Austria 1991

7/7/91 | Puffball and Icing Sugar cave | Gill, Jon, Olly

Tony wanted someone to go surveying with him & Jon, but somehow we got Gill instead. We went to the "bottom", looked down a hole partway up the shaft and slung the end of the rope down off a dodgy-ish natural. Unfortunately it got nowhere near the bottom. So we gave up on that and started surveying out. After about three pitches, it emerged that we couldn't possibly survey much more and get out in time for our call out, so we gave up and left.

T/U 7 hours

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8/7/91 | Puffball and Icing Sugar Cave | Gill, Olly

Decided I like the cave, so went back (minus Jon who had damaged his knee), to do some surveying and push the hole. Surveyed for five (yes, 5) hours and got to the bottom of the first rope. God that rift is awful ! Then grabbed some rope and hangers and a bolting kit and continued on down. The hole continues down to a ledge, by a small chamner where a trickle enters high above, where a rebelay was needed. Being lazy, impatient and short of time, I rigged the world's worst deviation which fell off when Gill got on the rope. Never mind. Explored along nasty rift (tip: keep up on hands and knees) - "Tarzan's Folly" - and finally emerged in an impressively high blackened chamber - "The Dark Room". Called Gill to come and look, then got stuck getting back, eventually emerging at 23:15 - call out was 23:00 - Ooops.

Anyhow, Tony, Iain M, Jon and Andy A arrived at about 23:30 and seemed mostly relieved.

T/U 11 hours.

[big graphic]

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9/7/91 | Puffball and Icing Sugar Cave | Mark McLean, Julian T, Olly

Oh no, I'm getting keen on caving ! Due to rain, no one except me got up (except Mark S who just made a paella breakfast and went back to bed). Then Ian H, Mark M and Julian T came up from base camp. Ian's gear was at 161, but Mark M's was at 182, and Julian's was in his rucksack, so that decided it.

Anyway, we went down to the 3 rope protectors, one of which had exploded in front of me the day before, and put in a bolt to try to remove the rub - failed, unfortunately ! Went on, and Julian put in a bolt on the ledge and then we clambered into the Dark Room, followed slowly by Mark M, cursing his tackle sack in Tarzan's Folly.

The only obvious way on (and probably only possible without aven bolting) is parallel to Tarzan's Folly, and is a rift with several levels, ending at a pitch. We slung a 19m rope down, which was too short, so I added a knot pass, then Julian found a 46m rope in the bottom of the sack, so we rigged the pitch and the next one with it. The upper one we've called "Natural Redundancy", due to the obvious natural 6 inches from the bolt, completely unused. The next pitch is the "Cyclotron" followed by a very wierd rift with tippex pretties, called "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", then scrambling down to a 15-20m pitch into "Cloud Chamber". Julian's watch gave this chamber a depth of 175-200m below the surface. Hurried out to try to catch the last of the daylight and got out in 2½ hours. Walked back in the dark, and then down to base camp to repair my shredded oversuit.

T/U: 10 hours

P.S. Don't rant about pushing without surveying, as I went surveying the day before and I'll be back !

Note: In a fair rain, Puffball was wettish, but showed no sign of being dangerous ! [but see next trip !]

[2 pages of sketches]

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5/7/91 | 161 - 1st rigging in trip | Wook, Iain, Henri, Gill, Mark S, Julian S, Ian H

  Wook, Iain, Henry, Gill, Mark S, Julian S, Ian H
  \---------v--------------------/         \--v--/
        Team A       \------------v-------/  team
                             Team B          C
T/U: 9    9     9      7      5       5       0!

Rigging in to 161 finally begins: Iain finally managed a decent job of the second pitch, rigged down to halfway down hole in the roof but bolt was terminally rusty, Iain's hand hurt and Henry was tired so we went home.

Mark S, Julian S & Ian H all arrived as we descended. Ian had no hat & light & so went home. Gill got left behind with Mark & Julian adding a bolt to eyehole & went out with them - getting strung up for an hour on the entrance pitch.

There were 2 more pitches then in the topo down dreamtime which caused some problems with shuffling ropes. Iain put in another bolt on the handline climb !

