76: Boiling Tubes
It had rained a lot overnight + was still raining so decided the pitch in 148 might be unpleasant, so decided on 76 instead. Went to the end of the Boiling Tubes where we left 3 leads in 2004. None of the leads looked great, but we started with 04-62B, the straight-on lead. This was crawling then wiggling to a boulder which was followed shortly by a stal blockage - unusual for Austria. The stals weren't huge, but neither was the passage. I surveyed back while Olly took notes, and sadly my promising lead heading straight for 2007-71 was no more. (There was a small red spider there). Olly removed some soil from the RH lead 04-63C and discovered that the soil continued for quite some way, so we left off that and looked at the final crap lead (04-04C). After moving some rocks I crawled down, slightly downhill and over rocks. I was really hoping that I would be able to turn around at some point as I wasn't looking forward to reversing back. Then I noticed the passage was echoing. In my experience so far, small crawls tend not to make large echos. This made me excited and optimistic that I might be able to turn round. After a few more metres the crawl enlarged enough that I could just turn round, yay! Rocks dropped down the pitch went for ~2.5s then bounced a bit more. Shame it would be a crap place to carry gear. Returned to BNW and looked at 04-25C, surveyed down to where it got small - is very easy to move rocks though. It looks like it connects with Loopy so probably easier to get through from the south. Finally looked at 04-26B, scramble in (easily) [something] - the A+ pitch ledges into a narrow walking height passage followed this up to a T junction, left is low crawling and right a bit larger - both are C grade leads. The RH one may join 04-41C perhaps. Surveyed this and left, removing the radon detectors on route.