1990 Expedition Trip Log


This is a (fairly) faithful transcription of the CUCC 1990 Expedition Logbook (Captain's Turd '90). The only changes made are some reformatting to allow for easier perusal and the limitations of ASCII.

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!

30/6/90 | Journey out - Wild Rovers Return | Paul T, Adam, Jeremy

Wild Rovers Return - Paul T, Adam, Jeremy 30/6/90 - 9/7/90

Found rover parked somewhere off Mill Rd, & spent a whole day filling it full of crap (springs bending). The invincible trio managed to meet up & promptly spent a day festering (except Paul who was busy graduating <- Narg!!)

Paul T:
Half an hour after the graduation garden party, stomach full of salmon sandwiches, strawberries and cream, we were off....Down Churchill private road, Storey's Way, up Madingley Road, down the M11, and then a strange petrol smell, ah well never mind, just filled too high, but no, a strange liquid spurting out of the bonnet, 5 miles from Cambridge and we pulled into the hard shoulder, large petrol stain on the road, ranting and swearing, the terrifying trio attempt emergency repairs, armed with only 3 tools boxes situated at vaious inpenetrable areas of the landrover.

Possible slight exaggeration - team trio only stopped when they spotted petrol pouring onto the windscreen (don't tell Mike!). After a quick nut tightening & feeling that landy repairs were easy, set off again to brave hours of sore bottoms.

M11 to Ramsgate was easy peasy despite desperate double declutching & only a minor look of incredulity from the slate faced customs officer.

Sally line had it's customary eat as much as you can for £7.50, so I (Jeremy) ate as much as I could in 5 minutes & spent the next 2 hrs feeling V.V. green!!

2 hours later, Jeremy holding in the puke, and the steak We turnover the first page to reveal Adam's turn.... <Jeremy missed the heart-stopping moment when the oil pressure dived to zero, then just returned to normal as we were on the verge of pulling over>

If the twats had read the instructions, they would have known that the oil pressure gauge had been dead for nearly two years!!

Off ferry into dark, pissing rain, LHS driving & first serious drive in rover since two expdn's ago. Also petrol horrendously low, but made it in time! We drove for a long time. Sleeping didn't really work & we got very zonked. Finally got to Sölden without much further ado ~8.30 (roads really nice on Sundays). It was raining (surprise!) Some time was spent trying to be decisive Re: sleep in rover or rough camp or camp in the nearby site (we had thought we would meet the other's here but they'd gone hütte walking). Eventually plumped for the latter & got off the next day without paying!
> Oh yes, no shops open 'cos the Austrian's are crap, bloody bank holiday.

30/6/90 | Journey out - In Jeremy's car | Julian, Matt & David H

Met Matt who was late (8:30pm) in Chad's carpark, so didn't get away from Cambridge in time to avoid Mark & Tony who dumped lots of extra gear with us... Turned off M25, heading for Dover (of course) until Matt suggested that the Ferry tickets (which we hadn't looked at) might be for Felixstowe. Fortunately they were for Folkestone, so we adjusted course, parked, left Matt in the car & crashed in a dark corner of the passenger demarkation area among the Moop-Neek! coin-take machines. A ferry arrived at 1:30am, so we had to move to a more comfortable building with private toilets, cushions on sofas and freedom to switch off video machines.

Freed from ferry at 6.30am, Dave drove the car all the way to Bad Aussee in 15 hours almost non-stop. Food for the journey was a pile of grease bought on the ferry, a thermos of coffee, a bag of sandwiches made by me from leftovers when I moved out of my room, and 5 fermenting nectarines. Matt navigated for the first half, and then let me take over when it ceased to be too difficult for me. Henceforth all navigation errors were due to Dave overshooting Ausfahrts because no one had any confidence in the signposts. It began raining at Salzburg and so far hasn't stopped.

1/7/90 | Journey out - Wookmobile I hits the streets | Wookey

(date unknown)

After already having done 1,500 miles in the previous week (Cam -> Nottingham -> Settle -> Assynt -> Cam -> Poole -> Cam), the wookmobile was given a new set of points & loaded up with a million tons of gear & taken to Tonys to unload it all again & put it in his loft. It was then loaded up with another million tons of kit - removing all the rear suspension. Easy trip in convoy with Del - despite leaving all the packing to the last possible minute we still had an hour to spare at Folkestone & then were told to go to Dover anyway at 5.00amish. Went through France, Belgium & Luxembourg no probs - terminal sunburn on the right elbow!

Team old cunty crosses europe - loads of food thanks to Tina, lots of stops - all a bit relaxing really!

I changed cars at 8.00pm ish in Germany so Tina & Damage were in mine - unfortunately as it went dark it became impossible to keep track of them amongst the autobahn lights & we lost them behind a lorry or two. After much slowness & waiting in parkplatzes and getting lost trying to go back we gave up and carried on - getting the campsite at 5.30am. We rang Fearon the next morning & discovered from Mike TA that they were alive & well but stuck on the wrong side of border with wrong passports! (Where Damage doesn't look like Wookey much at all)

After mucho driving around they went for it & arrived at Sölden at about 5pm - a little miffed!

The wookmobile was attacked by a bus at the border but suffered only minor damage - another wing - only 2 more corners to do!

13/7/90 | Journey out - Team Cavalier | Mark D, Francis, Peter S

I set off at 1.30pm on Friday. Drove to Cambridge to pick up Julian's hangglider and found problem no 1 - the roof rack provided didn't fit on the Cavalier. Fortunately I found an ancient roof rack in my parents' garage which I managed to bend to fit (It was so rusty it wouldn't adjust). Proceeded to Dover picking up Francis & Pete en route. Second problem appeared sometime after Dover - the car was drinking stacks of oil. Since lifting the bonnet to fill the oil up involved taking the hangglider fastenings off we had a rather trying time. Arrived eventually at 9pm Saturday evening, absolutely knackered. God, did I enjoy the beer in Hildas.


11/7/90 | Near 161 - Jeremy does it again - Another cave | Jeremy

- After putting in the bolts two years ago (yes 2 years!) I eventually got round to descending the obvious rift in the ground at the bottom of the col & to my suprise it goes!!

Small crawl (over snow) below snow plug at bottom of rift => snow plugged crawl off => pitch => ???

Tell you more tommorow!

T/U ¼ + ½ hr => ¾ hrs
(2 trips on first day up top!)

11/7/90 | Surface | Adam

Adam poked into a few random holes previously ignored. Will return to see what happens with a light.

T/U ¼ hr

12/7/90 | Surface - Everyone not really caving | Paul T, Olly, Claire, Julian, Adam

Poking further into various holes. The obvious pit by the "high level" route to 161 was descended using IRT (indestructible rope technique) after declining to use a Bunda belay. Ended at about 12m with a ledge about ½ way, choked as usual. Marked with '+'. Two other adjacent pits were free climbed. The nearest just a shallow pit. Other showed some minor horiz develop at bottom (about 15m) but collapsed. A hole was observed at about -4m (squeeze not suitable with T-shirt) into a pit with boulder floor. Not entered as too nasty & was in direction of first pit anyway. No number allocated as just pits. Continued via another shitty pit nearer to 161. Descended into opposite side of hill to plateau just poking about when we saw Wooks emerge from 161 new entrance! (see below). Dashed over to greet the dazed looking caver & found a spray painted cairn => foreigners (F or G) cave somewhere. Shortly found another entrance only ~12m from the new 161 entrance marked:

1623/ [161c inserted here later - Ed]

Inside ent found a french mineral water bottle.

This was on a bearing ~30° from the 161 ent. Had a look inside & couldn't see any bolts at the obvious pitch head. There was a vocal connection through rubble only a few feet from the new 161 ent. Bolted pitch but as soon as had got far from the (very loose) pitch head found a spit. Continued a bit and found signs of frequent use (mud smeared all over walls as from oversuit contact)

Rough survey : from ent to pitch head ~6m on 50° 230° cave was steeply descending hading (steeply) rift going ~ mag north south. Obviously deeper than 50m

[comment with arrows to the two changed directions: I'm a div who can't tell red from white !]

Olly T/U: ~15 mins
Adam T/U: 1½ hrs

Next trip (connection to 161)

11/7/90 | Surface - substroke| Paul T, Julian

Poking around on plateau miles from 161 away from the camp getting sunstroke. One was 20m long 40° slope down, dig through at end into small chamber. It's cold down there crawling in shorts & T-shirt. T/U ½ hr

12/7/90 | near 161 - 2 year Gestiation | Jeremy & Matt

(2 years Gestation) <- cave name (matt is a tosser!)

As the name suggests this cave was discovered two years ago by Jeremy, he descended first, leaving me sweating on the surface. The first pitch ("fancy a coffee") descended past a small snow plug down to a large(ish) chamber covered with snow which appeared to be about 20ft deep. A small section to the left let a shaft of light into the cave, which changed from a a wide beam to a narrow shaft of light. A low crawl on the left (ice covered) led to the second pitch ("your place or mine") - a short 10ft (approx) drop to a ledge then a alonger (30-40ft) drop down to the floor. The second pitch was slightly wet, with small amounts of water dripping from the roof. A loose climb lead to a tight crawl and even tighter pitch (Marble Sink revisited according to Jeremy). It took J a lot of moaning & swearing to get the main bolt for the 3rd pitch hammered into place. The 3rd pitch is now named "Get your kit off" this descended into a small chamber, where the limestone changed in colour from yellow to blue, a rift then dropped into a boulder covered chamber, with a larger boulder choked to the right and a very, very small hole leading to the left, which is as yet unexplored. the 4th & probably final pitch has been named "Came too soon". As it was getting close to the call out time, we made a hasty retreat with a smallish pause as we negotiated to top of the 3rd pitch.

T/U -> 6 hrs

Next trip

12/7/90 | 161 - Rigging RH Route | Del & Damage

Trundled over loadsa boring limestone get to cave about to die. Put on caving gear. Too hot. lobbed off down some nice greasy slimy fast 11mill Edelrid and I rigged the last deviation this time with a light. I wandered around. Del came down. Trumm Trumm. Lots later Wookey came down with some rope and hangers. Rigged second pitch with half a ladder and some Bluewater "11mm steel hawser" rope. We rambled off round Dungeon pitch climbed something a bit silly over Dungeon found some new passage [Umleitung - Ed] a 15m or so pitch more passage extending parallel to B Sainsburys. Climbed down in an epic style. ran back rigged 3rd pitch (well Del did!. I ran off and rigged pitch traverse round to Dreamtime with Dave and Geraldine with lots of style. Del Rigged wth pitch. I ran down after (clatter, clatter), Saw squeeze pitch. We re-rigged 3rd pitch (again apparently) and came out.

