Loser Plateau - Surface Stuff
It finally stopped raining so we could dry all our gear on the slabs + do some useful surface jobs. I went over to 2006-71 to retrieve the blanking plate for the drill battery. Then we tagged 2005-99 (Coatless), and photoed 2005-97 (Fluted). Packed stuff to go down the hill and walked on the old via Top Camp path so that we could tag + survey 2004-03. I went in first and found that the cave didn't stop where Olly thought it did in 2004. But we didn't have any caving gear, even lights. The disto provided enough light from the laser to suggest the passage was small, but not impassable, and I could get a ~10m reading through it. tagged the entrance + surveyed what we could - need to return with gear.
Next went to photo 186 (on the col side of the Vord), shortly before 186, and slightly off the path we found a stooping sized horizontal entrance that draughted out. This is marked with a red painted "+" of unknown origin. GPS-ed + photoed the entrance and I surveyed what I could without a light (discovered that the disto is enough to light the compass enough to read it!). It seemed to continue some distance, though presumably is relatively trivial to have a "+", we will call this 2006-72 though it is not yet tagged as there was no drill battery left. Continued the short way to 186 and photoed the entrances. Then Olly suggested we might climb the Vord as we were "halfway already". We were going to leave our bags at 186 and collect on the return, but then Olly took his to be able to carry his camera and GPS. Followed a path for a short while, then lots of scrambling up rocks and fighting through bunde which was rather tedious. We got near what Ol thought was the summit, then Olly caught his foot on when a rock moved and hurt his toe. We decided it was worth carrying on to the summit in the hope of a better path down. Got to what we thought was the top but it wasn't at all. Lots of bunde continuing on into the distance... About half way to the top we hit a path and things improved.
After signing the book + taking pics we decided to follow the path down, me hoping it would lead to vaguely near 186 so I could retrieve my bag... The path was very good, and went down the north-ish side of the Vord, past 199, 156 and 201 which we photoed, then met the highlevel old Top Camp to 161 path. which was surprisingly easy to follow given its limited use in recent years. Got to the col + got my bag back. The 161 path and forking off it the Vord is way better than going via 186. But Olly's foot hurt so I tried not to complain too much :)