up is blind, and the continuing descent passes a narrow point before entering an ascending traverse in a rift which leads to a chamber some 5m above the floor; this chamber has not been entered.

TU 2 (Dunks + Mick)

[sketch survey]

2000-08-07 | Base Camp - Cycle up the toll road | Becka

Toll booth -> water butt at Bergrestaurant a bit under 70 min, even overtook someone + it included ~4 stops on the way up to uncrick my back as Andy's bike was all the wrong size for me. Bloody cold + slow on the way down, wet road. Brian only took an hour to get up earlier in Expo.

2000-08-08 | 161 - 'The Connection trip' | Wook, Andy A

Becka & Bob went in Eishöhle, Wook & Andy went in KH to Elin Algor via Stairway to Hell. The idea was to shout at each other & work out where the pitches connect so we could go down the right one.

Went via Eishöhle to collect our gear and slog over to 161d - which is on just about the same level as Eishöhle but you have to go a few hundred metres up & down to get there of course. Took an hour to get to 161d. Ol & Thilo doing surface walk went past as we were just going in. Trundled through Scarface, Brownie's Cunt & Rocky Horror. Rigged pitch very badly & bodged our way down (SRT gear packed in bags for going through Stairway to Hell) Did this. Had to bail 2" out of puddle to get in, but the choke itself was OK - the more you do it the less likely to all fall in it seems&ellip;

Climbed down into Elin Algor & went to look at pitch (1996-161-82C). 6m climb up (3-4m above the head-sized window) gives access to the pitch. Wook went in a bit whilst Andy went to look for leads further down towards the Theatre. Pitch turned out to be 14m deep with a 2" slot at the bottom - bum.

Andy found that 1996-161-94C (hole through rocks at Tirolia Werke junction) didn't go. He also found an interesting large skeleton (about the size of a small rabbit?) and loads of climbs up into the rift, none of which went anywhere except the roof. Everything was proddled, including going back to stick Wook into the tiniest bits - nothing. The stream sink at the start of T.W. was checked by the man with the TSA (Wook) - blocked by rocks (84C). Next tried going North East. Passage on R just after pitch gives access to roof 20m above pitch & there is a further way into ceiling on SE side, but too hard for us. Looked at impressive aven on R & shinned up traverse until it closed down. Also checked lead (ramp) above chamber at NE end of E.A. Goes 10-15m but is just a solution dead-end. Now tired & dispirited, so went out. Gear incredibly filthy & several kilos heavier than on the way here (which was already 'bloody heavy'). Carried it all back as far as junction with TC->Eishöhle route then went back via TC, getting rained on for walk down.

13½ hours tatty hut to tatty hut, over 12 hours almost solid effort for a 5½ hr caving trip - driving up, walking up, carrying gear, rigging in, exploring, derigging, carrying gear, walking back, driving back makes for an awful lot of 'overhead' & work. We were both shagged. (Surface survey to connect p161d to new tag).

T/U 5 hrs 40 mins

2000-08-02 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible | *Bob, Olly

Went up from base camp so didn't have a chance to get any survey instruments. Wookey had a set, but wanted to survey + derig POV so just took my pocket compass. Added a couple of deviations to big pitch to avoid rubs - not enough rope for anything else. Poked around chamber at bottom. Crawl off other side leads to a small chamber - very soily. Draught can be felt on entry, but unclear where it comes from. Bob found way down into stream canyon from 1st chamber which has a few avens and an on-going awkward serpentine stream canyon. Nothing conclusive but at least we have some leads. Did pocket compass + pace / body length survey and left before FX5 ran out. T/U 7 hours.

2000-08-08 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible | Becka + *Bob

T/U 8 hours

Down Eishohle, rerigged bottom pitch on naturals + started surveying down sandy crawl to final chamber. Then ran off as 2 pm + shouted + banged rocks a lot. The surveyed some more. Then 3pm then souted + banged rocks. And some more survey until 4pm shout + bang. Each time expecting to hear Wooks + Andy from Elin Algor in via 161D but that wierd chinking sound dripping water makes + sounds in your head. Derigged the 6m pitch in the stream rift + headed on out with rope + battery. The icy pool had receded still further, barely even an obstacle now. All the poncy rerigging + deviations a bugger with heavy tackle sacks. Out at last. Walked to Top Camp with both our sets of gear + got there just before dark + just before started minging down, for a change !