T/U -> 8 festerent hours

Previous trip / DaveH's part in this trip / Next trip

12/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime | David H


As it says above, went down to see if I could help anyone downstairs - took Geraldine & used it with Damage to rig the Traverse around to dreamtime. Then left Del + Damage to finish rigging 3rd pitch and went to see what Wookey & Juliette were doing down Adrians route, only to find that they had found another lower entrance to 161 only metres away from the French entrance. Came out of 161 to see them walking up the hill!

T.U. 5½ hours

Previous Dreamtime trip (last year) / Del & Damage's trip / Wookey & Juliette's trip / Next Dreamtime trip

11/7/90| 161 - Rigging 1st pitch | Damage

Went down lost last deviation came up.

T/U -> ½ hour

Previous trip (last year) / Next trip (main route) / Next trip (Adrian's - 161b) / Finding 161c

12/7/90 | 161 - Strollers 1st cave | Wookey & Juliette

Rigged down Adrians route - to the head of the large pitch discovered 2 years ago. The Wook - proudly bearing WOOK - on every gear item including Wembly helmet + ass - was belayed accross a really vegetable garden of a pitch head traverse. Percy Thrower really was needed as the rocks clattered down - I had the feeling that the entire ledge would follow the furrows down the shaft.

Two Wook bolts were rigged and several tension traverses fixed. The ferretting reflex took over and it dashed off after being belayed across the traverse (leaving me clutching a cold rope) whilst ferretting Wook popped out - A new entrance - and shouted "Where the fuck am I." to the nearest Bunda bush - Adam appeared. The alternative is only to be recommended to really 1st Pitch-O-Phobiacs - as it is crawly + shitty.

To give ourselves a 'Smarty' we faffed horrendously Calibrating Compasses + surveying.

7 hours

Last Adrian's trip (1988) / Next trip (pushing into France)

15/7/90 | 161 - Disaster Area + Fumble Fingers go shouting | Juliette + Del

In the most tedious way - with Boris -> Adrians to rerig the new pitch [French Connection II-Ed]. 3 hours for a bolt (7 goes !!!) Lost cones + jammed cones. Completely needless bolts drilled. Compasses dropped. Pitches descended with harness undone. Much flapjack eaten. At least 4 pisses per hour -> oh god!

6½ hrs

Previous trip / Next trip

14/7/90 | 161 - Below Knossus | Julian & David H

Dave H <-Mr Sunburn

The intention was to go down and check out the ? part way down flapjack, but by the time we made it down to boulder alley today's team faff hadn't rigged Knossus yet. We sat there with all our rope, poked at the 9m diameter hole to the side of the passage that noone had ever descended and Jeremy ("Oh dear, I seam to have left my dangly bag above the squeeze, could you pass it down?") agreed that it had better be sorted out. 3 tapes, a small maillon, two natural belays & 2 rope protectors, one with knackered velco got us started. then there was a textbook Dave bolt taking us to the floor of a rift. walking up one of the false floors leads up to Knossus, 3m above a loose hole in its floor no-one has gone down either. Bolting from a false floor, through 4 inch crack, then squeezing down in a different place to next layer down to gain access to rope met upon a 30m pitch. We were by now using Ernie the Earthworm (the 9mm rope)... Ok, well he's easy to carry and tie knots in. Pile of rocks at the bottom 4m in diameter, cheap little crawl which I shuffled down. By shaking the floor I packed the cracked rocks in tighter to produce more room. Fell down a dust pit at the far end. There was a slot on the floor with fist sized rocks spilling through. I dug them out. Skull sized rocks began rolling through. Crawled through carefully when there was enough space, took one glance at boulder choke beyond it and retreated. Call it Rabbit Curry. I sent Dave 5m up the pitch to investigate large hole in wall. He climbed it quite a way. Then I had to cower as the sky began chucking down rocks and Dave followed them. Fortunately still attached. He didn't enjoy it. Call it The Pit and the Pendulum. We surveyed & derigged out, dumped ropes and beat it for the surface in a shower of sweat.

T/U 9½ hours

Previous trip / The trip that caused the delay / The trip that actually went to the Flapjack QM

15/7/90 | 161 - Deep question mark at bottom of flapjack | Julian and David H

Oh boy what a long way down, and that's before we start any pushing!

Made a good start by getting lost in star wars/tower blocks but finally arrived at flapjack.

Rigged down to the ledge with sally, a little confused why I needed to use a rope protector. I discovered why on the way out when I found the other bolt so had to faff for ages rerigging and joining Sally to Ernie (9mm)

When I saw Julian's way on I thought he was joking but the tight thrutchy bit did open out to a couple of Small pitches and then entered an interesting rift with multiple false floors, following a stream way. I hope it doesn't head for the sump.

Went zig-zagging down until it was time to bottle - "its like a maze down here" I did say! Taking some thread next time would be an idea. Anyway, its still going - just!

Interesting ceiling and in places, walls, of "pudding stones" and mud.

Thankful at the chance to leave the gear there we made a quick exit to catch Del + Juliette and a lift down to base camp to join the rest of the family who'd arrived over the weekend - BUT WHERE'S ALL THE BEER!?

T.U. 8½ hrs

Previous trip / Next trip

16/7/90| Surface - Walk to Camp 1 via some interesting holes | William & Mark D

A new face shows up (well, an old old lag really...)

Carried caving gear up pm. My first time on a CUCC exped'n. On the col just short of camp 1 looked across to the hillside opposite... a hole. Decided to go there & ended up somewhere else, where there was a really tight flat-out crawl. just fitted through in a T shirt. Leads to a tightish (though passable) rift. Draughting quite strongly outwards. Decided to turn back, to make sure I could get out. Did so with a little difficulty. The entrance could be enlarged with a lumphammer & a crowbar. Ten metres below, Mark found another hole, this time a newly-collapsed small unstable hole, with a rock jammed across it. Tried to shift rock & got it jammed further. Mark went down a 6m climb, which led to a longish ramp. Dumped gear at camp 1, called Hugh at cave 161, had a brew & resolved to return morgen fresh. Discovered my sunglasses were still at cave entrance. I'd taken them off to go caving. Mark stayed at col, & I went to retrieve them. With shouted directions also found the entrance we'd first thought of - it goes all of 5 feet before stopping.


P.S: Built a cairn by entrances Bearing 285 Mag to Nose. 350 to Gr.Schiebling-Kgl.
Caves are by col 50m above path on opposite side where path by tree meets fault running up mountain.

T.U. 5 mins each

13/7/90 | Near 161 - return to '2 years Gestation' | Jeremy, Matt & Adam

Underground after 4.00pm (Not bad), quick trip to bottom, a quick dig (extended cave by about 5m). Surveyed & derigged (derigging through squeeze "interesting").

No major cock ups etc, out in light

T/U 3½ hours

Previous trip

14/7/90 | 161 - rig right hand route & push Yapate | Adam & Jeremy

Team div brain. Trip started well with Adam using Wookeys electric cos he'd forgotten his generator.

Couldn't find drill at first. Found it, descended to squeeze. Rigged squeeze with dickhead catcher (a sort of donkeys dick for cavers). Ladder to short, but who uses it anyway?

Spent ages trying to rig next short ladder pitch (how long since I went caving!!). Got to Bungalow, waited for Adam cos didn't have rope. Tried to put a bolt in with drill but didn't have hammer, where? in SRT bag, above squeeze!!?#þþ. luckily so slow that Julian was at top of squeeze when I went back.

Took 3 attempts to put in a bolt

Rigged Knossossss (Dave H & Julian gone down another pitch in boredom), Rope to short by 10 foot!!

Rerigging adding short rope to traverse, still to short but doable.

Got to Yapate & Drill went flat.

Adam went for crawl down tube, & we were just about to go out in disgust when he found a 30m pitch (joint effort by shouting - I found easier way to pitch) - bloody cave is ridiculous!

Put in two bolts & Adam zoomed down (really good hang) & found going vadoes rift - time to go out

I zoomed out & spent half hr at surface wondering where Adam was, he appeared late moaning at me - his light had failed. GREAT TRIP!!

T/U 9 hours

Previous trip / Dave H & Julian's trip same day (Rabbit Curry) / Del & DaveF's trip same day (to end of Yapate) / Next trip to Flat Battery series

14/7/90 | 161 - Final cut | Del and Damage

Team get nothing done. Urm trundle. Faff, faff. Trundle. Trundle. Urm did anything happen. Might aff but I went brain dead last night. Del rigged some of final cut. I put a bolt in. How boring. I took my time in squeeze out, fat bastard ! We must have done something, surely ! Met Jeremy. Had a shit. Faff. Faff. CRAP TRIP.

T/U 8 hrs

Previous trip / Dave H & Julian's trip same day (Rabbit Curry) / Adam & Jeremy's trip same day (also in Yapate) / Next trip to end of Yapate

15/7/90 | 161 - Go to climb at end of Yapate | Damage & Wook

(overnight to 16)

On the way popped into side passage before 'over the rainbow'. Found crap bolt & rigged rope from Wook & Dam the year before. Rope too short so tied on another & lobbed off 10m pitch into long rift - 'The Vestibule' choked at one end - pitch at other - left for another day.

Got to Yapate climb ('staircase 36') put on rock boots & went for it - one decent bolt runner 10 ft off floor - 1 crap chock & a dodgy sling - climb wasn't too bad but traverse was slimy & awful - well shitted up !

Anyway - I survived so tied rope to a boulder & Damage came up in wellies - dangly bag unclipped & fell down - traverse was dire - especially as he had to go back to get T.Sack - this then unclipped itself from tow line & so we were both at the top of climb with no gear - Grrr.

IRT used (climbing rope) to retrieve danglys & climb repeated to take off traverse line & retrieve tackle sack. Faff Faff - dire, whinge.

Eventually sorted & still alive so bolted pitch then looked along lots of nice stomping passage 'chicken flied nice'. 150m of this takes you up & then down to 25m pitch 'strange downfall' into large collapse chamber.

Slot in rubble to left of pitch goes down 200m along steeply descending loose rift to climb requiring handline.

Out in 3 hours - well fucked - just in time for dawn. Crashed at 6.00 am.

T/U 16 hrs

Previous trip / Next trip to 'Endless'

16/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime | Leif, Jan, Hugh

Dreamtime, ha, ha.

Trip to the above thwarted slightly upon meeting Matt et al - who had said that a bolt had pulled out on the 3rd pitch.... as indeed it has. Went down to look, put in a hand-driven bolt, realised the bolt was probably unnecessary anyway and buggered off out.

Very quiet trip. Lots of sunburn makes prussicking painful.

