40 - Eishöhle - Reaching for the sky...

Mon 27 Aug 2001

I head in first and tweak the rigging on the way. Get to the pushing front before Martin and get most of a bolt in before he arrives. A second bolt gets us across the chamber and another gives a traverse to a level which emerges in the side of what I think is the final aven chamber I reached with Hilary. We need to keep at the top of the rift, I think. We also need more rope, so retreat back down the rift, surveying as we go. I stick in 2 more spits to improve the rigging at the end of the traverse while Martin derigs the top of the rift. Then I travel along the bottom and stick in a spit to tie the end of the rope to while Martin rerigs the rope down the inlet chamber. A 26m rope just fits the bill nicely. I ascend and stick in 2 extra spits. One more would get us back to the top of the rift, but we decide to head out so we can get down the hill and recharge the drill battery. Stick in more spits on the way out - one for a rebelay on the junction chamber pitch, one on each side of the pendule, two on the Modern Way traverse to take a higher route and two on "Good Afternoon Mr. Phelps" - one to stop the traverse line freezing into the ice and a deviation to keep the hang rope clear of the ice. Also a spit to replace the ice screw - a higher belay should improve the riggin on both sides. The drill battery has now done 21 spits in 2 trips (including one for a tag on 40s) using a "cross-tipped" bit, and I'm getting good at judging the depth for the HKD spits. Still no nearer to KH though.