115 - Pushing

Thu 05 Aug 1982
Dave Brindle

My old man said "Follow the van..." geddit ? Gertcha !

Well . . . . what can I say ? Preparing for a long trip, Dave put on long johns, wetsuit, furry suit, pullover, cagoule and overalls. Unfortunately he could barely move and had to take off a layer or two at the Ramp. Down the Purgatory was as nasty as ever. Then, past the Confluence and "Yeeeeeeeah !" I've never been as near having an orgasm underground as when I saw the smoked "CUCC 82" in the roof. Suitably encouraged by the easy way out, we pressed on. A pleasant series of pitches lead to the Duck. Yeurgh !! Chas did well to survive in just a furry suit. Then - Orgasm Chasm. Jeez what a shaft ! We put in two bolts and a large freehang 150+ dropped to (no not a floor) a ledge. Another bolt but rope too short. Still no floor. Back (bounce) up (bounce) the Interalp (bounce) which stopped bouncing when it caught and I was prussiking up an iron bar ! Shit. We've now been under 9 hours so exit. Large gonk at sump bypass. At confluence we gratefully climbed up into the phreas. The way to 115 is about half a mile of walking and traversing. Towards the end we were stopping every 50m for a rest. In the Big Chamber, we had a really bad gonk for 25 minutes or so - I began to wonder if we'd make it. Once the prussiking had started it wasn't so bad but it was slow hard progress all the way. The Bell Pitch alone took 15 minutes. Then the crawl out to a painful dawn. In silence we changed and walked back to the Loserhütte. The sight of Mike asleep in his car was very welcome indeed. At long last we could relax, after sixteen and a half hours unbroken struggle with this fierce cave.

16½ hours

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Logbook trips on this date:
    115 - Survey Purgatory
    115 - Pushing
    132 - Exploring
    115 - Dry Bits
    113 - SONNENSTRAHLHÖHLE survey + frontier push