AUSTRIA 1983: 25/7/83 - 12/8/83

1983-07-25 | travel - The journeys out. | Naomi, Julian, Becky, John Bowers, Ben, Wiggy, Chas, Dave, Nicky, Tony, Gail, Philip

The first part of the log is traditionally taken up by the journey out.
If this is of no interest, here is a link to the caving!

The journeys out. ?

Team Griffiths - Makins [Naomi Griffiths nee Makins - ed.]

Arrived at Ramsgate 2 hrs early so had to eat a lot before embarking on ferry. Zapped down to Reinböllen at warp factor 9 to drink beer with Ben et al - missed Ben by 10 mins. Arrived in Staudnwirt at 4pm Sunday having gently grockled round Hallstatt all afternoon.

Team Fucked-Viva

Arrived at Dover 5 hours early - no decent beer. One fuse stop and a trip round Dachau concentration camp to make Austria seem nice. Arrived in a piece after 16 hours.


The most problematical part of my journey was getting to Victoria for a 6-O'Clock train. This accomplished, train, plane, train + train (the last stopping at every lamp post) then feet got me to Staudnwirt around 6.20pm.

Team Bowers - Van Millingen - Whigglesworth

The hovercraft wasn't full of eels. Stopped at Rheinböllen (NB spelling miss Makins) - the place the crab broke down 1979 expedition with café with gorgeous little girls in white teeshirts, but it was shut & Julian had gone anyway. Zipped through Austria until a little man waved us down, demanded 100 schillings from John & muttered something about Radar control & 67 kph instead of 50 kph. Staudnwirt in time for several beers.

Team Chas & Dave (gertcha !)


chas failed his driving test and we were still repairing phil's car on saturday morning but we ate a pagbol and set off to dover and the radiator boiled over for the first time in a petrol station and so we filled it up and it started with clouds of steam and after a greasy chips we got on the ferry but only just cos we were last and we had to sleep on deck and then we got to zeebrugge and it was four in th emorning so off we set and at first it was ok but after a few hundred miles thrashing it got hotter and hotter and we had to keep stopping to refill the radiator and then we had no more german money and nearly ran out at munich but then found you could use english money so we filled up and at the austrian border i nearly lost a contact lens and it got dark and we got lost and the radiator boiled over again and again and sometimes the cylinders filled with water andlockedtheengineandwegotlostinKuchlandtheradiatorboiledoveragainanditwasgettinghardertostartandonce wehadtoforageinavalleytofindsomewaterandthenwetookoffthebonnettocooltheenginebutitstartedtorainandthe enginedrownedinbadausseebutwithaquicksquirtofwd40itstartedandwelimpedintogrundlseeataboutoneinthe morningaftertwentyonehoursdriving god was i buggered. [insert photo of Dave flattening the cylinder head with a file before he left Cambridge]

TR6 Nicky & Tony

Managed to avoid Plank etc. in Dover, went swimming & drank in the Louis Armstrong. Wended our way towards Austria saving time by not bothering to eat. Nicky slid down a glass partition at a motorway cafe in a dead faint. Went swimming. Hit a highly decorated town (Wasserburg) in the evening before cruising on down via a bar or two to the car park. Walked up to 113 then above, found an open entrance (60' pitch), returned to meet everybody at Bar Fischer (having seen John's car at the car park) before finally finding everybody at the campsite bar.

Team reclining seats

A featureless thrash from Zeebrugge to Wurzburg for a walk + a sausage, thence to Ingolstadt where Philip's eyes were closing as a consequence of Gail's having given up between Rushden and Cambridge.... Failed to find campsite at Ingolstadt - thrashed on down to a "service station" past Munchen where we crashed on **Reclining Seats** and slept 10 hours. To Grundlsee without incident (to the sound of Gail's snores) and a drink at the OTHER Grundlsee campsite. Spotted Mess tent in between and so set off for a walk up to the plateau...

1983-07-25 | BUNDA BASHING DAY 1 | Naomi, John, Ben, Julian

A gentle day's workout for the old codgers. Went up to 113 and then prospected the area above. Found very little apart from the inevitable snow-plugged shafts. No draughts at all apart from one small choked hole near a prominent gravel bank. By this time we were quite close to the top of the Schwarzmooskogel so off to the top ! Just below the top we almost fell down a great gaping maw. Julian nearly killed himself when a boulder crept up behind and took him for a ride down the shaft. This so disturbed Ben that he lent John his gear and John went down. We ran out a 40m rope getting down to 30m in stages. A small 5m pitch and then a larger pitch into a high canyon. This was getting serious enough to be left for another day, so we did that. Then the shortcut back to the Bergrestaurant. 1½ hours later we arrived back at the path. The gentle day's workout had taken a nasty turn and four very knackered old codgers arrived at the car park 2 hours after leaving "The Hole".


1983-07-25 | 132=142 Monday | Mike, Wiggy

Raced along the path, through the bunde & into the big chamber pitch. Used the rusty bolts which have since been failed by the BOLT INSPECTOR. Went down the tube pushed by Tim, grovelled round & followed draught to a sizeable inlet, free-climbed up this till eventually returned to the bottom of the big chamber. Free-climbed big chamber wall to passage 50-60' above pitch, possible bypass. Out quickly after 4 hrs.