T U/G - 4hrs

Matt et al's bolt-pulling trip (same day) / Main pushing trip (same day)

16/7/90| 161 - Dreamtime proper | Mike R, Tina, Jared

Late underground. Went over the new route traverse across to start of Dreamtime. It's in a better place this year. Trogged down to the pitch we rigged on naturals last year rerigged it with a bolt. Followed the passage down through and beyond the eyehole. Rigged the most likely looking of the possible pitches at the end. hurray passage way. Minor epic as the flake which we rigged the rope from disintegrated as Jared was on it. So we decided to be sensible and put bolts in. Trogged down more passage. Found a carbide water pool which lucky 'cos we were low. Then "ooh says Jared an obvious stream passage going upward" then "oh well er no its another pitch actually" or something like that.

Descended pitch. At moment rebelay on dubious looking tape on a big flake. May be ok for abseiling if you don't jiggle the rope off. But iffy for prussiking. Found footprints. Found we'd come out below the chunnel. Thought ooh good connection well shall we survey out or make it a round trip and go out the other way. Felt knackered so the latter won. Wish I was fitter.

Time u/g ~9hrs

Previous Dreamtime trip / Next Dreamtime trip

16/7/90 | 161 - Novice Pottering trip | Matt, Peter S, Mark S, Francis

Took us a ridiculous length of time to get down the entrance pitch by which time yours truly was no longer warm. Tried to do Damage & Del's extension to/near the Dungeon but totally failed to find it. So we pottered about at the back of Automatic Doors Lots of leads going nowhere (usu back to Big S or each other) also one picth with 2½+ second drop but it was disgusting to rig so we didn't. Then I took Adrian back up to surface & the rest went to remove a bolt (see hugh's bit)

T u/g ~6hrs (Francis)
7hrs (Matt, Pete, Mark S.)

Hugh's trip (replacing the pulled bolt - same day)

14/7/90 | 161 - Adrians Route | Juliette, Wookey, Matt

I spent most of this trip sitting on a edge over Adrain's Route waiting for Juliette & Wookey to rig a traverse. We descended about 12 via 161B and headed for the top of Adrain's Route. A short traverse lead to a small rock bridge over the large pitch. J & W then climbed and rigged another 20m (approx) traverse. while W rigged another pitch J & I surveyed a small side passage after the first traverse from the entrance pitch. We returned to find the entire pitch rigged. The 45m pitch which descended into some foreign cave

T U/g ~7 hrs

Previous trip (161b discovery) / Next trip

17/7/90 | 161 - 2nd Dreamtime Pitch | Mark S, Leif, Tony, Matt

Yes, another novice trip, down into Dreamtime, there was a pitch within 20m of the start of Dreamtime. Me & Mark bolted the pitch, and I descended, rigging an emensely tight deviation which later became a rebelay so that I could get passed it. The pitch descended for ~30m, follow by a ~10m pitch a further ~10m on. This lead to a tight rift, which I failed to descend as we were pushing time and it would have required several new bolts. At the base of the rift was an as yet un-identified rope.

T U/g ~6 hrs

Next Dreamtime trip / Previous Dreamtime trip

18/7/90 | 161 - Second Dreamtime Pitch | Jeremy, Francis, Peter S

(extended to 19th, Pete in brackets)

2nd Dreamtime pitch - The Exposé. also J & F get totally knackered.

With our surveying gear, bolting kit etc, mostly found in other people's SRT bags, we trotted off to survey Matt's Mega New Conexion. Now for the facts. Pitch is ~13(not 30)m. Matt's rigging also caused comment. It ends in a disgusting rift which ends at a stream not a rope (but now probably has the added attraction of a bolting hammer) There was also a bit going backwards which was descended by Pete & ends up in a similar sort of rift. Having thus punctured Matts ego Pete popped out & Jeremy & Francis went on to Chicken Fried Lice & the other bits of the Damage & Wookey Yapate pitch discovery. We found their endless rift & it was truly so. Must go down to at least - 400m. Ended on a very steep (80°) boulder run above a pitch where rocks bounced for a loooong time (7 secs) so a good 30&plusm;m pitch is possible. After Jeremy nearly killed himself by thinking the pitch was nothing like that (ain't carbides crap really) & Francis went tumbling down a pitch that wookey had decided not to go down we sat around for hours slowly putting bolts into cheese while sitting on a very unstable set of boulders. J eventually descended to a much more solid rock wall which split the pitch. On one side it was quite small because J could see the floor with his laser, on the other he couldn't. We then came up. Thought about surveying but decided were too knacked & proved it by taking a good 4 hours (damn near 5 for Francis) to get to the surface.

Conclusions: 1) Matt earned his alternative dinner award
2) This is yet another lead going at ~400m
3) Its a bugger to rig on the top bit so bypasses (eg. pitch francis fell down) are required
4) Jeremy & Francis aren't very hard at all.

T U/g Pete 4hrs Jeremy 12½ Francis 13½

Previous Dreamtime trip / Previous 'Endless' trip / Next Dreamtime trip (survey/rerig) / Next 'Endless' trip

17/7/90 | 161 - Flat Battery | Mark F, Adam

Continued exploring the pitches I (Adam) discovered with Jeremy a few days previously :

sketch of location of way in to Flat Battery Series

Descended previously rigged 25m pitch & bolted further 20'->25' pitch (slightly damp). Mark descended a further 15' into a pit where water flowed out down an impassible rift. A way on thro' a squeeze was found just above this pit into a 13m pitch with a second squeeze at the head. Mark was unable to get thro' with gear on & was cold & it was time to go out so we did. (a lot of time spent faffing wondering how to avoid the squeezey bit)

T/U 9 hrs

Previous (Adam/Jeremy) trip / Next trip

18/7/90 | 161 - Push/Survey Flat Battery Series | William, Mark D, Adam

Started surveying from S final survey station in Yapate inlet. Series is choked-looking insignificant crawl on lh side looking out of cave. After a little crawling, however, soon reached sizeable chamber + damp 25m pitch, 6m pitch with tight take-off & 3½m pit into which the water disappears. (Flows off left looking in) Right above pit leads to 2 squeezes + pitch to limit of push. At this point, Mark started banging bolts in 19 to the 12 down 8m pitch (Jackpot), a lovely 40m pitch (Fifty Francises Phreatic Freehang) to a thoroughly complex chamber with rifts off in several directions + a big rock arch (The Mathematical Bridge). Mark rigged down one more pitch, then 6:30 pm struck & it was time to go out. Passage leads right down 2½ second drop. Cave going like a train. Left huge bag of rope at foot of last pitch. Last survey point marked S on wall 2m up on rhs near top bolt on last rigged pitch.

Met Damage, Wookey, Jeremy & Francis (no relation) on way out. Exited 10 pm. Felt knackered - must be unfit.

T.U. 10 hrs apiece.


PS. Kaninchenhöhle is nice. No horrible tight rifts.

Mark carried rope. I took notes. Adam read instruments.

Previous trip / Next trip

19/7/90 | Surface | Andy Waddington

Caving gear up to Top Camp then relocated and redescended 100 (from 1977). Still needs number painting on ! Wandered all over the plateau without finding 101-103. Got bitten by Bunde. Back to Hilde's whereupon car died. A.

19/7/90 | 161 - Push + survey Julian's route off Flapjack | David H + Del

- the Daleswear boys.

Push + survey Julian's route off Flapjack. [tick] vg

Armed only with a small ball of bailing twine our two insomniacs boldly surveyed where other people wouldn't bother caving. However, the Julian hunch has worked once more, and a few bolts and not a little thrutching, find us at the top of a 50m+ pitch. (NB this is not bullshit ! - Hanging in the blackness on the end of a 25-30m piece of string reveals long drops below)

Rocks dropped from a traverse above pitch may produce alarm in some cavers due to the increasingly loud whistling sound produced + consequent BOOOM ! Tee Hee.

- Twine is (approx) easiest route thru rift, and leads to small pitch
- Survey is to pitch head bolt
- In dry conditions, stream trickles down wall so not too wet, but...?

V.nice relaxed trip, no time worries, mix surveying with pushing = ACE!
Brain death at 5 a.m. 2 hrs out from Knossos via Dreamtime.

T/U 16 hrs

Previous trip / Next trip

19/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime - surveying and re-rigging trip |Mike R, Tina, Jared

Down at about 12.30 armed with 7 choccy bars ! Tina & Mike did a romantic (!) surveying trip down to the top bolt of bungalow pitch via dreamtime whilst I tried to tidy up the rigging a bit in order to turn the dreamtime passages into a 'trade route' into the cave. Put 5 bolts in in all with primitive bolting kit, and rigged a traverse line across a nasty hole in the floor just before the pool. Del & Dave passed by on their way down to Julians route. On the way out we explored a small passage leading off from the bottom of eyehole pitch (Gnome passage) which has really white limestone walls - just like the limestone at the surface. Explored past a stal obstruction (hammered) where the passage forks. Both ways on too tight after a few metres but still drafting strongly. Exited at 11.00 pm & Annie was kind enough to take orders for food over the radio !

T/U 10½ hours

Previous trip / Next (photo) trip

17/7/90 | Surface - RosenKavalier Höhle (Shaft-bashing) | Mark D + William

... A follow-up to yesterday's enthusiastic write-up.

They both choked almost at once.
It took us 1½ hours to explore the lower cave & 2½ hours to shift the rock outside the upper one ! Both caves still unmarked. Where's the paint ?

sketch elevation of both caves


T.U. = 1 hr 32 mins each

18/7/90 | 161 - Vestabule | Wookey and Damage

(to 19/7)

Damage- My furry suit was so soggy and I was so cold. Popped down Vestabule Near over the rainbow and surveyed down low passage with over a foot of squalor. I now pass on to my more enlightened half.

Wook- After surveying on my back with tape in teeth in lots of mud we finished off the Vestabule survey - leaving a pitch to be descended.

Trogged off to CFN - passing Mark D & William at Bungalow pitch. Had a brew & meal - damage about to die of cold so did more surveying - pretty dull - dropped all the notes in a stream & had to roll huge rocks to get them back.

Retired before damage died of cold & out v.slowly by 8 am - well knackered.

T/U 16 hrs

Previous Vestabule trip (last year) / MarkD & William's trip (Flat Battery) / Next trip

20/7/90 | 161 - Endless | Wook & Damage & Peter S

(to 21/7)

Yet another overnighter to finish survey of Endless. Went OK except Pete screwed up compass readings at steep angles so redid some - also dropped Geraldine 15m down rift - tut tut, but she is ace gear & works OK. After bunging 30kilo ff2x2 & 150 kilo ff1 down cliff & discovering that HILTI bolts are ACE GEAR, we took G.B.H down to do pitch. Damage went down 1st on one bolt for 50m. I added 2 rebelays but rope now didn't reach tacklebag. - Grr. Went home at 1.30am. out by 7 after a brew. Tried Dreamtime on way down - well weird!

