258 - March of the Penguins

Fri 10 Aug 2012
Holly Bradley

Trip length: 9 hrs

Having got a little bored of the 204 trip into 161 we decided on a trip to the P18? in MotP. Following a couple of failed trips, Rob & Olaf had kindly left 60m of rope at the pushing front - which made this trip even more appealing

Off down Tunnocks entrance, Caramel Catharsis, Starfish Junction & Flying high. Once you reach the traverse in Flying high, which is quite soon, keep on traversing. You may be tempted to drop down when you come across a large-ish hole. However this is wrong!! Carry on traversing over this for the correct way to MotP. If you drop down, you are sitting in a small chamber with 3 passages leading off.

Carrying along the passage (traversing) you eventually reach the end of the traverse (passing a nice stal) which opens up & you slide down to the floor. Then comes the interesting climb up & over then through boulders. On the second part of the climb - the through the boulders part - watch out for one of the boulders which appears to be held up by small pebbles wedged between said boulder and the walls.

Having reached the higher level, continue onwards to the very end of the passage (don't be tempted to crawl through the small hole through boulders on the right). At the end of the passage, there is a sneakily hidden RH elbow bend & the passage continues. Then is reached the evil bouldery climb of doom. Basically this is a climb down onto a ledge above a pitch. Climb is ~2.5m & the ledge has lots of loose boulders. After I stood on a large, sturdy looking boulder, which then began sliding on the gravel that it was perched on, towards the pitch - I demanded a traverse line - to the relief of Jess & Emma. Finding two hanady naturals we rigged a friendly traverse line with the "shitty red rope" and cut this off the 39m that we had carried in.

From here, carry along the obvious passage - which becomes a slide through boulders. In this boulder choke, turn right up the obvious climb out. I would not recommend attempting to squeeze through the small hole on the left - it's a bit tight! This opens up into a small chamber with a junction, Taking right goes to 39 steps. However, we turned left (down slope) to MotP. The bottom of this slope becomes another short slide through boulders into a stooping passage with a muddy floor. A short climb up and down into another junction. To reach the p18? turn right up the slope & then climb down into the obvious rift. At the bottom head back under the rift, through the smallish hole to the top of the P18? Hooray!

We reached the pushing front and & I was deemed 'bolting queen' whilst Emma & Jess took photos for Antony's looming conference presentation.

The top of the P18? is very nice - hardly any loose boulders, walls close together. Unfortunately it was a bit uncomfortable for hand bolting - but you can't have everything. We used a lovely large pillar/natural for the start of the rigging (on the R heading into the cave) and I placed a bolt on each wall to create a Y-hang straight down the pitch. I headed down the pitch to land in a small-medium sized chamber with a bouldery floor. Unfortunately a rebelay was needed on the P18?, now called 'Hooray for Boobies' (as a result of the girlie team). This meant that gentle prussicking would be needed on the 'shitty red rope' (The 60m still sat in the bag at the top). So only Emma ventured on down to join me. With Jess getting cold at the top, Emma & I had a quick look around before heading back up & out of the cave. We made a pact, after squeezing into a connecting chamber, and through a short rift, that we would still return to survey, even if the lead didn't go anywhere. Thankfully, the rift opened out into a clean washed, Yorkshire-like passage way, with an ~3m pitch. Back out we went, excited for our trip the following day.

(Short squeeze at base of pitch ~2m long known as the Outer Flap).

Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2012#24 ['soilothon-elev', 'soilothon-plan', 'Soilothon', 'Soilothone', 'Soilothon']
    2012#27 ['dogdays3-elev', 'dogdays3', 'dogdays3-plan', 'dogdays3']
Logbook trips on this date:
    204 - Dog Days
    258 - March of the Penguins
    83 - Duncing in the dark
    204/161 Connection traverse re-rigging + push in 161
    Looking for BS17 (Organhöhle)