Previous trip / Next trip

1983-07-26 | plateau - Tuesday | Naomi, John

Couldn't face thrashing through the bunda again, so we tried a new route - up to the "plateau" col, keep right and traverse about 200 yds and then head up slabs, following some small cairns to the summit of Viede Schwarzmoos Kogel. Sign the visitors book at the top and then drop down, slightly right, for 100 yds and there's the entrance.

While Naomi sunned her delicate white flesh, I hopped down the entrance pitch. 10m down the next pitch, a rebelay and an 10m to a boulder floor, another 5m pitch, more boulders and a final airy bolt, specially placed for Ben's delight tomorrow.

1983-07-26 | Prospecting | Pete, Chas

Followed the joint up above Stellerweg (bearing 220°). Found 2 phreatic draughting entrances which we followed until they went vertical. They draught IN. Then onto the small pimple which is the top of the ridge above Stellerweg. I managed to step on a rock which wasn't too solid and fell 20feet, but only a few grazes. Then parallel to the ridge, with lots of signs of the Germans (beer cans etc.) Found a big depression with a 45° bedding plane down which closed down after ~15m. There was a ~10m pitch on the opposite side which we descended to a choke. Then onto a very distinctive (sink when wet) - with brown gravel banks and a limestone bridge. From here due south found ~100m through trip - lot of snow banks, icicles, ice stalagtites + some phreatic tubes, but no ways on. There were 4 entrances, two of them non-climbable shafts. Then back parallel to the ridge, with very few leads. We almost made the path directly above Stellerweg, but descended too soon and hit 201 at 88.

1983-07-26 | Walk | Julian

Julian walked up to the Appel-Haus, had a beer and a mineral water, and then walked back to Grundlsee.

1983-07-26 | hole that hasn't got a name yet. 140 | Ben, Julian

Schwarzmooskögel route proved best way. Lots of chamois. Julian belted down to John's 'airy' bolt & down 80ft shaft. Bottom choked by boulders with small impenetrable rift - through which could be heard tantalising heavy drip. 30ft down shaft is a big boulder. On the other side is a passage 25ft up heading in the direction of the drip - by this time Ben had finished putting in two bolts on the entrance pitch & arrived down to have a fag while Julian started bolting up towards this passage. He was even called upon to lifeline when Julian was 3 bolts up leaving one more for John to climb to GLORY.

Time 4 hrs, Ben

1983-07-27 | surveying 132 142 Wed 27th | Mike, Dave

Latchensechsen is as hard as ever, and this short trip seemed more tiring than thirty hours down 115. Still, plenty of time to get fit. Poked around in the huge chamber, but the boulders are too big - size of houses. Surveyed in, and buggered off out.

- the diabolical datsun nearly made the car park in one go, but then boiled over very loudly indeed !

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-07-27 | 132 = 142 | Becky, Wiggy

Went to "the pitch near the entrance" where Wiggy tried very hard to kill himself by putting his weight on a hold which broke off. Much of the other stuff at the top (in fact, all down) is of the same ilk. The pitch is ~20m w a break at 10m*, going to a small rift with a howling gale. Bashed our way through a squeeze into another small rift - still with howling gale - which chokes.


*Put a bolt in on the right hand wall (mainly to calm Wiggy's nerves) but actually used a fine natural belay on the other side of the hole, reached by traversing to the left.

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-07-27 |Wednesday | John, Naomi, Nicky, Tony

It seemed like a good idea to drive up to the car park and walk around to the Wildensee for a swim. Sadly, the temperature was rather high so that those of us who were feeling the effects of the previous day found the going a little tougher than those who weren't so much but were feeling the effects of the heat anyway. What's more its a long way to the Wildensee, but ideal for swimming, excellent diving points, lots of little fish nibbling at your legs etc. The return via the Appelhaus was arranged by the proprietors such that one felt slightly thirsty. One amongst us managed to bop their first pint rather quickly (excellent one should add) and a further ¾ pint led to a lot of limb waving along the continuation of the path. A high speed surge lasted about 35 minutes before it collapsed completely and the eventual return to base was rather more subdued.

Tony M

1983-07-27 | Surface survey and Prospecting below 115. | Chas, Pete

The aim was to find the end of the Futility Series popping out of the hillside below 115. We surface surveyed down to a permanent station, marked with bolt hole and lots of red paint: P1983/1. This was almost directly below 115 and on the edge of the big trees. It was at E77.2, N-237.3, H -195.8, whereas the end of the Futility Series was at G30: E 139.7, N -54.2, H-187.8. So we were (!) at the right place, but the cave end was 180m into the hillside. We had a good look round but didn't find any signs of caves there.

So we looked at a big phreatic entrance further east (up the valley) and ~50m higher. This was looked at in 1982, but a bit of proddling released lots of boulders + we were able to follow up a narrowing bedding plane at ~60°, for 10m until it got too loose/small. Very difficult descent on scree to the end of the Altausseer See + then the Schniderwirt for Weizen Bier.