T/U 17hrs

Previous 'Endless' trip / Mark S, Julian's tourist trip (same overnight) / Next pushing trip

21/7/90 | 161 - 161b | Hugh, Tony, Francis

After much looking, located entrance (this involved Hugh + Francis standing a long way away and shouting directions to Tony as to where he should look!). anyway, descended 50m pitch and thence to French Connection II. [confusion of names here - read 'France' for 'French ConnII', and 'FCII' for '50m pitch' Ed.] several/a big one pitch off - probably explored by les caveurs Francaises. Surveyed back to base of 50m, intending to continue exploration of rift. The foot of the 50m has many ways on, all obviously reaching the bottom of the same rift 30-50m lower (one fucking big rift). Unfortunately we had no bolting kit. But we did rerig the continuation on a 50m rope (should be long enough, but needs another bolt?) and then we surveyed out to the connection bolt to 161. Lots left to do. One big bit of passage.

T U/G 4.5 h

Previous trip / Next trip

20/7/90 | 161 - Tourist | Mark S, Julian

(to 21/7)

an absolute tourist trip to show Mark how crap caving is as opposed to squatting in the campsite waiting for the wind to change direction. Descent at 9:95, so had acquired our night vision for start, could actually see things. Festered through Dreamtime, tottered into Knossus, walked round it, shrugged up staircase 36 and found Wookey (where else would you find him!), but his kettle was broken and he'd run out of peanut butter. Plenty of cheese cake on the loose rocks in the rift. At pitch end 3.30am, festered a bit, then headed out, me falling asleep and/or hallucinating at the bottom of pitches, and having to kick Mark awake whenever I got up them. He hated it!

T/U 10 hours

Previous 'Endless' trip / Wookey & Co. Surveying trip (same overnight) / Next pushing trip

21/7/90 | 161 - Flat Battery Series (cont'd) | Mark D and William

Set off @ 11:30am + bolting + surveying gear on a push/survey trip. Arrived at limit of push quite quickly + rigged down into ... A chamber left leading + an aven + a little water lowing down, right to muddy banks & no apparent way on. Water sank in a trench in the floor. Follewed this with difficulty through a smallish rift partly choked by boulders to a sandy chamber. Water by now gone. Here, the obvious way on was blocked - a cheese grater type formation of a whole lot of holes in a rock barrier, leading to a reasonable sized passage. Climbed up sand bank to side to an insignificant rift, which led to a maze of small, sharp phreatic passages, slowly descending (the Labyrinth). At this point, we started worrying about getting lost, especially as the way on was getting very muddy. These passages draught, though, & would keep Wookey happy surveying for ages. Came back out & discovered a small rift back to the foot of the pitch over the top. At this point, decided to rerig the last pitch with bolts prior to doing a serious push. Sent Mark in to bang said bolt in, who then discovered a total absence of spits. Bollocks! Resisting the temptation to exit immediately in a fit of pique, surveyed down the last 2 pitches in 3 stations & into the avens in 2 more. This took an hour & a half & we were very cold. Handily realized that we couldn't really do more surveying as we didn't really know where the passage went, so cut off the bottom off the rope on the last pitch & I climbed up over the rift.... A large phreatic tube with a nasty traverse + naturals to rig it. Mark duly rigged said traverse into continuation of tube. Tube ca 3m diameter with holes in floor ca 30 foot deep. One of these probably leads to the other side of the Cheesegrater. Finished at hole in floor ca 30 foot deep with continuation of phreatic level opposite - quite easily reachable with bolts. Interesting suspended mud floor in side shaft - just the thing for Damage to jump on (he'd go straight through). By now 5:30pm. Debated whether to survey the phreatic tube + didn't. Last survey st'n (3) marked with S on rock 1m in front of foot of last pitch - obvious.

Came out via Dreamtime (a little rerigging needed if it's to be the main route) & exited ca 8:30pm

TU 9hrs

The following rerigging needs doing + bolt kit in Flat Battery series.
a) Dodgy traverse on way to Yapate - could do with bolt + tape.
b) 1st pitch in DBS (Oldham) - Long pendulum if main bolt fails. Needs back-up (hole part-drilled)
c) 40m pitch ditto.
d) Last pitch - rigged on naturals. Needs bolt at head & wire on rebelay (Wire left down there). ... had we any spits we'd have done these.

[extended elevation sketch of
electrolytic level]

Previous trip / Next trip

6/7/90 | Journey out - Learning to fly or Team me'n'she go to Austria | Claire & Olly

(to 9/7/90)

Sorry about the delay - Claire asked me if I'd done it - I said no, you can if you like - she said she would - and seems to have forgotten!

Start of on the Friday evening with a lift by boss to Cambridge seemingly involving a tour of all country lanes between Hertford & C'bridge. Knock on 60 Sedgewick St. door & woman answers and yells "He's here". Shovel stuff into Waddersmobile and stand in living room looking at strange furniture & lots and lots and lots of computers. Set off after c.5min and Wadders tries hard to just miss every car on the road. Stopped for chips & Wadders had to leave engine running "'cos it sometimes doesn't start when warm". Reached Grassington late & found I had to share a tent (rigged upside down) with Tim. After little sleep got up to find Berk's Fell abandoned due to too much water & much dithering so get lift to station, wait for 3½ hours & get train to Leeds & bus with Claire to Ponty (oh yeah, rang her earlier) & stayed night there. After major packing sesh in a.m. we're off to Manchester airport after lunch & find plane delayed by 1 hr. Enough to miss tight connection with train in Salzburg, hence have to wander round Salzburg from 7pm 'til 4am. Then go by train to B.A., via Bischopshofen & Staudich Immermann (or something similar) since earliest train on Sunday goes that way. Claire buys tickets via Bad Ischl, but flattering eyelashes solves a problem with ticket collector (number 37, I think). After repeated dozing on train, reach B.A. Claire asks for directions to Hilda's & we set off into B.A. only to be stopped by the woman Claire asked directions from, offering a lift (even though she wasn't going that way). Claire chats to her during journey and I get about one word in ten. Get to Hilda's & Hilda tells us the cavers aren't coming for a week. Pointedly discuss fate of Wookey's genitalia. Hilda says we can stay the night in the Lager hut. Doze under a tree 'til it gets hot & then move to lager hut. Awoken by Adam later on to be informed that Rover had arrived - Reprieve for Wookey's genitalia! Ten minutes later it starts to piss down, after glorious sunshine all day, so the expedition had clearly begun!

T/U: N/A.

20/7/90 | Journey to Berlin | Matt and Olly

(Date randomly guessed)

Another brick in the wall / Team me'n'he go to Berlin to see the Wall (Roger Water's not Berlin's) (Maybe it should be "The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking") Trying to be brief, here it goes (leaving Hilda's at 10:30 AM)

[this is a table of lifts, and I can't remotely format it in html and its pretty crap in plain ascii. Hence it's commented out, but if you look at the source in html, you can read it (if you really want) Ed.]

not even slightly about caving :
     _To_        _Transport_                                                        

B.A.station    Foot (with Claire).
Salzburg stn.  Train
Autobahn near  Walk (bloody long way!)
Across border  Nice lady (in all senses!) in nice red car
Munich         Bloke with little English in transit van with electric chair (wheelchair) in back.
Ingolstadt     Bloke in ICM (ideal caving machine - space cruiser with loud stereo) who gave us some v. nice beer & drank some himself while bombing it down A-bahn.
Middle of      Wrinkly with no English in nicish car.
Nürnberg       lift in less than a minute (!!!) from strange man in Austrian national dress who got lost and confused near Nürnberg.
All the way to central Berlin (50 yds from Potsdamer-Platz!) at 2am!!!
   Nice man in nice car with nasty music tastes - rap & similar stuff with all the "middle" removed on the graphic equaliser.
(<12hrs from Salzburg) 
Wandered around, through Brandenburg gate and then decided to go to airport
(<10km away) for kip (walking). Awoken at ridiculous time by lots of noisy
Pan Am staff. Wandered around Airport for a bit, Matt changed some money
& wandered back to central Berlin. Looked at some sights & at V.
impressive rig in Potsdamerplatz. Got some food, looked for banks - all shut
of Friday afternoon (!?!) - so ended up in horrendously packed
Bureau-de-change, wandered back to grassy bit full of tents across road from
P-platz, sat dawn & moved on by police at about 11pm, move across road to
more grassy bit, police give up & we get some sleep - chilly (_never_ get
seperated from your pit!) Start queueing at about 8.30am get let in about
1.30pm, find good spot & get v. bored till about 4.30pm when music
starts. The Wall starts at 10pm ish & is v.good although it needed a lot
more bass. afterwards join hordes causing traffic chaos - walk toward A-bahn
get tired & bored & get bus - walk a bit more - arriving at A-bahn at
c. 5am.
     Destn        Transport                                                        
Nürnberg          Two mad germans in Skoda "given to them by some E.Germans" who rolled cigarettes while driving & ran out of petrol on A-bahn, without a spare tank.
N.München         Blue car-like contraption (suitable for caver) with 2 germans. after 2 hour wait
S.München         Informed by Munich-based hitcher that A-bahn signed for Salzburg from N.Munchen is crap & tells us how to get to S.München by using every form of public transport available in city. Walk and take tube & walk again instead.
Salzburg (in fact Wait on A-bahn junction designed frustrate hitchers for more than 3 hrs, then walk back along road and deviously stand by traffic lights. Get lift in <1/4 hr all the way to Salzburg. The man is a W.German, Austrian pig breeder who drives a plush V.W. with a car phone, sun-roof, etc & hang glides & smuggles cigarettes across international borders in his spare time.
a couple of exit 
after on road 
signed to Bad 
Hof               About 9pm by this time & no f*cking Austrian b*stards will stop for us. Walk up road. V.tired by Hof, so kip overnight in wood.
Bad Ischl         Wake up with beginnings of frostbite. Walk into town, find bus leaves at 7.15am, now about 5.30 am, so try hitching for a bit - no hope! Find bakery open & buy still-warm rolls & jam - eat 'em & feel better. Bet bus to B.I., even though timetable seems to try for B.A. Fall asleep a lot
Bad Aussee        Train
Hilda's           Walk (bloody hell, not more!)

T/U: Can we count Munich's U-Bahn, please?
P.S. Only 6 Oh D**r's!
anon:long bit of self-indulgent bullshit!!!
Olly:(Fuck off!OK?)

22/7/90 | 161 - Finishing off Too much too soon | Del, Francis, David H

[date deduced to be 1990-07-22 from survey data, Ed.]

