Surface - Prospecting alternative entrances for Maelstrom
After a leisurely (not quite for Ruairidh, carrying far too much) walk up to topcamp with Frank and Nadia following a leisurely morning start from me, Ruairidh and I decided that we could attempt to find an easier, quicker entrance to Maelstrom by following the rift from the surface whilst the other two and Sam were actually in the cave derigging. First we found a large basin, containing what appeared to be a large cave entrance, but upon further inspection, choked out towards the back of the cave. Ruairidh did find a nice complete Gaemse skull though, which he seemed quite happy about. Another potential entrance found further along the rift with a steady flow of water disappearing into the ground which could explain some of the bigger drippy pitches after the lovely squeeze. The rift splits into two further on, with some promising, but inaccessible, looking gorges on the right fork as you follow it. The left seemed less promising from memory but this area is definitely worth another look with bolting kit to make sure. Realising we'd actually got quite close to the col, we decided to simply hike towards the slabs and rejoin the carpark-topcamp path and head back.