204Steinbrückenhöhle5/S x

Pussy Prance area

Survey --  204 index

Summary: The Pussy Prance area is a network of substantial phreatic passages at the southern end of Steinbrückenhöhle. At the time of its discovery it extended significantly further south than all other development in the cave with the exception of the deepest parts. It was originally explored from a passage heading south from You're so Veined. In 2012 this area was accessed from Brian's Phat Shaft, a pitch in Pleasuredome that can be accessed from a number of alternative routes. The connection to Kaninchenhöhle was found from the Pussy Prance area.

Merry Fucking Christmas

Merry Fucking Christmas is accessed from a hole in the floor at the end of a draughting phreatic passage that heads south from You're so Veined. Climbing down through the hole for 4 metres lands at the entrance to a low crawl, Merry Fucking Christmas. While not actually tight, the crawl continues awkwardly for 20m to a small chamber with QM [C2001-204-71 C]. The crawl continues slightly larger for another 25m, past a hole in the floor which is blind.

The crawl opens out in the wall of 7-11 Chamber. This is part of a large shaft, with high aven (>40m?) [C2001-204-72 X] and deep main pitch (35m). The chamber floor is reached by a y-hang followed by a single bolt rebelay and rope protector. Traversing across the blocks on the floor leads to a short climb up (rope advised) over a ridge into a parallel shaft (7m deep). The base of this is choked with boulders; an uninviting wriggle between these leads back towards the main pitch.

Back at the entrance to 7-11 Chamber, an exposed traverse around the north-western corner of the shaft leads to a small muddy window. This is a small chamber with small muddy passage sloping downwards. Following this for a short distance arrives at a loose funnel; rocks thrown into this rumble down into the main pitch.

The SlotThe main pitch, No bits, is descended by continuing on the rope to a Y-hang using two bolts under the large boulder above the pitch. This gives a free hang to the floor (see: rigging diagram). At the bottom of the pitch, a rift leads off. There is a side passage to the right which becomes too tight after about 10m. The way on is down the rift, which can be descended using a thread and a single bolt to form a Y hang (the beginning of Hammer and thong). At the bottom of this initial narrow descent, the rift can be followed at various levels, but all ways become too tight. Down, Hammer and thong continues with a Y hang at a ledge and a deviation from the left wall (see rigging diagram).

At the bottom of Hammer and thong, the comfortably-sized rift, Pussyprance continues steeply down (rope required - see rigging diagram) to Catflap pitch. To the right at the top of the pitch is a window into a large phreatic passage (~5m wide). To the right, this passage continues for about 25m to a large window, which connects to Catwalk . To the left, the phreatic passage passes a passage in the left hand wall, which could be descended downwards [C2008-204-06 B] or climbed upwards [C2008-204-07 B]. The main passage slopes down to a large chamber, Puss in Bolts (20m across). The chamber can be descended to the right via a 20m pitch (Painted lady) to Puss in Bolts. Just before the chamber, there is a pitch on the left, which leads to Catawal.


Descending Catflap, a window back under the pitch head can be reached at about 5m above the floor of the shaft. This can be swung into, with the rope deviated off threads in the mud floor, to reach a short section of phreatic passage ending in a 9m climb which can be protected with a rope belayed off a large thread. At the foot of this climb there is a junction - to the left is a spacious pitch and aven [C2009-204-02 A] - the aven has been connected to one of the large chambers at the bottom of pussy prance. To the right is a small walking passage ending in a window into a blind pitch with a possible mud-filled continuation opposite [ C2009-204-04 C]. There are two junctions on the right from Catwalk - these join after a few meters, and the passage continues past a small waterfall on the left and junction to the right (which loops back into the same passage) to a window at the top of another pitch - Snow Leopard. This swings into the bottom 15m of Brian's Phat Shaft, with a continuation of the passage in the wall of the pitch opposite - [ C2009-204-10 B]. Catflap was left rigged in 2009 to allow access to this area from Brian's Phat Shaft - this route was exploited in 2012.


Catawaul starts with a 20m nicely-shaped pitch. Right at the bottom of the pitch leads to a small chamber with no ways on. The way on is a tight slot in the floor leading to a small, but less tight rift which ends with a short drop (rope needed), which is followed by another pitch (< 10m). Another short pitch follows this, which is undescended [C2009-204-01 B].

Puss in Bolts

At the bottom of Painted lady, is a window to the left to a large pitch [C2009-204-11 A]. To the left of this pitch is a shallower pit, which may be choked [C2009-204-12 B]. Around the right-hand wall of the large pitch is an 8-bolt traverse (left rigged in 2012), which starts with an up climb (also permanently rigged; 30m rope needed in addition, see rigging diagram). At the end of the traverse is a mud bridge, which leads across to On the Prowl.

On the Prowl

On the prowl starts with a traverse along the left hand wall above a blind trench in the floor. The traverse ends with a pitch down (30m rope required for traverse and pitch). A deviation is required after 8m to swing off the pitch into the main chamber; the pitch appears to continue downwards [C2009-204-19 B]. To the right in the chamber are a number of pitches [C2009-204-22 A] [C2009-204-23 A] [C2009-204-24 B]. Traversing over one of these pitches in the far southwest corner of the chamber leads to Dog Days which is the route to the Big Boulders area. Descending the latter hole leads to connections with Fat Cat at the level of the boulders some 5m down to the north. To the south, a rift pitch continues with further visual connections to the head of the pitch. To the left, the chamber narrows to a wide passage, at the end of which is a large pitch: Fat Cat.

