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161 Kaninchenhöhle: Knossos area

Knossos area to Carrefour

From the foot of the Knossos pitch, up and to the right is the foot of a steeply sloping wall where rocks dropped down the holes in the false floor on the approach to Knossos land. About 2m up this wall is a 1m by 2m hole into the Pit and the Pendulum. Below is some extremely loose space amongst the rocks (probably C1989-161-01) presumably connecting to Rabbit Curry. A few metres further round the chamber is a narrow steeply ascending rift, which goes for about 15m before getting too steep to ascend further. High above the east side of the chamber is the head of the pitch from Minoan Surprise. No other ways out of the chamber have been found, but other points of interest are a couple of drippy avens on the chamber's far side, and a frozen manganese oxide stream.

Knossos survey: 28k gif

Tower Hamlets (1989)

Tower Hamlets is in two parts. The first part can be reached from the foot of Star Wars and from Knossos, the second from the col between Tower Blocks and Waterfall Chamber.

The first part of Tower Hamlets is an 11m high chamber about 12m by 4m with a boulder-strewn floor and a narrow passage coming in from Knossos about 3m up the right hand wall at the far end. Around to the left in the SW end there are a 3m climb up to a tube through to Tower Blocks, and a steeply sloping sandy passage connecting to the other half of Tower Hamlets.

This consists of a large sand ramp sloping up into the roof. On the right hand side, a difficult 7m climb [C1989-161-04] leads into a passage connecting the two parts of Tower Hamlets at roof level (1992). On the left hand side, there is a 1.5m diameter tube going up, reached by a simple but exposed climb protected by a bolt, [C1989-161-05]. The tube goes about 4m before choking (1993). Walking back down the sand slope leads onto the col between Tower Blocks and the passage to Waterfall Chamber.

Tower Blocks and Olympus (1988/1989)

Across the wide open space of Tower Blocks, opposite the point of entry from Star Wars, there is a shelf leading to a short, choked, sandy inlet. Just to the right of this is a climb over a boulder into Olympus. Further around to the right, the floor drops steeply to the foot of a high drippy aven. A dodgy climb up of 10m by the right hand wall will also bring you into Olympus.

Olympus is nice walking passage for 40m to a junction with a big passage coming in from the left, B-Meal.

The main passage continues for another 30m to Wobbling, but a turn off on the right hand side after c15m is the continuation of Olympus. This is an inlet blocked by cemented shingle, but climbing over the shingle bank on the right through a low arch leads into pleasant phreatic passage which is between half and nearly full of sand and shingle at various points along its length. Passing a couple of crawls with an aven between them leads into larger passage with yet another choked inlet on the right and a very unlikely-looking zig-zag ending with a crawling passage to the left and a 3m climb up into a rift straight ahead. This rift leads straight to the top of Flapjack, directly opposite the way in from Carrefour.

The crawling passage leads to a 2m climb down after 15m. Opposite this is a climb up, Del's Climb, which remains unexplored [C1989-161-03 B]. Below the entry climb, left is a phreatic tube going to a 2m climb into a high, choked rift; whilst to the right, the passage widens over boulders leads to another view into the Flapjack pitch (to the right) and a complex collapse chamber (to the left) with various climbs and passages through boulders.

Olympus survey - 21k gif

B-Meal (1989)

On the left, 40m into Olympus, walking up the slope leads into a 10m high arched passage. This goes south for 40m, passing two climbs of 2 and 5m to reach a 3m climb up with a hole at the bottom of it. Through the hole is a tight climb down 4m to a rift leading after 5m to the bottom of a 6m pitch, choked both at floor level and at the top. At the top of the climb, a right turn gains a jump down 1.5m onto sand leading round a corner to another choked pitch extremely similar to the one below, whilst a climb up another 3m to the left reaches a high chamber. A few metres walk further leads to the edge of a 5m drop into a very high chamber and round to the right is a view back down to the two 3m climbs. Going down the pitch, a steep, rocky chamber floor leads to another 6m pitch into the foot of an active stream pot. The water goes off down a rift by the foot of the pitch but disappears into a boulder choke another 6m down in the bottom of the rift.

Wobbling (1989)

In Olympus, 15m beyond the junction with B-Meal, Olympus itself takes the apparently less significant way right (north). Straight on in the main passage leads a further 15m. At the end of the passage is an impressive cemented shingle bank on the right hand side and a narrow and steeply descending rift on the left (south). This continues for 25m before apparently becoming too squalid, too tight and blocked all at the same time. However, 15m along, at roof level (4m up) on the right, is a very obscure and draught-free tube - this is Wormhole, the end of the Ambidextrous connection (from the Left Hand Route, 1991).

Ambidextrous RHR to LHR (1991)

Wormhole is an obscure hole 4m up the right hand side of Wobbling, at the top of the rift. Crawling in here along a tiny bit of passage for 10m round a tight left corner it gets slowly larger and resumes the southward trend. You pass a small hole in the floor and after 25-30m, the roof rises to a large space. Ahead is a damp pitch/aven [C1991-161-06]. This is bypassed in large rockstrewn passage to the left. Round the next corner is another access to the pitch along a rift, with a traverse to a choked sandy passage possible.

To the left along the rift, a 3m climb up through boulders gains the other end of the rift. The passage zags back to the right (in the corner on the left is Pretty Pointless, 5m of tight passage with a stal in it). A small chamber and 2m downclimb is at the next zig, then you go right (zag again) through the narrow exit to gain larger passage.

Climbing up rocks at the end you should see the rope of the 11m up-pitch into Time Dilation (permanently rigged - see fixed ropes table). To the right is a rift-developed dead-end passage. Up the pitch a 5m climb gains a view back over the last section of passage. The only way out is upslope to the right, then sharp right and down the sand slope to the bottom of the 5m pitch up (also permanently rigged) into Ragnarök. From the top you can clamber straight up over the boulders, but it is easier to go left along a narrow walking passage for 15m to reach Ragnarök.

Around Carrefour

Toilet Block (1989)

Photo - 30k1989 camp

Straight across Carrefour (from Waterfall Chamber) is the Toilet Block, the original camp-site for the Right Hand Route. A short walking section leads into a very high cross rift via a 2m climb. This rift is choked at both ends, but going straight across continues into a 3m high 2m wide sandy floored passage to a crawl into a chamber containing a damp climb down to a choked streamway.

survey - 20k gif

Sheared Off Known Better (1990)

A narrow hole in the floor of Yapate inlet at Carrefour, c15m from the way into Toilet Block is Sheared Off Known Better. This starts with a 22m pitch, rigged from the back of a big boulder. This drops you into the bottom of the active canyon that can be heard in the floor of Yapate. The passage is narrow and winding and much climbing about is necessary to progress. After 25m of traversing there is a 6m pitch, then after climbs down of 4m, 3m and 2m, a 15m pitch is reached. This is the current limit of exploration [C1990-161-06] as the bolt driver sheared off whilst setting a spit here (thus the name) so no further progress could be made. The position and the water volume make it very likely that this passage connects with Flapjack in the vicinity of the 28m wet pitch.