113 - again - reexploration
Down to the hading (?) rifts to try and find a lateral connection to Stellerveg (?) [these damned vegetarians get everywhere] - 41 and perhaps recover a stinky and helmet from the bottom of Perilous Ibbeth / Ibeeth Perilous Pitch. Ages to find the actual entrance - yellow marks on night-time rock not altogether visible. Mike A rigged, couldn't find the old bolt so re-anchored to avoid the knife-sharp edges and three frozen cavers soon descended to a snow slope and three foot ice-pool (wet feet for some). Down the rifts, down and down - on a very rough calculation the slope was 90m long (through squeezes and climbs), 90° strike angle (dipping right, angle taken) 25° downward (v approx). Some fabulous, truly so, ice stalagmites and 'tites - forty feet at one stage and enormous ... found abolt hole at the bottom of this rift way - we'd probably come off the main route. Couldn't find any lateral rifts that went anywhere so back to entrance pitch, foot of, and then down a different way - right and down rather than straight on, trying to find Ibbeth Perilous and the Foxes Glacier. Little glaciers and very steep slopes - Andrew went down to see what was there. At bottom of slopes (70 ft down at 45°), hole off to the left and a steep wet slope up (you'd need a handline or sticky boots, grasshopper like, to get up). Another steep slope down, a fair way from the sound of rocks. Animal and Jared found a pitch to the right of the first slope but could see no bolts and felt no urge to descend. Which Andrew did: on second descent of slope, a huge boulder gave way and he went shooting down these 70 foot ridges to get a gashed hand, four stitches, and no more caving. The official version is he fell down while descending the footpath (official for other cavers/tourists etc.) ... Out at 3.30, back at dump at 5.30 (starting underground 10 pm ish)
Moral of the tale - seriously. WATCH OUT FOR LOOSE BOULDERS - nothing's necessarily solid: no-one's ever been down before & frost damage means everything's dodgy. And if you don't believe it, you may well find yourself in plaster up to the elbow, if you're lucky (A's postscript).