1983-07-28 | Prospecting below Vd. Schwartzmooskogel | Mike, Pete, Dave, Chas

We sechsten through the Latchen towards the SMK, and reached the top after a leisurely lunch on a snow patch. First we inspected the entrance to EXCS's cave and then moved east on the southern side of the hill as far as the first big valley. Descended a couple of shafts which didn't go, and for the next time left a large shaft not descended and another draughting hole with 40m pitch to a big chamber and 10m pitch at which we stopped. These were both marked 'CUCC 1983' and put a cross on one of the choked shafts (20m). The other cave descended was 40m entrance pitch (daylight) then down a slot and 7m boulder slope to the head of an estimated 10m pitch (undescended).

[sketch showing location of:
137 (1) 40m, 7m slope to head of undescended
135 (2) Choked 20m
138 (3) Very large entrance (undescended)
136 (4) loose headed 40m to big chamber + undescended p10.]

Next 136 trip

1983-07-28 | 140 | Naomi + Ben

After a very sweaty walk up to the top of the Schwartzmoos and down to the cave, Ben and I set about doing a surface survey. The cave entrance was measured first giving an opening on the surface 9m x 6m with an entrance shaft 15.2m. From the cave entrance a surface survey was carried out to the summit of the Schwartzmoos. The cave lies 126m on a bearing of 194° from the summit of the Schwartzmoos at an altitude of 1796m. (Oh God - I think I've spelt Schwartzmoos wrong all the way through this tome!) After surveying, Ben and I retreated to the Bergrestaurant to work out the survey, identifying wild flowers on the way down.


1983-07-28 | Thursday | Tony + Nicky

After getting the car up to the plateau we had an easy walk up to 113 - heading up towards the knoll. Unfortunately Tony found another hole he felt impelled to investigate before we got to where we were originally going. Whilst Tony messed around underground, I did some snow melt experiments - and waited. Having reached the bottom at about 28 metres - Tony gave up and we set out again for the Knoll. Near the summit, we located two more holes - to be investigated next day. From the top of the knoll saw Julian/John sitting above their cave on the SMK - then made our way back indirectly to the car park via the thickest bunde patches.

Next trip to the "two more holes"

1983-07-28 | Thursday 140 | John & Julian

Returned to the hole - thrashing up to the col & over the top, eager to revel in the glory just one bolt away. I placed the bolt while Julian took hero pictures. Lots of witters followed as I stood in etriers unwilling to launch myself over the top. It was all a waste of time anyway - the passage draughted but closed down after ~20 ft. Then went back down to the bottom - just to confirm there were no loose ends. But there was just one very loose end. Julian pretended not to notice it, but I insisted he should have a look, while I held back the boulders to allow his return. Another pitch of 8m led to an even more conclusive choke. Exited, detackling the lower pitches.

Wandered back home, prospecting on the way, and found a horizontal passage strongly draughting out. Will return tomorrow...


The return to this horizontal cave (145)

1983-07-28 | Koppenbrüllehöhle - Friday 29th July | Naomi + Ben

Super firework display provided by the heavens together with torrential downpour cancelled all caving activities, except for fine trip down the Koppenbrüllehöhle: EXCS's trip was made even more exciting by seeing a completely dry stream bed on entering the cave, not being able to visit the lower part of the show cave due to flooding, and finding a stream the size of the Wharfe coming out when we came out. The food + drink on this trip was excellent - being consumed in large quantities.

1983-07-30 | 140 | Ben, Naomi

Derigged cave up by Schwarzmookögel. Pitch lengths measured as: entrance - 15.2, 6, 10m. followed by 5.5, 10, 10.5

1983-07-30 | Wolfhöhle 145 | John, Julian

Stopped off to look at Thursday's draughting hole. Wandered in clad in shorts + carbide following just one set of footprints of some early explorer. Fine little phreatic passage with strong outward draught. After 200', a pitch. Exited to find Ben & Naomi to continue the exploration.

Ben, Naomi, John, Julian

Picked up the tackle from the first hole & trekked over the Schwarzmooskogel for the last time. Reentered the new hole complete with tackle. Down the pitch to a chamber. Ignored the obvious hole in the floor, traversed over a snapping (or snapped?) wolf. Up a loose climb and on through phreatic tubes leading down. A bit of a crawl, along and suddenly big, black, nothingness.

Out to beer & icecreams in the sun at Bar Fischer.


Entrance discovery / Next trip

1983-07-30 |Sat 30th| Tony, Nicky

Returned to look at holes found on Thursday - unfortunately our latest short-cut was no better than previous attempts and we were obliged to find another hole on the way up. Nevertheless we progressed to the phreatic entrance next to the knoll and happily wandered through about 100 ft of passage before reaching an intermittently draughting tube slightly blocked by boulders. We abandoned this in favour of our second inward draughting rift. Tony descended the first pitch to find that the 'solid floor' consisted of a few boulders and having reached a point where a further bolt was required directly beneath these now mobile elements a retreat was made in order to clear this section. Nicky then removed most of the boulders whilst dangling from a sling and Tony then descended, placed a bolt, landed on the "floor". This turned out to be a boulder the size of the mess tent jammed across the rift. Tony placed one bolt for the continuation of the order of 100ft below. Then retreated once more. We continued to the hole we had found on our very first sortie but had not managed to return to since. Nicky wandered out over some boulders to place a bolt hanging from her toenails to give a nice freehang. Time ran out but inward draught was promising. We returned to the car by an even more interesting (but less bunde-prone) route.

