161 - Rig to pushing front in Siberia

Sun 12 Jul 1998
Duncan Collis

Dunks, Steve B ->TU 16 + Sean -> TU 14

Sean was originally off to Fuzzy Logic with Steve Jones, the two groups planning to travel together to prevent route-finding fuck-ups. Much faffing in Shortage of Walls as Steve B & Dunk discovered that the rope they needed wasn't there, necessitating some quick scavenging from the entrance. Then on to Knossos where three sat freezing off their balls while Steve J flailed around on the rebelay for 40 minutes, eventually mistaking the mud being scraped off the rope for sheath abrasion and buggering off. Sean gingerly ascended to confirm that the rope was in fact OK, and persuaded Steve not to try and continune the planned trip.

So off we went to Siberia, discovering on-route that we'd got an extra bag to carry that we'd left at Exhaustion the previous day and forgotten about, which made the passage to SEP a tad tedious. (4 bags between 3 cavers in tedious rift passage).

Steve rigged SEP, but missed the rebelay spike, so Dunk put in the rebelays on his descent.

Pretty efficient rigging continued, except for one bit where the rope was 3m too short to rig 2 consecutive pitches. Sean left one pitch before the pushing front, and only got lost four times on the way out. Steve B & Dunk carried on to the previous year's limit, and then descended a small pitch rigged from a single thread, which also helped with the final climb from last year.

Dunks descended first and began lobbing rocks down the next pitch, which sounded big. No more rocks, so Steve threw some down from higher up, and then joined Dunks at the head of the pitch to throw down the new supply of rocks. Looks to be about 60m. Steve looked at his watch to time the rocks, and found it was midnight, so the pitch is tentatively named 'Midnight in Moscow'. Then we ran away, arriving at the surface at 05:40 to a beautifully clear morning and the start of a very hot day.

Last Siberia trip (derig 1997)

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Logbook trips on this date:
    Loser Plateau - Prospecting around Schwarzmooskogel
    161 - Rig to pushing front in Siberia
    Loser Plateau - Rounding up old caves