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161 Kaninchenhöhle: Forbidden Land


Much of the horizontal development on the eastern side of Kaninchenhöhle is at a similar level and of a similar character to passages in Schwarzmooskogeleishöhle, Larchenhöhle and the Stellerweghöhle / Schnellzughöhle systems, all of which are connected together. From the southernmost point of Flat France, perhaps 600m separates these systems. The 1995 lead, Stairway to Hell, led into passages trending under the eastern side of the summit of the Vorderer Schwarzmooskogel, heading in exactly the right direction, and connected (in 1997) the Eyehole route in Steinschlagschacht (1623/136) from which 1999 finds lead to within 50m of the Southern Schwarzmooskogelsystem.

Rocky Horror (1995)

The two southern exits from the chamber at the SW end of French Revolution (coming from Triassic Park) or the SE end of Fudge Brownie (coming from France) reunite either side of a rock pillar.

Continuing (now SW) perhaps 20m leads to a fucking loose, huge overhanging pile of utter crap. Most 'hand holds' on the walls fall off and are best left, hence the name Rocky Horror. A large & deep opening in the floor could be descended but for the astonishing pile of hanging death. In the left hand wall are a couple more upwards boulder chokes neither of which seem feasible or promising.

Straight on over Rocky Horror is the 10m Rocky Horror Pitch with crap rigging, landing in a high passage.

To the left at the foot of Rocky Horror pitch the passage continues the SW trend before apparently choking after 25m. Hidden in this wall is the unpleasant entrance to Stairway to Hell, the original way into the Forbidden Land, now more conveniently, and much more safely reached through Steinschlagschacht.

Right, at the foot of the pitch, down some boulders, leads back 10m to a ledge about half-way down the 18m Black Suspender pitch, on the far side from Mississippi. High on the left an airy traverse across is possible.

Stairway to Hell, Forbidden Land (1995)

The hole in the wall of the choked SW passage left at the foot of Rocky Horror Pitch, being the southernmost point of the cave, was pushed through a tiny, wet, muddy thrutch into the bottom of a boulder choke. Stairway to Hell is muddy, shitty & desperately loose. Do not look around at all when passing this section! The large boulders at the bottom are particularly suspect and great care is needed as you climb up on the right, then slither back over the top up a shitty slope, using only the LH wall/roof, and avoiding the handy chockstone at the narrow exit holding up the next bit. The c4 out of top corner here is made harder as only 1.5 walls are solid. A final crawl through boulders leads out into an antechamber at the bottom of the Whimper Way.

During the original exploration of this a couple of boulders rolled down the choke causing a hasty retreat, some boulder moving to get out, and vows never to return, thus leaving this wide open passage as a question mark [C1995-161-11 B]. However, in 1996, after checking every other conceivable lead in the area, Stairway to Hell was found to be the only viable lead in this direction and therefore obviously the way to go. Thus it was pushed regardless, revealing a lot of passage which can now (since 1997) be reached from the surface at Steinschlagschacht.

Whimper Way (1996)

Whimper Way is reached by a very muddy 6m climb at the southern end of the antechamber above Stairway to Hell. This 'route' has one solid wall sloping at about 70° on the SE side. The other side is all jammed boulders. You are actually about 30m below the floor of the huge Hall of the Mounting Choss. Routes at various levels can be followed both SW & NE. So far all three that have been followed to a conclusion have ended up in the chamber above. There may be other ways out at the bottom, but wandering about in here is an exciting proposition. The NE direction has been checked, but may still reveal a route on [C1996-161-70 C].

The normal route goes SW in a wide (6m) space into the upper half of what feels like passage. A dodgy traverse round on the right gains a ledge. There is a QM off on the left ([C1996-161-72 B] traverse line needed). A short squeezy bit here gains another 15m of 'passage' which comes out in the lowest corner of Hall of the Mounting Choss. Taking the lower route in Whimper Way then climbing up through huge boulders also ends up here. The climbs down through the boulders have been checked fairly thoroughly and no ways on were found.

