161 - Flat Battery Series (cont'd)

Sat 21 Jul 1990
William Stead

Set off @ 11:30am + bolting + surveying gear on a push/survey trip. Arrived at limit of push quite quickly + rigged down into ... A chamber left leading + an aven + a little water lowing down, right to muddy banks & no apparent way on. Water sank in a trench in the floor. Follewed this with difficulty through a smallish rift partly choked by boulders to a sandy chamber. Water by now gone. Here, the obvious way on was blocked - a cheese grater type formation of a whole lot of holes in a rock barrier, leading to a reasonable sized passage. Climbed up sand bank to side to an insignificant rift, which led to a maze of small, sharp phreatic passages, slowly descending (the Labyrinth). At this point, we started worrying about getting lost, especially as the way on was getting very muddy. These passages draught, though, & would keep Wookey happy surveying for ages. Came back out & discovered a small rift back to the foot of the pitch over the top. At this point, decided to rerig the last pitch with bolts prior to doing a serious push. Sent Mark in to bang said bolt in, who then discovered a total absence of spits. Bollocks! Resisting the temptation to exit immediately in a fit of pique, surveyed down the last 2 pitches in 3 stations & into the avens in 2 more. This took an hour & a half & we were very cold. Handily realized that we couldn't really do more surveying as we didn't really know where the passage went, so cut off the bottom off the rope on the last pitch & I climbed up over the rift.... A large phreatic tube with a nasty traverse + naturals to rig it. Mark duly rigged said traverse into continuation of tube. Tube ca 3m diameter with holes in floor ca 30 foot deep. One of these probably leads to the other side of the Cheesegrater. Finished at hole in floor ca 30 foot deep with continuation of phreatic level opposite - quite easily reachable with bolts. Interesting suspended mud floor in side shaft - just the thing for Damage to jump on (he'd go straight through). By now 5:30pm. Debated whether to survey the phreatic tube + didn't. Last survey st'n (3) marked with S on rock 1m in front of foot of last pitch - obvious.

Came out via Dreamtime (a little rerigging needed if it's to be the main route) & exited ca 8:30pm

The following rerigging needs doing + bolt kit in Flat Battery series.
a) Dodgy traverse on way to Yapate - could do with bolt + tape.
b) 1st pitch in DBS (Oldham) - Long pendulum if main bolt fails. Needs back-up (hole part-drilled)
c) 40m pitch ditto.
d) Last pitch - rigged on naturals. Needs bolt at head & wire on rebelay (Wire left down there). ... had we any spits we'd have done these.

[extended elevation sketch of electrolytic level]

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    161 - 161b
    161 - Flat Battery Series (cont'd)
    Eishohle - Trip into the fridge