161 - 'The Connection trip'
Becka & Bob went in Eishöhle, Wook & Andy went in KH to Elin Algor via Stairway to Hell. The idea was to shout at each other & work out where the pitches connect so we could go down the right one.
Went via Eishöhle to collect our gear and slog over to 161d - which is on just about the same level as Eishöhle but you have to go a few hundred metres up & down to get there of course. Took an hour to get to 161d. Ol & Thilo doing surface walk went past as we were just going in. Trundled through Scarface, Brownie's Cunt & Rocky Horror. Rigged pitch very badly & bodged our way down (SRT gear packed in bags for going through Stairway to Hell) Did this. Had to bail 2" out of puddle to get in, but the choke itself was OK - the more you do it the less likely to all fall in it seems…
Climbed down into Elin Algor & went to look at pitch (1996-161-82C). 6m climb up (3-4m above the head-sized window) gives access to the pitch. Wook went in a bit whilst Andy went to look for leads further down towards the Theatre. Pitch turned out to be 14m deep with a 2" slot at the bottom - bum.
Andy found that 1996-161-94C (hole through rocks at Tirolia Werke junction) didn't go. He also found an interesting large skeleton (about the size of a small rabbit?) and loads of climbs up into the rift, none of which went anywhere except the roof. Everything was proddled, including going back to stick Wook into the tiniest bits - nothing. The stream sink at the start of T.W. was checked by the man with the TSA (Wook) - blocked by rocks (84C). Next tried going North East. Passage on R just after pitch gives access to roof 20m above pitch & there is a further way into ceiling on SE side, but too hard for us. Looked at impressive aven on R & shinned up traverse until it closed down. Also checked lead (ramp) above chamber at NE end of E.A. Goes 10-15m but is just a solution dead-end. Now tired & dispirited, so went out. Gear incredibly filthy & several kilos heavier than on the way here (which was already 'bloody heavy'). Carried it all back as far as junction with TC->Eishöhle route then went back via TC, getting rained on for walk down.
13½ hours tatty hut to tatty hut, over 12 hours almost solid effort for a 5½ hr caving trip - driving up, walking up, carrying gear, rigging in, exploring, derigging, carrying gear, walking back, driving back makes for an awful lot of 'overhead' & work. We were both shagged. (Surface survey to connect p161d to new tag).