Tunnockschacht - Stone Monkey
Entered Stone Monkey via Boulder surfer bypass. Snow plug in aven was present but smaller than last year, as was the ice plug in the pitch below (might be worth looking at in a few years), Descended 'The claw' and bolted a traverse across the pitch at the end of Sombrero Passage (2 spits, 1 natural up the ramp; approx 20m of rope needed). Then surveyed a sandy crawl, Ug the caveman, at the bottom of 'the claw' that Jess had looked at in 2008. Low crawl soon widened into walking-height passage. Small aven/rift on left-hand side led to climb into rift (narrow - not entered - QMC). Small trickle comes from rift and flows into the crawl. The floor is muddy/sandy with some nice cauliflower-calcite growing on top of the mud in the middle of the passage. Further on, the passage slopes down and floor is covered in small boulders soon terminates in choke with modest draft. An armlength of passage further on can been seen through the boulders (QM D, possible dig).
After surveying, we returned to pitch at end of Sombrero passage. We crossed the traverse and surveyed the sloping passage above. Floor covered in masses of loose rock. Wide passage soon terminates in multiple avens and small pitches (probably all chocked). These avens will be surveyed later.
Highlight: when setting the anchors for the traverse, the hammer head broke loose abd flew behind Jess down the pitch. Next time we'll take a quality hammer. Hence name for the slope 'comedy of errors'. The next spit I had to set with a stone, inspiring the name for the crawl, 'Ug the caveman'. The survey of Stone monkey indicates that the last survey point of comedy of errors is at 1858 above sea level, 3m higher than the entrance of Tunnocks main shaft. Hence there are still hopes of finding a new entrance somewhere in Stone monkey. Inspection of the avens in Comedy of errors will follow in addition to having a look at surface features above Stone monkey.
T/U 9 hrs