KH - Pushing the end of Old Man (Mordor)

Fri 12 Aug 2011

Wookey was keen to get back to the end of KH. Most people were leaving, also encouraged by ARGE invite to dinner at the berg restaurant (Loser Alm these days), and team UBSS were supposed to be meeting a mate from Munich, so it took a bit of pleading to get a team together but we ended up with a reunion of the top Wook+UBSS team that previously explored 'Massive for Mendip'.

Unfortunately, having forgotten to bring Olly M's batteries up the hill, we had to take the Makita instead. Cat helpfully carried it all the way in and out. Wizzed efficiently to the end in about 3hrs with no faffing (although Adam did slip off the traverse over Gob on You and tested the rope - it worked perfectly leaving him sat on a rock with no harm done).

Went to the windy pitch at the end which was indeed freezing. Cat and Adam both put in their first bolt. Then Wook took over in interest of efficiency whilst they did a bit of surveying in main passage.

Pitch very confusing, with wind coming out of passages round corners and holes at various levels. Eventually realised that it all came out of the hole at bottom and down was the only way, despite looking like a miserable slot. By the time we found this we were freezing and team UBSS were trying to work out if they jacked now how they could get back down for the party after the dinner. Wook decided some rapid rigging was in order to prevent a mutiny and 1 bolt+ 5 slings got him 25m into largish chamber, not even a terrible rig but rope (55m) a bit too short.

At bottom large passage headed off in both directions with the same howling gales making it freezing. We surveyed off past various QMs down fine (but very cold) passage; were stopped by hole in the floor. As it was past 7pm we decided to head out but couldn't quite walk past huge A lead near chamber so had a survey down there (much less windy so warmer). Soon hit big T-junction with A leads off to right and huge phreas (bigger than one already surveyed) off to left. Followed it as far as pitch (10m) before finally (21.15) heading out, very pleased with our day's work (about 300m in the book). Took about 4hrs to get out and 45mins to walk back with gear. Exit was to beautiful view over valley filled with mist illuminated by the full moon. Eventually got to bed after 3am.


Small very windy (blowing up) pitch rigged from roof. After 1st 10m drop can be climbed another 10m down to 2nd hang from thread then roof bolt where pitch opens out, deviation ~7m down on spike avoids rub at rebelay (huge thread) to drop nicely to near floor (about 3m up - 55m is a bit too short, bring 60m for a proper rig). Chamber is about 15m high. To W is N/S rift leading to large pitch at S end. Mordor Pitch rigging guide Large passage leads eastwards, 4m up, reached by easy traverse. Strong draught blows westwards (into chamber). Much less windy passage leaves on R after 18m. Main passage continues uphill then turns NE, climbing up to L in complex area reaches 30m pitch, which appears to be the source of the draught (QMA). Immediately beyond this goes off L on 252deg (QMB). The Phreas continues zigzaggy for another 30m . At the corner is a high (12m) solution area in the roof (QMC). Ahead the passage gets very high and the way on is blocked by a hole in the floor (QMA). This massage is 'March of the Ents'.

Large passage to R in more phreas which arrives in a chamber. A hole in the floor is approx p10 with a pool at bottom (QMA). There is possible passage to N. way on is downhill, arriving at a large T-junction with horizontal passage. This is very windy again (E to W) 17m to R (w) it opens out at a small streamway. This is 'Rivendell'. Passage continues ahead up small climb (QMA). Another goes downhill to L. The stream sinks in too-tight passage. Turning L (S) at T-junction enters huge phreatic passage 5m across trending gently downhill, 'The Shires'. This reaches a pitch edge after 50m looking out into large chamber/ area (QMA). Drop is about 10m then another 10m in further hole. A small passage continues ahead for ~7m to look out over another drop, probably the same space (QMB). Halfway along the Shires a small rift passage goes off (QMC).

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