The first time Julian took me down flapjack to show me the question mark he found last year I just laughed and thought he was joking. When it entered the rift "no-you go first" I knew he was ! But - three trips later and here I am again!

The three of us left Juliette and Jeremy at the surface on a gorgeous day, with beers at hand, playing with the co-ax and cave radio. The prospect of 16 hours underground again didn't look good!

Following Jeremys advic,... and then ignoring it, we rerigged 'too far too soon' further up the rift to take us further round to the right (Del's idea!) - a much better (and drier) freelang. After two rebelays and 65m later reached a large ledge and two further pitches. Between a little surveying and bolting, managed to keep us all occupied before coming out. after looking around the 'bottom' trying to find a way on.

Well, there was, sort of, after bashing with a hammer and taking off dangly's - a further 10m down through an eye hole and a tiny slit in the floor that opens out into an impenetrable pitch. Verdict? Splooosh! Probably sumps then just below 500m!

Came out slowly and walked down to camp (even slower!) But, a good trip.

T.U. 16 hours

Previous (abortive) trip / Next (photo & derig) trip

22/7/90 | 161 - TRIP BEFORE finishing off 'too far too soon' | Jeremy + Juliette

Date guessed

Very uninteresting prospect this write up.
Went + looked down too much too soon. Too much on 9mm rope for us bottlers - So instead -> the complete survey of a man

scan from logbook 672x492

[12½ hrs]

Previous trip / Next (successful) trip

22/7/90 | 161 - Laying the coax (fnaar) | Jeremy + Juliette

(Date totally guessed)

What a lovely trip - Sauntered down the Cave - decorating it like a christmas tree with Coax. Jeremy joined me - (pissed) at the 3rd pitch. Coax Stretched to squeeze, where we had lost the joiner, So Jeremy volunteered to be Sweaty going to get a new one from the entrance,

At Pot Of Gold the coax was connected - Wonderful - I could listen to Jared + Anna + Jeremy getting pissed in the sunshine. No, seriously it is very Calming to talk to somebody whilst Caving. Listening to the 'Whats for tea' Conversations relieves boredom whilst Caving. Highly recommended these convuntily [??] trips.

TESTS 1 Me on handset in Cave with Coax turned on Could not reach base Camp.
2 With Coax on -> You Can communicate with the entrance anywhere in passage where Cable is + 50m odd on from end of Cable.
3 With Coax off Can only get entrance with set a few centimetres from Coax. Although I could hear entrance but they could not hear me about 1m away
Jeremy 3hrs
Juliette 5½hrs

Removing the coax (part I, 1992) / Removing the coax (part II, 1995)

21/7/90 | Eishohle - Trip into the fridge | Mark S, Mark F, David H, Del

Bloody long walk up to a titchy entrance for the cave when there were much nicer and bigger entrances scattered about everywhere. Well the entrance has a squalid cold drafty hole about 20' long which proceeded to come to a pitch of solid ice about 40 metres long of 60 degree ice but crampons are great. Very pretty and big chamber but quite cold. lots of pretty stals of ice very good pottering trip very enjoyable but the bloody walk back was too long.


Eishöhle (big entrance with nice tourist plaque) is ~ 20 mins from nipple. Follow red dots to red ski pole and end of path ~ 15 mins for the entrance. Ice screw rebelay recommended.

Could take another SRT rope and do next ice pitch (back + right whilst on first pitch - see the nasty poly rope frozen in situ).

Last CUCC trip here (1989) / Next trip

24/7/90 | Surface - Skinrip Passages I-IV | Julian, Keith, Tony, Jeremy

Assisted by Kieth, Tony.
and the total bastard pants gravel hypodermic foreskin up-your-thunk Jeremy. A potter up to the camp 1 with bier to hunt for Wadder's lost cave entrances wearing insufficient protection from sharp rocks in unmarked sink-grinder holes. There is a fun system of about six openings all in a line near the camp, all connected by cave, the last of which is very tricky to climb out of and in the middle of bunda. Snowplugs have receeded a lot due to the hot temperature & good weather (apart from the wind) revealing earthdarks (antiskylights) at the edge of the ice the size and sharpness of a small shark's mouth. Twice I got into these and Jeremy - may his bollocks turn to permafrost and be used as powerstation ball bearing - kicked snow all over me. Then, at yet another snow choked crack too tight to escape from, I heard his voice below me assuring that - from the other side - there was a way through. Cold ice slide, hands scratched by ceiling rocks, I crawled to the connection: a seven inch high horizontal skid through a puddle of ice water with Jeremy - may his gut squallor infestation scrawl-nose stink-plague give him a six day hang-over for every whiff of beer his brother breathes - laughing from the other side. I shall keep dry ice in his caving shreddies and use his SRT gear for superconducting experiments

24/7/90| Surface | Paul Smith, Hugh, Tanya

( "Big" Paul Smith)

Body failure. Lamp Failure. Motivation failure. All 3 occurred prior to descent so I'm surprised we went anywhere. Did listen to Paul doing his Geology super-star bit though.

T/UG - not much (2½hrs)

24/7/90 | Surface - Trisselwand.| Wookey, Wadders, Joe & Juliette

Team hard bastard goes to re-enact the ancient CUCC legend of the Trisselwand climb

Found route with minor faff - hearts in mouths. Yummy new ring hangers ran out after 1st 3 pitches - all a bit shitty until up main gully where was more interesting - albeit a bit hot. Joe had epic on 1st really hard pitch - with one poxy runner ½ way up & extreme difficulty finding a belay at top. After me & Wadders had sunned ourselves for an hour & played radios again - Talk to Eishöhle from ½ way up T.wand? Went for Alpine bit across lethal scree slope - carefully ignoring the really silly drops to left. Bit of route faffing until found pitons. Wadders did traverse - I did really nasty shitty but quite hard pitch - W had final traverse out over edge of world ! I spent 40 mins on next pitch going up & reversing after getting to hard bit 20m above last crap runner. AERW reckoned left - I went right - it looked easier - managed a few more wires to shit belay. Eventually W came up & found piton - 2 more nice pitches with real attached rock to top via 3 more rope lengths of scrambling/bunde bashing. Mega climb - well shitty in places with Fuck All protection - good job it's not too hard!

Took 8½ hours (9 hrs J & J as they suffered from dark & Bunde at end).

Back just after 11 via a toad & lots of [???].

Radios are fun - Can talk to Top camp, Stogerweg, Bergrestaurant, Base Camp & Entrance.

26/7/90 | 161 - Push and Survey Flat Battery | Adam, Mike & Jeremy

A nice trip, that rare Austrian beasty, a "short trip". Zoomed down to 400m (fine route) dithered around a bit deciding where to push. Rigged down into pit & climbed (using human pyramid technique) up into phreas other side. Phreatic tube ends at climb (done) & pitch (done) which chokes. 3 possible but squalid leads so surveyed out leaving rigged & ignored squalid bits - Team push anything can have a go later. Rapid exit, everso nice caving out before you're shagged senseless + light at surface.

T/U 8½ hrs

PS Adams light failed again!! (Carbide this time)

Previous trip / Next trip

24/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime flapjack photos |William & Damage, MarkD and Adam

says Adam

Trundled off for an early start quickly into caving gear. No tackle <tick><tick>[ascii failure again]!. Above 3rd pitch Mark showed us how to play flashes. I posed in my Mac suit above 3rd pitch. We then ran down to Dream time to photo leopard skin again the lovely Damage posing. Dougherty made Adam hang for ages on Knossus as we photoed him. We then ran down to Flapjack. Loadsa lovely pitch. Down bottom I saw Williams head poking out of the wall, He thrutched down a pitch on 9mm SRT. Mark tried dodgy techniques to make us smile. We ran up pitches, William & I derigging Adam & Dougherty left out early. After fettling carbides (grr, grr), one left to finish a highly organized, efficient and (hopefully) successful trip

T/UG 12�hours(W&D)
11 hours(M&A)

Previous (rerigging) Dreamtime trip / Previous trip in Flapjack II (Too Much Too Soon) / Next (also rerigging) Dreamtime trip

26/7/90 | Hanggliding | Mark S, Julian, Olly, Keith

Team Wings: Mark S, Julian.

Support crew : Olly (photographer), Keith (chauffer), Wook's car.

Finally made it at 11am to the Loser hut. I unfolded my wings and flew from the ramp. The ground flops down in ripples like a table cloth, stacked up with trees; your shadow skates across it and becomes out of focus. Unaware of quite how much 800m in height meant distance wise, I hovered the whole time above the landing field in Altaussee, the houses and trees refusing to get any bigger.

When we packed the hang-glider and drove back up, it was Mark's turn as pilot. He was watched and photographed by a passing landrover load of cavers. Olly stayed in the landing field afterwards and got bored because we delayed for two hours and bought lunch in Loserhut as the air was too rough, turning umbrellas insideout and blowing other people's food onto my plate. Tried to set off again at 3:30, but this was made difficult by a crowd of 50 spectators all getting in the way, making me nervous and heckling me as I tried to carry the glider up the road to the ramp. The air was rough, damn rough. Afraid the glider would disintegrate above the forest. The lake is simply beautiful to glide across at plus 500m. Mark did the final flight of the day and waved at some children on the beach, who waved back. When he began packing, he discovered what had gone ping! during the rigging in the car park prior to the flight: a rivet had disappeared.

T/A 15 minutes each.

28/7/90 | Surface - Team plateau explorer | Matt + Francis

Went up to Loserhutte with team Hangglider (& William driving just for added fun) set off for top camp & found a lot of people thinking about going caving. Went with them to 161 & watched while they got changed into nice warm caving gear. took some piccys. Then went off up ridge to HinterSmk

Found one vaguely promising hole, apparently a bedding plane nearly vertical. Went down c.5m could see a good 5m further down & stones thrown indicated more.

Marked Slab nearby with CUCC 90 & left a cairn. Bearings: Bräuning Nase 246° Central Peak of Dachstein 215°. The cave is on the far side of the ridge by an isolated patch of Bunde on a slab. It starts off as a (N-ish) crack in this slab. On way back found humungous hole with snow plug & then a very loose drafting hole. Didn't take bearings because while I tried to chuck a rock down into it most of what I was standing on fell down it. Then came back to Base Camp.

T u/g 10-15 mins.

28/7/90 | 161 - LeftHand Route Expo | Joe+Mike TA

First venture into the l/h series. In via Dreamtime for Joe's benefit, then Joe up to l/h series while I nip down to Yapate to get Sally, thence back to l/h. Arrived to find that Joes driver had broken leaving half the threaded bit still in the spit. Found I had left SRT bag back at end of Dreamtime. Joe, being frozen, went and fetched it. Had a poke down first l/h passage on l/h route - see drawing over.