2000-08-10 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Becka + Brian

T/U 10 hours

Derigged Earl's pitch + traverse to get more rope then to head of Brian's 100m pitch, ready to start surveying .... er - but where's the tape ? Bugger. I prussiked out to fetch the tape (meeting sunbathing Duncs et al on the surface) whilst Brian fettled his rigging. Finally us two got back together + set off surveying down the pitch (badly - lots of joke plumbs as it wasn't quite vertical but v. elegant large pitch ~100m with only a couple of bolts, lots of naturals). Brian rigged the last 20m or so section on naturals to end in ... pebbly chamber with a too-tight rift heading off. Well, I couldn't be bothered to force myself to try the rift (probably doable without SRT kit). Out, derigging the 100m rift. Took out lots of tackle sacks + it was q. slow going. 9 pm out, in 11 am in the morning, think the early start was a record, this expo.

2000-08-11 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Becka + Michael Allen

T/U 8 hours

Down with 'Mike the Kiwi' I was left a stone arrow to follow to get from the end of Ariston to the start of the new series. All nice, big well-rigged shafts, luverly. Started surveying down the 50m, then a 20m and a 10m then Mike rigged a 47m or so off a natural and a bolt with a wee deviation + we were down. Survey finished here but, sadly, the cave did not. Off it went in tight, scrapy stream rift meanders, heading down for at least 50m. Sod that. Sidled on out with one tacklesack. Slowly. And got a lift down from the Loser to Bergrestaurant, courtesy of Mick the hero, so here supping Bier at last!

2000-08-09 | Loser Plateau - - 170's | Wook, Andy A

It was afternoon by the time it cleared up enough to encourage us up to TC so caving abandoned in favour of doing plateau stuff. Intended to go out via the 170's to the Hinter & tag the 96-ones with real numbers, check out 2000-02 & WK5 (we were carrying a ladder & oversuit). As it happened we only got a small fraction of this done before it went dark.

Set off to 171 & thence to find 172, which we did by hacking straight through the bunde. Also found a small '+' marked cave en-route. GPSed both then surface surveyed back from 172->+->171b->171a. Took ages due to bunde. '+' cave photoed, drawn, surveyed, tagged '00AA01'. 171 has at least a-g entrances & needs an underground survey. Then continued to the 101-102,173, LRH(200) area & gpsed those caves. 102 was tagged, contrary to the list. Changed the LRH tag to '1993 1623/200'. Then spent quite a while looking for 174, 175 & 176. Eventually found them all & GPSed them. Too late to surface survey so just walked back in the gloaming. Tried to find 210 to tag but it was too dark.

[list of GPS locations still to type]

Also surveyed inside 172 & 00AA01. 171 needs a proper survey!

2000-08-10 | 40 - Eishöhle: MI pushing | Wook & Andy A

Went back to Eishöhle to try another angle on the connection - going 'over the top'. Took drill & 60m rope to top of big pitch after pool (when will Ol think up some names!). The pool had nearly dried up - much more civilized. Traversed over pitch to next hole - not the same as pitch, but turned out to be blind - about 12-15m deep. Draught coming out was coming down next aven along & back up this hole. Whilst Wook was bolting, Andy shinned up passage between the 2 holes & found a tube going to another big shaft - looks like something different.

One Hilti split off the nose so the descent above was rather dodgy. Continued traverse - made easy by the power of skyhook. Short 6m pitch at end drops into big space which is top of big pitch. Got down to 1st rebelay before running out of rope & hangers & snapping driver. 12 bolts placed - not a bad day's work. Surveyed out (all of 40m). Good trip - decent bit of cave.

Plenty of draught comes this way so it's looking good, although this pitch seems likely to go down too far (40m+ deep).

T/U 7 hrs

Also put 162 spit & tag in on way to cave, put 163 tag & 'VFM 1988' tag (should have had an 'H' on the end but I forgot).

2000-08-11 | 40 - Eishöhle: MI pushing |Wook & Andy A

Back to try again down splendid stonking cave.

