204 - 21 Bolt Salute traverse (Part 1)

Sun 20 Jul 2003
Earl Merson



On our tourist trip yesterday, Julian had spotted a QM across the head of the 70m pitch 'Gaffered to the Walls'. This is on the edge of the current survey and heading south/southwest direction, so Julian's cave detector was off the scale given that this passage is also on the main phreatic level of Steinbrucken. Thus Julian and I returned to traverse around the right hand wall...

There are significant ledges and other footholds around for most of the way, which is just as well given the variable quality of the rock. Starting from the tarvese line by the head of the pitch, we climbed up to a large ledge. I bolted ahead while Julian hand bolted a backup. After about 10m the ledge runs out and we were left hanging on the bolts placed in what limited sound rock we could find; hardly ideal placements.

A pull up onto a muddy ledge brings us to about the halfway point. Here a muddy tube slopes up to a mud/sand choke (dry, QM C, not drafting noticeably). We put on a few bolts on a ledge, and were now on the NW corner of the shaft but not any better able to tell if the QM at our objective will go. Incidentally, the ~4 second drop from the traverse to the bottom of the pitch really impresses! We return tomorrow to finish the job.

T/U ??

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Survex files on this date:
    caves-1623/248/248-1
    caves-1623/256/256
Wallets on this date:
    2003#10 256|Nischeh√∂hle ['notes2', 'notes1', '2003-02elev', '2003-02plan', '2003-01plan']
Logbook trips on this date:
    204 - 204E to Helter Skelter
    204 - 21 Bolt Salute traverse (Part 1)