107 - Wonderland: Wild West + Dire Straits

Mon 13 Jul 2015

Decided on a short trip for Joe's final day so that we could head down the hill afterwards. We gave Joe a (slightly too long) head start so that he could retrieve his gear from Restless, and then we all headed through the Sea of Fudge and into Wonderland. Got to the Wildwest lead (last seen in 2013 when the drill battery died and attempts at lassooing a spike as a belay resulted in rockfall).

Joe placed 2 bolts and clambered up before placing a final bolt at the top. We joined him up there. Almost immediately the passage hit a T junction, right went to a soil/gravel dig. We followed left along a lovely phreatic passage with a few formations which got photoed (badly) by me, and also dead insects and oddly some animal droppings. We followed along to a short climb up and down again to the bottom of an aven. Joe climbed this (being very careful of the loose flakes), and we sent the rope + drill up for him to rig for us.

Followed this to another aven. Main way on appears to be 18m up - would almost certainly need a bolt or two. There was also a small tube only a few metres up, which didn't draft. Joe removed his SRT kit and explored, after a bit I followed. A low crawl led to a rift and then left bent then another badly sized crawl to a widening. Joe climbed down to a lower level which was small but may go. Straight on led to another aven.

We surveyed back to Olly, despite being small passage and horrible to have to wriggle backwards while survey was lovely and straight so didn't require too many legs. We named this Dire Straits. Once we got back to Olly, Joe headed out to start carrying his gear down and we finished the survey.