204Steinbrückenhöhle5/S x

Mid-level passages (including Wolpertinger Way)

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Summary: The mid-level series is a network of phreatic passages formed in a bed around 15m lower than the Near End series. The trunk passage of Wolpertinger Way slopes down from the bottom of Thread Pitch towards an area of interconnecting passages around the foot of Pendulum Pitch. From here one can descend into the Ariston Series, or follow passages into the Pussy Prance area, or via No Pain No Gain to the northern parts of the cave.

Wolpertinger Way and You're So Veined Area

Wolpertinger Way Thread Pitch and Stitch This from the Near End series land at the top of a large 6-8m diameter phreatic passage, Wolpertinger Way. This heads downhill, past some ice formations on the left hand side, for 35m to a junction. To the left Recycled Rabbit leads off, which was for a long time not noted. Straight ahead is a steep gully leading to a 6.5m diameter circular shaft with aven above - You're So Veined. There is a traverse round the right hand side of the gully on an increasingly narrow ledge.

To the right from the top of the gully, passing over an impassable hole in the floor through dangerous boulders, reaches a junction. Right is a passage, which quickly chokes. Straight ahead leads into 110 A Day, which is the route to No Pain No Gain and all points north. Left is the route towards the Ariston Series and Pussy Prance area.

More sandy crawling leads to a crossroads, where left leads to the ledge overlooking You're So Veined, and right is a short crawl leading to the main passage part of the way down Pendulum Pitch. Straight ahead leads to a further junction. Left is a ledge overlooking You're So Veined which is the usual starting point for descending the Ariston Series. Alternatively, traversing along the ledge leads towards Bunny's Bowel.

Right at the junction is a short passage to a blind pit. Traversing around this to the right leads to the large passage that is reached part way down Pendulum Pitch. Turning left after the traversing the blind pit is the main way on.

Traversing around to the left of the blind pit leads to a rift that leads initially upwards, where a passage leads off to the right. Continuing along down the rift leads to an undescended pitch [C2001-204-67 B]. A passage on the opposite side of the pitch can be accessed from the top of You're So Veined. The passage leading off to the right of the rift quickly enters a small chamber. To the left leads to the undescended pitch [C2001-204-67 B]; straight on leads to a junction, with both ways on being too tight. To the right from the small chamber leads to the passage between Pendulum Pitch and the Pussy Prance area.

Turning left after traversing round the right-hand side of the blind pit leads to a draughting phreatic passage. This passage heads downhill at a comfortable walking size past a tight passage on the left, which leads back towards Wolpertinger Way. 5m further on a tube at roof level heads towards Bunny's Bowel. After 20m, a 3m climb up into a roof tube on the right hand side is the way into the White Elephant Series. The phreatic passage continues for a further 15m past a too tight inlet on the right and a traverse over a blind pit to a 4m deep hole in the floor leading to Merry Fucking Christmas, which is the route to the Pussy Prance area.

Traversing over the hole and up a loose climb with a too tight rift in the right hand wall leads into an uphill passage, which is choked with mud after 5m. A sandy crawl on the right just before the choke leads via a left hand bend with a too tight rift on the right (probably connecting to that at the loose climb) ending at a 2m climb down. There is a possible way on at the bottom of this, but it is very small and tall people at least would have to enter feet first [C1999-204-19 C]. It is likely that this passage connects to Merry Fucking Christmas. There is a noticeable draught here blowing downhill (into the cave).

Bunny's Bowel

Traversing towards the right at the head of You're So Veined leads to a boulder floored passage. A window looks out to the left to the head of an undescended pitch [C2001-204-66 C]. Carrying on leads to the previously described undescended pitch [C2001-204-67 B]; looking across this passages are visible, one of which is the link between Wolpertinger Way and the Pendulum Pitch route. To the left a climb leads to a short passage to Bunny's Bowel, a small chamber. A passage doubling back leads underneath the previous passage to the undescended pitch [C2001-204-67 B]. In Bunny's Bowel, a climb to the right leads to a drop into the phreatic passage that leads to Merry Fucking Christmas. A window to the right leads to a 3m climb (rigged with a handline) to a muddy chamber with a 3m deep hole in the floor, with ways on that were too tight. Back in Bunny's Bowel, to the left the passage goes past an undescended 8m pitch [C2001-204-65 C], then finishes in a mud choke.

