Balcony - Derig: scrabble & flail
We'd had no peep from the Balkonhoehle cavelink so we weren't sure when the campers would have left so we headed off leisurely but there was no sign of life at the top of Honeycomb so Nathan + I dragged Alex on a trip down memory lane to Icecock aven. The ice is in a sorry state with rotten, melting ice lumps melted from the avens littering the floor. I wanted to check out the snow ramp but it was so melted that there wasn't enough left to climb up.
That jaunt frittered away an hour + we headed on down + met the campers exiting at the top of Mongol Rally. They hadn't managed to empty camp so I went down + collected the final 2 bags then I derigged the swing in at the bottom of Pitstop. As I tried to gently swing from the Pitstop ledge to the main pitch I realised I may have screwed up by having 2 heavy bags hanging off me.
Scrabble, flail and I was swinging free in space, hurrah, success. I got ready to prusik + realised in the kerfuffle I'd lost my pantin. "I've dropped my pantin", I wailed up at Nathan...then looked up more carefully - shit, shit, shit, the rope had caught round a sharp flake + I was now swinging in space. Sod the pantin, I'm gonna slice my rope + freefall 50 metres. I spun + saw a small spike that I managed to grab. I gingerly unloaded the rope, flicked it off the flake + swung back on then gently prusiked up to the rebelay, checking the rope - it loked fine, I'd got away with it.
At the rebelay I waited for Nathan to come down so he could continue the derig + glanced down and - there was my pantin! I'd put it on the outside of my left foot - doh!
After that I plodded out whilst Nathan derigged & Alex + he took out the Mongol Rally rope then Nat continued the derig. We got the rope to the water pool at the start of the 2nd traverse. Kristian was noodle-wallah, cooking endless cups whilst we got the rope unpacked, stripped the metalwork + undid some very tight knots.
I went back to help Nat with his 2nd bag then us two + Kristian finished sorting the rope out so it could be left to soak. We three were the last out of the cave at 9pm.<.p>