161 - Kaninchenhöhle - Photo/tourist/geology trip

Fri 16 Jul 1993
Andy Waddington

Managed to walk to the cave before the inevitable thunderstorm struck, which it did just as I was putting on Solid Rubber Trussing gear. First - try out photo gear in Big Sainsbury's. Difficult solo isn't it ? Slave flash seems to have disappointing range. Then on down S'not looking for subjects. Another couple at Chunnel pitch, then decided that a tripod and ammo can tied together really were _too_ awkward to carry, so dumped the kit and headed on down. Crap takeoff to Bungalow Pitch, chaps, even if it is improved... Almost failed to find Boulder Alley .... almost wished I had. Knossos is a fine pitch - would be excellent on ladders (both as a climb and for photography). Some random wandering in Tower Hamlets before finding Waterfall Chamber and Carrefour. Then YAPATE. Wow ! nice passage in Austria - almost unheard of ... Staircase 36 nice pitch - looks an awful climb ! And so to Chicken Flied Nice - now this really _is_ nice passage. Poke head into Strange Downfall, then the aven in Burble. Start geologising.

The Burble aven is on a small fault/joint (looks a little shattered so probably the former)

The tube of the crawl is wholly on the south side of this fault and is formed on the same horizon as CFN which is a massive creamy white limestone just above a layer of more thinly bedded stuff. The bottom of the aven, and the canyon in the floor of Burble and CFN, cut down into two shelly bands.

Chicken Flied Nice has nice scallops indicating fairly slow flow to the north. There are much smaller, ie. higher energy, scallops in the canyon walls - the direction of these near Strange Downfall isn't very clear. The roof scallops in Burble are also smaller, suggesting a faster-flowing tributary to the main palæotrunk of CFN. The Burble aven fault has just about fizzled out before reaching CFN, showing, if at all, as just a tiny parting in the wall. There are pretty much no significant joints in CFN, and this remains true at the 100° bend - so this is apparently not joint-determined. This all changes at Staircase 36...

Staircase 36 is developed on an approx east-west fault with a downthrow of c 1.5m to the south. This is clearly visible in the wall to your right as you face the rock on the climb/abseil. The wall of S36 cuts through both the shelly bands noted above which show up very clearly as the rock is so clean. The same cannot be said of the YAPATE side of Gob on You, which is much muddier. There may well be one/more en echelon faults here, but its not very clear. Adam's write-up puts the main Gob fault/joint on 260°. YAPATE appears to be formed on exactly the same horizon as CFN, but the shelly bands aren't visible because of the mud. I couldn't see them by peering down Flapjack, but this is hardly surprising. All the geology on the way back is harder, due to either collapse or mud or both !

Knossos nice to climb. Bad ascender slip on Poxy, Bungalow, Chunnel and some on S'not. Entrance pitch OK. There are some shell bands on entrance pitch too, but I didn't make careful notes. Very slow out. T/U 6¾ hours. All dry on surface !


PS. CFN is the nicest and most interesting place I've seen underground on expo.

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