[piccy showing passage off to left at first corner of left hand route with c5 up to aven and c6 beyond above almost blocked passage - this has been superceded by Wook sketch 1991]

Rebolted top of Candlestick(?), Joe set off down to put in rebelay about 10' down. I went for poke from Arrow Chamber, and came out about 10' below Joe!!

pic showing connection from chamber beyond head of
Butcher pitch connecting back into powerstation series

Joe, Having bolted, came up for rest, I went down 15m(maybe) to FOULNESS LEDGE. Put in next bolt, then Joe's turn - down 20-25m to freehanging rebelay. Half did bolt, then dead legs so up, and I finished it. Abbed on down, got to bottom of rope about 10' above ledge. Rats. Prussiked out.

T/U 9hours

PS. Another hole (2m x ½m x 2 sec drop) in carrefour:
[piccy of hole]
Bloody well go look at it!!!

Previous LHR trip (last year) / Next LHR trip / Trip to look at Carrefour hole

29/7/90 | 161 - Left Hand Route again | Joe + Olly

(Candlestick area)

Re-rigged yesterdays pitch with 30m marlow, down to Foulness Ledge, then Sally down to bottom. Trench in floor (AFWAT) goes down another 6-7m. to another floor with a trench too (AFWATIT) This trench leads to a floor at 10m (undescended) with a humoungous hole about 5m horizontally with a 4-5 sec from from AFWAT. This might be an aven into Niflheim but it looks to be 20m or so too far west. This huge hole, if not Niflheim should be called DOUNREAY

[elevation showing Foulness, Candlestick, and Afwatt's - since
shown that big pitch is not Candlestick, it is Dinorwig]

Off behind you when descending from AFwat is a small rift/tube with a 10m pitch into a rift. Sandy bottom with two small [und] tubes off at floor level. One goes north, is passable as a small crawl and goes dead straight (you have to reverse out), the other goes south round a tight corner, looks as if it comes out below Afwatit. This area is Dungeoness.

[elevation and plan showing dungeness coming from below afwat
and connection back to afwatit - later shown to be a visual connection only
(wook & damage)]

T/U 11 Hours

Previous trip / Next trip

28/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime, Knossos, Yapate Foto trip | Mark D, Mark F, Tony & Paul S

Well, got farther than the end of Big Sainsbury's this time. A gentle amble down Dreamtime with the two Mark's snapping away - ably assisted by their pouting models. Few diversions, Mark F. dropping camera cases and general alarm at the rigging on a potential trade route. Mark F. & Tony trogged around Knossos while Mark D. & I went off to examine Yapate Inlet and photograph it. On the way out, much time was spent dangling in the dark on the Knossos pitch. Certainly adds to the splendour, if splendour is brown coloured and vaguely liquid. Hope the foties come out

T/U 9hrs

29/7/90 | Surface | Paul S, Del, Juliette

Juliette: TANTALUS (the Paul investigation)

A prospecting trip - Wandering accross the plauteux from the cave, down the side of the ridge, casualing looking for lower entrances.

CAVE 1 -> Nice passage, past snow plug 20m down -> choke. (juliette mortally wounded)
CAVE 2 -> It was an enormous hole said Dougherty. So we sent Del down, to Cool beer in the snow, Paul and I lazed in the Sun, Del reemerging with tails of ice formations having got to end of 50m rope
TANTALUS So named because of the water at the bottom - as the prospecters sat parched at the top. Del and Paul bolted in the Sunshine - I watched the musculatures at work. Then lady muck rigged (Very worried about an enormous natural) Anyway - Very pretty pitch - Shame it stopped.

T/U ½ hr

24/7/90 | 161 - Big Sainsbury's | Matt and Peter

Explored and surveyed a climb spotted by Damage Del. Climbed up Big Sainsbury's, crawled into the chamber containing Dungeon ['Dungeon' crossed out by Del - replaced by 'No', this in turn crossed out by Wookey and 'Yes, it does' inserted]. After a spectacular climb by Pete up about 12' into a passage which ends in a small pitch. This was descended and found to tighten and tighten until it was quite tight, in fact too tight. The passage seems to continue on the opposite side of the pitch but we could see no way to get across. Spot of bad bolting, followed by bad rigging, Resulted in a bad rub. Very scary.

T/U 7hrs

Photo/bottoming trip the same day

31/7/90 | 161 - French Connection | Francis, MarkS, and Peter

French Connection
After getting lost 20' from entrance pitch we discovered that Francis had lost all the spits. He spent 20mins looking for them while we tried to find the way on. Eventually did (both of us). Got down to the French cave without mishap. Unfortunately, it had been derigged. Bollocks. Tried rigging another route which seemed to go but the rope didn't. Came out through 161b.


Waited at entrance for an hour in oversuits. Bloody rain didn't stop. Bloody rucksack leaked. Bloody waterproof wasn't. Bloody great trip.

T/U 6hrs

Previous trip apparently an unwritten up derig :-) / Last write up / Final derig from Adrian's/FCII / Survey 161b to c trip / Next trip rigging in 1991

25/7/90 | 161 - Endless (rift and trip) | Damage, Matt and Peter

Zoomed down to the pitch at the end of Endless (alright, contradiction). Did some cold waiting while Damage did some slick rigging. Descended first pitch and found small phreatic both to hide in and explore. Just really hid in it. Second pitch was again impressively riggid by Dave and ended in large chamber with 2 ways on.

Matt had first epic on rebelay. Managed to have 5 pts. of contact. Took along time to decrease it to two. He arrived at the bottom of the pitch, panting and horizontal!

Anyway, straight ahead is a sandy passage which ends in an inlet. The floor shows obvious signs of water. The other way is down a small climb to a spot of rifty passage. This ends in a tight crawl in water and mud. Both Damage and Matt went down and found a small chamber which it was too difficult to enter. This is where Matt had his second epic. He got quite badly trapped and had to do some vigorous thrashing. Couldn't face surveying and started out.

In Endless Matt had his third epic. Yawn! Slipped and fell 6', twisting his ankle. This forced us to a very, very, very slow pace. Came up through Dreamtime. Damage went ahead to contact top camp and Matt and I plodded on. Matt eventually emerged 5 mins before 10am call out. Long, long trip.

T/U 20hrs

Previous trip / Next (survey/derig) trip

30/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime | Matt & Tim

Matt decided to sacrifice himself & take me caving for the first time. After complaining that I walked too slowly he complained even more down the cave. We knocked five bolts in & rerigged the top 3 pitches. Went out & walked down slowly.

T/U 8½ hours

Previous Dreamtime (photo) trip / Next trip

31/7/90 | 161 - Dreamtime II the sequel | Matt & Tim

We went back to finish off the rest of rerigging Dreamtime. It is now very pleasant. Got all the way to the Chunnel to pich up some more rope. Rigged the bottom few short pitches plus a traverse & knocked in more bolts (yuck!). Came out to a thunderstorm with an incredibly wet first pitch. The walk down was awful with it getting dark & Matt falling down a shakehole, while it pissed down.

T/U 9½ hrs

Previous trip / Next (derigging) trip

30/7/90 | 161 - Flat Battery | Del, Juliette, MarkD & Wookey

Set off to photo Flat Battery, push the 'leads' & prob de-rig when they didn't go.

MarkD only made it to 3rd pitch traverse after making a hole in himself with a lump hammer trying to break carbide. His hangover was just too mega so he went back via adrians & 'discovered' (ie dug) 161C

We declined to take camera gear & boogied on down - did grade 1 survey of stuff off OTR then Del found rift climb at top of bungalow while me & Juliette surveyed between bolts - leads into high phreatic tube which comes out above top of boulder alley. Also looked at climb up BA. - looks feasible.

Finally got on down to T.Block & had a brew & noodles before going down FB. Zoomed down lots of pitches to poke squalid holes at bottom. Connected a couple of Question Marks & pushed 'phreatic Maze' through awful duck to hard c3 climb.

Decided to forget it & de-rigged - efficient job so 250m of rope out by 1.30am. Staggered out of cave by 5.45 - shagged again after shifting rope to bottom of dreamtime.

T/U 16 hrs (except markD - 2hrs)

Ace trip - why can't they all be as good? Del

Previous trip / rest of derig / Next Adrian's/161c trip

28/7/90 | Surface - Down 163 and other 'oles | Wookey and Damage

We trundled I complained, I got in my oversuit squeezed down some 'oles. We then surveyed 163 and surface surveyed to VD1

T/U 2 hours

29/7/90 | 162 - The Dynamic Duo Rig, survey and Derig 162 | Wookey & Damage

We went to 162 surveyed top bit rigged ladder. I lost toss, derigged entrance ladder 161, nicked 55m beal. Surveyed this too. Nice ice. Nice cave. Shame so cold

T/U 6 hours

30/7/90 | 161 - Endless | Jeremy and Damage

(Date guessed)

Grr. Grr. Isn't it boring f***ing RH route. Trogged down. Endless. Ignored Jeremy wimpers but was taken in by his surveying bullshit. We surveyed and (I) derigged up. Gross errors were spread amongst the survey papers and were then washed off. We then made up some new figures. (Laugh). Epic struggle with tackle bags. lots of shitty rope. Thank G*d for H**ti spits. And thanks for all those who helped in this production. What's more, my pet piece of cave, Endless, is really irritating

T/UG 10 hrs

Previous trip / rest of derigging

1/8/90 | Surface | Joe, Adam + Francis

General Plan: Push Joe's holes then Francis' then Adam's.

Kitting up was the usual wander to cave entrance + faff trying to find bolts etc, nearly forgetting SRT gear finding more spits in Matts gear etc. Finally set off to Joe's hole. Joe disappears down a nasty bedding plan. Adam provides helpful boulders, Francis fails to find Joe's other hole. Francis comes back & is told to bring loadsa Bolting gear etc. Joe has 2 pitches adjacent in a bedding plane. Both very loose at top because the roof is trying to fall down. Joe spends ages putting a bolt in this roof while Adam & Francis look down the other hole & shout from various nearby holes & establish vocal connexions (thru impenetrable stuff) Joe has finished Francis has the only SRT gear so its his turn to rig the clear bolt for the free hang (gibber). First attempt in roof gives neck ache, head ache arm ache back ache + 2 or 3 rocks of roof down the pitch. Next attempt (on the wall) gives a bolt shattering the rock when the cone is banged in. Final attempt OK. Francis + Joe rig this & F goes down c.15m. Finds ledge thinks about putting bolt in. Finds possibility of pendulum + wire rebelay Then pretty ice + 5m more of going under ice (dead pretty) Flow goes down a little hole then a rift (a la Flapjack2). Mean while Adam + Joe look at Joe's other hole & Adam leaves to rescue his pit. F comes up. Joe goes down F paints 'CUCC 90/10' near hole Joe comes up & all head for Vesta.

