Following up on Radost and Honorata's prospecting leads (Unlucky Gemse cave and Amphitheatre cave)
Radost and Honorata had found a few promising entrances that they could explore with just a hand line on Thursday so me, Mike and Emma set out with caving kit, bolting kit and a few ropes to investigate further (ropes were slightly out of date ones - ropes were very hard to come by at Top Camp so we pinched two 20m ropes from the stash at Fishface entrance).
Having grabbed our kit from Fishface we looked at Radost's GPS coordinates, got a bearing towards them and headed in that direction. Plateau walking is always challenging, we came across a coupe of gaps? in the plateau, none of which went.
Eventually, after about 1 km of wandering in the direction of our bearing we came across an entrance that matched the photos Mike had seen that looked like it went a decent distance. Having never bolted before I kitted up and headed into the entrance in a snow-plugged rift with big ~2m boulder wedged in at the end with a significant drop afterwards.
We rigged a hand line off a natural near the entrance and I (with heavy instructions and a lot of faff) put a bolt in the ceiling to make a Y hang with the natural and headed down.
The pitch was a free hang for 3-4m before hitting a steep (~40 degrees) snow and ice slope, going down our 23m rope missed the bottom by 2-3m so I traversed around the slope, locked off my stop to a large, walkable rocky area to the right (looking down, left, looking up). Bits of this were quite unstable and scary with a large, car-sized boulder wedged up on its long axis, supported just by a few cms of rock, looming over me. This chamber thing had a coop ice fall on one side and no ways on at the bottom down to boulders. Mike came down and concluded that there were no ways on at the bottom. ???Hopping??? up the pitch above the car-sized boulder there was more passage that continued for a while but Mike didn't reckon it went any further. Being quite cold at this point I prussiked up the icy pitch (with difficulty) while Mike did a quick survey of the cave (on paper with the Disto). Mike then derigged and we headed on.
The next lead was Radost and Honorata's. Amphitheatre cave, which Nadia and some of the Garlic cave lot had also claimed as theirs. Deciding to tread lightly we free climbed down the large boulders in this very deep, very wide ???? hole. Rigging a hand line off the last boulder near the rift, Mike climbed down about 3m into the riftonto some scree and went on a bit more before arriving at a ~6m drop. We decided to leave further exploration for a day or two to let the people who found it have a go but it looked very promising. We had a fair bit of water in there as well despite little rain recently.
We then walked back, attempting but failing to find Garlic Cave. On the way back we did find a nice looking camp spot (flat, grass, ????, would be good for a tne) at 47.6925722 13.8087777