204 - Razordance -> Far East

Sun 29 Jul 2007

Back down Razordance to take another look at the Far East. Uneventful journey down. Jon took a look at the tubes at the bottom of the Forbidden City. After ¬Ω hour working with a crowbar we decided that it was a long-term job to dig through. We also looked downhill at the end of the Silk Road. After descending a ~6m drop a shortish passage leads to the top of a pitch. This is almost certainly the same pitch which can be reached from below 'Carry on the Khyber' by following the water. After that we continued along the phreatic passage above the Forbidden City (the 'Gobi Trail') to the first major junction. Left here was unsurveyed so we surveyed in, clocking up ~100m of new passage to a point where a vadose canyon intersected. Right (up) led to a 6m aven, reasonably climbable with some gear. Left led, via a climb down, to a continuing rift which heads towards the left zipper/right zipper area in Razordance. The phreas clearly continues over the top of the vadose canyon but would require some effort to reach it. Finally we tidied up a few minor leads. Closing a loop which led back to the Gobi Trail at the climb (where we had previously rigged a hand line). Then out. A long hard struggle back up Razordance and all of us ran out of puff in the Ariston series. Ollie got slightly lost at Wolpertinger Way, but it was his first trip in the cave. Given that he has only been caving a year this trip was a major step up for him and all the rest of us thought he did BLOODY WELL. We can expect HARD BASTARD exploits from this chap in the future. Hats off!