161 - Go to find new entrance
The plan was to prod a few of the QMs down T.P, especially on the R.H side, to see if any popped out of the hill.
In our optimism we even told the austrians (sepp & robert, who were up checking entrances with wads) that we were going to find 161d today.
Despite this outrageous cockiness we were surprisingly successful.
Wizzed down to Algeria (underground at 10.30) and left SRT gear. Decided that sultans bypass (found on 'forbidden land' trip) really needs a traverse line as pitch head is very dodgy. Gear should only be left after this when coming in this direction. Stomped up to staudnwirt palace, only finding obscure QM on RH, just above climb out of zombie Slime (QM 95-19).
In staudnwirt we climbed up boulder pile to right. There is a scrotty canyon accessible through very dodgy rocks (does not look terribly promising (95-20), and the climb could be continued upslope with a bit of gear (95-21). Seems likely to access aven in roof.
Big passage off behind 'pt28' boulder chokes disappointingly after about 12m with no draught. The next passage on R, at exit of staudnwirt P. leads about 12m to a good carbide pool (10" deep) but no way on other than up the pitch above the pool (where draught must go). Not an inspiring start, - 2 QMs ticked off! Short climb on LHS in Salt Lake City leads for about 5m to look out over big space - at least 30m long & 10 wide. This p9 is worth doing. (95-23)
Next we followed S.L.C. streamway (and strong draught to R, opposite the guillotine. This leads quickly up to choked dead end 'critters end'. Here we found 3 dead bats (old) & a number of moths - which looked relatively recent. Also a quite large skull (3.5cm long) which may have been a bird. All this suggested surface close by. The draught was strong down a tube above the choke but this was blocked by a rock that would need crowbarring. Andy looked in LH side of choke & found that it went (just). He found a lot of crap, tiny passage, & bit big passage 90% full of rocks. The draught was v. strong & thus easy to follow. We pushed on through this, noting a bigger passage on Left at one point, but it seemed draughtless.
Eventually we ended up at a tiny hole above the passage level which was howling with the wind going through it. (30 mph?). Andy pushed this (nutter - it was tiny) and popped through into more crawling. We ran along bigger passage and a minute later popped out of the hill on a very steep section of mountain, distinguished by the recent rockfall which left a very obvious scar & shortage of Bunde! Hooray! Jubilation!
We took bearings on various spots to allow finding from outside (see survey book). Then went back in to survey. Checking out the bigger passage noted earlier we both found another (easier) route to critters end. This whole complex area was called perseverance after a lot of that produced the goods.
We surveyed out, noting that the rocks either side of dead-ends near 'Battle of the bulge' (the _very_ small & awkward wind tunnel, with a bulge in just the wrong place) looked very similar. A dig there would mean that anyone could fit - was it 1m or 10?
We were finished by 6.30 & decided to 'walk' back to France. The big cliff band above 161d (aka 'scarface') made this pretty exciting. About 20m of this cliff is extremely steep & bunde ridden.
It will be hard to find a safe route. Andy (who crossed into a gully earlier and thus avoided a lot of bunde) got back up (to 161c) in half an hour, thus getting to T.C. just before dark.