Loser Plateau - Surface investigations in Eishöhle area
As Ol had bruised foot, went to sort some surface stuff. Went to bowl containing 40s (Gruner Eingang), 217 + 229 + another hole.
229: First put tag bolt in for 229 (explored + surveyed by ARGE in 2000). Point "1" inside cave was obvious. Surface point "0" was less obvious (paint faded) but found it after a bit. Unable to put bolt in here as point crumbled, so put it in middle of W 20cm away. Didn't put in tag as didn't have one. Resurveyed 0-1 (as a check) and surveyed 0-tag bolt. GPSsed nearby (2m away to get out from under cliff a bit). Sketch of entrance area done. Incorrectly thought this cave was 226 at time of survey; records all corrected. Photoed entrance + approach.
2002-W-02: Next went to check out rift hole directly below 229, as there seemed to be no evidence that it has been properly described, despite definitely having been looked at (probably repeatedly). Ent is about 20m below 229 + 15m away from 40s. 5m deep rift, snow at bottom. Upper end chokes, lower end continues into narrow canyon going in direction of 40s. There is a vocal connection at the start of the canyon to 217. (Light can just be seen - far too narrow to pass). Surveyed cave (grade 3-4), put in tag bolt (but no tag), and surveyed to 40s tag.
[Editor's note: Owing to a cockup with lost kataster forms, several caves in this area were allocated numbers that had in fact been given to ARGE, and new numbers were later issued. I have copied out the description verbatim, using the numbers then in use; but these are not the final numbers - see here for a list of the subsequent alterations.]
To 233 area Next went up "path" towards 163 but instead of taking down-trending traverse ledge (above 40f) after very steep slope up, we continued up slope and to left to look at various things Martin + Olly noted last year. All in area SW of 163 above portal row zone + below VSMK summit cliffs. Very broken area.
233: First went to 233 - Drei Eingang Abdrosselnhöhle (3-entrance choke). Put in tag bolt by main entrance + tag. As other 2 entrances are within 10m, putting tags on those seemed excessive.
Snow Skylight (2001-08): Right next to 233 ('c' entrance is ~10m from 233c) is this cave. Impressive view down a hole in an alcove to sunlit snow (ent a). Top shaft entrance is hidden in bunde above (ent b). Big 5m diameter shaft. Third ent (c) is narrow rift connecting to alcove. Descended from single thread over a few rubs to reach bottom (20m rope minimum). Checked it out thoroughly. A proper survey would be good. Very photogenic inside. Photoed down shaft, down canyon/alcove pitch, and views of all 3 entrances. Put tag bolt in at a. Grade 2 survey.
2001-07 Next headed east across choss bowl + steps to 2001-07, Hoffnungschacht ("RATTLE" in the GPS). Very narrow hole in rift with [??, could be "fern"] in entrance. Very good rattle when you throw rocks. Good flake to rig off allows descent. Ledge at -8m then another at -11, now into wider rift. 2 'tectors needed as rock very sharp. Bottoms at -22m. Choked floor. Can see through to continuation below but not suitable for shorts + T-shirt (the whole cave isn't really!) so not checked out to bitter end. If there is a draught it is in not out and isn't strong. Ought to be finished off one day. Put in tag/rig backup bolt. Photoed. Grade 2 survey.
HFG-KA88: Next headed down a couple of ledges, closer to 163 to cave marked by Franco-German group in 1988. Markings hard to read but look like "1623 / BFG-(?K)(?A)88". There is mention of a "HFG-KA" group exploring L&amul;rchenschacht so that's almost certainly what it says. Nice sloping shaft on rift/diaclase. Photoed markings, entrance + approach view. GPSsed as "BFG88" (since renamed "HFG88"). Has red splodge which is probably a "+" rather than a "-". Needs tagging.
163: Climbed around and down into 163 bowl. Photoed ent with cave-marking board + checked it was tagged (so 163 tag left in box is superfluous).
234 (Speedy Ant): Finally followed path towards 162 for ~100m to "Speedy Ant" cave. Put in tag bolt + 234A tag. Dropped pitch to snow + found continuation through small hole into space at bottom. Very miserable in shorts due to snow! Grade 2 survey.
Finally went home for tea!