1623 / 283
Organhöhle 2/S +

Surveys and Rigging Guides

Grade 3c survey on cover of UBSS Nls 6(3), 11/90

Underground Description

A deep and serious cave in a very remote location, with numerous Puits en bayonettes, from which rescue would be virtually impossible after a tortuous tube at -100m.

The 1m diameter entrance is followed by a walking sized phreatic passage with further entrances in the roof. This continues to a four-way junction. Straight on soon chokes at a boulder slope. Up to the left, the passage winds back to a further entrance. The way on is down to the right. The 5m high passage continues, passing low crawls on the left and right to a point where the roof lowers and the passage is split horizontally. The lower passage leads to an extensive series of low crawls whilst the upper passage continues to a squeeze past a debris cone with a distinct draught. Past the debris cone the passage splits again. The right hand passage chokes soon after a 12m pitch but the left hand passage carries on as a hands and knees crawl, crosses a blind 4m pit and soon reaches the first pitch.

A fine descent of 66m in a large shaft lands on a boulder ledge with the second pitch following on immediately. This descends 50m to a 15cm wide rift. Although there is a possible continuation beyond, this would require considerable effort to enter and was not pushed. A climb up to a window above the second pitch (krab and sling left rigged) gains a climb down to the boulder-strewn foot of an aven and a horizontal tube going off (not explored). 13m down the second pitch, Fledermaus ledge can be gained, with a passage leading off to Fledermaus pitch, named for the quantities of bat skeletons at its head. This 27m descent reaches about the same level as the base of the second pitch, and is blind except for a small slot in one wall. Traversing over Fledermaus leads to a small chamber with two tubes leading off, both draughting. The left tube becomes too tight, but a pitch can be seen beyond the constriction. The right tube is the Organ Grinder.

The Organ Grinder is 46m of exceedingly tortuous passage - nowhere extremely tight but twisting and turning, rising and falling, requiring a unique combination of contortions. It is best tackled feet first on the way in (head first on the way out) until a flat out crawl near the end which leads to the crux: a U-bend, best approached head first on the descent. This is even more difficult on the return, when it is best tackled feet first. UBSS's times to pass this passage varied from 10 minutes to 3½ hours, with an average of 20 minutes. There is just room to replace SRT gear before the following pitch. The return of an injured person through this tube would be almost impossible without extensive modification of the cave.

The third pitch descends 42m, passing two windows, to a floor with no way on. From the foot of the pitch, a 3m climb up to a ledge reveals two climbs down. One of thse is blind, but the other leads to an undescended pitch of c20m.

Both of the windows in the third pitch connect with Topher's pitch, and the lower one was rigged. From here the pitch is 86m with a large ledge near the bottom. At the foot, a window leads to an aven, whilst in the opposite wall, another window looks onto the fifth pitch, Toccata and Feuge (sic).

Toccata and Feuge is best descended from a ledge above the large ledge in Topher's pitch. Rigged mainly from flakes and threads, it drops in a series of steps, 39m in total. A small hole in the floor drops into a chamber with no passable way on - just two exits, both too tight. 10m back up the pitch, a ledge can be gained and is the start of the Rift Climb. This is a 40m descent, and is best rigged as a self-lined climb. The rift continues for some distance horizontally, but has not been followed. Below the Rift climb, the head of another pitch can be gained, but great care should be exercised in the Rift Climb and this following pitch (The Pitch of the Flying Boulders) as there are many loose rocks, which, when dislodged, fall the full depth of both pitches. From the bottom of Topher's Pitch to the head of PotFB, many fossils of "large bivalves and snails on sticks" protrude up to 25mm from the rock.

The PotFB was rigged from a thread and is somewhat awkward for 6m to a rebelay, after which it hangs free. The 32m descent lands in The Hall of the Flying Boulders, which again contains much loose rock, choking the floor level. However, a 2m climb up a mudbank leads to an impressive phreatic passage. A pit in the floor of this passage drops to a chamber with a deep well. Passing this, and a smaller side passage on he left, one soon reaches Another Bloody Pitch with a strong draught at the head. The side passage also joins this pitch. Another Bloody Pitch is 31m, but ends blind. A window part way down reaches a further shaft of 36m, also blind, but this is the deepest explored point, at -295m.

From the head of Another Bloody Pitch, a continuation of the phreatic passage can be seen, but will not be reached without a serious bolted traverse. It is thought that this is the main way on, at c260m depth.


UBSS 1990


The above description is adapted from the UBSS report in Newsletter Vol 6 No. 3, November 1990.
ALSO Proc. Univ. Bristol Spelaeol Soc. 1992 19 (2), 263

Wallets: scanned survey notes

There are 1 wallets with data for this cave:


Was refound as 2012-OK-03.

[in 2012]: no tags or signs of previous exploration could be found. Also there was almost no noticeable draught.

logbook 2012-08-11b


  1. Id letter: '' Edit this entrance
    About 300m along the north side of the ridge running east from Hohes Augst-Eck, about 50m from the summit of the ridge at the foot of a 5m cliff, a 1m diameter tube.

    Located in the valley where the winter ski route from Wildenseealm onto the plateau is marked. Relatively far up in the valley and relatively high on its southern slope. Can also be approached by a 45 minute walk from the entrance to Tunnocksschacht across the limestone plateau.



    Obvious hole of about 1.5m diameter in side of cliff opens up to a nice phreatic passage of considerable length. Another entrance to the left, to the right the cave becomes slightly smaller.

    Other Station
    1623.p283 - Olaf and Wookey were walking from Topcamp via the back route to Appelhaus on 2012-08-11 and stumbled across the entrance. 47.7033216N 13.8314314E (UTM33 412332, 5283988), 1879m (SRTM is +31m, distance from reference: 21m)

New Entrance

Survex File(s)

All survexfiles for this cave (if any)
Primary survex file for this cave
Download .3d file 1623-283.3d
cave survex path '1623/283/'