Previous trip / Next trip / Same day in France entrance (161c)

8/7/91 | 161 | Wook, Iain, Mark S

            t/u 9     7     9
Mon 1991.07.08 Wook, Iain, Mark S

Continue rigging in 161

Boozied on down and played drills re-rigging the third pitch in a fun manner - better but not perfect. Carried on & added a traverse line then re-rigged hole in the roof. Iain's hand had exploded so he went home. Mark & I carried on & rigged as far as the head of Knossos. Decided to come out rather than make it overnight. Got burned off by Mark on the way out. Grr. Managed 9 bolts on one battery.

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10/7/91 | 161 - Go to Burble | Wook, Henri, Andrew

Go to Burble

Finally reached Burble - Henry fell off traverse by SC36 & bashed chin but survived. Andy was left to bolt the big pitch while Henry & Wook attempted to survey the crawl. When geraldine ran out of welly Andy took over survey notes, whilst Wook went on to do more rigging. A bit of nasty animal rigging got him down to the floor (p38 ish) lots of phreatic maze at the bottom, mostly glacially filled - but with one draughting 20-30m pitch. Stupid place to find cave ! t/u 15

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5/7/91 | RIGGING DOWN 161C | Mark D, Fran, Paul S

mark rigged down the French pitch, mainly using their spits - which had been missed by most people last year. Y-hang at far end of pitch head beyond large boulders c 10m with deviation to point where rift doubles back on itself. c 15m of abseiling down sloping ledges to point where rift drops into a much larger one. 5m to deviation on far wall, 10m extra to rebelay then 15m to floor. Pitch lands adjacent to cubic boulder (The Dice) in France. Just below last rebelay is large phreatic tube heading off towards French Connection II rift.

Mark attempted to rig down large hole beyond the Dice - Roll of the Dice - which is undescended by us. Abject failure when driver head sheared off. Gentle exit with Fran getting used to Austrian rebelays.

T/U 5½ hours.

Previous trip / Next trip / Same day in main entrance


Mark F, Julian and I surveyed down to France uneventfully whilst Mark D rigged Roll of the Dice and below. On the way down, Mark D & I entered the large phreatic tube just below the last rebelay. Surprisingly it was virgin - sloping down the bedding steeply to intersect the boulder-floored rift at the base of French Connection II. After a trip back to the surface for some rope, Mark D traversed across the rift into a continuation on the opposite side - this section was not virgin, with a single footprint visible, but the route up and the person responsible were not obvious. Virgin section is Robinson Crusoe passage, continuation is Man Friday Passage. The [??] chokes quickly but draughts strongly - probably underneath the Rabbit Warren.

Whilst we surveyed, Mark D had rigged Roll of the Dice (a 35m pitch with 3 rebelays) to a 20m pitch to a hading rift (undescended).

T/U 5½ hours

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6/7/91 | 161c | Mark D, Fran, Ian H

Started rigging Roll of the Dice, problems again with a different bolt driver.... Found a French bolt and attempted to rig off this, but the bolt was poor and is in a crap place. By then Fran and Ian were both v. cold so an exit was made. T/U 4 hours.

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12/7/91 | Puffball | Mark D, Jon W

Push at end of Puffball got off to a poor start at the planning start. We had two hangers and very few spits. This was solved by carrying down lots of LADDERS (hee hee !) and making some rope slings from a knobend of SRT rope.

Arrived at the end after 2 hours of steady caving and rerigged the last pitch which had had a knot change on it. A nice natural belay got us down the second half into a small chamber. From here a small 10' drop leads into a largish passage. This ended in an area of breakdown where a 20' ladder was used, popping out into another shaft series. Our second hanger was used to keep the ladders out of the water; we left "Traditional Style Pitches" still going. T/U 8½ hours

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10/7/91 | Puffball | Tony, Del, Julian H, Juliette

Del                                [big cartoon]
Julian H
11 -> 9½
= 10½ hrs

On an overcast day the trip began in the light of, I quote [from previous trip, Ed.] "In a fair rain puffball was wettish, but showed no signs of being dangerous".

Rowdy riggers Kelly and Haines wham in 7 bolts (hand drilled due to technophobia). Haines manages to knock off all but one tooth of the spit using fat bastard lumpling hammer.

