Eiskeller - Revisiting 2004-18

Thu 09 Aug 2018

T/U 2.5 hours
Surveying 2004-18 Eiskeller
The day after our eventful prospecting trip, Nat, Paul, and Wookey returned to 2004-18 to survey it. We recovered our gear left in a hole, and Paul rigged. Feeling hot, I went down in my t-shirt and trousers. But during rigging and surveying I got so cold that I had to ask Wookey to send my bag of layers down the rope. We landed on the snow plug which had blocked further exploration in 2005, and rigged a rebelay from which to climb down the snow plug. Our first ice climbing experience! At the base of the snow plug is a chamber with a side aven and a rubble floor and possibly a tiny gap round the western back end of the snowplug but we did not fancy squeezing into it [see photos]. We decided to name it Eiskeller (Ice House) as it looks just like one.

We surveyed back up the pitch [see our survey and notes in wallet 2018#44] and emerged gratefully into the blazing sunshine, where Wookey had been sunbathing the whole time. Then we took the easy hike back to Top Camp, which we'd found on the way in [see our description in Approach and our GPS track].

Twin Caves
Along the northern edge of the valley approaching 2004-18 we waypointed two shafts with snow inside. UTM: 33T 0411527, 5282982.

Summary: go back to Cubic Valley!!
Given the number of deep shafts in this valley, it's the most exciting place to return to. The Cube-shaped boulder sitting above 2004-18 is an easy landmark to find [see our photos]. The hike to/from Top Camp is so quick & easy that it makes a perfect few days of rigging and surveying for Expo novices or for people who don't want to go deep. According to our GPS track, the hike is 670m and takes 23 minutes. Be sure to wear an oversuit and layers!