En-route tagged 145b, Surface survey connected 163tag to old 163 station which had just come out of the snow. Had a quick poke down these to confirm that draughting - but blocked. Blocked ent. on path to Eishöhle (from VD1) is skylight in 163. Also swapped 'WOOK6' tag to correct cave (previously designated 'WK5' on this expo, incorrectly) and put 'WK5' tag on correct cave.

In Eishöhle, took another 60m & 30m of rope & had a fun time bolting down ~60m pitch in 3 steps. Very excited at bottom as Andy shouted 'I think I know where we are'. Then somewhat irritated as we realised we had arrived down one of the big avens at the bottom. Bum.

So went & poked down streamway - Wook getting slightly further than previous push but not enjoying it much ! Definitely a C-lead, but draughting nicely.

Also shinned up into a bit Bob had found which ended in a small tunnel with a big draught, unfortunately partially blocked by choss. Stuffing Wook in made more draught come the other way, so went down tight rift & dug a bit more out to finally reach a small chamber with draught coming out of 3" slot.

Did a proper survey of start of streamway & grade 2 of streamway & other bit. Then surveyed & derigged back up pitches, noting that traverse across top of bottom chamber was easy but no time left. (Canyon on 205°)

Dragged the 3 baggies out between us, then slogged back, Wook carrying gear, to reach tatty hut about Midnight:15.

T/U 9 hrs

(P.S. left 30m rope on traverse + 4 twists & 1 ring).

2000-08-10 | Loser Plateau - Surface Bashing | Martin + Julia

The planned surveying trip in 204 failed to happen due to lack of instruments (one set at base camp, all cars up the hill. Doh!) So we wandered off to do surface stuff instead. Got to B11, then sat around for ages trying to get the GPS to do its stuff. Eventually worked it out and GPSed the following caves.
B11 Alt 1658
B8 Alt 1655
80 Alt 1684tick
145 Alt 1698
201 Alt 1791
156 Alt 1804tick
147 Alt 1815tick
WK2 Alt 1753

The numbers are in Wook's GPS. (Note. WK2 is not really WK2. The thing we labelled is called WK2TEM according to Wook's GPS. It is tagged incorrectly, and is located near 161c. It is also marked with a painted cross). We then surface surveyed 193 (refound this year). The route from 161c is as follows. Walk around the bottom of the snow plug in front of 161c and along the terrace, past cairn on large boulder. At cairn (235° to France) turn right and climb down to the next terrace. Walk along this level (northish) then turn right and climb down another level to a traverse on a stone bridge. Walk over limestone with drops either side towards the bunde. Continue in the same direction towards final cairn. The bearings from this cairn (directly above Ent. pitch, station 11 in surface survey) are
Cross on Trisselberg186°
Summit of Hinter001°

Cave is tagged as CUCC 1623/193 and surveyed. Martin descended 193, so he can write a cave description....

2000-08-10 | 40 - Eishöhle | Mark S, Earl

Plan was to go to do one-leg survey to connect Grüner Eingang survey to old cave + then MI pushing. Stomped up Elephantengang & rigged pitch down to old cave. Rope only just long enough (7m) - take 12m in future. Noticed a small draughting hole at the top of the canyon at the foot of the pitch. Blowing like a bastard it was, so we excavated it using bolting hammer, spit and driver to the grand proportions of 20cm x 75cm wide. Mark lowered himself in to find an immediate 6m ice pitch. No rope, so we surveyed out and named it the Bastard 'Ole. Photo'd Elephantengang. Almost time to go out, so we took a few snaps in SVH + headed out. It turns out that the hole almost certainly connects with Elephantengang, but it's now a QM for someone to check.

T/U 7 hrs

2000-08-14 | 40 - Eishöhle | Mark S, Earl

Mark S bashed his knee on the walk in so Earl went to derig Oldway pitch. Went and did more SVH photos. Then rigged slope down from lowest pt of chamber to blocked squeeze. Excavated it in a few minutes using a trowel. Wandered up Kalter Gang to Spinnedfriedhof to reach a pitch down (one bad spit) after a difficult traverse (take a 10m rope & rig this next time). Ran out of time so went out + carried a load of crap back to the car park.

