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161 Kaninchenhöhle: Right Hand Route side passages

(inaccessible from Knossos)

Bladerunner (1992)

Also known as 'The Hole Below The Pitch Below The Squeeze'. This is reached by an awkward 6m climb down at the foot of Chunnel Pitch. An annoying faff through a tube to the pitch head follows (rigging from naturals).

A 5m slope abseil is followed by a 14m pitch, Han Solo, into big classic stream rift cave. Traversing along gives another pitch of 14m, Bladerunner, into the bottom of the canyon.

8m along is an awkward tight pitch, Mosquito Coast, 8m, which widens as it enters another big rift. A large boulder here provides access - climb over it, then down to the right, then back underneath it to traverse along the canyon. This rather confusing section is called Yoda.

The stream here is far too narrow, and the way, Millennium Falcon, is by traversing gently up to a higher passage. A narrow chossy rising passage leads into big rift again, and after a few metres is another pitch. The first 10m of this is over large fallen blocks, then pitch proper into more complex rift. The pitch, Androids, is 20m so far with another 15m+ ahead [C1992-161-09 A].

Pot of Gold (1989)

A short climb down through boulders about 4m before Over the Rainbow leads into a small maze of phreatic passages. Down and to the left is a short pitch to a false floor. A rift to the right has not been descended yet [C1989-161-15 C]. The way on is through the floor below the pitch leading to another slightly bigger pitch. This can be entirely rigged using very small and dodgy natural belays to a small chamber which has not been extensively explored [C1989-161-16 C].

The way on is to the left and down a steep and quite long climb to a fossilised streamway, Trembling (reminiscent of Quaking), which is tight in places (The Crux, a few metres long). This leads to a 25m pitch ending in an impossibly tight rift.

An inlet left off Trembling just after the tight section leads to a maze of phreatic tubes heading generally west, Free Attics, including a link back to the head of the 25m pitch. At the end of the westernmost tube is a drop into the short active Alphetta Streamway 8m high and 2m high at the point of entry. However to the left (south) 10m upstream ends in a waterfall from a tiny hole 4m up in the roof, whilst only a few metres downstream the passage narrows to a high rift that is too tight to follow.

Vestabule (1990)

At the start of the area of rock pinnacles and water-worn clefts in the Chunnel (10m before the 3m climb down into Over The Rainbow), there is a small mud-floored/sandy passage in the right hand wall which goes downhill. This can be followed past a junction on the right with a tiny passage leading back into the Chunnel 10m further along. After 15m is a 12m pitch into a 3m wide by 20m high choked rift, The Vestabule. The pitch lands on a boulder 6m above the actual floor. Steep climbs can be followed downwards to the lowest point, where a further 8m pitch (just free-climbable) drops to a choked floor.

Going uphill from the pitch for 30m leads to a 19m pitch which is also choked. There is a small, 15m long passage in the left wall and a 6m climb up the right hand wall 10m back from the pitch leads into a passage which quickly comes back into the Chunnel directly above the OTR climb.

Bolting high in Vestabule (1994) near Stomping

Stomping and Limo Series

From the top of the boulder pile at the Northeast end of Vestabule, is a sandy passage. This leads to an ascent past some calcited rock to emerge from one of a set of holes in the floor of Stomping, now the normal route of access to the Limo Series. From this point, Stomping heads two ways.

Back SW towards Vestabule, another group of holes is crossed a few metres before the passage ends at a window high at the SW end of Vestabule. A climb down the holes leads to another window from which a descent of Vestabule can be rigged on naturals.

The other way in Stomping is an unpleasant low, thrutchy passage, leading over boulders, eventually to a largish chamber with twin pillars. Between the pillars is the way to the bottom of Driller Killer pitch (coming from Gnome II in Dreamtime). To the right in the chamber is a change to sandy passage. A hole here is [C1994-161-56 B], leading to two tight passages into Limo's Revenge.

At the bottom of Driller Killer one emerges from the SE to find several ways on. A short rope traverse leads to a larger passage and thence to a pitch, Dead Drill Hole, into a large chamber, Dreaming of Limo.

The opposite (SW) side of Dreaming of Limo can also be reached from Driller Killer by going left (west) in the smaller Doll Killer Passage and a climb up a rift. From this side it is possible to climb down to the bottom of Dreaming of Limo, avoiding the Dead Drill Hole pitch. Continuing down this climb is [C1994-161-53 B] into Doubting Thomas Series. A small passage left (SW) about halfway along Doll Killer is [C1994-161-54 C], whilst a low passage further left at Driller Killer (also heading SW) is [C1994-161-55 B].

