Fishface - Surveying around Benign Bubble Baby Bypass
After hiking up to plateau to arrive for midday, we discovered the advanced rigging party still above ground... In order to leave them time to start rigging the first 4 pitches of Fishface, an ungodly amount of faff began. We finally arrived at the cave at 3pm, thinking we'd left plenty of time for the riggers, we quickly changed and headed underground. Alas, our hopes were crushed as we came to the bottom of the first pitch to discover the other pushing party sat freezing their tits off at the top of the second pitch as the riggers rigged just below them. Needless to say, it took some time to descent to the bottom of Blitzen Boulevard with Mike taking over the rigging of the 4th pitch after a debate over placing another bolt at the pitch head. Once arrived at Benign Bubble Baby Bypass, we conducted a quick something time to refresh our surveying technique before splitting into 2 groups. Me and Mike went ahead through the tube leading on through the bottom of the climb heading towards the liquid luck ptch head to bolt the small pitch at the end of the traverse whilst the others began surveying from said turn off. As me and Mike arrived at the pitch head, I asked if I could begin my bolting lesson before a big scary hole. I was refused. Instead I was told to tie the rope around a small head sized bolder wedged in the rift, which were currently both stood on. I thought this was a silly idea but obliged. The actual bolting of the pitch went well (I think?), however comments about placing bolts higher were made which was somewhat impossible given my height. The final bolting and rigging became passable so I decended the large (4m...) hole.
As we finished bolting, the survey team emerged behind us. At the bottom of the pitch, 3 leads emerged, a large passage with a traverse sloping down in front of us, a small drafty tube to the right, and a hole heading into the ceiling behind us. With the rigging team and pushing team 2 in the near vicintity of the cave around us, me and Mike were a bit naughty and scooped the large passage in front of us, as we reached the end, we could hear voices in the rift above us, thinking it was the other pushing team we called up. It was not. It was Buck from the rigging team stood near the base of Blitzen Boulevard essentially where we started. Discovering we'd done a large circle , we returned to the base of the pitch where the survey team were. As we arrived, Zac from the team 2 appeared in the hole above us, they had also done an circle.
Once regrouped, it was approaching 9:30PM so we decided to leave the small drafty tubeand started to make our way out of the cave eventually making it back to top camp just before midnight.