Discovery trip / Next trip (deeper cave - 143) / Next trip (the other cave - 144)

1983-07-31 | Cave marked (4) on Planc's sketch. 136 | Mike, Chas

After the excesses of the past couple of days we thought we'd better get underground. We rigged a traverse line from the entrance down to the top of the first pitch, went down and rigged a couple of pitches down to where we could hear the stream. Unfortunately we could only hear it because the way on was through a 4" slot.

Mike found a short crawl to an inlet - active with a small dribble, much like the 115 inlets in dry weather - and below a couple of short, semi-free-climbable pitches we came to a decent drop, obviously right over the stream. It sounded enormous ! We bolted & Mike descended. The streamway is in a rift, and soon disappeared into boulders - foiled again ! The only lead now is a biggish pitch which is nasty & loose but may bring us back below the choke in the stream.

4 hrs Chas.

136 discovery / Next trip

1983-07-31 | 138 - Sunday 31st Prospecting 138 and 139 | Pete, Dave

We first bolted in no. (3) (138) on the sketch, a fine descent led to a snow slope, and after descending a snow filled rift by front-pointing in wellies, to a snow choked chamber at -40m. Pity. After checking a 13m blind shaft we found a rift entrance (139) just below the hillock NE of the VSK, which went to 30m to a rift (12cm) which draughted tantalisingly. Pebbles went another 15m or so

1983-07-31 | Wolfhöhle 145 | Naomi, Julian, Ben, John

Went to visit the hole with the "big black nothingness". Ben's bowel movements increased in frequency the nearer we got to this fine feature. At the top, Ben wanged in the first bolt before retiring hurt. Muddy Boy continued on down looking for unlikely places for bolts. He'd rigged 2 x 20m pitches before Julian caught up. Another 20m pitch to a ledge then a pitch rigged off a spike. Julian descended this to the floor of the shaft and realised Muddy Boy had been left on a ledge with the rope nowhere in sight. Leaving Muddy Boy to worry about this he squeezed through into another aven with the stream trench cutting down. A bolt was placed for the next 10-15m pitch before an exit was made (we'd run out of rope). Muddy Boy was reunited with the rope and both went out.

Before all this happened or while it was happening, Julian and Naomi had followed the phreatic tube beyond the "hole". Across a traverse the passage continued to two free climbs up and a climb round a flake to a further phreatic passage. Half way along this the draught emanated from a choked passage on the right. Beyond a 12m pitch dropped into twin avens and a further undescended pitch estimated to be 20m.

After all this happened, or in some cases while it was all happening, Naomi and Ben went to look at the crawl at the bottom of the lavatory pan. This was followed until either Ben's light gave out (official version) or Ben got fed up (unofficial shit-stirrer's version, in either case only about 60').

That's all.


Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-01 | Phil's 29th birthday trip down 132 142 | Wiggy, Gail + Philip

Wiggy failed to find the way to the big pitch... We were going to rig the hole that Mike was keen on at the NE end of the big chamber ... but we couldn't find it. ANYWAY we throttled around a lot at the level of the entrance series of 45° interconnected rift and found a 4m x 12m chamber, approx 65m high with a pitch take off 15m down from the roof and v big jammed boulders 15m down from that. Surveyed from there back to near the entrance.

Hacked a lot of bunde with a bush knife / bunde-basher / machete, path to 132 now almost reasonable.

1983-08-01 | Hole no. (4) Steinschlagschacht 136 | Mike, Chas

We tried the remaining lead in this unpleasant hole and to our dismay it seems to go. Went 60m down a rope from the Big Chamber, in a continuous shaft which looks as if it takes water in wet weather. At the bottom is a ledge with further rift and a black hole which sounds quite deep. Put in three bolts while Mike got cold.

4½h Chas.

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-01 | 143 |Pete, Dave

With the air of a man selling bits of the real cross, Tony assured us this was the one. After slagging his bolting technique, it didn't take long to use 100m of Edelrid; bash in a bolt, drop down a free hanging 30m shaft, traverse to head of next pitch, bash in a bolt. Spacious shafts, textbook rigging, the draught still inwards, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. At about -140m, we came to a sad end - at the foot of the final shaft a very narrow joint led off, which would take quite a bit of hammering to allow even Chas through ! The draught whistled inwards, and the rift looked 10m deep, widening after a few feet. After a considerable snack, we hurried out. V. efficient trip, and an inspection of the 115/41 survey later seems to show that the end is very near, both horizontally and depthwise, to Stellerweg around the big pitch. So at least we're in the right area.

