Cave 2004-18 - + prospecting

Wed 03 Aug 2005

Walked up to 2004-18. Descended to check out continuation from yesterday's trip by Mark + Olly. Rift narrowed to the size of my boot, so I gave up and declared the cave done.

Meanwhile Mark had been checking out some holes further down the same gully. These were:

  • 2005-04: twin shafts separated by a narrow bridge, clearly interconnected from the sound of thrown rocks. GPS: 36458 84004 1780m.
  • 2005-05: phreatic tunnel descending at 45°. GPS: 36421 84005 1792m.

[These GPS coordinates later turned out to be quite a long way off, possibly due to the position of the caves on a steep hillside.]

I bolted down 04 while Mark attacked 05. I encountered a wide daylight shaft for perhaps 5m to a constriction, then a free hang to a snow floor, where the other shaft could be seen coming in. A freeclimb of a couple of meteres leads to another pitch down a narrow sloping pitch between snow + rock. Descending far to the right led to a snow choke. Another route further left led to some horizontal, wiht a pretty ice slope and a choked upward crawl. Finally, descending far left then swinging to the right part-way down led to a ledge overlooking a pitch into a mercifully snow-free chamber with an aven above.

Prusiked out to find that it was raining on the surface. Mark had descended his tube, which had grown steeper; I went down (having more warm gear on) over a snow + ice slope to a floor with passages sloping down to left + right. We were both absolutely frozen by this point so we buggered off back to the bivi in the clag; putting the coords back into the computer (Mark had his laptop up the hill) confirmed that they were well placed for the end of High Hopes.

Earl at this point had to to an evening trip into High Hopes to collect his gear, and he kindly volunteered to go and put down large crosses of conservation tape on the floors of the two avens at the end, so we would recognise them if any of our shafts dropped in from above.
T/U perhaps 5h

[Diagram of 2005-04 rigging]

The Spit Driver: I was using Olly's driver, and it knackered itself very tediously, the screw thread getting stick in a spit. So to use the spit marked "X" in the diagram, screw a broken driver into it + tie the rope to that!

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2005#22 Upperlevel2 ['notes2', 'notes1', 'plan', 'extend1', 'extend2']
    2005#23 abovebigleap1 ['notes2', 'notes1', 'extend', 'plan']
    2005#29 ['notes2', 'notes1']
Logbook trips on this date:
    145 - Wolfhöhle
    Cave 2004-18 - + prospecting
    204 - Vague Wanderings in 204