Balconhöhle - Einundzwanzig leads (Ice cock)

Tue 21 Jul 2015

1st expo trip for Sarah, 1st trip to BH for Wook.

Carried gear over after sorting survey stuff so only just underground before midday. Luke showed us the route to the far end + gear dump & the various leads.

Friendly cave, but a fair way to the end. Had a look at the near (wet) side of the pitch to consider rigging. Could be done from this side but prob better from the other.

Decided to start beyond 94a lead. Surveyed rift off to left: short passage to dead end with scroffing below. Sarah got to drive DistoX2.

Next looked at climb at the end. Dubious-looking pile of boulders with hole at top. Wook shinned up & found it was in fact quite solid. Largish rift at top with ice formations ! Big draught through small hole.

Surveyed up & others followed then explored. Matt shinned up to R on ledge - looks like a lead. Sarah went round corner to find massive aven-base with more ice. Very impressive. Called 'Ice cock'.

Surveyed it all till it was 5:30 & time to go home.

W+S got a bit lost on way out, & Matt overtook, so confusion for a few mins. Soon back together, then in familiar territory, so Matt could get us home. 80m of entrance felt quite long. 500m tomorrow is going to be super-long.

T/U: 8 hrs

Passage Desc: Passage on L wiggles to 5m traverse reaching sandy dead-end. Sandy dig & small choked inlet slot back joins into bottom of traverse & accesses bottom of scree below climb to Icecock. On main way, c5 reaches small hole above top chockstone. Climbing through reaches high (25m) hading rift with Icefall on far wall. Ledge ascends NE to climb (QM-B). To L (W) c1 then leads to R with roof lowering. Passage off on R (QM-A). Almost immediately break out into large round space which is bottom of ~40m aven. 8m up on west wall is a space, could be bolted to (QM-B). On R is small pitch in wall QM-C (p7). Ahead, part fallen ice & another ice fall coming from smaller aven on L (QM-X). Beyond is short climb down (QM-B). Draught has been lost here - no doubt it is coming down the pitch.