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Kaninchenhöhle: Triassic Park to Scarface (161d)


The opening up of the 161d (Scarface) entrance in 1995 permitted much easier exploration of the extensive Triassic Park trunk passage and its ramifications. It also opened the way for a variety of through trips from the upper entrances, or even from the entrances explored in 1996 from Puerile Humour series, 161e and 161f. In view of this, and the fact that it was originally explored from the inside of the cave, this page describes the exit from Triassic Park to the surface.

The exit passages

From France, Salt Lake City ends in a brief low section, emerging at a T-junction. Left is the Guillotine, coming from Triassic Park just a short way to the northeast. Turning right from Salt Lake City, or straight on from the Guillotine, Critters' End carries a strong draught (towards the entrance in summer).

Immediately on entry, Critters' End turns left (SE towards the valley outside). Twenty five metres on, at a right hand corner, part of the draught turns left into the original route of exploration. Ignoring this, Critters' End jogs left again, and more of the draught turns up a second, but easier, passage on the left. Straight on, the "main" passage chokes within 45m.

survey - 12k gif

Both of the left turns go to the same place, joining up as Perseverance Passage, quickly becoming walking sized again. On the right, the original way of discovery is very tight, but keeping left, Slidy Caver is a low dug passage up a steep slope of loose stones. This will undoubtedly become easier with the passage of more caving traffic. At the top of the slope is a T-junction. Right was the original route, whilst left drops down some boulders into the chamber of Mothshag.

A 2m climb, still following the draught, leads to mainly stooping passage for 25m, turning south and emerging over scree under the low arch of the 161d entrance, which funnels the draught into a stream powerful enough to hold up a fleece jacket:

At this point, the explorer who has not come in this way may find the location very unfamiliar. You are on a steep hillside with much recent rockfall. Down in the valley below is the main 201 path over Hochklapf Sattel, but from here this is difficult to reach. If reached, it is still a long walk (going right as seen from 161d) back to the Bergrestaurant and car park.

Up the steep hillside from this point is the col on the Schwarzmooskogel ridge where are found the upper entrances to Kaninchenhöhle. The best way back is to gain this col. Initially, scrambly progress is made up and left on the recent talus, until a short rope climb enables access to be gained to a traverse going left. A section through dwarf pine is awkward, though unmistakeable, and soon leads to a cairned route into a gully below the col. There is a choice of routes up here, generally following the line of the gully - handline climbs are needed on one alternative, but a little searching soon reveals a fairly straightforward route. However, the way is steep and can be treacherous after rain, so good weather and plenty of daylight are recommended if you have not used the route before.