85 (and 82) Blind as a Bat

Wed 22 Jul 2015



Olly had an unhappy tummy, so something near the surface seemed wise. Decided to look at the lead in 85 that we'd spotted in 2007 and noted in 1977. Got to the entrance to find Ol only had his prescription sunglasses, so he had to cave blind. Due to not wanting to carry too much stuff, I was only wearing thermals and my oversuit which was cold.

Followed the obvious way in 85 ignoring the passage to 82. Followed down a couple of lovely little climbs, then doubled back to appear 2/3 of the way down an ice slope. I noticed an enticing looking passage opposite us on the other side of the ice slope. Decided that the best way to access that and the drop below was to enter from above, so I waited while Olly headed out to confirm that the slope did come from the 82-85 passage. It did, so we got SRT + bolting gear and I rigged (badly) down to get into the passage. This passage headed off very straight, sometimes crawling, sometimes walking, with various solution pockets/avens on the left. Eventually ended at a muddy/gravelly dig. Surveyed out to the bottom of the rope where Olly went down to the bottom before heading out. Saw an unhappy bat frozen on the ice which I photographed. I hoped it was having a little sleep, but Olly assured me it was dead and frozen in place.

Finished surveying this route and the climbs route down.