40 - Eishöhle

Thu 27 Jul 2000
Mark Shinwell


Mark and Dave returned with drill to bolt 4m pitch; descended into chamber. Despite the good draught felt at the pitchhead the source of it in the large rubble-filled chamber could not be found. Loose scramble to the top of the rubble slope; no way on found. Olly and Fay found a hole down through the rubble but abandoned it after a few metres as it was too unstable.

Whilst Olly and Fay were poking here, Mark + Dave went to the large entrance with a snow-slope leading in (see picture to left [above on web page, ed.]). At the bottom a snow-floored tube leads downwards; the floor soon turns to solid ice. Dave placed a bolt at the top. The draught was fierce, and bitterly cold. Frozen, Dave retreated to let Mark have the pleasure of sliding down the icy tube. It turns out, despite the initial investigation suspecting a pitch that it is just an ice slope which enlarges to a fairly large rift where one can get off the rope (35m rope used). Mark shouted up to Dave to descend and then noticed a strange murmuring sound. Shouted again and heard a large echo. Strolled out into Schneevulkanhalle, emerging from behind the "elephant" formation.

(Thus this entrance is 40h - shown in the wrong place on the survey - we'll resurvey it this year).

Had a quick look around and then popped out for some lunch and to get the others.

When all four were in SVH we inspected the icefall next to the rubble slope which needed investigation. Olly started to bolt up the wall. Mark and Dave went to investigate the "low (wet!) passage just to the right of Elephantengang pitch" (as described by Wookey). Dave attempts to lower the water level in the crawl under the wall but Mark decided to go for it and slid through. The crawl is almost flat-out but is very short; it emerges into an ice-floored chamber with a rock-floored rift leading off and up. This leads to a complex series of rifts and upward-sloping planes. The passage leads to the top of the icefall coming into SVH between the wet crawl and the POV slope. From here further passages lead off and one tube, with a pristine earthen floor, leads via a small section to a canyon. This ends abruptly half-way up a shaft. The shaft is probably 20-30m and almost 6-8m diameter. A stack of four rocks was noticed where the canyon hits the pitch. - maybe a cairn?? If so it was probably placed by someone descending the pitch, as the route to the the pitch appeared never to have been passed along before. Went back to SVH where Olly's done about 2/3 of the bolting up. People were cold so out we went, to return in due course with surveying gear and a recharged drill battery. At least we now known for sure where entrance 40h is!

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2000#03 King Carbide ['extend', 'plan']
    2000#13 ['elevation3', 'elevation1', 'notes2', 'notes1', 'plan2', 'notesb3', 'notes4', …
    2000#14 ['planelev', 'notes2', 'notes1', 'notes4', 'notes3']
    2000#24 ['notes2', 'notes1', 'plan', 'notes3']
Logbook trips on this date:
    204 - Steinbrückenhöhle
    204 - 204
    40 - Eishöhle