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161 Kaninchenhöhle: Where the Wind Blows

Catwoman's Claws (1996)

This series trends almost due north and is substantially linear in nature with numerous shafts and avens appearing along its length. It is unusual for the Puerile Humour series in that it draughts out (ie. towards Triassic Park) in the summer. The series is some 70m higher than, and passes less than 100m to the east of East Anglia at "The Far End" of the 'old' cave.

Turning left (NNE) at Gotham City Junction, over a low pebble bank, the passage is straight for 30m with mud banks either side and a narrow slot in the floor occasionally visible. Towards the end of this straight section the mud is covered in calcite and numerous stalactites are found, The Claws, that give this passage its name. The passage turns left, up a boulder slope. An aven ~10m is passed on the left and a narrow trench in the floor is again visible. Passage continues past mud banks for 25m, and opens out with an aven to the right and an apparent end with a rock wall in front.

No Utility Belt Required

Looking to the left at the end of Catwoman's Claws, an unobvious, small (1.5m high by 30cm) rift in the wall can be seen, this is a 2m squeeze No Utility Belt Required that pops out into a small chamber with several ways on. The way on is to the right of the exit of the squeeze.

Catwoman's Claws survey - 10k gif

Where the Wind Blows

To the right of the exit to No Utility Belt Required, combined tactics can be used to gain the top of a 3m climb and scramble up a steep mud slope (back over the top of the squeeze). A thread on the left can then be used to rig a handline for the climb.

At the top of the mud slope is an open area with a conical mud pile in the centre with a view back down, on the right, to the chamber and aven [QM 96-32], encountered before the squeeze.

The way on, Where The Wind Blows, is to the left, heading down a steep mud slope for 10m to a brief crawl / stoop before opening out to walking sized passage once more. 10m on, the mud floor gives way to calcited mud and boulders with a narrow vadose trench in the floor and avens (about 10m high) right and left. Another vadose trench is then met running down the passage and off to the left originating from the base of yet another aven on the left. The passage widens slightly (to 5m) with an aven (~10m) on the right, then constricts briefly with an aven (~10m) on the left. The passage then widens to ~7m with a 3m drop to the right and several narrow rifts in the floor lead to Pencil Shaft.

Continuing on up a rock strewn slope enters the start of a large fault chamber 30m long, 5m wide and ~15m high. Several shafts and avens punctuate this, the last traversed to the left to reach the end of the chamber where the boulders give way to a mud floor and a narrow rift leads off north on the right hand side.

Bloody Hairfire Passage (1996)

survey - 7k gif

The rift continues for 7m or so, turns to the east and lowers through a calcite curtain into a mud floored phreatic passage. The mud gives way to a rock floor with a shallow trench in the floor at a corner. Straight on are some small connected phreatic pockets and to the left is a fine flat, mud floored, arched phreatic passage, 3m wide by 1.5m high on average, with occasional phreatic pockets along it's length. Bloody Hairfire Passage (so called due to an error reading a compass with a carbide light!) heads dead straight, level and almost due north for 70m.

The passage then bears slightly to the right and a very careful crawl must be made to the left of a calcite pool, with delicate calcite flower, in the centre of the mud floor. 25m on, a phreatic shelf opens out at roof level and to the right, and a further 20m reaches the cobble strewn passage end. Straight on ends in a choked, but draughting bedding [C1996-161-37 C], whereas to the left a crawl under small stal formations enters a narrow 4m aven/rift [C1996-161-36 C] again choked with cobbles with a draught coming through.

10 m back from the end on the right (going in) is a very unobvious hole in the floor against the wall with a draught coming out of it. The body sized hole drops 2m to a rift that then doubles back and drops ~4m to a small chamber with puddle in the floor [C1996-161-35 A]. This continues, but now requires hammering for further progress [C1997-161-35].

There was some (as yet undescribed) work here in 1997, leading to an "aven above climbs up through the floor at end" [C1997-161-36].