258 - Marconian Empire

Tue 28 Jul 2009
Martin Jahnke

We've extended Tunnocks was off the current survey print-time for a new name for the area past Sombrero Passage in Stone Monkey, the end point in 2008. It's Marconian Empire.

We returned to descend the pitches at the end of Comedy of Errors. Noel and I agreed that leaving the pitch undescended for technical readons was against the ULSA spirit and were determined to bold "Too Technical to Rig" pitch. Noel rigged and bolted the small pitch above (10m reop just about did the job) and squeezed through to the pitch head where Gareth could see him from a side passage of Yorkshire Forward. So we went down that pitch instead. Gareth and Frank had started surveying Racoon Festival and we bolted a continuation of the pitch down. At the bottom, a short horizontal passage lead to a pitch head that I started to bolt. A large (not to say huge) boulder is hanging over the head of the pitch. During bolting I spotted a horizontal passage on the far sied of the pitch and drilled a traverse as well. We descended the pitch but the bottom is completely choked: "Drill Baby Drill" is hopefully th last time we have to refer to Sarah Palin!

The horizontal passage yonder started as a mud-floored phreas that quickly deterioratted into a narrow crawl filled with sheltered rock. I wedged myself without SRT kit through a final squeeze and found the way on to be choked rift on the right hand side; a small trickly entered the passage from straight on but the way on is solidly blocked; this is called "Emperor Xenus" to continue the Marconian Empire theme. The start of that passage has calcite cauliflower at very early stages of development (crusts of yellow-brownish calcite on boulders and walls). Excellent trip! Too Technical to Rig was left undescended for a later trip.

T/U 9hrs

[rigging diagram]

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2009#09 ['notes1', 'notes2']
Logbook trips on this date:
    Tunnocks - Stone Monkey
    258 - Stone Monkey
    Tunnocks - Surface Features
    258 - Marconian Empire
    Schneehuhnhöhle, Alfenjagdhöhle - Schneehuhnhöhle, Alfenjagdhöhle