161 - Push/Survey Wookey's 1996 lead in Forbidden Land "The Gravel Pit"

Sun 03 Aug 1997
William Stead

The original plan had been for Mike (Animal) to go with Andrew via Stairway to Hell, special permission having been sought from Tina. However, new way through from 136 means lots of prussiking, so I was drafted in instead. Went via Kaninchenhöhle to pick up SRT kit to find team Keen _still_ not fully underground & returned to 136 entrance to find Julian & Anthony taking the piss over a half-changed Becka (or vice-versa). Followed Julian, Anthony & Becka underground ca 11.30 am & did _lots_ of abseiling down to the bolt traverse followed by a lot more abseiling & a 100% wacky, way-out traverse miles up in the ceiling to reach ... The Forbidden Land. Headed _South_ towards Wookey's lead via a 5m pitch Andy had forgotten about. At this point my penknife came in handy to cut the rope we'd brought. Continued down Wookey's lead to find ourselves in a medium size chamber where the floor + walls comprised entirely gravel or choss (The Gravel Pit). Looked down a pit in the floor where the take off was also 100% choss, no chance of rigging it + too steep to climb. So we went round to the left between _more_ gravel banks to find a pitch with a stream coming in. Andy used the bolt kit I'd picked up from KH entrance to rig it + kicked loads of choss down. At the base of the pitch is a small chamber + a climb down with the water. Passage continues in walking vadose trench to where the water disappears under the stones. Passage continues to an aven + a small chamber with lots of mud + a choked mud sump. Pity. Surveyed out, with me on instruments until my glasses misted up, so swapped. Surveyed back to original lower bolt. _NB_ took a look at an alternative way to the choss hole in the floor where there is a solid boulder in the roof to rig off. This seems to go somewhere else + should be pushed (A). Out at sundown via _lots_ of prussiking + getting v.hot.

T.U. 9 hrs

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Logbook trips on this date:
    Journey - Swiss Alpinists arrive...
    136 - Steinschlagschacht
    161 - Push/Survey Wookey's 1996 lead in Forbidden Land "The Gravel Pit"
    161 - Someone Else's Problem
    161 - Moomintroll