Not all of the 1996 and 1997 description is as complete as we would like, though the major 1997 discovery of Lost World is up to date.
Found in 1996 by Gillian and never returned to (we think). Just past the Guillotine are a couple of holes on the left (needs good light to see these, apparently). First leads to just a small pitch. Second a bit further on is a wide, high (~2m) rocky slopey inlet leading to a chamber with two entrances to a 4m diameter pitch with a three second drop [C1996-161-100 B]. There appear to be leads across the far side which could probably be traversed to.
30m north from the Guillotine at the start of Triassic Park is an undercut in the left hand wall [C1995-161-28] at the bottom of a mud slope on the main Triassic Park route. Go NNE under this wide archway to gain access to a chamber.
Turning right here goes for 25m past the end of the Hymen crawl on the left (100m body-sized tube to Dr. Snuggles) before rejoining Triassic Park 15m from the first entry point.
Continuing straight ahead (NW) traverse right past a hole in the floor [C1995-161-26 A] (which links to two adjacent pits, thought to be blind), thence under a low arch to enter Alternative Universe.
Immediately left (SSE) a low passage passes the opposite side of the above pits under a curtain, past flower-bed like formations on a rock. Ahead to the right is a soil choked chamber; directly ahead via a spiral climb leads to a view into Shortage of Walls.
A few metres further in the main passage, a second left hand turn leads over a trench in the floor, which has been descended and doesn't go anywhere, to a soil filled bedding plane.
The main passage goes a short way NW to a right hand bend, then continues NE for some 130m. At the end, a 7m pitch Bulemic Pit with a large aven above leads to a rift Anorexic Rift which becomes too tight a further 7m down but through which a further drop can be viewed. Just a little way back from Bulemic Pit, on the right, is a 3m-ish climb, easy but exposed, leading towards an apparent black space [C1996-161-98 B].
This end of Alternative Universe is only ~30m from the rift at the head of Tapeworm pitch off Ring Piece Junction. Some 30m back from the end at a dip in the passage, a climb down through boulders leads to a 25m pitch [C1996-161-26 A] leading to the Magic Jumars series. There is a hole directly above this pitch [C1997-161-34] which will need a traverse or bolt to reach.
A four metre climb down through boulders at a dip in the passage, 30m from the northern end of Alternative Universe enters a cross rift. Upwards in this is too small, downwards marks the start of the Magic Jumars series. More stacked boulders lead down more easily for another four or five metres to the head of a 29m pitch, rigged from a Y-hang in metre-wide rift. This had widened to about 2m at a ledge about halfway down the shaft. The short horizontal section here has three ways on. An undescended tight rift (turning vertical) seems likely to connect with the other routes. A 5m pitch drops to a window back into the main pitch. The most obvious way, over a low wall, is a further drop of 28m widening out into a small chamber.
The exit is a narrow rift Llandudno Singers, developing into a
wider passage with a narrow slot in the floor. 12m from the second pitch,
this slot can be descended by a 16m rift pitch into a narrow continuation
meandering roughly south. This was surveyed for some twenty metres before
becoming too tedious and unpromising. A similar distance beyond the end of
the survey, the end is a rift pitch of about ten metres, with a very tight
100m from the start of Triassic Park I, a noisy inlet falls into a clean washed pitch, the Overflow [C1995-161-28]. A (roped) traverse along a sloping ledge leads to the southern side of the pitch where a pitch head bolt is behind a protruding bit of rock. A few metres down the 13m pitch is a rebelay. At the foot, the exit is a narrow rift leading directly on to the second pitch, rigged by traversing 5m forward to a widening. The second drop is 12m, and the continuing rift from the foot is too tight.
This series was for a short while known as Fogies' Folly, and this name appeared on the survey produced after the 1996 trip.
60m NNE along Triassic Park from The Overflow, a trench develops until a hole in the floor blocks the way. This is Moth Chamber C1995-161-30 A] and ends in a short pitch cum handline climb of about 6m rigged from an eyehole on the left. Traversing around the left hand side of this drop leads to a small tube which heads back under Triassic Park for about 20m before becoming too tight and contains some formations/leopard spots.