Sleazy surveyors Töny Melöné and Del-a logus-legman take on the records bottom of shell pitch. Töny's keen eye and Del-a Microdiagrames bounce on down for 5/6 hrs [small graphic]

At the end of their rope, and still without hearing the 'Sleazers' we decide to tie the ropes together. Lady incomptance suggests this:-
[graphic of two linked figure-8s, total length > 1ft]
(Do knot do this.)

[the Dougherty supervariation is:-
[graphic of a reef knot with two stoppers, and a dirty great "safety loop" on the downward side. allows you to undo it]

After 15 minutes Juliette is down and Julian is tacking - Fat Knot Fruity - with some flow of suitable abuse.

Meanwhile the surveyors can hear us coming back up the rift .... or not .... the thundering increase, even Del knows Juliette's knot that fat .... and are running for the rift, sit and whatch a fountain emerge from the top of pitch.

Having also heard this gradual roaring build, dared not mention it to each other not wishing to induce panic


Julian by calmly proclaiming that he might start going up and Juliette by plastering herself against the wall and preparing for certain death in the form of an Indiana Jones style tidal wave (with rocks) [almost certainly]. It's arrival was in fact a slight anticlimax in comparison to this.

Advice box In this situation have a code of shouts or whistles because once the flood is upon you you will hear precisely fuck all.

Meeting Del and Tony was a relief, especially as Tony had a waterproof oversuit and was made to go last and prussik in the water.

In summary, from the top of 'Traditional Style' pitches to the entrance after 3 hrs torrential rain are possible, the rebelays and deviations are out of the water. But you will be totally soaked.

Below this the water can only increase. The mud mark on the rift above Thundering pitch is half way up the rift. So the answer is :- Only go in clear not thundery weather. Rigg well out of the water.

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4/7/91 | 1st expo caving trip. 1991 !! | Del, Juliette, Julian H, John

Thursday 4th July 1991 T/U : 3½ hours

Del, Juliette, Julian H, John

Initial exploration of 'Puffball' 182

All walked up from base camp with kit, then caved. Spent ¾ hour or so finding a route across limestone and bunde to the hole and building cairns. Fairly loose boulder slope into cave below snow at the entrance. Quite a loose rift continues and can be traversed high up. A ladder was fixed to indicate the way on, but it is easier to climb down and only use the top 6 rungs or so. Sharp narrow rift continues for 10 mins to a 10m (?) pitch. Short bit of rift at the bottom to top of next pitch (not rigged). Juliette and John surveyed into the cave.

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6/7/91 | Puffball | Del, Juliette, Julian H, Mark McLean

Mark rerigged the pitch after Shell Pitch then continued down a clean washed waterfall type pitch. Several rebelays/deviations were put in his route. This same shaft was followed down until it eventually ended with a very small route on; probably c 50m. By going up around 7m and penduluming across into a narrow rift, another pitch was found but not rigged. Quite a cold trip, too many people and too few bolts to drill simultaneously !

There is a possible lead through a rift to the right of the pitch after Shell Pitch (3rd pitch). A shaft continues down after a short distance.

T/U 9 hours

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12/7/91 | Surveying trip down Puffball | Julian H, Mark McLean, Julian S

Started just before the Darkroom, went along and down a couple of pitches. It was boring, cold, crap. Never mind.

T/U : 9½ hours

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5/7/91 | Pushing trip down Puffball | Tony, John, Mark McLean

When we began the pushing front was the top of what came to be called 'Shell Pitch'. We bolted this and abseiled down. It was a lovely pitch, spacious and deep. At the foot of it we found a short streamway (10m) leading to another pitch (to be called Q8, pun on Shell) and descended to the very end of the rope. With the knot in the rope end up against my Stop, I swung around trying to place a decent bolt for a rebelay. Eventually I managed it and rigged another rope onto it. However, time was running short, so in order to get out before the light failed completely, we had to turn around leaving a rigged but undescended pitch !

T/U 8 hours

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13/7/91 | Surveying pushing trip down Kaninchenhole. S'not pitch and Burble and beyond | Andrew, Julian H, Mark S, Julian T, Mark McLean


This was really two separate trips which interacted. We set off together. Mark S. and Julian H. surveyed S'not pitch. They surveyed from the lower Y-hang bolt on the 2nd pitch via S'not to a red spot below the squeeze, past the campsite.