5½ hours Dave

1983-08-01 | Wolfhöhle 145 | Naomi + Julian

While Muddy Boy fought off nasty gastric microbes and Ben festered, Julian and Naomi returned to 'Wolf Cave' to survey as much as possible. The cave was surveyed to the climb out of the wolf skeleton chamber, all the side passages being measured and investigated. Just inside the 2nd entrance a small passage was found to draught strongly inwards - this passage breaking out into a small rift leading to a pitch down, estimated to be about 6m. Several photographs were taken of the 'Wolf' skeleton as well as one of the main phreatic passage and the 1st pitch.

As carbide, water etc. were running low, an exit was made from the cave. On gaining the surface a survey was made from the entrance of 'Wolf' cave past the 2nd entrance and down to CUCC 82. Wolf cave is 29.5m above 82.


Previous trip / Next trips: Pushing / Tidying

1983-07-31 | Sunday 143 | Tony, Nicky

Returned via the most direct obvious route in just one hour to where we were last. Having eventually changed - Tony wanged down 1st pitch after carefully checking the brilliant bolting. Whilst putting in another bolt over a possible 13ft free climb Nicky climbed up over the boulders to look into the adjoining entrance shaft, lighted from above. At bottom of "free" climb, lobbed rocks of various sizes down a hole - very scary. Fixed two not so well placed bolts above 2nd/3rd pitch at the end of short rift - and having estimated it to be a good 25m went on swiftly out and back across the SMK to find a few more promising holes for other people to go down. Several hours.


Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-01 | 144 | Tony + Nicky

Having excited Dave + Pete to such an extent that they were willing to go down our previous hole, we led them more or less the same way back to the hole beneath the knoll and left them while they went off to collect their caving gear. We continued the 100 yds and one bedding over to the east to extend our other inward draughting hole. Tony changed and lay gasping in the extreme heat while Nicky went off to try to pinch some MRs from D + P - none available so Tony just rerigged as he went and descended a further 75' pitch (rather fine though not quite freehanging) which landed on a large boulder strewn ledge. Several large (tent-size) boulders formed the edge of the next pitch in a rift 15' wide heading east - the visible floor consisted of three (visible) large holes, one of which allowed boulders to drop for a count of 9, possibly 4-5 seconds. Prospects do not seem unreasonable but a free hang would require an interesting bit of work for bolting. Good luck to those who take over from us. Finding our way back was not as simple as the way over to the knoll.

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-02 | TUESDAY 2nd August | Ben, Nicky, Tony

Managed on this major GONK DAY to do some prospecting on the Toplitzsee by row-boat - bloody magic. Lots of large holes in the surrounding cliffs and entered one near lake level draughting out very strongly. Suggestions that in future years a raft should be built in the centre of the lake with detachable portions for each tent allowing p.i.t.a. to be detached and floated away. This central position would allow for easy freedom of movement. Furthermore from the Kammersee a rope would be rigged off the 300ft+ cliff for abseil + prussick work to exclude all the horrible walking up steep slopes. The total potential could be as much as 1000m+, one of the lakeside waterfalls being shown as a resurgence at about 1300 metres. Anyway, whatever the depth potential this area has certainly not been looked at and the potential for finding complex systems would appear quite extensive. (Rowing across the lake is more pleasant than trudging across the bunde).

1983-08-03 | 146 - WEDNESDAY 3rd August | Nicky + Tony

Set off rather hopefully to investigate new find about 300 yds from Wolf Hole. Cloud + weather conditions proved to be somewhat unsuitable for such an exercise and materials were collected instead.

The rest fed, festered and farted all day long.

No we didn't. We let Julian take us up a mountain which was a mistake.

1983-08-04 | 145 - WOLFHÖHLE Tiddley pom pitch | John & Julian

Following the stream down, pitches of 5m, 15.4m, 15.4m, 10.5m and 17.4m were rigged. The latter two pitches formed the top part of another large shaft and landed on a very wet ledge. Muddy boy valiantly put another bolt in well round a corner to try to keep out of the water. This was descended for about 10m in a spacious shaft*. With the amount of spray around and complete dearth of lobbable boulders it wasn't possible to tell whether the rope reached so M.B. wisely decided to ascend. Estimated depth of cave to head of last pitch 160m. Length of pitches (from entrance) - all measured.
* Tiddley pom pitch

     19m                     5m
     20m   } Pitches        15.4m
     25m   } in large       15.4m
     22m   } shaft          10.5m
     14.5m }                17.4m


Previous trip / Ben & Naomi's trip (same day)
Next trips: entrance loose ends / surveying from Big Leap

1983-08-04 | WOLFHÖHLE 145 | Ben and Naomi

Went down tube followed by rift near lower entrance. At bottom of rift 6m pitch was bolted. Lands in chamber with hole & boulder slope into bigger shaft, fortunately only another 6m with large boulder passage leading down to top of climb. On right, small phreatic tube with strong outward draught (on a day with a lot of water about) gets too small for me after 20-30 feet. At start of tube pulled out a few boulders to reveal 20 ft climb, but continued presence of boulders at the top called an abort. Climb down at bottom of boulder passage is 8ft. Leads to further climb down, luckily choked by more boulders. Passage to left at bottom of 8ft climb goes to black muddy dry pool fed by water from climb above. Climb gets too small vertically but leads back horizontally to top of 8ft climb. Derigged two pitches - unless the big pitch route stops soon 20 ft climb with continued presence of boulder not worth doing: probably lead to 82 anyway.