Interestingly, Kalter Gang blows away from SVH, but the Spinnenfriedhof blows in your face as you descend it. There are also marked changes in the temperature of the air in Spinnenfriedhof - one minute it's as cold as SVH and five minutes later you can't see your breath at all. Definitely worth a return visit next year.

T/U Earl 5 hrs Mark S 4½ hrs

2000-08-14 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Becka, Martin + Mark B

T/U Becka 5 hours, Martin + Mark 6½ hours

Up to Top Camp - no one there so I stomped off to Steinbrücken to catch the other two as they were about to go in. They were going to finish off their infamous tape + notes but no compass or clino survey off 110-a-day. Whizzed down the 3 entrance pitches, dumped SRT gear + set off down stoopy, crawly Swiss-cheese passage, holes off the side, in the floor + ceiling. Some draught though not strong. I poked at various QMs, seemed an interesting spot. The survey ended in a supposedly small chamber. I got here to find something larger than I was expecting + various leads. We split up to look round. I went up the ~25° ramp, stooping + found two walking passages off it, ending in large chambers - whoa, getting pretty damn excited. Back to meet the others who'd also found stuff so I armtwisted them to keep going with the survey. Found 3 more pitches off the bottom end of the 'chamber' then surveyed up the ramp to where I'd checked out the walking passages. I set off up the passage straight ahead to check if it linked back to the passage on the right I'd looked at before to decide where best to survey. It kept heading on up + got gradually larger ... and more + more drafty + lots of what looked like bat shit on floor. By now I was stonking fast + then popped into a big walking passage, still heading up. Raced down + screamed at mark to get out of the scrofulous hole he had thrutched into + we abandoned the survey (I'd hardly any time before I had to go out to make the carpark for 9pm). Raced up into the walking passage + stomped off up the hill, passage getting bigger + bigger, lovely solution holes in the ceiling + still a draft. Finally it turned, continued, then came to a big chamber. Loads of ways on all along it and it continued down past the point that we had entered. Yelped a lot then headed out with Martin's carbide not lighting (+ he'd forgotten his duo) + Martin's lamp dead (and a dodgy zoom). Hopped off happily home. Great trip!

2000-08-15 | Base Camp - Dachstein | Becka, Andy A + Earl

T/U 0 hrs

Up 6 am, took just under 90 min to drive past Schladming (go the Bad Mitterndorf direction) to the Dachsteinsudseilbahn. It starts 8 am, last one down 17:50. Pay O$20/per person to get up the toll road to the cable car then O$265 for return cable car (or~O$160 for single fare) which basically gets you to the top of the hill, only ~300m vertical off the Hohe Dachstein peak.

[sketch map to scan]

Route up to Hohe Dachstein (1) was full of people, many roped. First section you can use cows tails but the upper section is q. exposed freeclimbing or you could rope up (we didn't + I'm not sure it would help if you fall). The route off the back side of the peak (2) was far less busy + easier, all protected using cows tails, ditto (3) the route over a rock ridge from the 'back' to the front glacier (the one you can see from Loser). Earl + I then went up (4) a final klettersteig off from the cable car up to a helipad + weather station. We were at the top at 9am, back from (1), (2), (3) at the cable car by 2pm (v. leisurely, hour for lunch etc.) + then a faster stomp up (4) + back took 2 more hours. We didn't need crampons at all or ice axes (not necessarily true other times of year etc.) but used harnesses + cowstails a lot. Beware loose rock, especially when there are gangs of people above you (1) + its easy to avoid the crowds which are all between the cable car and (1). Damn good day out + much more fun than doing it properly (ie. from the bottom). Be crap in bad weather though.

2000-08-16 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle - final trip | Becka + Martin

T/U 5 hours

Down to 110-a-day to survey the other [see (2)] (right, as opposed to straight on) big passage - which petered out q. soon + ended in lots of small drafting QMs. Then took another look along the stuff they'd surveyed yesterday + which we found on the 14th - several damn fine QMs. (We surveyed to a drafting aven with a nasty tight rift in the floor - but draft elsewhere) Then started a survey [see (1)] from the initial chamber to a pitch I'd found on 14th but only had time to survey part way along. Packed up + ran home. I derigged to entrance pitches, inconveniently one tackle sack short of making life easy so struggled up the entrance with 100m stuffed into the one sack and a load of loose rope clutched in my hand. Out to hot sunshine. Stomped down the hill to join in the striking Top Camp mélee, so still trudging along with a big pack at 10pm but the job was DONE.

