plateau - Search for remaining wook-cave (wk4)

Tue 11 Aug 2015

Only one cave from the 1995/6 wanderings left:wk4, found when attempting to walk down from 161d to the Stogerweg in 1995 to see if it was a better route than back over the col (it wasn't).

Wook and Sam set off at an unheard-of early 7am partly to get Luke up the hill in time to do something before derigging, and to avoid the worst of the heat of the day, at least to start with. As we walked past the Bla-Alm turnoff we were hailed from up the hill, by ChrisD, Anthony, Elliott and Michael who wanted to leave rope in our car. Key arrangments were made, updates given and we carried on our way.

Not hard to follow the Eishöhle path, passing numerous caches of ARGE gear along the way (142, the nipple, Eishöhle 40a). 216 has more cold air than I remember and 40h is transformed. The crawl is now a 4-5m-high passage with the old bolts stranded in the ceiling - soon you won't need any ice gear at all to get in. It was very nice to sit in the fridge as huge amounts of cold air spilled out of the entrance, but soon enough we had to get on with the task at hand.

Found it remarkably easy to get down the hill about 100m back from 216, where there is a path down past 40d. The tag on this entrance is a rather long way from the cave now, presumably due to shrinking snowfield at the entrance. Carrying on down here got us to a nice traverse level below the main cliff here, into a large grassy amphitheatre - very nice spot. This was only 50m from pwk4, but this GPS point was before Selective Availabilty was turned off, so somewhat unreliable, potentially compounded by the steep hilside. The actual point was at the edge of the grassy area, which wasn't right, as it was on a shelf, with bunde either side, and a notable rectangular hole, hard to traverse past, and directly above the hochlapf sattel.

The terrain South of the grassy amphitheatre seemed about right, but it's quite heavily bunded. The cave should be on a nice easy route, as it was found when taking the easiest route down the hill, but 3 hours of wandering round, bashing a lot of bunde, and trying to find every possible traverse level, found no sign of the bloody hole. It just made us both very hot, scratched, and tired. I now have a tracklog of a large number of places that this cave is not.

Surprised to find a red-paint marked path here (which leads to the stogerweg), and an arrow on the stogerweg pointing to a slightly higher path in the same area. Aparently more people come this way than you might think (hunters?).

Eventually we gave up, having given it our best shot, and trogged back along the stogerweg (which is actually very easy to get to from this area using the paths. Took best part of 2hours to walk back to the carpark. We were really quite tired.

Reading the logbook entry for the original discovery, I wonder if it is perhaps lower down?

So, that was a very frustrating day. We can move this cave to the 'mostly lost' pile.

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    2015#78 Penguin Fellatio ['notes']
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