Time: 4 hrs !!


Previous trip / John & Julian's trip (same day)
Next trips: entrance loose ends / surveying from Big Leap

1983-08-04 | Steinschlagschacht 136 | Mike, Chas

The weather in camp brightened somewhat so we zoomed up to the Bergrestaurant and gazed at the low cloud. Eventually extreme boredom forced us to walk up to the cave to collect our oversuits which would have blown away in the savage storms of the previous few days. It was snowing hard when we reached the top of the SMK but unfortunately we could see our wooftah suits clearly so after a bit of wittering we shook the snow from our furry gear, clenched our teeth and descended.....

It sounded deep & very wet so Mike stayed at the top of the rift & froze silently while Chas. gardened & rigged the topsail rope. At the bottom of the rift ~50-60m 2 black holes - a dry very deep sounding one - which was left and a damp 35m shaft into a streamway rift going down at least 100' and producing another couple of black holes. The draught had reversed today even though outside was still warmer than the horrible hole. Despite attempts to fill the place with boulders, dead bodies* & rope ends, it still seems to be going so someone will have to go & derig it. The walk back was accomplished in zero vis & torrential rain & hail, sod this for a game of cricket. 4 hrs

* I dropped a halfbrick square on Mike's helmet.

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-04 | 132 or is it is 136 142 now | Philip & Gail

- 5 hours

Phil & Gail also finally defestered themselves from the Bergrestaurant to discover pastures new in 132/6. The weather was Lake District disgusting and it hailed as we hacked up the bunde. After attempts to correlate the two surveys, the 2nd pitch was bolted in the dripping chamber which was, under these weather conditions, filled with spray. Well, perhaps not filled. Anyway, while doing this, there came a minor whooshing sound at about 18-45 and it got a little wetter + I dropped a hanger + MR down the pitch. Finished bolt (at least 1.500x103 Kgf on the Brindle scale (est.)) and didn't rig it because it looked wet down there...

Instead, went out of chamber and pulled up rope out of the water (the bolt below in the chamber was not rigged) and left 1x13m and 1x15m rope there for next time, the rope on the pitch is 35m, I think. Then we clambered up Wiggy's Way (45° up and intersected the same stream higher up - excellent clamberable stream in clean, white limestone, a bit like Tatty but sharper. If this cave connects with 41 then this would be the way to get extra height. Gail did a couple of legs up the slope (whilst Philip was bolting) but gets a bit damp so return trip in dry weather. Back to main route to have a look at the Big Chamber - failed to find it AGAIN. Sketch a lot of drips and chambers, find a crawl bypass to the Bad Step (we think).

V. bad walk back in vis. down to 6-7' ! Overtaken by Demon Datsun on the Toll Rd. Left 20m rope by cairn after entrance tube + bypass.

Previous trip / Next trip

1983-08-04 | Tony's 2nd Hole 144 | Pete, Dave

[A Sat] Having chacked the bogs in the Bergrestaurant (recommended by muddy boy) we hurried up to the entrance. Pete found his gear rather wet and complained quite a lot before changing. A short bunde bash to the entrance and we were in. The head of the first pitch was rather loose, and so felt my stomach, but we pressed on and ...

[sketch of pitch lengths]

The top bits are very loose, the middle bit vertical like the rift in 115. We hit a small bit of horizontal phreatic stuff + thought we were about to walk into Stellerweg, but it carried on down. 2 pitches later we hit a big stream in a very high canyon ~2m wide. At the top of an estimated 20m pitch we had run out of rope and hangers with only 1 anchor left. Despite a meal of sardines we were back out of the entrance in an hour to the last of the daylight. A somewhat epic walk back in darkness and 10 feet viz mist. Directional guidance from cowbells brought us back to the path. Back to the Staudnwirt in time for last orders.

7 hrs Pete 'n' Dave

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1983-08-05 |Salzburg - Friday 5th Mass Jacking Day | Philip, Julian, Naomi, Wiggy, Pete, Dave, Gail, Ben, John, Mike, Chas

We went to Salzburg to do the round of the gear shops (courtesy of Wiggy) and to consume coffee and strudels. A hopeful-looking gear shop was spotted on the way in but turned ghostly when we sought nearer aquaintance. Chas & Wiggy drooled over about 5 gear shops in total, buying 2m of 4mm rope.

Team FARTPOWER blasted into Salzburg and found an English looking pub for a meal of Schnitzel and chips. After a look around the castle we found a fine dingy bar for cakes, coffee, and beer.

Team Kulture left team gearshops after a Deli lunch in the street. Took in the Resident Galeris and the Dom, looked at the [???] outside the Dom Museum and thus avoided paying entry fee. As a token gesture we looked at calculators to fill in time before rendezvousing with team gear shop.

1983-08-06 |base camp - Saturday 6th | Dave

Dave was so keen to avoid caving that he sliced his finger in two with a pair of scissors.