T u/g 3 hrs (F+J), 0.5 (Adam)

2/8/90. | Hanggliding | Julian

Team Wings : Julian, assisted by Jeremy, not assisted at all by half the caving club, distracting, telling me to get on with it, admiring its aches and strains and cracks. Couple other pilots in carpark keeping well away and mumbling things about parachutes. On account of it all, had a shit take off and the glider started to disintegrate: battens springing out, left wing flapping noisily as a helicopter.

So decided to land as I was so awfully high. Jeremy kindly let me have another go. Picked up another hang-glider pilot and gave him a lift to his car whereupon he placed 40 shillings in payment on Rover's front bumper.

This time the audience was smaller. A couple of young men with gliders on their car drove up as I was rigging, thought that the wind was shit, the glider was shit and they didn't want to see any more of it. A couple of paragliderists were also walking all the way back down Loser, not flying, muttering something about kamakazees.

Which all goes to show it's bullshit because I had a great takeoff, great flight (little rough the air though), got scared to go any higher when I looked for an instant down at the nose of Loser, so followed Rover along the road for some way. Some little muscles in my shoulders suffered in agony to make flying possible after a while, so I slipped off and landed. On my feet. Ground zero.

T o/g ½ hour

30/7/90 | Surface - plateau-wander |Jeremy & Adam

We wandered found a hole, descended it. this was not far from the camp fault (goes thro nr water hole) & is a rift. Numbered 90/9 but not written as no paint. This cave is close to the large bedding cave (which if you know where it is is a good locator). See survey book for a sketch survey & bearings (ha).

Struggled thro more Bunde, via various un-noteworthy pits, moving more "out" on the plateau (ie away from 161). Eventually popped out at an umpromising large breakdown entrance with a low, wide horiz bit just inside. Quickly became 45 degree bouldery slope then canyon. Traversed along top for a while til reached harder bit (woz in T shirt & shorts). Took bearing with view to return (see 2/8/90 trip). This cave called 90/12. Too hot so went to camp. Thundered later.

T/u Jez 15 mins, Adam 35mins

Next trip

29/7/90 | Surface - solos 90/5 | Adam

This hole found several days previously by a Juliette, Paul, MarkF, Claire & I wander trip. Paul numbered entrance later. As an alternative to total fester I went with rope & Paul's gear to do 90/5. Rock very brittle & no naturals so took 5 attempts to start bolts. Finally got 2 OK ones in to find MSD's rope had a big bad cut in!!

got down found not choked so out again to get bolt kit & put furry on. Last (2nd) pitch led to climb into choked bit. Sketch survey in survey book.

T/U 1¼hr (spent at least 2hrs within the actual strict defn of the cave putting top two bolts in but this bit could be climbed to so doesn't really count)

2/8/90 | Puffball | Joe & Adam

go to do 90/12 (see 30/7/90 write up)

Had vague idea of area of 90/12 but spent 2 hrs Bunde-bashing to fail to find it. Got VERY Bunde bitten & hot & fucked. Found another cave 90/11 (numbered in red, see survey book for a sketch). Sunbathed, eventually found 90/12 & marked entrance, see survey book for location & details. 90/12 is a cracker and is still going. There is several hundred metres of vadose canyon, traverse high until until a large pocket on right, then drop down to the bottom. Eventually (via formations and white powder on walls) get to 20' pitch (1 bolt for ladder) shortly (follow joint in floor) get to a 20m pitch (unbolted & undesc'd) where we turned back as rope at surface & we were lazy (besides which I had already come out once for the ladder !) 90/12 is called Puffball & Icing Sugar Cave. THIS CAVE DRAFTS & IS A GOER

Previous trip / Next Trip (in 1991)

While I was down, Joe went wandering & found 90/13 & 90/14 - see survey book for details & locations. Joe squirmed down 90/13 over loose shizen to find a small non-free-climbable pitch. 90/13 drafts.

Wandered further & Joe "suggested" I go down 90/14 while he went down a nearby rift which didn't go. 90/14 is a canyon which starts on the surface & is a bastard sharp & narrow canyon bastard shite..... Hence called SHIRUKEN (the spiky things ninjas throw!) Didn't go that far as really desperate & my oversuit got ripped in 50 feet of thrutch !

TU Adam 2 hr + ½ maybe
Joe 1 hr

See survey book to locate 90/14

V.G. but write in pen next time

3/8/90 | 161 - go play bolt dot-dot | Wookey & Tim

Went to join assorted bolt-bolt surveys and misclosures - old 2nd pitch - new, re-survey dodgy Sainsbury's leg - join both ends of dreamtime to survey & join new & adrian surveys - achieved all but last - after talking to Paul & Tony at bungalow - took 2 bags of rope & checked out Vestabule - last 20m pitch didn't go so detackled & left. Put 100m of rope by LH route & took rest out - hard work.

T/U 9 hrs ?!?

Previous trip / Vestabule - next significant visit (1994)

4/8/90 | 161 - Yapate - Team technical assistants | Damage and Julian

Shoogled down to squeeze, hunked through, shaked into Knossus and shouted at Tower Blocks. Damage got the drill and drilled a bit and a bolt and I went for a grovel into the tight shite canyon in the dirt floor of Yapate Inlet. There's a freeclimb down at a 3 way junction of trickles which travels a bit, then goes narrow as a trash compactor - one can just about get into it, sideways, horizontal, feet first ten metres, but it doesn't get any better. Meanwhile Damage had dogged the pitch and was mumbling around in it. I followed, egged him on and made him sag the next pitch. One freeclimb later - oh not another pitch, here, Julian, you rig it. No! I do not rig pitches whatsoever. Damage was having a crisis of confidence, what with no great pillar of caving prowess such as Wookey or Jeremy on hand as a trustable expert system. No offense, he said, but I wish I was with someone who could do the rigging or say if it's OK when I'm pissed off with it, I really don't know what I'm doing.

Damage discharged the drill, the clino jammed, so we left it all and went for a brew, then a poke up a man-sized phreatic tube off left side of Chicken Flied Nice which goes for miles, well 80m.

Guess what, It ends in a pitch. Damage had left his descender at the bottom of Staircase 36 and I had a sharp stone in the back of my shreddies. Both dealt with out we went for a lovely meal with Big Paul still mourning the litre bottle of schnapps exploded all over his tent for no apparent reason.

8 hrs U/G

Previous Yapate trip / Next trip to Burble (next year)

5/8/90| 161 - down LH Route | Wookey & Damage

& NO Olly

So anyway, in the beginning there were three festering louts. Time passed. Two of these differentiated from the norm thus changing the norm and started to go caving. The third, the 'Olly' stayed put. The 'Wookey' and the 'Damage' proceeded to travel without haste accross the karst to the cave. On arrival a radio from Philips started talking to us. The 'Olly' was communicating (or at least trying). The 'Wookey' shouted loudly at a black box because of the lack of the 'Olly'. There was then discussion of suitable punishments to 'Olly'. The 'Wookey' was considering various forms of physical abuse. It was eventually decided that drop testing him was too severe and we went caving. What a nice bit of cave said I, being so close to the top of the 1623/161 thingy. We zoomed down the Joe rigging, faffed, put in a bolt and descended to the head of a pitch and started gardening. We concluded it were a big pitch. Forty five metres we timed it to, and 52m it was - so go climb a toadstool all you automatic pitch length halfers, we get it right, or at least quite close even if we are so fit that it only seems like 35m up. Got to bottom and found a big passage to the bottom but another thr metre pitch grr, grr. Did some more rigging, found bottom, I then suggested Wookey went down some small holes. We then left.

Tm U/G 10 hours

Previous trip / Next trip

6/8/90 | 161 - shear the driver | Del & Damage

We got changed and it rained. We went down dreamtime, down Boulder alley into Carefour eventually. If you think this is boring so is the RH route. How am I supposed to write anything interesting about an uneventful passing through a piece of cave which I know every stable boulder personally.

Now then, now then, the pitches, the drivers and other laugh. After much faffing of gear, [???] really are a pain. Then I snapped the driver, laugh. We [???] and [???] and surveyed out and were then dead 'ard and derigged to top of Bungalow. Last trip.

T U/G 10 hours

Trip where lead was found / Final derig / Next trip (see QM list !)

6/8/90 | 161 - survey Power Station Series (& derig!) | Francis, Olly & Tim

Fluttered down pitches 1,2,3,4 + squeeze into LH Route. Then walked to hole in floor off rift & abseiled down pitch after pitch to the bottom including lovely 50m free hanging pitch off crap rigging (Damage with wire belay through maillons). Got to the bottom in 2½ hours then had to start out & survey. This took ages & ages. Olly did the pretty (?) piccies, Tim did the readings (with muddy glasses & instruments) & Francis did the derigging (& got cold). Eventually surveyed to the top & had to carry lots of gear up the squeeze - which tired Olly out slightly. Made it out after our call-out time.

T/U 12 hours

Previous trip

28/7/90 | 161 - go to see Adrian's bottom | Juliette, Del, Olly

(Better late than never)

My first real caving trip (Heyman!!!) Del vanished to do some bolting whilst me 'n' Joules do some surveying. Stop after some, & go and join Del. Survey more, derig a bit & leave via 161B. I have a sudden keenness attack & dive back in towards where MarkD is to discover 161C. Not hungover, so chicken out.

T/U Del & Ju : 7¾ hrs
Olly : 8 hrs

Previous trip / Mark's 161c connection / Next trip (derig) not written up

7/8/90 | 161 - Uncle Tom Cobbly & all go derigging | Wookey, Jeremy, Paul S, Juliette, Julian, Peter & Wadders

All change in rain - Jez & Julian & Wadders down squeeze, Paul, Juliette & Pete down dreamtime. Wookey follows to squeeze doing radio tests with Julian - dist from cable is critical - unreliable more than a couple of metres (over 200m of cable).

Comms from: basement to head of 4th (can get 2m away towards Adrians Route - constriction seems to block signal)
Big Sainsbury's to Squeeze (up to 4-5m away)
Chunnel Pitch to OTR (anywhere in passage)
Comms seem to be better at top end (can move farther away than at bottom end)

Without cable:- from top of 3rd to 1st D.time pitch.

Jez & deserted with a T.sack each & left Paul & Ju to derig d.time - Wookey did chunnel pitch, squeeze, 3rd & 4th, becoming utterly festooned as zero T.Sacks present. P & J had similar probs & requested help via radio. Julian came amidst incredible abuse :- the airwaves positively crackled !