A rift at the top of Dead Drill Hole, leading to the top of another pitch is [C1994-161-50 B]. The northern extent of Dead Drill Hole is [C1994-161-51 B], and the continuation downwards is [C1994-161-52 A].

Shortly before Dead Drill Hole, a junction on the right leads to a long, narrow, soil-filled rift heading east, Night Soil Passage, which eventually ends in a soil blockage with a tiny draughting hole [C1994-161-40 C]. A small lead left at a junction is [C1994-161-39 C].

Dreaming of Limo (1994)

Dreaming of Limo is a chamber c 20m from NE to SW, with a SW trending extension and a plethora of leads. Dead Drill Hole drops into the chamber at the eastern corner. Doll Killer Passage enters the SE wall of the chamber at the southern end, and to the left here leads SW in a rift. A pitch on the left [C1994-161-44 B] is merely a loop of the rift, whilst a climb up opposite this is [C1994-161-45 B], and a passage by the arête is [C1994-161-46 C]. Further SW, possible down climbs are [C1994-161-43C], while further on again is another possible down climb [C1994-161-42B] and a pitch at the southernmost point [C1994-161-41 A].

Across from the point of entry from Doll Killer is another SW-trending continuation (not a rift) which contains two leads [C1994-161-47 B]. In the middle of the NW wall of the chamber is a wet pitch [C1994-161-48 B] which led to Splattery, and to its right, at the northernmost point of the chamber is a further pitch [C1994-161-49A] which yielded the Oral Series.

Oral Series (1995)

From the north end of Dreaming of Limo chamber a winding rift leads on to a 8m pitch, Dental Floss, down to a ledge and a further small pitch to the bottom, through a hole on the right. This sloping rift Tonsils, leads down to a chamber with several holes in the floor mostly too tight.

Facing away from the pitch it is possible to turn left though a calcite passage to the top of the appalling Teeth pitch (rigged off three naturals). The rock is very crumbly. Teeth is best descended by abseil and then climbed, rather than prussiked. After 10m of tight rift, the pitch opens out into a chamber and a 9m free hang to the floor.

Climbing up to the left over a large boulder leads to a 3m climb down and into Stomach chamber. Climbing up along the rift becomes too tight and a hole in the floor gives an 11m pitch, The Arsehole, which chokes. There are two pristine white stals down in the Stomach.

Splattery (1995)

The wet pitch in Dreaming of Limo chamber is descended from a ledge on the right to a rebelay 4m down and a further 10m to the bottom. A streamway comes in from a rift (too tight after 5m) from the direction of Dreaming of Limo chamber. The rift continues in the opposite direction and can be followed after climbing over some boulders. The awkward rift carries on for 15m before a 3m climb up. At the top of the climb the passage can be followed in two directions. Doubling back comes out at the top of Splattery pitch, and an awkward traverse leads back to the pitch head. The other way on, continues away from Dreaming of Limo, is more tight rift which continues for some 25m before becoming too tight.

Doubting Thomas Series (1995)

Doubting Thomas is a ~100m pitch series essentially dropping down the same rift as the Oral Series. Access is gained by either Gnasher pitch [C1994-161-53] which is below the 5m climb down into Dreaming of Limo at the end of Doll Killer Passage, or via Dennis the Menace, a parallel shaft which drops through a fairly tight rift some 20m back along Doll Killer (rigged off huge natural thread). This quickly enlarges to a 4m diameter 25m shaft with Gnasher joining from the side after 10m.

The way on from the foot of the shaft is a narrow rift, which leads to a miserable 5m pitch, Clearly Too Tight. The rift enlarges a little at the foot of this pitch, but quickly narrows down again. More scrotting around in the miserable rift yields the head of No Goerpitch (~20m) which is broken by a ledge half way down. This pitch is drippy (in dry weather), but there is much mud around. The water disappears down a "too tight" rift at the foot of the pitch, but an eyehole above is passable and after a short crawl enlarges at the head of Mental Imbalance pitch. This is about 15m and lands on a ledge adjacent to a large flake off which the next pitch, Natural Imbalance, is rigged. [If anyone goes down here again it needs re-rigging as the flake in question started to fall apart during exploration.]

