161c - France

Thu 08 Jul 1993
Julian Haines

General plan was for me to continue rigging to the pushing front from Frogs Legs onwards whilst Pete and Ali looked down side hole with apparently water at the bottom. Much faffing at entrance then Pete rerigged some of entrance pitches so that boulder slope below Roll of the Dice was less epic. Rerigged top of Frogs Legs as big 'Y-hang' to make get-off easier then Ali lobbed a rock down their pitch. It took about 4 seconds to reach the bottom ! We decided this must go into Algeria and therefore continued there via original route. This hypothesis needs checking sometime. I rigged the big pitch into Algeria initially with 39m rope - more than a little bit too short. Then tried new 200m rope - rebelay at the top of the chamber is absolutely stunning ! Eventually rigged down to the pushing front then Pete and Ali went down scrotty hole with water to find more pitch (~50m or so). I looked at hole in corner of chamber below "Orient Express"; rigged and found crap small hole and tight rift. Crap small hole was below _very_ unstable sandy roof and unlikely to go anywhere .·. not pushed. Tight rift was tried without danglies but was defintely too tight. Throwing rocks suggested either deep pool (or sump ?) beyond - definitely much larger than the few metres of rift. Eventually gave up and went to find Pete and Ali. Pete placed crap spit then everyone too cold/tired/pissed off and started heading out. On the way out Ali knocked a fucking enormous rock off "Orient Express" which crashed and crashed down towards Pete and I on pitch below. Fortunately rock stopped before pitch otherwise 2 very dead cavers ! Many rocks knocked off on the way out in various places. To quote previous year's log book entry, KH is "Fucking cold, fucking loose and very, very brown." Rope below Orient Express definitely needs checking before descending because of rock fall ! Whole of France requires lots of care to avoid killing people !

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    161c - France
    161 - The bitter end (KH, Far Too Far)