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161 Kaninchenhöhle: Puerile Humour Series Gotham City Jn. to 161f

Turning right (east) at Gotham City Junction, a small window on the right is the returning oxbow. Just after this the passage widens to 10m with mud banks right and left and then lowers to a crawl up over mud on the left, possible QM on the right of this crawl [C1996-161-38 ?]. The crawl soon opens out into walking size passage with mud banks on either side and an aven after 15m. The floor flattens and 10m beyond the aven a sandy, boulder strewn shelf is apparent to the right. Climbing over this leads to the Penguin Falls Bypass.

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Continuing straight on leads to Penguin Falls, a fine mud river with two levels split by a 2m climb at a rock wall on a corner. The mud 'lakes' are avoided by a traverse left of the lower one, then across the top of the falls to traverse right of the upper one.

Approaching the falls, the passage narrows initially between the shelf to the right and a steep sand covered climb to the left, with mud filled potholes in the floor. Ascending the climb to the left gains a traverse that runs along the left side of the lower mud 'lake'. Then a traverse along the wall edge between the upper and lower lakes reaches the right side of the passage. From here, another sandy traverse runs along the right wall above the upper mud lake. At the corner to the left side of the upper mud lake is an ascending, mud floored inlet (not sure if this is a QM or not?). The top end of the upper mud lake is headed with some large boulders beyond which is a chamber with 5 passages leading off, Fiveways Chamber.

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Penguin Falls Bypass (1996)

Coming from Gotham City Junction, the bypass to the fine mud lakes of Penguin Falls can be entered most obviously by climbing to the right over a sandy boulder strewn shelf 10m before the start of the lower mud lake. Alternatively, walking on to just before the mud lake and then doubling back to the right, leads to the back of the sandy shelf. Either way reaches a sharp left turn, beyond which the passage widens to 3.5m. A steep mud slope up reaches a mud col overlooking Fiveways Chamber.

Fiveways Chamber (1996)

Somewhat obviously the chamber has five passages leading off it. To the north west is the top of Penguin Falls; to the south west is the exit of Penguin Falls Bypass, both leading back towards Triassic Park.

At the northern end of the chamber is a steep climb up mud covered rocks into an area known as Shaftmine, including the main ways on to both 161e and 161f entrances. To the right of this (north east) is a narrow rift passage going into Lying Down on the Job. The southern end of the chamber leads up a mud bank to a low mud floored bedding into Completely Loopy. Both of these latter routes also lead into the complex area leading to 161f.

Shaftmine (1996)

Climbing the steep slope to the north of Fiveways Chamber, the wide (5m) passage soon levels out with boulders in the floor and routes right and left round the top of a pitch. This general area continuing up to Bounce Rift is known as Shaftmine due to the numerous shafts encountered along its length.

Straight on for 10m reaches Brian's Pitch. Passing this to the left goes to Tipico Asturias, whilst traversing to the right, on a narrower ledge (1.5m) to the left of a rock pillar, is the main way on, immediately splitting right and left. Right up a small step quickly encounters a small passage on the right which connects back to the main way before Brian's pitch (via a 2m step up from that passage). Five metres beyond this, a low arch on the right (5m wide) leads into Pothole Passage.

Opposite Pothole Passage is a 6m pitch [C1996-161-42 A] (the other side of which can be reached by following the leftwards route below the small step). This (1997) proved to end too tight, wet and miserable. Continuing straight on (east) the floor becomes bouldery and heads upslope. To the left here are several rock pillars, and the way left of the 6m pitch rejoins. At the top of the slope is a left turn where the roof lowers briefly to stooping height. Following the main passage on past another rock pillar, the floor drops away to the left down a pitch Spit at the Bottom.

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Just past the pitch a large boulder (4m x 5m) blocks the passage at floor level and it is necessary to climb over or crawl under on the right. The passage continues 5m wide and upslope for 15m where it ends at a cross rift. To the right is a steeply ascending rift with aven above. To the left (north) after 5m, a pitch (6m) is found on the left dropping into Bounce Rift. The boulder floored rift is 2m wide and almost north-south, with a few minor leads.

A 6m climb up the opposite (east) side can be made to gain a stooping-height continuation of the main horizontal passage, Roast Beef. Access to this area, including Iceland is most easily gained via the 161e entrance, 140m beyond Bounce Rift, and hence the most detailed description will be found through these links. A brief description of the main route is given here for those choosing to exit 161e.

Roast Beef quickly degenerates to a bedding plane crawl. Traversing to the left of two blind pits, a hading rift chamber is reached. A short climb down to the left is blind, straight ahead is a crawl which leads to Crystal Maze. To the right is the continuation of Roast Beef, a draughting phreatic tube. A passage on the left after 20m also leads to Crystal Maze. After a further 60m, a boulder choke is reached which was dug out in 1996. This reached a small chamber after 5m, which is within sight of daylight. A further 5m of crawling uphill through a short squeeze leads to the 161e entrance/exit.

Pothole Passage to 161f (1996)

East of Fiveways Chamber is an area of considerable complexity leading eventually to the 161f entrance. All three ways out of Fiveways on the eastern side lead into this area, but the most logical "main route" is via Pothole Passage from Shaftmine.

Leaving Fiveways chamber to the north and traversing right round Brian's Pitch soon leads to a low, 5m wide arch into Pothole Passage on the right. Initially mud floored, the passage slopes up ESE and after 10m a fine series of mud floored potholes in the rock floor can be clambered over on the way up the passage. The passage levels out after 15m with branches right and left.

Following the rightwards (SE) route, a traverse over boulders to the left above a 3m climb (from Completely Loopy) reaches an easy, mud floored, walking sized passage. A passage on the left reenters from the left way of Pothole Passage, whilst on the right are numerous interconnecting climbs into the mazelike start of Crystal Clear Passage. The easiest route is to walk forwards and take the last climb (2m) on the right (just before the way closes to a small rift [C1996-161-53 A]) and then follow the passage along (SE).

Ignoring a right turn, the main way on continues 2m wide and walking height. After 8m or so the floor becomes covered with cobbles and a small patch of ice is encountered in the floor.

Ignoring another passage and pitch to the right, a 1.5m climb up continues the southeasterly trend, passing yet another lead on the right. Heading on over some boulders, the passage widens to a small rock floored chamber.

The main way on (of several possibilities) is a 3m climb up boulders, over a huge slab across the passage.

Straight on, still SE, over boulders, leads into a chamber (10m by 5m) Spiderman Chamber with eight routes leading out.

Taking the fourth exit (either way round !), pretty much straight across the chamber, the passage lowers to a crawl, Shingler's Rift, which turns sharply left (NE) a few metres in, breaking the consistent SE trend for the first time. The crawl continues over shattered rock shingle (which falls out of the roof if you touch it!), with a right / left kink halfway along its 25m length. The last 5m are ice floored and a slope up exits to the surface at 161f.