Fat Cat

Fat cat is rigged initally from a large spike in On the Prowl. After a 3m climb down to a ledge, there is a y-hang. It is initally narrow, but bells out below a rebelay, about 10m down. After a further 7m of descent, two phreatic pockets are reached to the northwest. The upper pocket can be reached via a natural anchor and a rebelay bolt in the ceiling. This pocket goes in for 8m, at the end of which two solution pockets are observed in the ceiling which ascend for 10m. The lower phreatic pocket is unexplored [C2012-204-XX ?].

After a further 7m, it is possible to swing off to the southwest [C2009-204-27 A]. A 4m climb up loose boulders leads to the base of twin avens with visual connections to the level of the head of Fat Cat. [FIXME: (Olly) which holes are these?]

Decending the main pitch a further 7m leads to a ledge from where there are two ways to descend. The main route down descends a further 10m to a ledge. At the opposite side of the shaft at this level, a passage leads off into Cirque du Soleil. It is possible to descend a further 10m into a large chamber, at the bottom of which is a slot [C2009-204-30 B]. 80m of rope is required to reach the lowest "floor". From the ledge 20m above the floor, an alternative descent of 10m down a smaller shaft is the route to Catgut.

Catgut and Pussy Riot

From the bottom of the alternative shaft from Fat Cat, a 2m climb to the southwest over Boris the Boulder leads into a small phreatic passage, Catgut. This closes down after 4m, but the second of two holes down and to the right is passable. Awkward progress is made downhill through small, popcorn encrusted passage passing a passage on the right that doubles back under the passage just traversed that is blocked by rocks [C2012-204-01 D]. Further on, a junction is quickly reached by survey station 7. To the right leads to Cat Flea.

Cat Flea is delightful... [FIXME: (Olaf) description needed]

At survey station 7, a popcorn encrusted squeeze down to the left leads over a pitch of at least 10m [C2012-204-02 A] to a larger phreatic passage. A window on the right leads to a 5m down climb to a small stream that sinks into a mud choke [C2012-204-03 D]. Continuing east along the phreatic passage a small stream enters immediately from the right from a passage at ceiling level that can be accessed via a 3m climb [C2012-04-04 B]. Continuing a further 10m a small chamber is reached via a 2m down climb. The exit is via a 3m climb to a larger boulder filled chamber with many holes in the floor, which marks the start of Pussy Riot.

The initial chamber in Pussy Riot contains a number of leads. Immediately to the left (east) on entry is a hole down between boulders and wall that appears to be 2-3m deep [C2012-204-05 B]. Immediately to the right (west) is a larger undescended pitch estimated at 15m [C2012-204-06 A], above which is a window that leads back into Catgut. On the southwest wall of the chamber are two holes through the boulders, [C2012-204-07 B] and [C2012-204-08 B], that may be linked. 8m up on the southeast wall of the chamber, a phreatic passage appears to enter which might be accessible via a diagonal climb up the wall (protection required) [C2012-204-09 B].

The way on is reached by following the left-hand wall of the chamber to an exit passage in the eastern corner that carries a considerable draught. A 3m drop (rope required) leads into a crawling size continuation to the east (the western continuation of the lower level passage appears to choke immediately). Continuing past two connected tubes on the right heading steeply uphill [C2012-204-10 C], a local widening is reached with a crawl exiting to the right (south) [C2012-204-11 B] and the main route heads left (north) via two passages that reunite at a junction after 5m. To the left (west) at the junction leads to the bottom of Fat Cat. Right leads to Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil

Swinging off 10m from the bottom of Fat Cat, a passage to the southeast leads off. A crawl through large boulders with a possible crawling passage to the left [C2012-204-12 C] leads to a junction. Twin passages to the right (south) mark the start of Pussy Riot. Ahead (east) is Cirque du Soleil. The passage opens out into a large, boulder filled chamber some 15m in diameter. At the enlargement there is a narrow rift to the north that will require rope for descent [C2012-204-13 B]. Immediately beyond this, a passage to the left ultimately links back to Cirque du Soleil.

To the south are two phreatic windows at the top of a mud slope [C2012-204-14 A] with a possible visual connection to Pussy Riot. Immediately beyond these is a window onto a drippy pitch with a considerable draught [C2012-204-XX B]. A traverse round the right hand wall of this pitch (permanently rigged) is the start of the Far from Support traverses that lead to Kaninchenhöhle.

Continuing round the same wall, a descending mud bank is reached in the southeast corner that will require a rope for descent [C2012-204-15 B]. 10m away to north is a small hole through boulders [C2012-204-16 B]. From this point, a clamber down a boulder pile leads to a northward trending passage some 5m wide and 10m high that carries a considerable draught from the north. At the bottom of the slope, a passage doubling back on the left connects back to the route into Cirque du Soleil, and a small hole through the boulders has not been descended [C2012-204-17 B]. The passage continues for a further 20m to a window onto a large, drippy pitch that is at least 20m across at the largest extent. This is almost certainly the final pitch of the Kiwi Suit series.

Far from Support

At the southern end of Cirque du Soleil a permanently rigged bolt traverse heads off round the right-hand side of a drippy pitch. The route descends, via a rebelay, to a ledge 5m down, then up into a rift on the opposite side of the pitch. Continuing round the corner to the right leads to a pitch in the rift of unknown depth on the right [C2012-204-XX B] and a much larger, drippy pitch on the left. The rope goes up a climb to a second bolt traverse round the left-hand wall of this pitch. This leads after 15m to the northern end of Bored of the Rings in Kaninchenhöhle.