Hall of the Mounting Choss

The Hall of the Mounting Choss is a very long, steep chamber, about 25m wide, 20m high and 80m long (above the rocks!). There is a small, undescended rift pitch in the W corner [C1996-161-76 B]. About 5-10m up the S/SE wall is a row of four openings. The first and lowest leads 5m to a closed 5m high solution aven. The second is inaccessible (would need bolts), above Whimper Way [C1996-161-77 C]. The third is a 6m wide and low phreatic, the main way on into the Forbidden Land. The fourth is choked with sand.

At the top of the 40m slope there is a big aven in the N corner and a pair of pitches [C1996-161-74 A on the right and C1996-161-75 A on the left]. The left hand hole has been descended and still continues. There is a secondary low point in the NE corner. Climbing down through the floor here leads back to Whimper Way (NE of the entry point). A 15m x 15m x 10m boulder can be passed by an 8m climb on the right. A harder 8m climb is also possible on the left. These gain another 60m of passage over large breakdown to a draughting choke of small rocks coming down from above [C1996-161-71 C]. Just before this on the left wall there is a draughting crawl below an undercut [C1999-136-nn. Above the huge boulder are steeply sloping QMs in the left hand wall [C1996-161-73 B]. Protection is needed for the climb.

Following the howling gale down the 6m x 2m phreatic passage, Pump House, leads to a 6m pitch after 70m.

Elin Algor

The pitch in Pump House looks out into a large (7m wide, 13m high), straight rift passage, Elin Algor, going both NE and SW. The wind blows NE (left at the junction - away from the connection to 136). The 6m pitch can be bypassed by traversing on the right to an obscure 3m climb. There is an aven in the roof here.

Easy going for 50m NE (left) leads to a big sand cliff/slope into a large chambery thing. A 10m handline on the right (bolt right hand wall) leads down into it. Traversing round to the right at the level of the handline bolt a steep (45°) loose muddy ramp ascends for 20-30m, turning left near the begining. This ends at a small rift slope, mostly choked with mud and rocks, through which is a pitch of perhps 20m. The pitch head needs some gardening and a smallish person [C1999-136-nn C].

There are numerous ways off the chambery thing at the bottom of the handline, but it is not clear where the gale goes. To the right, between mudbanks, is the wet foot of a largish pitch. The water goes down an impenetrable crack. A chossy 10m climb up a mud bank on the left leads to a smallish tube at 'floor' level. [C1996-161-81 C]. This was looked at in 1997: the tube is only about 4m long, but has 2 right-angle bends making it very difficult for tall people. It emerges into the wall of a big shaft which couldn't be explored owing to lack of tackle [C1997-161-40 A].

There is a 15m diameter, 15m deep undescended pitch on the far side [C1996-161-79 A], with probably an aven at the far end.

On the left is a wet area where the water can be followed into a rift for some metres, unfinished [C1996-161-80 C]. Above this, 10m of passage leads to a 4m pitch, bridged by a large rock. traversing the bridge leads to a squalid crawl over mud which gets too small without digging after 10m. Descending the pitch leads to about 80m of small winding draughting passage explored as far as a chossy pitchhead [C1996-161-78 A].

Right at the junction, now heading SW, a 15m passage to the foot of an impressive aven is passed on the left. Ahead the dimensions reduce as the rift becomes much chossier. There is a window (exactly head sized) to a pitch on the left [C1996-161-82 C]. Twenty metres beyond, the rift can be followed back below for c20m, but the way on is an awkward climb down through the boulder floor at the SW end. This can be bypassed by a climb up and a bolted pitch down somewhere near here. The rift opens out here into a wide junction. Elin Algor continues straight ahead, Tirolia Werke forks off to the right.

Elin Algor goes another 40m, past an unexplored and unpromising pitch through boulders in the floor on the right [C1996-161-94 C], then through a narrow traversy bit to open into the side of a very big pitch. The far side can barely be seen [C1996-161-83 A]. This is about half way down the Theatre on the Eyehole Route of Steinschlagschacht, and reached from that entrance via the exposed Gods' Traverse.