KH - East Anglia and derig

Sun 09 Aug 2009
Ian Walker

Team Horizontal+Wook and Andrew - see separate write up

We had previously decided that our final pushing trip would occur on the Tuesday and the we would attempt a full KH derig to leave Wednesday free for bivy fettling and gear carrying..

Well today was the day.

After a relatively relaxed start (somehow fate seems to have a lot of inertia) we got underground at the KH standard time of 10:30.

First on the agenda was a trip into "Where the Wind Blows" for a furtle about. This is a 300m long phreatic passage trending northish terminating in a draughtinf boulder choke not far from the current pushing limit in East Anglia. A connection would make exploration of teh Far North a much easier task but alas we could see no obvious way through. Possible leads include:

1. Dig the uphill terminal choke (and get a boulder on your head like Andrew). Scary.

2. Bolt upthe aven next door (10m back on the left). Needs a couple of upward wriggles to get there (easy unless you're Andrew) and a 10-15m bolt climb. Vocal connection to the choke. No way of identifying size of passage at the top though.

3. Dig the horizontal boulder choke (next to the uphill choke) for a gorizontal continuation. Draught?

4. Dig a sand (mud crumb?) bank in a side passage much further back. Passage is near the dog leg in main passage. Crawling sized, 4 inches air gap with continuation visible for 4-5m, possibly a small chamber.

5. Climb into roof before dog leg. This area is quite large (Wookey did a 12m climb up to the roof on the left). Reported back that he could see a continuation but would need a rope for further progress. Good lead, as the dog leg marks the end of teh trunk phreas (sinks into floor, mud choked); from here on is a mere 2*1.5m phreas! Note that the Far North Limit is currently below this level though.


After this little detour we got back on track and headed to Repton. Here Becka and I left Andrew and Wookey to play spiderman whilst we headed to last trips limit, to explore the horizontal walking sized phread. And because on the last trip the was had been derigged back to Repton we had to take a tacklesack to get there!

Nevertheless we did get there. Becka gave me a guided tour of the passage beyond East Anglia, and we came to the limit of exploration at a junction. Here I took the notepad and pencil and we made slow progress through a complex and multilevel sloping pocketed phreas. What a great place to first take notes! Seven legs later it was time to head out, for we had said 6pm at Repton when arranging to meed the others. Grade A lead left at the limit: a pitch continuation at the bottom of a rift mud slope :)

On the way back to Andrew's traverse ("The Natural Way") a black rift in the floor gives a genuine 5 second free fall. I spent a good while timing the drops with my stopwatch: of half a dozen stones which didn't touch the rift sides not a single one took less than 5 seconds! :)


I was so preoccupied with the black rift that I completely forgot to have a wee. This duly done (down the black rift naturally), we kitted up to return along the traverse. Becka pointed out that the last belay had a dodgy rock which out to be gardened. Doing this turned the solid thread into a poorly positioned spike (i.e. the rope now pulls up on it). Big bang from the rock though.

Getting back to Repton at one minute to six, we found no sign of the others but for a solitary rope dangling from on up high. Becka went up in search of the others and I went up to the top of the boulder pile to make a cup of soup with Anthony's meths stove. Before I had finished my cup I could hear the others returning and more soup was had until the meths ran out. We spent about an hour (!) drinking soup and packing all the assorted shit into bags.

At this point Becka and I were given a tacklesack each and headed out waiting at the top of Knossos to regroup. Andrew and Wookey performed the derig role between them and we exited between 21:30 and whatever time Wookey got out This must have been some time later as Becka and I got back to the bivy at 11:00 but the others didn't return until 1am.

A great finale to a great expo :)

T/U 11hrs (Wook 13hrs).

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2009#32 East Anglia ['EastAnglia-plan', 'East_Anglia', 'East_Anglia', 'East_Anglia-therion', 'East_…
    2009#34 ['elev0001', 'notes0001', 'notes0002', 'plan0001', 'elev0002']
Logbook trips on this date:
    Tunnocks - Derig
    KH - East Anglia
    KH - East Anglia and derig