161- Pushing lead in roof of Repton

Wed 03 Aug 2011
Anthony Day

This time, with a slightly earlier start from the bivy, we managed to execute the plan from the previous day. We also took the precaution of setting a morning call out, which proved to be a wise move. Having lost Olly and Adrian to injury and tiredness, Rob chose to tag along.

At the pitch into Knossos there was much discussion about how to improve the rig, Eventually we settled for the quick option of sticking in a rebelay bolt to remove a rub from the 2009 rig rather than a completely new descent route. The descent is still a bit scrappy but is a definite improvement on 2009.

161g rigging topo

Trundelled along to Strange Downfall which Wookey rigged, then up the other side and up the rope hanging out of the roof of Repton to the wide open horizontal lead (Irony of Time) left in 2009 due to lack of time. This looked most encouraging, a sandy floored rift of comfortable proportions carrying a strong draft towards the known cave. Even so I don't think any of us were quite expecting what we found next.

I was at the back wielding the pencil when there came exited chatter from the front and the LRUD measurements suddenly got bigger. Wookey and Rob had popped up into a ~10m round drafting phreatic passage. It looks as though we have found the continuation of YAPATE level (the passage is a similar size). We happily stomped off north up-dip into the wind. The passage continues in fine style being rarely less than 10m across. At one point there is a very pretty 'Chocolate River' of mud - this should definitly be taped to preserve it: we managed to traverse round the side but couldn't avoid kicking some sand onto it. A lead on the right just before the mud river (QM A) might provide a bypass (and some more cave). There are several leads in the continuing passage, the best of which is a tube leading SW from the trade route which carries a considerable breeze.

Eventually we ran into a 25+m deep hole in the floor (QMA). It appears that the trunk passage continues over the top, but a traverse line will be required (QMA). Since it was quite late this seemed like a suitable point to turn round. The gap to Pussy Prance area of 204 has been closed to ~300m at a similar altitude.

Before going home, we threw a couple of survey legs down the southwest continuation of the trunk passage from our entry point. The passage starts heading downhill as though a pitch is imminent and running water is audible ahead (QMA). The survey places this close to VomPitch.

With that we headed out, having had a most satisfying day with 343m in the book, mostly in a large trunk passage heading towards 204. Passage is to be called 'Country for Old Men' given the relative gereatic states of its explorers . Emerged at 01.30 to steady rain. Thanks to Andrew A for bolting up the climb in the first place two years ago - we owe you a pint.

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2011#15 ['notes0001', 'notes0002', 'plan', 'elev']
    2011#17 ['notes0001', 'notes0002', 'plan']
    2011#24 ['elev0001', 'elev0003', 'notes0005', 'notes0001', 'notes0002', 'plan0004', 'pl…
    2011#26 ['notes0001', 'notes0002', 'plan', 'elev']
Logbook trips on this date:
    204 Pingu pitch - bottom right
    Tunnocks - Leads in higher level above Sting Theory, So Vein and IntoThinAir
    204e Pingu pitch
    Final trip to finnish derig of 204
    161- Pushing lead in roof of Repton