107 China

Mon 12 Aug 2013

Set off to Land of Confusion hoping to find ourselves in KH by the end of the trip. Got to Land of Confusion fairly efficiently, Olly set off to rig the pitch at the end while Stuart and I surveyed leads on the west of the passage. The first went along a little rift with a thin coating of soft dry soil on the walls. We wriggled under a low dry muddy crawl and it got bigger again. The walls and roof were in places coated (or made of?) mud and gravel. The horizontal passage ended up choked in mud, but we could climb down a series of vertical oxbows. Once it stopped being free climbable a lead went down and east, and another down and west of this pitch. Looked like a window into a big passage 34m down.

Surveyed back to the main passage hearing Olly drill as we went. Olly was low on hiltis so we gave him some more and looked at the next lead back. This ended in 2 different small pitches. We surveyed this and followed Olly down the pitch. The pitch looked to have multiple windows into it and was just under 50m deep to a big rocky floor. Olly went west through breakdown shafts and wriggled over a rock, he said “we’ve not found KH, but I think we might have found China!!”

China was up to 20m high, 15m wide and a bit over 100m long breakdown chamber. We walked south (the direction of the draft) until it narrowed (a few meters wide still) and became more rift like. We stopped at a pitch down. The passage continues rift like beyond and I think there is a second pitch down. We surveyed back north, with Stuarts light showing that there were a lot of avens coming in. The survey data suggests that the pitch Stuart and I started surveying at is one. The 46m disto leg of the 6th August another, and probably the harder traverse (Too Bold for This Spit) yet another which may well provide a shorter + quicker route in for future trips.

China continued beyond where we entered, but not for long. At the north end is a wall of choss. Stuart climbed part way up + it looks like there is a continuation higher up. There is a passage/window on the East wall, but this just connects back to the bottom of the pitch. While we finished the survey to the pitch we sent Stuart off to chase the draft and find us a continuation.

He duly obliged and found a pitch through rocks north of the pitch down. We were optimistic that is might become the poxy aven at the end of Blown Out, but after some rigging through boulders it opened up and continued too deep. Once we were properly deeper then the connection could be we called it a day for this year.

We surveyed out and took turns at derigging. We de-rigged to the south side of Too Bold for this Spit and got 5 bags most of the way along the rift before we decided we were too tired. We all made our way slowly and wearily out the cave. I think this doubled the length of Stuart’s previous longest trip!

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Survex files on this date:
Wallets on this date:
    2013#26 ropeless sleepless restless ['olly360.bmp', 'olly364.bmp', 'olly366_rot', 'olly358', 'olly361.bmp', 'olly35…
Logbook trips on this date:
    Hedonism Highway/ Rocky Road area
    107 China