KH - Solid Rock

Fri 07 Aug 2009
Ian Walker

Team Vertical+Wook and Andrew - see separate write up

Lugged all my kit over to 161G for a fresh assault on KH. Enthusiasm was noticeably lacking this morning from just about everyone but somehow no-one found an excuse big enough to jack. Hmm.

So anyway after two and a half hours of caving in which only I knew the way...

"there's a distinct change in colour here"

"the popcorn bit is handy on the way out"

"I went wrong twice here, where the dead bat is"

...we got to the traverse in Satan's Sitting Room. The old lags (see Wook and Andrew's separate write up) seemed to swallow all my youthful bullshit without complaint! From here, Becka and I descended to Silent Fellow with a 60m rope to see where the continuation of Solid Rock goes. Andrew and Wook began to rerig SSR/3WM traverse.

Having rigged Solid Rock, I realised we had only a few metres spare on the 60m rope to left Becka putting in a hand bolt whilst I went back up to try and persuade the others to let us have some rope. This was an embarrassinf and energy-wasting mistake on my part. Team traverse was mose accomodating and allowed me to take the 100m rope, leaving them with a 30m and a 10m (not enough for the 3WM traverse!) Having paid the rope tax, they decided they wouldn't have much use for the drill so I descended Solid Rock for a second time a considerably heavier caver.

Having gone to all this effort, it turned out that: (a) the continuation of Solid Rock requires only a single bolt to descend (good sneaky thread for a sling backup), and; (b) this continuation closes down to inpenetrable rift after 10 or 15m. Hmm!

We worked out that Becka wouldn't have to come down if we put a temporary station on my knee :- that way we could do one leg down the pitch and have a two-legged survey. Hurrah! So I duly shouted up some LRUD measurements and began to "memorise" the plan and elevation. On the prusik up, I was foolish enough to look closely into a cleft in one wall and discovered that if I took all my extraneous drill, bags, danglies and shit off I could fit through. This is Sorry Andrew rift.

I went a few metres and realised that we ought to survey it so I called Becka down. It continued on and separated at a small inlet a few metres in. The continuation (right) quickly fell away into a deep hole, and a short bold step would reach a window looking into a fine clean streamway chamber. A chamber which looked familiar, as belonging to Private Investigations. Hmm.

We decided to make the most of the (barely used) drill and 100m rope. I bolted across the step and rigged a descent into the chamber to confirm it as that reached on 30/7/09 with Edvin. Edvin's big fat, red blob was easily located (station 1) and all was going swimmingly.

Becka then let out a yelp and a curse, and I looked up to see Andrew's borrowed DistoX come flying down the hole over which I have just traversed. A DistoX connections was confirmed between the bold step and the chamber below the one in which I stood. Hmmm!

A quick rig, descent, pick-up DistoX, ascent, derig ensued. We then buggered off out, knowing that Solid Rock is shit and horrible and that we shouldn't have gone there in the first place.

T/U 10hrs

[rigging diagram]

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No survex files found for this date.
Wallets on this date:
    2009#40 solid rock ['Solid_Rock-plan', 'Solid_Rock-therion', 'Solid_Rock']
Logbook trips on this date:
    KH - Solid Rock
    KH - 3 Wise Men re-rig and beyond