161 - 161d
Went to 161d partly to place a radon detector for Mark D and because I wanted to see what KH was like. Walked up to the col to get onto the 161 path, it was really hot and horribly humid. The path was fairly clear up to where the Vord path goes up - perhaps this is used as a walkers path to the summit? Path was then less defined and many cairns had collapsed. I thought (wrongly it turned out) that we were too high up the Vord side and we could see a faint path with cairns leading up towards the Hinter. Followed this for a bit uphill to the crest of the ridge and then down a bit to 161d. Already running out of water and it was so hot. Finally got to VD1 and the path down to 161d. This bit of the path wasn't as bad as I had feared but took a while as a lot of the cairns had collapsed and Olly had only been here once before and me never. Finally got to the entrance after hours. The draught was amazing and nice and refreshing. Followed in to Triassic Park. Amazing cave, nice and big and still a noticeable draught. We so need to find something like this in 76, in fact the only thing 76 does better is the hanging death - the Guillotine isn't even trying. Walked up to the top of Knossos (noticed a hibernating bat on the way) admiring the huge passage. Were able to refill the water bottle at a drip which was very nice. Returned leaving the radon detector in TP quite near the Guillotine (about 3m from the conservation tape and reflective marker we placed). Had a look at Staud'nwirt Palace and into Zombie Slime which no longer has a ladder in situ (as suggested on the website). Returned looking at the skull in Golgotha on the way. Surfaced to find it getting dark and a BIG thunderstorm in progress. Decided the walk/climb back in the dark and rain would be unpleasant and might well result in us being lost on a ledge somewhere. Figured it would be best to wait underground till either the storm stopped or the sun rose. Found a sheltered alcove in Mothshag and moved some rocks to make a "bed", made a mattress from the rope, my rucksack and our wellies and both got into a survival bag. Waited couple of hours till we got pretty cold and noticed the drips had decreased. It had stopped raining and was a clear starry night! Made our way back to the car, managed the scrambles and climbs OK without handlines and Ol navigated very well. Got to base camp at about 6am .... Have at least got our annual long walk in the dark over with early in the expo and it was made much better by the amazingly bright Princeton Tech headtorch that could spot cairns miles away. And us being at 161d with our waterproofs at 76 solved the water shortage nicely as well.