161 - Surveying big pitch off Minoan Surprise (QM 95_54)

Thu 11 Jul 1996
Anthony Day

Finally went caving after 4 days of inaction. First laid some string along the route through Triassic Park - v tedious. Someone else can do the rest. Then bombed off to do a survey of the big pitch - since named "Bottomless Pit of Eternal Chaos" (p81) - and the grotty 50cm wide rift at the bottom - "Hell's Teeth," while Brian put in some spits at the top of the following pitch - "Redemption" (p27). This drops into a ~40m high rift with a stream in the bottom. There are two waterfalls entering - more possible routes entering from above? Continuing downstream (unsurveyed) the canyon narrows to ~1m wide with many jammed boulders. The water then disappears off to the right, but a short squeeze further on regains the stream, which promptly disappears down the rift (~15m, may be two tight to follow). It looks as though the rift can be followed at a higher level, but needs a traverse line.

By now we were all freezing our tits off, so we exited. The big pitch is excellent: A fine pitch, a prince among pitches. Brian certainly thinks so. He carefully got the bottom of the rope caught in his dangly bag, not noticing until he got to the rebelay, 60m off the ground. The cause of his slow prussiking then became apparent, so he went back down to the deviation (35m) replaced it and carried on out, thus doing the pitch 1 ½ times. Those waiting at the bottom were most relieved to see the return of the rope.

Nobody could be bothered to do anything else, so we left.

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    161 - Surveying big pitch off Minoan Surprise (QM 95_54)
    161 - Pushing Puerile Humour