From the base of the climb a draughting crawl emerges after a few metres at the top of a pitch. This is rigged with a Y hang from the large pillar and an eyehole on the opposite wall. The pitch, though initially tight, quickly bells out to a fine circular shaft 6m deep in total. The route off from the bottom is a tight hading rift ending in a small blind 4m pitch.
The way on from below the 2nd pitch is to descend the tight rift for only a couple of metres and then traverse horizontally above the descending rift until you find the bottom of a vertical tube. Follow the draught up this unfeasibly small-looking tube which is located directly above the blind pitch. Surprisingly this doesn't end in solution pockets, but in a strongly draughting horizontal roof tube about 1m in diameter. This pops out into a large passage ending in a 45 degree descent, The Ramp, to a chamber. The absence of steps in this passage gave rise to the name for the series as a whole.
This chamber slopes down at an angle of about 30° but at right angles to The Ramp. The upper right hand (as you go in) end of the chamber ends in a 5m pitch. This was bypassed by a squeeze under popcorn calcite formations to a 1m climb down located at the lower left of the chamber. This leads to a little maze of crawls. The right hand fork emerges after 3-4 metres at the base of the bypassed pitch. Straight ahead a 1m climb up and a crawl leads to a 1½m climb down into a a href="#wca1strift">tall rift where you can stand up and an aven enters from above.
After a couple of metres a crawl/squeeze under the left wall emerges into a larger sub-parallel rift Dunno (going NE), whilst straight ahead (east) is the main way on. 4-5m further on is a final hole in the floor C1996-161-65 A], Kein Zimmer Rift. Bridging across this, the rift ends in a small hole emitting a very strong draught. Larger passage is visible beyond and access should be possible after judicious use of a lump hammer [C1996-161-66 B].
Kein Zimmer Rift is a tight, muddy rift with sharp calcite formations, hading at about 85 degrees. Rigged off a Y-hang from two bolts, the first hang of 14m is deviated at two points on the wall above, and is initially about 6m wide. Below the second deviation, a rebelay from a bolt gives the next hang of 9m. This lands where walking on rocks jammed in the rift is possible and the passage narrows and slopes off right (as you are facing the 'floor'). A squeeze through to the left at an angle of 30 degrees leads to a small alcove. The rope is rebelayed from a bolt and a vertical squeeze down and back under the previous squeeze bells out to more comfortable proportions after about 3m. The whole of this section is best ascended as a climb with hand jammer for protection.
The third pitch continues for 6m past a tape rebelay from a spike, to a bolt rebelay at a muddy ledge. Then a drop of 5m to a final tape rebelay leads to a free hanging section of 15m in larger passage. The pitch lands in a small, boulder strewn chamber and water enters from above.
A narrow shattered rift [C1997-161-06 C] enters from the opposite side to the pitch, whilst the main way on is back under the pitch. walking forwards, the stream follows a small trench in the floor and the passage quickly becomes a hands and knees crawl in a phreatic tube heading north. A few metres in, the trench swings left and drops down a rift (this was found to drop in to the initial part of downstream Lost World).
Continuing forwards a crawl on a sandy floor soon opens out with a small phreatic tube to the right with two entrances either side of a small pillar, and on the left a sloping floor down to a 5m pitch (also into downstream Lost World). Traversing over this pitch, the passage doubles back (ESE) after 6m and joins with the other small tube. Continuing forwards (now NE) reaches a mud and pebble landing 3m up, overlooking a large stream canyon. The pitch was initially rigged off a rounded flake, backed up to the pillar at the entrance to the small tube but now two spits are in place enabling an easier descent.
The pitch drops into a large 3-4m diameter tunnel, the Lost World, heading off both Upstream (northeast) and Downstream (southwest back under the entry passages).
Upstream the passage lowers, past a cobble bank on the left and splits after 6m, at this point you are below the pebble landing found in the upper passages. Left is an alternative (higher) upstream route.
The more obvious right hand branch (east) swings to the right at floor level with a small stream in the floor of the 4m diameter passage, soon a 1.5m climb up a concreted pebble step must be negotiated and the passage above reaches a 'T' Junction after 20m.
