161 - More 161d & triassic

Tue 01 Aug 1995

Took Steve in to show him route/entrance & intending to survey another km on end of t.p. [Arranged that team Algeria derig (Anthony, Kate, Duncan) would drop off our SRT gear - still in Algeria - at guillotine].

Tromped down hill from france taking photos for pictorial record. Main gully has many short cliffs & climbs - tedious. When we got to cliff band Andy & steve battled bunde to reverse previous day's ascent route (approx.). Wook tried going to right instead. Wook thrashed through bunde at top of cliff for prob. 100m to right before finally being able to descend via tricky & exposed climb. _Not_ recommended - it was fucking scary & uncomfortable. Andy & steve got onto rising traverses with relative ease but still very dodgy - not what you would call a 'route'.

Big grassy traverse below cliffs is very easy. The gully itself looks OK (?) from bottom but Andy reckons is impossible 15m higher.

On return Andy tried to get into gully as soon as possible on difficult bit - i.e. avoiding climbing cliff direct, but found it extremely difficult with very exposed traverses.

Wookey tried descending to Augstwies see & thus to stogerweg. This was safe but still hard going in various places with short cliffs and an awful lot of thick bunde. The descent took about an hour & was exhausting with pack full of caving gear.

The gully which descends to NE is generally quite passable but it is a long way round and any deviation results in serious bunde grief.

After ascending stogerweg past junction with Altausee path a clear grassy (if steep) route up the hill became visible. It _looks_ as if this gets to the same level as the wide grassy traverse below cliff on the Altaussee side of the col. This looks like very promising route, with 1000m less height gain & very little bunde & hopefully no objective danger - Needs checking out, as otherwise access to 161d could prove very problematic. Surface camp water supplies could still be problematic....

Back to the caving:
We went in, and photo'd the bear(?) skull near the entrance. Then Andy stayed one side of choke whilst steve & I battled the bulge & went to other (steve was suitably impressed by the awfulness). Voices were clear & light could just be seen showing the choke to be short. As the downslope side was at critical angle is was very easy to slide it down. Turns were taken & bigger rocks undermined until they slid downslope. About 1.5 hours quite exciting (and jolly good fun) work here produced a traversable entrance (hurrah!). It will need some traffic to make it pleasant but it's a fuck of an improvement.

Tromped off to far end & started survey from chamber at end of triassic pt2 (locophobia).

Came to t-junc and went right. Only a couple of hundred metres of cave along we came to 'the end' TP obviously continued, but only 15m up in the roof. The climb up is not too hard, but does need gear - 'bugger'.

Went back the other way at the junction and only got about 15m before stopping at 2 deep pitches & a shorter pitch - bugger again. Subsequent computing shows this to be right next to Knossos, so this is called 'Minoan Surprise'.

Back at locophobia we met the others & steve went off to help de-rig. Wook & Andy surveyed down big passage out of locophobia, heading back along T.p. this is children's railway' & probably accounts for 4 or 5 QMs in T.p.

By 6pm we were shagged & zoomed out to play 'find the route' games. (20 mins to surface from here!) 161d entrance was marked.

T/u (Wook & Andy) 6.5hrs

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