1983-08-06 | 142 - connection 142/41 | Philip, Julian, Naomi

After a long wet walk up to the entrance, the intrepid trio finally went underground. The pitch in Phil's extension was quickly gained and Julian kitted up and went off down the 1st pitch of 7m to a pile of jammed boulders. From this platform another pitch of 20m to a rebelay and another 10m to a floor lead on. From this a pitch of 5m reached another floor with a stream leading on down, which was not pushed to a conclusion.

While Julian was exploring the pitches, Phil and Naomi worked back towards the main route climbing up assorted 45° ramps towards the roof. One particular one was followed up some steep climbs to a pot with water falling down it. down the pot, a 20' (approx) climb lead to a boulder floor - the ascent of the pot would need tackle and so was left. Phil and Naomi arrived back at Phil's pitch just as Julian was grovelling up to the top. All the tackle from Phil's pitches was moved back to the main route junction and the trio then left to find the Main Route Big Pitch Route into the large chamber. Various ramps and tubes were investigated and the ramp/chamber leading to the big pitch was pretty well investigated - a route being pushed down to the bottom where it chokes. Near the top, on the right, a route was pioneered down a tube and across a ramp and then up a freeclimb at the end of the ramp. At the top of the ramp turn right and this comes into a very large sloping chamber. Descend to the bottom of the chamber and next to a very large block is the old landing of the 18m pitch in Stellerweg. Julian and Naomi and Phil then climbed up from the block and down into the Stellerweg double traverse passage where Julian positively identified the bolt hole - so the connection was confirmed. The trio then made their way back to the entrance, taking several photos on the way out.


5 hours underground

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1983-08-06 | 143 | Pete, Chas

We surveyed in and derigged out. It was fairly damp today & Chas whinged all the way down.

We marked the path to the pot with wads of yellow tape, diving line, bin liners fluttering from branches of Latschen and millions of cairns. Pete sawed valiantly away with a baby hacksaw. Unfortunately it was daylight when we came down again so we couldn't test its efficiency, but it's good in daylight. 25 mins down to Stögerweg and another 25 mins back.

5 hrs. C.

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1983-08-07 | look for resurgences | Philip, Gail

We went to look for resurgences near the road to the plateau. We did find a couple of streams by walking off down the piste from the third hairpin bend right up the road :-

Movement up the second streamway was severely hampered by felled pine trees and extremely forceful nettles. Somewhere around here is something marked "höhle" on the map.......

[sketches captioned "what the map says ... what we saw"]

1983-08-07 | Streambeds | Mike, Julian, Naomi, Chas and Wiggy


Mike, Julian, Naomi, Chas and Wiggy

Investigated various large dry streambeds near Nagelsteghöhle in an attempt to find the same. A large draughting hole marked 1626/5 was found between two streambeds which consisted of a 15' climb down to a shingle slope leading down into the cave. Party retired to the pub.


Later examination of a selection of maps displaying relevant markers such as the toll road and the ski lift leave us with the impression that the resurgence has been bulldozed to make the track to the skilift pylon.

1983-08-08 | WOLFHÖHLE 145 | Gail & Philip

We were led to the cave by Naomi & Wiggie and went and saw the 'Wolf' (actually, I think it might be a bear) then went and explored the only loose end in the Makins - Van Millingen explorations. Yes, the tube is tight but, after tweaking the solid surface with our trusty "entrenching" tool, we were able to plough our way through. It leads, after 30 or 40 ft and a bend to a 1.5m diameter phreatic tube, left hand leads up (at c 5°) to a chamber and right chokes with mud after a bit.

[sketch labelled "proper sketch in survey book" (1)]

Previous trips: push to Tiddley Pom / leads near entrance
Naomi & Wiggy's trip (same day)/ Next trip

1983-08-08 | WOLF HOLE 145 | Naomi & Wiggy

Quickly made our way to the 'Big Leap' where Wiggy was duely despatched over the leap and into the passages beyond to collect a rope and bolt driver. On Wiggy's return the pair then surveyed their way out towards Wolf Chamber from the lip of the 'Big Leap'. Surveying went relatively smoothly except for multiple light failure in the tight pitch by-pass crawl and a very opaque compass (it would not clear!). Finally, in the main passage towards the Toilet Seat Climb, the compass fogged forever, the survey was abandoned and the pair made their way out. On the surface the compass unfogged amd so Wiggy and Naomi did a surface survey from Wolf Höhle entrance to the iron cross on the Col.


Previous trips: push to Tiddley Pom / leads near entrance
Gail & Philip's trip (same day)/ Next trip

1983-08-08 | 142 - Surface surveying (but not the last part) 42-41-?-?-Eishöhle | Pete, Julian

Plank & Julian A gentleman's festering day. Starting at 142, Plank went charging up the schwarzmoos Kogel dragging the surveying tape, intruments and Julian behind him Complaints from Julian that this upward flight was somewhat unnecessary as 41 and 142 were at the same height brought him temporarily to his senses and he disappeared for a while into a particularly virulent patch of bunde. Half an hour later the pair were sat on a bunde nest, scanning eagle-like for the entrance to 41. This was spotted way below and after a quick visit to a nearby telephone box to change into a chamois outfit the first leg of the surface survey was complete.