Right, squeezing over a jammed boulder in narrow rift, a short ascent opens out at the base of a large aven [C1997-161-07] with water entering down the western wall and sinking in a loose boulder filled continuation in the floor ([C1997-161-08 C] but was wet and entry was through suspect boulders). A short ascent in rift passage can be made to the North but this soon turns vertical, up the aven.
Following the main passage left, continues in tall, 4m wide passage as it enters the western end of the sandy floored, 10 x 25 m Pteramacsuit Chamber, along the ENE trend of the main passage. This chamber contained several bat skeletons.
As you enter the chamber, on the left is an aven [C1997-161-09] with pool at the base. Immediately right and heading back over the passage by which you have just entered is a series of three crumbly 3m climbs in a rift leading back to the roof above the T-junction.
At the northern side of the chamber is a steep 10m high mud bank with boulders and fine mud pillars in places. Ascending the far end of this, a steeply ascending mud ramp reaches a window. Left is the return of the passage left at the start of Upstream Lost World (described below). The eastern side of the chamber has a large sand filled alcove, presumably an old sink. High on the wall to the NE is a rift - another link to the higher upstream route. Continuing to the north of the chamber, on the left there is a shelf with low bedding over cobbles that quickly chokes, a small choked pit under the right hand wall and in the furthest extremity an unlikely entrance to a short crawl leading out of the chamber.
The crawl exits after about 4m to enter a tall 3m wide boulder-floored passage. Half way along its 20m length is a drippy 5m climb up behind the right hand wall (Poetic Justice style) leading back to the end of the higher route. The passage (still heading NE) ends at a 3m climb up to a concreted arch/eyehole. Then a 2m climb down gains the start of a magnificent section of 6m wide rift passage - the Bourneville Flats.
Immediately to the right of the climb down, is a climb up a pile of broken rock to a dripping aven [C1997-161-10]. Ahead is a large shallow pool of black mud, The Bourneville Lake, with water dripping in from above [C1997-161-11].
After 15m the pool ends and there is an aven [C1997-161-12] on the left and ascending rift passage to another aven [C1997-161-13] - a window looks back through to the main rift passage. 20m further on is an aven [C1997-161-38] on the right with a pool at the bottom and the main passage passes between mud and boulder banks for 10m. The left hand wall opens out and following round to the left, up a couple of short climbs (1m, 3m) in rift passage, leads to further avens [C1997-161-14] after 20m. Ahead the main passage looks out over a fine cracked mud floor with a spit of rock nosing out from the back wall. This was obviously an old sump pool judging from the dark mud 'tidemark' on the white limestone walls and initially thought to be the end.
However walking over the floor (carefully to minimise damage) a 3m drop down a mud bank leads to continuing passage with a small stream in the floor. This is walking height between mudbanks and bizarre mud formations for 35m where a small square chamber is met. The stream exits via two choked outlets in the NE and SE corners, whilst in the SW corner is a short rift passage leading to a steep climb [C1997-161-15 C] - this was abandoned due to its general wet unpleasantness.
Left (NNE) in Upstream Lost World just upstream of the entry pitch (immediately under the balcony in the upper passages), a 3m climb gains a gently ascending passage. This is low in places as it passes under a dripping aven [C1997-161-16].
10m past the aven a wide passage climbs up left over boulders and ends after 15 m at a flat floored chamber with 15m high concreted wall ahead [possible QM at top C1997-161-17]. On the right hand side of this passage, as you ascend towards the chamber, there is a small tube at floor level that quickly chokes.
Just past this junction the main passage turns sharply right (SE) and enters a fine ascending phreatic tube some 5m in diameter. At the top after thirty metres, the passage splits left and right. Right, gains a window and steep descent down a mud slope at the northern end of Pteramacsuit Chamber.
Left ascends in continuing large passage with a 2-3m deep vadose trench and large potholes to traverse over. After 20m the passage levels out and widens to a small chamber (the exit crawl from Pteramacsuit chamber passes somewhere beneath at this point). To the right a narrow rift passage drops 3m then a 5m pitch lands in Pteramacsuit chamber. To the left, larger passage drops down a pebble edge to the climb (Poetic Justice style) overlooking the passage on the other side of the crawl from Pteramacsuit Chamber.
