204 - Survey Pretzl Passage below Big Boulder Chamber + continue derig

Mon 27 Aug 2012
Becka Lawson

T/U: 11hrs

Julian + I rolled into basecamp at 8.30 am after driving all night from Cambridge. I tried to sleep but failed so Anthony + I went up the hill getting horribly snarled in Bad Aussee en route (a crane was blocking the bridge, building the replacement bridge). Lunch + underground 2 pm. Down to where Julian + I had left off on the 19th with no rigging gear so we were hoping for horizontal . . . and we lucked out. We started with the easiest-looking lead as I was feeling severely sleep deprived + trippy. This was a drafting phreatic comfortable walking passage which soon hit a junction. We followed the main draft left + soon got to a pitch head with the sound of a substantial stream + what looked like a lot of space though we couldn't see properly from our eyrie.

Back to the junction there was again a draft... hum, we're heading back to where we started said Anthony. His sketch turned out to be spot on - at the next leg I spotted our tacklesack + we emerged from a slot which I'd failed to notice when Julian + I had surveyed it. With time to spare we were then forced to check out the less appealing options - the climb down chossy rocks at the end looked too hazardous without gear + the bottom didn't seem too promising either, so we traversed on a slopy mud ledge to the left to an obvious passage. This soon closed down but the draft came from a more obscure phreatic tube above + at the start of our passage, up an easy free climb. This led along an attractive thick cracked mud floor to ... another large chamber with the sound of much water. We though this might well be the same chamber we'd encountered on our initial survey though when the data went in we were less convinced as the two ends were 43m apart but it is still plausible. Decided to pack up the survey then (fortunately as the derig ended up taking longer than we'd expected) + headed out. Derigged everything in Dog Days (see rigging topo, PTO) + beyond (so including the short traverse + the up-climb which are both q. easy to free climb) + the pitch + traverse before the main Puss in Bolts traverse but we left in Puss in Bolts. Derigged Painted Lady but left in Cat Flap (as its an up pitch). Anthony took all bolts + knots from Brian's Phat Shaft ready for tomorrow + at last I could go to bed.

Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2012#45 pretzelpassage1|Pretzel Passage 1 ['notes3', 'plan1', 'notes4', 'plan2', 'notes1', 'notes2', 'notes5']
Logbook trips on this date:
    204 - Survey Pretzl Passage below Big Boulder Chamber + continue derig
    107 - Ropeless