From this point on, Plank seemed to have a greater comprehension of where he was meant to be going (although this could have been confused with a continuing desire to get to the top of the Schwarzmoos). Odd grunting and sweet-sucking noises punctuated the next twenty or so legs before the top of Bunter's Bulge hove into sight. Pause for heavy breathing, more sweet sucking and altitude adjustments to the digestive system. Then onto to Bunter's Holes and the end of surveying for the day.

Back on Bunter's Bulge Plank started admiring the sight of his 20' free fall the other day when a line of surface cairns were spotted. Being simple creatures, the pair were lured on, and on, and on, and on, over hill, down dell, etc. till the cairns ran out. Being keen boy scouts though, they spotted a campfire below with plenty of freshly cut bunde beside.

Plank couldn't resist the prospect of even more bunde and chortled off down the slope. As he got lower and lower, his heavy footsteps took on more of an echo. Turning round at the camp fire, his mouth fell open to match the gaping maw of he Eishöhle that faced him. About half an hour of combined wonderment followed before the pair poddled back to the Bergrestaurant. Ignoring enticing party like attachments to the bunde the duo stuck solidly to the cairns (nothing queer with Caruthers, but I'm not sure about Plank). Approx 80 minutes from the Eishöhle we reached the car park. A very long festering day.


1983-08-08 | 136 - Steinschlag | Mike, Chas

Pushing, surveying & derigging trip

We pushed on another pitch or two. At about -150m we met phreatic ramps at about 45° but then descended below this into a clean shaft again. Placed a final bolt and plumbed the pitch with the tape but didn't go down it. Depth 194m to top of this pitch which is >30m so at least 224m total depth.

The exit was enlivened by Chas dropping his stinky sealing ring down a hole in the boulders in the Big Chamber. Cave seems to be going strong.

7 hrs

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After a late start the trio made their way up to 136 Höhle. While Mike went off to paint numbers on cave entrances, Chas and Naomi carried out a surface survey from 136 to the top of the Schwarzmoos. All the rope was removed from 136 and the trio made their wearisome way down to Wolf Höhle to paint numbers at the entrance. While Miss Makins navigated masterfully from the Schwarzmoos to Wolf Höhle, Mike whinged! Having painted the numbers on, and yodelled at Chamois, the trio made their way back to the Bergrestaurant.


When we reached the top of the SMK we found that Franz Seebacher (+ Tritoi and young Herbert) had been there today, but we didn't see them. Checked down Planc's hole in the path, but no sign.

1983-08-09 | 142 - 41 CONNECTION SURVEYING AND DERIGGING | Philip, Gail

PMS, BGS Blasted on down to the foot of the pitch in Stellerweg and surveyed back to one of Dave's survey marks in the chamber before the big chamber in 142.

Went down the big pitch, admired the bolts and denigrated the rigging. Wandered around Big Chamber with bolting kit looking for Mike's hole in the floor but didn't find it. It all looked pretty broken up, somewhere through that lot there must be a crawl bypass to the big pitch.

Came out and derigged. On the way back did a couple more survey stations at the points where our & Dave's surveys diverged slightly.

Out to stars and a leisurely walk back. Back at camp at 0130.

7½ hours underground PMS + BGS

P.S. dusty phreatic passages that have not been touched since the last ice age are not recommended for contact lens wearers.

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1983-08-09| wolf | Julian + Wiggy

went down the Wolf 'Ole to put in a few bolts + leave some rope. Used 7 more bolts at a rate of ~ 1.5 per pitch (natural belays used for some backups). Had great fun messing around on Bower's re-belays.

The cave is now ~300m ish + still going on and on and on.

Previous trips: entrance loose ends / surveying from Big Leap / Next trip

1983-08-07 | Tony's 2nd Hole 144 | Pete, Dave

I can't remember much about this trip, but we took about 100m of rope each, and having rigged one more pitch we hit the phreatic level. Moving west, we lost the main way on by descending a mud wall and then a steep boulder slope for quite a way. Eventually hit a streamway which soon resembled Purgatory too much for our liking, so made a slow exit. Left rope for next trip.

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1983-08-10 | 1623/145 | Naomi + Wiggy

Went back down the Wolf cave to complete our survey of a couple of days ago. Tick, did it. Wiggy's light failed on the way out but team techno-lite came to the rescue. Met the derigging team at the entrance.

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1983-08-10| Derigging team |Mike, Chas, Julian

Derigged and surveyed. 7¾ hours

Beware of loot eating porcupines !


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1983-08-09 | Tony's 2nd Hole 144 | Pete, Dave

We knew this would be a big trip so we took lotsa grub. Sixteen and a half hours later we crawled out to fine dawn having surveyed, pushed most obvious leads, and then derigged. The survey showed that the passage you can see across the mudwall pitch is only 130m from the phreatic levels in 41 around the head of the big pitch. Quite a heap of rope at the entrance - the 125m Marlow caused some problems. Hot soup much appreciated.

16½ hours, Dave

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