From where the pitch drops in to the large tunnel of the Lost World the downstream section begins as a phreatic passage of about 4m diameter, heading SW then S. After 15m a stream enters from a passage off to the left and up about 3-4m at a corner where the main tube turns right. Going up this inlet passage, a 2-3m climb up is encountered almost immediately. This connects with the descending rift passage that swings off left from the crawling height phreatic passage just after Kein Zimmer Rift.
Continuing downstream, traverse over a shallow trench in the floor to a large wedged rock, where the passage turns left (SSW again).
The way soon degenerates into a large rift-like passage with many fallen boulders. A trench once more develops, and ends in a 5m climb down. Take the obvious route down through the boulders, which involves short climbs down in two places, and then pass under a perched boulder arch.
A few metres further a passage enters from the left. This starts as a climb up of 2m, then the passage turns immediately to the left and a 10m pitch down is encountered. At the base of this pitch two ways on are possible - upstream soon becomes too tight, downstream continues back under the passage from which you enter. This is thought to lead to the final rift chamber, but it wasn't pushed to a conclusion [C1997-161-18 C].
Beyond the perched boulder arch, wider passage turns very sharp right and is broken by a wide 10m pitch overlooking a large rift chamber. A few metres back from the pitch (just before the sharp bend) the small stream disappears down a tight rift in the floor, located to the left (SE) of the passage. This would appear to go to the same place as the QM above.
The 10m pitch lands at the edge of a deep pool (which dries up after periods of dry weather) with two ways on. At the far side of the pool, an inlet enters from above. A climb of about 5m ends in an aven, which was visually connected to the rift in the main passage down which the stream disappears. Alternatively a small rift heads away from the pool emerging into the main rift chamber after 5m.
It is possible to step off the pitch only 5m down, landing on perched boulders in the immensity of the chamber. To the left the chamber continues over boulders (following the left hand wall towards the west) to end in two pools with water entering from an aven above [C1997-161-19]. It is now possible to follow the opposite wall of the chamber under the boulders on which the pitch lands, to emerge after about 15m roughly opposite where the pitch enters. From here two passages off are visible - to the right the rift leading to the deep pool and straight on the main continuation of the rift.
Clambering down boulders, an aven enters from above, which from the evidence of the water smoothed boulders may take a lot of water at times. This descending passage levels out and the small stream disappears under the right hand (SE) wall. This looks to be too wet and too tight to enter, but no one made any great attempt and there is no sign of the stream backing up at this point [C1997-161-20 C]. The passage continues for 20m or so, now trending upwards, until further progress is halted by the roof descending to meet the floor.
The first rift after the crawl below The Ramp, can be followed for a further 3-4m carefully bridging across a small slot in the floor before it becomes too tight. The rift continues beyond the squeeze and entry may be possible after extensive use of a lump hammer [C1996-161-67 C]. This was determined to be a "no go" in 1997.
The small slot in the floor can be rigged using a small thread and backed up to a much larger thread further back in the passage. The pitch is initially quite tight, but opens out after about 2 metres to allow fairly easy progress. After about 12 metres, a floor is reached with a hole in the wall up on one side of the rift [C1996-161-68 C] and a continuation of the rift in the floor on the other side.
This 2nd hole was descended using a natural and indestructible rope technique for another 10m. The pitch is a continuation of the rift above but fairly narrow and sharp. Once through the hole in the floor, the pitch doubles back under the bottom of the drop above and continues sideways. At this point it was decided that the rope was, in fact, not indestructible and that lack of spits meant time for dinner. Beyond this point, the pitch descended for about another 5m, tightly, to another constriction (probably quite awkward) above what looked to be a much wider vertical drop. Rocks thrown seemed to confirm this and suggested another 20m or so of pitch with flowing water at the bottom [C1996-161-69 A]. Subsequent explorations (1997) make it seem likely that this is in the area of Downstream Lost World and unlikely to be a particularly promising lead.
After a couple of metres in the rift following the chamber below The Ramp, a crawl/squeeze under the left wall emerges into a larger sub-parallel rift Dunno (going NE). Here is a false floor leading to the edge of a pitch. This is about 1.5m wide and appears at least 10-15m deep with the sound of water - in fact it proved blind after 7m [C1996-161-64 A].
