Balkonhöhle - first and last of the 2022 Balkon camps – Part 1a
Blog Author: h_collings [Blog post dated 30th August]
This year’s CUCC expo was my first caving expedition, and I was very excited to find out what expedition caving was all about. Having been on all three of the rigging trips from the entrance of Balkon down to Pitstop, and then on the first couple of pushing trips to Northern Pitstop, I became rather attached to Balkon for the duration of expo. And Balkon was very much in need of support with so many singing the praises of Fishface and its lack of clinging mud.
My commitment to Balkon saw me go on the first and last of the Balkon camps at Pitstop. The first trip [5th August] was instigated by Chris Densham, who first persuaded Nat it would be a good idea, and then, in need of another body to carry gear, Nat in turn persuaded me to join the venture. A lengthy couple of hours followed of packing gear and debating with Chris how much food was an appropriate amount… Nat and I were advocating for greater quantities. After acquiring a couple of sherpas (in the form of Luke and Lucy) to assist with the carry of kit to the entrance, we set off; I was feeling distinctly nervous at the unknown of underground camping and the large array of tacklesacks we had to manage between the three of us.
Slow but steady progress was made down to Pitstop, with some teamwork required to negotiate the large tacklesacks through an awkward crawl above Mongol Rally. On arrival Chris quickly set about finding a fantastic camp spot, in a cosy alcove off the main passage. After some re-sculpting to create a flat area to sleep and a kitchen counter of sorts, camp was complete; I was pleasantly surprised at the (so far) civilised nature of our camp. Dinner and an early night were had after a long day.
Chris enjoying his well found pitstop camping spot.