All staggered out under mounds of gear & went home.

T/U Jez 3 hrs (& Wadders)
Pete & Wook 4.5 hrs

Longer and more colourful write up of this trip / Derigging entrance / Rigging in (1991)

8/8/90 | 161 - Derig Adrians' | Matt + Francis

(date guessed)

Francis & Matt are cold in top camp. It is the day for derigging. Francis sez "whoz gonna help me derig Adrians" Matt sez "yer". Off we go. Francis the pitch he wanted to push & the rest of 130m rope. God it's heavy. Matt forgot a tackle sack. Matt derigs the traverse & the pitch anyway. F tosses a tackle sack down Ntrance pitch. It hits a hitherto undiscovered flake. F***. Matt is happy, so is F.

Francis T/ug 3.5 hrs, Matt T/ug 6 hrs

8/8/90 | Surface - 161c | Paul S & Juliette

(Date guessed)

And the rain came tumbling down -
The aim

  1. To paint 161c on French entrance and gloat
  2. To derig Docharty's Crawl. And remove Paul barriers with a lump hammer.
  3. To survey 161B->161c
I think we destroyed the Docharty bullshit about the crawl, as Paul fitted through.

3½ hrs.

Docherty's 161b-c discovery trip / Next 161c trip (next year)

7/8/90 | 161 - Dreamtime derig | Paul S + Juliette

(same trip as 1990-161-42 on 90.08.07 PaulS guessed)

Well, yes, that about says it all. God, isn't rope heavy.

Juliette useless at remembering things; head of first Dreamtime pitch totally collapsed just as Paul derigged and stepped off it. - Ju.

6 hrs

Main write up of this trip

8/8/90 | Eishöhle | Wook & Matt & Peter & Olly

(Date guessed)

Long walk - do cave - nasty crawl - nice formations - fun sliding, nasty walk out up ice slope with one jammer - Matt twists other ankle on walk down. Getting dark - arrive late at Top camp - eat Vestas.

T/U : 4 hours

8/8/90 | 161 - Entrance derigged | Wook, Damage, Olly

Entrance pitch derigged & Geraldine photoed.

T/U: W: ¾ hr
D: 1/3 hr
Ol: 0 hr

Next trip (in 1991)

8/8/90 | Surface - Winded hole | Paul S and Mike

8th day of the month of August, Year of our Lord MCMXC

Paul and Mike go poke down a hole "WINDED HOLE"

Stepping over several turd filled holes with Andy, we examined a hole near top camp, with a newish bolt but no number. Rattly shaft with various entrances. Paul winded himself by falling about 10cm [might be 10m, Ed.]
(159, I think)

[small sketch]

T/U 10 mins

7/8/90 | 161 - Down Squeeze Up Dreamtime Sherpa |Jeremy, Andy, Julian, Peter

Second Account

This write up is going to suffer from a lack of definition of the boundaries of the domains of one or several simultaneous and vaguely coordinated trips. If you think what you did sounds enough like what we did at about the same time, you could try adding your name to the list.

Well, it all started with the novel experience for AW of walking up to 161, with caving gear and by the proper path. Once he had worked out what all this funny shiny SRT was supposed to do (roughly), AW set out to follow Jeremy down the entrance pitch. Ignoring the crowds taking the piss just because he had both Claude loops and a cow's tail clipped in at the top he plunged on into the depths apace. Ah, well, not very apace actually. Come on you stupid bastard, FEED ! Well, that sums it up, really, lots and lots of wingeing 'cos the rack won't feed, and Waddington has basically forgotten what to do in the dark.

By the time we reached the squeeze, AW was almost back to being a smoothly functioning entity - at least he got through the squeeze faster than Jeremy. Then a guided tour of the phreatic level until we found an enormous mound of tackle bags. Oh, shit, I remember now ! But by this time there is no escape. Paul and Juliette arrived from Dreamtime, and Jeremy set off up.

Why does it always happen ? Just about this time, the little Austrian bastard in the local Geo-control centre turned the gravity right up to maximum and switched the rock into its most greedy tackle-bag snagging mode, having first ensured that mud was nice and evenly spread over everything. Ahead, Jeremy is grunting and muttering, but Waddington becomes obscured in a small pulsating blue cloud. Only the occasional arm or leg emerges from the sphere of high-density profanity. It just happens that swearing at inanimate objects is Andy's favourite way of passing the time in a cave.

Of course, even with gravity turned up full and the cave echoing to novel new combinations of insults to tackle's parentage we get to the top of Dreamtime where Waddington staggers across a loose, avalanching boulder slope, wondering "I wonder where that traverse line goes ?". Its Jeremy's turn to shout and winge and enquire whether Waddington isn't slightly put off by the 30m drop just to his right. "nah, seems alright to me...", stagger, crunch, BOOM!, teeter, etc. Up the second pitch surrounded by people with radios in all directions, mainly trying to account for missing cavers before they get entombed for a year....

This is where the personnel/trip distinction gets really fuzzy...

A brief episode to retrieve a tackle bag from a place it can't possibly have got to punctuates the bottom of the entrance pitch, then up to the surface (very slowly) to find Jeremy's face leering happily over the edge. Jeremy has a radio and is expressing his great desire to come down and drag some more tackle, but this is tinged with his immense regret that the first pitch is occupied by ascending bodies and he can't get down, so tragically he is obliged to get changed... Much swearing from below... Much giggling from above... Much milling around on the surface... Much wittering from emerging knackered cavers on the first pitch.

Jeremy sets off to walk down carrying a load the size of Rover's trailer, while Matt sets off carrying the drill, which is an error, so he has to go back. Eventually back to the car park and down in still vaguely working Waddo-wreck so Jeremy can take Rover up for everyone else. Everyone at base camp seems to be tremendously pissed. Wasters !

T/U good god, I've no idea, Jeremy says 2 hours but I think more like 4 hours. Andy

Main write up of this trip / Derigging entrance / Rigging in (1991)

5/8/90 | 161 - Climbing above Boulder Alley | Mark F, Tanya, Tony, Paul S

(Date guessed) has to be before 08.06 when derigged to Bungalow, probably after 07.28 when similar personnel did a photo trip

A relatively quick trip down to Bungalow with Mark F. taking a few photos of Tony perched above the Third pitch pretending to use a radio. At Bugalow the party split, Mark F and Tanya going down to Knossos for a tourist trip whilst Tony and Paul climbed into the small tubes across from the head of the pitch. These emerge into a fine 3m diameter phreas which pops out around 15-20m above Boulder Alley. From there Paul traversed high along the side of BA heading for a large black hole which promised to be a continuation of the tube. The traverse was fairly hairy over gravel and very loose pinnacles. The black hole turned out to be a window between the two shafts off Boulder Alley and not a passage. The two shafts are directly adjacent - contra the survey - although they appear to be separate due to the steep angle of Boulder Alley.

T/U 9 hrs

9/8/90 | Tourist - Mammuthöhle & Dachstein Eishöhle | Julian, Tanya, Tony & Paul S

(Date guessed)

A suitable wind-down before returning to the caveless wastes of Denmark. Mammuthöhle is well worth the entrance fee. Enormous phreatic passages the diameter of Knossos which charge through the hill made us realise that 161 isn't quite in the Austrian big time. Yet. Eishöhle also good value, but much more breakdown. And the ice covers up all the rock. Grrr. Pretty though.

T/U 2 hrs

11/8/90 | Surface - "Positively the last chance to paint a number on 100" trip | Andy

Having finally fixed the brakes on the Green Death Machine and found some paint, Waddington burned up to the car park, then up to Top Camp in 24mins 28sec (is this a record?). Finally, after 13 years (!) got a number painted on 100. Also painted 159, then searched for B10 and B9 again, failed again. Sauntered over to 80 and refreshed its number. Searched for 84 for ages, gave up - gave 100 a second coat ! Searched for B6 and B5 unsuccessfully, then found a BIG entrance with no number visible. Descended the entrance, found various ways on, one DRAUGHTING shaft looks interesting. No footprints (probably means nothing at this depth). Only 5 mins from Top Camp - worth a look next year ?

Sauntered along the west rim of Kratzer looking for A1, B1-3 etc., but found nothing except a very impressive choked shaft with an apparent phreatic tube leading off. Climbed in, then scrambled down a snow slope to find a lack of ways on, except a narrow way down a snow-choked rift.

Eventually sauntered down towards Bräuning Alm where the number on 96 looked a bit faded, so I refreshed it. Trogged across to Bräuning Kunntal and up Sommersitz planning to saunter down to the Bergrestaurant, but things went horribly wrong.

This path pops out at Augstsee by which time (it was downhill) I was running. Unfortunately, I got carried away, and ran up the path to Loser. By the top of Hochanger, sanity prevailed (and so did aerobic wipe-out and general sugar deficiency) so I sat around and took piccies and decided to forego the final stage to Loser. Sauntered along the ridge until it was mainly downhill again, pausing for photos at Loser Fenster, then ran all the way to the car park. Drove down to road test the brakes - no problem overtaking ouigees.... Give me a beer...

Andy. T/U 10 mins

28/7/90 | Tourist - Stupid Bastards on the Dachstein | Adam & Jeremy


  1. Get up early
  2. Set off from Halstatt
  3. Walk in to Simony Hütte
  4. Sleep
  5. Get up early
  6. Walk to top & back down again
Gear: full ice gear and food for 2 days


  1. Got up early
  2. left Halstatt (-us one radio battery) at 9-30 am
  3. Walked ridiculously fast for 4½ hrs & found [?] at Simony Hütte
  4. Rested for ½ hr while letching at local talent & decided to go for the top hut despite Jeremy feeling a bit squiffy in the 'far too much' heat.
  5. Went for it & only took ¾ of hr to reach hut, so went for top (without using any of our nice ice gear) - Jeremy really f***ed.
  6. Got to Hütte & found it was full (6.00pm). "Oh, dear"! - "Oh well, lets go for it" - "but isn't that a bit silly?" - "Yes" - "Just checking"
  7. Run across bit of glacier & bloody hill in way (another 100-200 metres !!) - Jeremy really completely fuck*d.
  8. Stopped at top of hill, ate dinner, realised had no bloody water (oh god!) & radioed down to paralytic Julian at base camp - praise Philips in the high (whatever that means?).
  9. Walked/ran down to the next hütte hallucinating about water, got some strange looks when we got there.
  10. Ran down next bit until it got dark
  11. Jeremy forgotten zoom (yet another light failure for the intrepid duo!) & we got lost.
  12. Found road at bottom & managed to meet others thanks to radios
  13. Shagged

Summary: 20 miles, 8000 feet of ascent & 8000 descent, T/o/f: 13 hrs