It is possible to bridge across the pitch head. Just beyond, there is a 2m climb up onto a boulder floor and 3m further reaches another pitch, also descended in 1997. This passes a constriction ~8m down and chokes some 20m further down. The traverse continues over this pitch and the walls pinch in. Beyond appears to be a third [C1997-161-04 C] and possibly fourth [C1997-161-05 C] drop in the same rift but lack of protection prevented further exploration. Again, these leads seem to be almost directly above Lost World, quite close to the present entry point.
90m NNE along Triassic Park from The Overflow, there is a left hand bend where a 3m climb up out of a trench regains easy going. Off left (SW), just after the bend is a tunnel with a 3m blind shaft in the floor. This is traversed on its right to enter the tunnel which leads to a small chamber, Teskedsgumman.
To the right here is a small hole in the floor (doesn't go), and to the left is a steep mud slope up. Beyond this slope is a downward slope and a small (5m) pitch, Professor Yaffle, leading to the bottom of a large aven ~10m in diameter, Zebedee.
Traversing round on the right hand side of Zebedee, some 3m from the bottom, a low way on is obvious. Following this lead NW, a pool of dried mud is reached, with cave beyond. To avoid damaging this mud (which is quite pretty) take a route up a mud slope to the right, through a narrow bit, Dr. Snuggles. The cave beyond this, Alfons Åberg, consists of two small pits separated by a mud bank. Beyond the second pit is a small, muddy, flat out crawl which hasn't been pushed [C1996-161-12 C].
Ignoring the first way on at Zebedee, it is possible to continue traversing round to the opposite side from Professor Yaffle. Here there is a possible traverse up on the left which would require a bolt and hasn't been pushed [C1996-161-14 C] and a ~3m climb down into a short passage, Moomintroll. At the end of Moomintroll is a ~6m climb up into black space [C1996-161-13 B]. This was climbed in 1997 (fixed rope left) to reveal a less promising small way on [C1997-161-03 C].
In the left hand wall of Moomintroll, 3m from the climb down, is the hammered out entrance, The Hymen, to a southwesterly crawl. This proceeds as a body sized crawl to emerge near the start of Alternative Universe. For most of its length there is a deep slot in the floor which is too narrow to descend at all points apart from one, where it is possible to descend for ~10m before the rift becomes too tight again.
To the left (south) at Ring Piece Junction leads to a dodgy climb [C1995-161-34 A], whilst straight ahead (west) at RPJ leads to another junction:
Straight on up a short climb is a passage [C1995-161-36 A] which leads down a boulder slope with an easy climb in the middle to a small chamber. A narrow upward trending rift may be followed to the right - not explored [C1996-161-15 C], but unpromising. The head of Tapeworm (so named after the tape measure snapped whilst surveying it) is in a 1.5m diameter eyehole on the left as you enter the chamber. The shaft quickly enlarges and descends 27m to a rock bridge. There is a small chamber with a large aven above at this point.
Two holes in the floor of the chamber both lead to the same place. Descent is via the larger of these two holes, a rift. A Y-hang provides a free hang to the bottom of the 45m Hammeroids pitch, the first descent of which was made by the head of the bolting hammer during the first attempt to rig it. A hading rift leads off this in two directions, both choked with mud.
Left at the second junction (straight on at RPJ) leads to another small chamber. From here, doubling back on yourself to the left leads to the rift which is the left turn at Ring Piece Junction. To the right is an eyehole high above the boulder slope to the head of Tapeworm. Ahead is a pitch into a perpendicular 3m wide rift [C1995-161-35 B]. This is undescended but is almost certain to drop into Tapeworm which is to the right. The northern end of Alternative Universe is thought to be ~30m away to the left.
From Ring Piece Junction to Locophobia, a distance of only 150m, were no less than 11 questions marks at the end of 1995.
On the right at the junction is a pitch in the floor [C1995-161-37 B]. In the middle of the main passage 25m after the junction is another hole [C1995-161-38 B]. Just beyond this is a large boulder (triassic.pt2.11) and right of this are two passages, [C1995-161-39 B], and [C1995-161-40 A], the latter, marked with a flagged path, leading to the Puerile Humour Series, described elsewhere. Almost opposite Puerile Humour is a rift pitch, [C1995-161-41 A].