At the foot of this pitch, a 2m climb to an eyehole looks onto Doubting Thomas chamber, 10m across and with no obvious roof. The descent to the floor is ~15m. The way in is a tall bent narrow rift to the left which after 15m joins a perpendicular rift with a proper stream in the bottom. To the left (down stream) the rift continues (the only place it is not too tight too follow is in the roof) for 15m to a 90° left hand bend, with some genuinely pretty calcite formations, before becoming too tight to follow. A fossil passage continues straight ahead at this point, but quickly becomes too tight. Upstream there is a short crawl through a puddle to a small chamber at the foot of a ~8m waterfall. There appears to be walking size passage above this, but the climb looks v.v.hard (esp. since wet) [C1995-161-07 C]. There is a third route, a fossil passage in the roof immediately downstream of the junction with the rift but then wiggles off to the right for ~40m before becoming too tight to pass with SRT gear on [C1995-161-08 C].

Limo's Revenge (1995)

From the largish chamber along Stomping, with the twin pillars (the route on to Driller Killer goes between them) two tight passages lead off on the right, doubling back. These join up after 10m and a tight, winding rift passage continues for 50m before widening out to a chamber. The chamber has a too tight rift off it and several other holes can be followed from the top of a ramp. These all become too tight.

Over The Rainbow

The bypass to Over The Rainbow is to its right, behind a rock pillar. Just to the right again at the same level, is a small passage. 10m along this is a choice of: straight on, a 2m climb down; or to the right, a larger passage which doubles back to a 4m pitch into Over The Rainbow. Straight on leads to a 3m wide, 2m deep hole in the floor. It is possible (but difficult) to traverse over it and it is easier to go down the climb and along a lower passage which comes out into this hole, and then climb up the far side. Beyond this the passage veers left and then wiggles back into the main Right Hand Route passage via a choice of routes and sandy climbs down.

Boulder Alley

Semi-Detached and Viewport (1994-5)

A 5m traverse to the left of the Bungalow leads to a 2m climb up in a rift to a short thrutch in passage. Behind is a window looking back to Bungalow (used for the survey, but impractical as a route). To left is a narrow rift (immature) which becomes too tight after about 5m. Ahead is big passage Viewport developed in same rift/joint as Boulder Alley below.

Viewport passage runs for 30m, bypassing Bungalow and Poxy Pitches and the boulder collapse beyond them, and then looks out over Boulder Alley. This view over lots of space is the source of the name. Traversing out from the hole (needs a rope) across some very friable rock leads to the shaft part way down the Alley. Partway along the Viewport there is a hole on the right overlooking Poxy Pitch.

20m along Viewport passage on the left is short (3m) traverse up wall into Semi-Detached, which starts as a draughty crawl. After 2m there is a window back out into the big passage and a c5 down into immature rift with another (impassable) window.

Taking the crawl up-dip, a zigzag is reached. Immediately following this is a pitch (15m+ Undescended [C1995-161-01 B]). The traverse is airy but easy and roped (left rigged in 1995, but needs a sling at this end for thread). Beyond is 12m of small and well-decorated (extraordinarily so for KH) passage. Great care is needed to pass on right of stal without breakage or muddying.

This passage debouches into a space. This is the foot of a high aven (30m+). The way on is a c2 (easier than it looks) into a small, 2m long crawl with a c2 down to a ledge at the top of an 18m pitch. A small continuation at the other end of the ledge chokes after 4m.

The pitch lands on the opposite side to a waterfall. A hasty dash under this gains access to an awkward rift with a key hole that is too tight. After 10m this opens out to a pitch (4+ seconds undescended [C1995-161-02 A]). The traverse over the top is possible but rapidly becomes over exposed.

Just beyond the way into Semi-Detached is a hole looking back into space above Poxy pitch. At end (lowest point) of passage is truly stonking view above Boulder Alley The Viewport and a big space over 30m across. It is not clear whether there is any passage here (eg. in shadows on left). Paul Smith's efforts here in 1990 suggest not.

Pit and Pendulum (1990)

At the bottom of Boulder Alley, there is an extremely high aven and pitch, The Pit and The Pendulum, which can be seen where it intersects with the right hand wall 3m above the floor. This 9m diameter hole gives a xxxm broken hang to a bolt, from which a xxxm drop gains the floor of a rift. A walk up false floor leads to Knossos, 3m above an undescended loose hole in the floor (this may be [C1989-161-01 C] ?).

A route below this false floor involves hanging a rope down a 10cm slit, and squeezing down nearby to gain the rope for a 30m pitch, leading to a 4m diameter loose floor. A small crawl leads to a loose pit, from where a way can be seen into a very loose boulder choke which was not further investigated - this area is Rabbit Curry.

Upslope of the entry to Pit and Pendulum is a pitch [C1988-161-04 B] apparently considered a B-lead in the QM list, but also labelled "probably not".