161 - France - Black Suspender

Sun 23 Jul 1995
Julian Haines

Holes in floor of Algeria Dave (other), Kate
Rift in floor nr Hobnob passage AndyA, Steve
(Piss Pot)

I only know what I did and a bit about other things, so other people will have to fill in the gaps. I left the surface and headed for Black Suspender. On arrival at the ledge part way down Sultans of Swing it occurred to me to have a proper look at the hole in the wall. After traversing over the top of the lower bits of Sultans and climbing over a pile of choss I eventually found a hole through to what appear to be a ledge surrounding a pitch. Since this was a bit awkward and I was on my own, I noted this and decided to look again next time - it was probably only a higher bit of Sultans anyway.

After collecting rope, drill, battery, hangers and all the other shit I headed for Black Suspender. Where the hell is Dave [Scout], I thought? So I put in some bolts [easy bolting with drill] and some more bolts and eventually Dave arrived. Eventually got along the left hand wall of the pitch, out to a flake from which there appeared to be a good hang. Weeeeee.... all the way to the bottom. Oh what a surprise this one doesn't go either. At that point AndyA turned up, so Scout headed off to fins Kate & co., with the drill shit, whilst Andy and I surveyed and derigged Black Suspender.

Having done that it was time to go and have another look at the most southerly point of KH, just below Rocky Horror. It appeared from the survey that there ought to be a continuation of Mississippi running through the boulder choke. So Andy and I went to have a look again at this bit which had previously been declared "finished."

Within 2 minutes of arrival a further 10m or so of upward sloping boulder slope had been found the other side of a mud bank. This definitely didn't go but should have been on the survey. A quick dig in the mud at floor level found a passagette which again appeared impenetrable due to a large boulder. Then a smallish hole was found near to the "ceiling" of the choke from which an appreciable draught was eminating, so Andy and I dug some of the mud/gravel/rocks out for about 10 minutes, until it was large enough for Andy to fit through. It looked promising, so a bit more digging followed until I fitted through.

The other side of the hole was fucking grim. Hanging death all around. We were basically at the bottom of an enormous pile of choss. Choss for ceiling. Choss for wall. Choss for floor. After climbing up in the choke for a bit, it was clearly crap and very unstable, so the deal was that I would exit and wait for 10 minutes, whilst Andy explored further to hopefully find the end, after which I'd get the rescue if he hadn't appeared.

30 seconds later, after I'd re-emerged from the hole... BOOM! Oh bollocks I thought! "Andy... Andy!" No reply. Oh well, I'm buggered if I'm going back for a look, I thought. So I sat around for the full 10 minutes before Andy re-appeared. Oh jolly good, now we can go away I thought. "It goes," said Andy. "Oh shit", I said. We both agreed we should quit while we were up and so made a less than hasty exit, now covered from head to foot in thick brown gluppy KH mud. Hole to be named "Death's Door II", climb inside choke "Stairway to Hell."

Previous France Trips: Sultans / Piss Pot
Next trips: Regurgitation / Stairway to Hell & Triassic Park

23/7/95 | 161 - France | Dave J, _Kate's_

Waited ages for Dave (he was having a shit on the surface.) Got bored, + went down hole in floor. Went down rift off chamber + found rope which Dave + Dave had randomly left down there (rant) + brought it out since the larger pitch looked more promising. Went out again to Algeria. Eventually Dave arrived. I faffed lots trying to get a decent hang, then started bolting. Dave finished the bolt while I went to find Steve + Andy to get some survey gear. No survey gear but I found a useful Steve who agreed that it would be ok to rig off 1 bolt, a big boulder & a 'tector. Found a spit near bottom of pitch which is probably twin tubs. Also found a ?previously unknown scrotty connection to an adjacent wettish shaft bottom.

Previous France Trips: Sultans / Piss Pot
Next trips: Regurgitation / Stairway to Hell & Triassic Park

23/7/96 | 161 - France | Andrew Atkinson, _Steve_

We surveyed the passage which Kate & Dunc found earlier. A nice passage which looks like it ought to go a long way but unfortunately doesn't. I pushed the tight rift at the end a short way (but further than the puddle) then decided it was too tight, but someone keen and with no string kit could go and have another look some time.

TUJulian 10 hours
Scout 9
Dave 8
Kate 8
Andrew Atkinson 10 1/2
Steve 9

Previous France Trips: Sultans / Piss Pot
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