Recycled Rabbit

Near the southern end of Wolpertinger Way, on the left of the passage as one descends, is a small low crawling-size passage leading off at right angles. The passage continues for 65m, climbing slightly and remaining approximately the same diameter throughout its length. The passage ends too tight but on the right there is an impassable (at present) connection with a moderately sized chamber - but the use of plug and feather may enlarge the connection to allow passage. [C2001-204-73 C]

110 A Day

110 A Day is a long, dusty passage which varies between stooping and crawling for 110m. Immediately after the start is a sharp right hand bend with a crawl straight ahead to 110 Bidet. About halfway along is a crossroads, where low passages lead off, one on the left to connecting 110 Bidet and another the right which is choked after around 10m. At the terminus reached in 1999, the passage splits into two. Each branch immediately becomes tight, but could be pushed further with a little determination and effort [C1999-204-14 C and C1999-204-15 C]. In the left hand branch, just before the passage becomes tighter, is a pitch of perhaps 20m; all the ways on at the base of this are too tight.

110 Bidet

110 Bidet is a stooping size passage which runs parallel to 110 A Day. It can be accessed via a crawl about 1m up that carries straight on from where 110 A Day starts with a sharp right hand turn. The crawl emerges into larger passage; to the left after 5m is Pendulum Pitch. Going right leads to a hole in the floor among boulders, Marble Run. To the left here is a low passage leading to No Pain No Gain, whilst 110 Bidet carries straight on. Continuing on, the passage turns right, followed shortly by a crossroads with a crawly passage. To the right is a dead end; to the left is Upwards at 45°. Straight on emerges into 110 A Day about half way along its length.

Up At 45 degrees

Up at 45 degrees starts as a strongly drafting crawl off 110 Bidet, which soon leads to a small chamber, with a pit in the floor that can be traversed around to the left, to continuing passage. This soon leads to a major fork. To the left, a junction is reached, where things get a little complicated as the passage is moderately low and wide with a number of pillars. To the left here becomes too tight, whilst to the right rejoins the other main fork, and straight on leads to the base of a chamber, whose floor is a sloped pile of boulders. Near the top of this pile, holes through the boulders reveal a chamber beneath. This can be reached by a crawl to the left, followed by a free climb down. This lower chamber, which also has a boulder floor, has three narrow rifts leading off, whose floors are some distance below. Two of these rifts are at the far end of the chamber [C2002-204-09 C] [C2002-204-10 C], whilst the third heads back under the upper chamber [C2002-204-11 C]. To the right at the first fork leads steadily upwards, passing a phreatic tube up and to the right which joins back to the chamber at the start of up at 45 degrees and various small crawls to the left, which join together and lead to the left hand branch. A boulder is reached which needs to be climbed upon, up to some rather critically angled boulder floor, which eventually ends in a drippy chamber with a tight way on to the right [C2002-204-14 C].

Marble Run

Marble Run runs along a fault line that created a small passable phreatic tube, which has subsequently been intersected by a tight rifty stream way. 20m along the rift bears to the right and is too tight to pass, whilst the phreatic passage continues on to a small chamber. Here the passage doubles back over itself to continue above the original passage. The passage does this once more to end in an earth blockage.

Pendulum Pitch Route

Pendulum Pitch is in a large rift. The first section is a loose boulder slope (care required) to a rebelay, then a descent of 23m via a deviation off the far wall below a large wedged boulder. There may be a passage on the far side of the rift accessible with difficulty from this boulder [C1999-204-17 C]. From the base of the pitch, two rift passages lead off which very quickly become too tight.

The main route on is reached by swinging off after 16m into a 6m wide passage. Two passages in the left hand wall are quickly encountered. The first quickly becomes too tight, the second is a short crawl leading into the network of sandy crawls at the bottom of Wolpertinger Way, and is the best route from here to the Ariston Series. Continuing down the main passage, passing either side of a huge boulder, reaches a blind pit in the floor, with two ways on.

A loose and slightly precarious traverse round the blind pit leads to a short passage on the left, emerging at the head of You're So Veined. A rift visible at the opposite side of the pit has an audible connection to You're so Veined.

To the right at the blind pit is a draughting phreatic tube leading towards Merry Fucking Christmas which is the route to the Pussy Prance area.