(2) Survey down nice passage, the floor is decorated, NEEDS TAPING

[large sketch of bit surveyed - still to scan]

2000-08-08 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Anthony, Dunks, Mick

TU 9 hrs

Went back to pitch at bottom of Ariston we had partially descended on 1/8/2000. I went down and banged in a bolt, then descended 38 m to a "ledge" of sorts. Tried to bang in another bolt but the rock cratered loads. I reckoned Dunks & Mick were probably cold by now at the top of the pitch (there is nowhere to cower and lots of loose crap around, which goes straight to the bottom, hence we only had one person on the pitch at a time). Dunks went down and banged in another couple of bolts, by which time we'd pretty much run out of rope without bottoming the pitch, so we went out. Mick had spent ~5 hours sitting at the top of the pitch freezing his kanackers off whilst me and Dunks were bolting. Dunks was hassled by a bat on his way up, hence pitch is called Fledermausschacht.

2000-08-10 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Anthony & Dunks

TU 11 hrs

Surveyed down Fledermausschacht, somewhat nervously due to the huge potential for kicking crap off (esp. a precariously balanced boulder near one of the rebelays). Managed not to kick anything too large on Duncan. Got to the pushing front, banged in a bolt and descended a further ~25m to the bottom of the pitch. No ways on, loads of big boulders jammed in the rift. So we surveyed the last bit, derigged and prussiked sedately out with a bag of rope apiece. Pitch is 112m broken by two ledges mostly in a hading rift of friendly dimensions.

2000-08-15 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Anthony, Dunks, Michael Allen

TU 14½ hrs, Anthony, Dunks; Mike Allen 12½ hrs

Bombed down to the bottom of Mike & Becka's pitch series (descended on 11/8/2000). To push/survey the rift at the bottom until we got to the end or another pitch, or until we got bored, whichever came first. Rift is a bit of a pain in the arse - mostly ~50cm wide, apart from a widening at a ~5m cascade (handline useful), very sharp. Lots of shinning up and down the rift (which is essentially infinitely tall) occurred to try and find the widest bit. Got 90m of survey in the book when we came across a pitch of ~10m. Looks like the rift continues with significantly larger dimensions (though it could just narrow down again quite quickly). Last survey station (at the top of the undescended pitch) is at a new deep point of -365m. This is a good lead, but pushing it is likely to become a serious trip, esp. if the rift continues in a similar vein. There is a reasonable stream (estimate about like the TC water hole in spate).

Then derigged out, fairly efficiently, but it took a while. Derigged to top of Ariston greasing most of the spits (but no matchsticks). I spent ~ 15 mins trying to undo one of Mike's deviations, but failed so the sling is still there.

Rift is to be christened "Razor Dance" after the Richard Thompson ditty of the same name.

2000-08-15 | Loser Plateau - Surface tour to show Thilo entrances for Nils to GPS fix |Olly, *Thilo Müller

BECKA WRITES - Date given as 200-08-?? so have guessed 15th

Thilo Müller is an ARGE German caver

Started from ARGE "camp" in Bergrestaurant car park. Hiked up to col by Nase and tried to find the laser point there (the one with the wrong coords - ?/?). Failed, so gave up and hiked up to 147, then VD1. Then up to 136, down to 161d via a couple of Wook caves. Met Wook and Andy at 161d and did a one leg survey. Back up to 161c and 161b, up to 161a, back to VD1 to collect ski pole I'd left there, then up ridge towards 204. In valley leading approx S from 204 found interesting entrance with draught going in, somewhat above 204 (?m according to GPS). Met Dunks, Kiwi Mike and co. at 204, and followed Dunks' modified route back, but lost it towards the end (Dunks later said it wasn't fully reccied). Had a rest at top camp, then showed Thilo caves around there, then packed up my tent and headed back to car park, and then base camp for meeting with Austrians about next year's event.

T/U: None to note