Continuing up a slope in Triassic Park, a small passage on the left, [C1995-161-42 A], is the first of several leads thought likely to connect into Children's Railway. Triassic Park narrows to a bend, with a pitch, [C1995-161-43 A], on the right. Above this is a small tube, which leads a few metres (crawling) to where a flake was hammered off to reach an aven. Just beyond is a slot in the floor, Lazio, which descends 6m to end too tight and mud choked. Nearby, through a window on the left (west) side of Triassic park, is another hole, Scorchio, which similarly ends with a narrow rift choked by mud. Across the passage, Dynamo Kiev is very similar, ending c 40m below the entry point in Triassic Park..
Four more small leads [95-44 to 95-47] on the left in the next 90m are all expected to go into Children's Railway, the last [C1995-161-47] via Loch Gösser. [C1995-161-45] (two side-leads that merge almost immediately) is almost certainly already connected, whilst [C1995-161-46] appears to correspond exactly with [C1995-161-61].
Locophobia is a black chamber 150m along (NW) Triassic Park from Ring Piece Junction, marking the start of Triassic Park III. 10m along the traverse route on the left (south) wall is the start of Children's Railway, going back ESE parallel to Triassic Park. A 2m climb down here gains access to a route between a large pitch on the left [C1995-161-49 A] and a short (5m) pitch on the right [Eau Naturel: C1995-161-48 C] where the stream sinks. The other side of this smaller pitch can also be reached by climbing down and left where Triassic Park enters Locophobia. There is a passage on the left of the main way, just beyond the large pitch [C1995-161-50 A]. Apparent passages going off across it were judged to be merely one or more alcoves in both 1995 and 1996.
The smaller of the east passages in Locophobia, Children's Railway, starts as a beautiful circular passage which slowly develops into a deep keyhole passage that 30m in has to be traversed across a hole [C1995-161-60 B]. The passage then splits into two levels with a small lake in the lower part. The passage recombines in a small chamber shortly after. Left [C1995-161-61 B] is assumed to return to Triassic Park (at C1995-161-46). Straight on splits immediately with right being walking passage with a choice of two climbs down at the end to Loch Gösser. Straight on becomes lower and also joins Loch Gösser 25m further on. At this point a low climb to the left returns to Triassic Park (at C1995-161-45).
Loch Gösser is a fossil stream passage initially parallel with Children's Railway, but at a lower level. Heading NW ends at a cross-rift which runs North-South. South, (left) away from Triassic Park, is unexplored [C1995-161-62 A]. To the north, (right) the way continues as a deep pool which has not been given a QM number, as it is assumed to pass under 95-60 in Children's Railway and connect with a similar pool in [C1995-161-47 A], the last of the southwesterly side passages off Triassic Park just before Locophobia.
Eau Naturel is the less promising of two leads in Locophobia, just by the start of Children's Railway, where a stream sinks in a narrow rift. A large loop of rope on the north side of a 2-3m deep depression protects the approach to the narrow rift pitch-head, also rigged in a Y-hang from two naturals. A deviation 2m down on left wall gives a continuing descent of 10m total to a wet chamber where the stream disappears into a too-tight rift back under the depression. However, a pendulum to the NE 3.5m above the bottom gains a rift passage with boulders. Climb over boulders, traversing a 2m deep gap, then through a low constriction into a chamber with a very narrow rift in the floor.
A climb up into an apparent hole in the 3m high arched roof proved blind. A natural, part way up this climb, acts as backup for a short pitch rigged from a thread caused by a constriction in the rift. The 12m drop is best rigged with a rope protector to avoid a rub in the rift. The foot is choked, but an ascent of boulders NE reaches a descending rift streamway which quickly proves too tight, but with the sound of water below. Continuing up, the way is thrutchy, but emerges level with the pitch head to a continuation in mud/boulder rift. Twenty metres on, reached by a climb down, is a small rift chamber with low arch to a slightly bigger chamber. The exits right (south, downstream, distant sound of water) and left (north, upstream, drippy) are both too tight.