Meanwhile Julian T., Andy and myself pushed on down S'not and on to the start of Burble. Here Andy wanted to try a short climb to see if there was any useful way on that possibly by-passed the Burble crawl or else led to new cave. We placed a bolt for protection and eventually managed to gain a shelf. From here a climb up boulders led to tight, sharp passages that seemed to go nowhere. About 20' above the shelf a passage led off seemingly parallel to the Burble Crawl. However climbing at at least HS standard would be required to reach it, so we certainly weren't going for it without sticky boots and dynamic ropes. We fixed a rope up the climb. Anyhow we then went on through the crawl and down the Burble pitch, rigged by Wookey. [Where the last rebelay fell off just as I (Andy) passed it.] At the foot of this is another pitch as yet unrigged, probably about 15m and then choked. Also are at least two horizontal ways on. We went on opposite the pitch into a maze [the lead mine] of walking passages. There are still possible ways on here. We eventually reached a large chamber on the scale of Big Sainsbury's. We checked out quite a lot of ways on from here but have not yet got any definite way on. A return is certain !

Time was getting on and lights were failing so we turned back. At the foot of the Burble we met Mark S. and Julian H. who gave us their surveying gear. They then went on to the chamber while we surveyed between the top of a pointy boulder at the foot of the Burble pitch (about 8' right of the end of the rope)(carbide mark) and a ceiling pendant at the entrance to the chamber. We surveyed our route through the lead mine (so-called because the entire survey was done on 1 cm of pencil lead) and some of the dead-ends off from it. While we had been doing this, Julian and Mark S. were pushing a pitch in the big chamber. We met them in the chamber and swapped Andy for Mark S.

Mark S. Julian T. and myself then headed out doing a spot of surveying en route. Meanwhile Andy and Julian H. descended the pitch and found it to be choked at about -15m [now known to be Endless]. They then also headed out.

T/U 14 hours

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14/7/91 | Derig Dreamtime | Olly & Wook & Andrew & Ian H

Tipping it down so after too much festering decided to de-rig Dreamtime so as to at least do something useful. Checked out a potential cave on the normal path up, as it had water going down it - moved a couple of rocks and sent Olly down - it went about 3m.

At Khöhle showed Andy & Ian H a Q.M. at the start of D.time & told them which bit to survey/resurvey then went back to go down S'not. Much fannying about & ridiculous climbs down holes failed to find it, so we had to get Andy to show us.

Olly looked about 15m down a hole at the first corner in LH route - goes further (maybe another 15m) Wook look down grade 1 bit where Dave H & Animal had been - looked different - went further than Animal but apparently not as far as Dave - gave up at squeeze over block that would require gear removal.

[grade 1 sketch]

Then we derigged dreamtime & got a very fat baggie which we left at bottom of entrance.

Ian & Andy started bolting QM but it was too wet so did a bit of survey & left.

T/U 5½ hrs (Olly & Wook) 4 hrs (Ian & Andy)

Previous trip / Next trip / Olly's write-up (same trip)

16/7/91. | pushing trip down Puffball.| Mark D, Julian H

Perfect weather, bright blue sky, no chance of flooding. Original plan was to push the end of Puffball as far as possible, and do as much surveying as possible, ie. a long trip. However, shortly after entering the cave, we discovered that we had about ½ a carbide stinker between us (mine was completely knackered and Mark's needed flicking). We decided not to go to the bottom (as lighting my light from Mark's would be very tedious and there was the possibility of complete failure of both), so we pushed the lead through the rift above 'Q8' pitch. After a short rift section, this opened into wide shafts, all clean washed. These we rigged as far as possible on naturals (since the bolting kits were at the bottom of the cave!), but after around 30m (?) the naturals ran out. We surveyed back to 'Q8' pitch and then came out. This lead looks very promising. It is longer than any other route before the 'Dark Room' and may well provide an alternative into the lower levels of the cave.

T/U : 4 hours

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17/7/91.| surveying, ladder de-rigging Puffball. | Wookey, Julian H

After a thunderstorm just before lunchtime the weather cleared so we went for it. Wookey's first trip down Puffball (excl. brief look to top of first pitch), so nothing much happened as far as the "Dark Room". Then .... "Oh bloody hell, ... not again"; the flood pulse hit. We sat around for about 20 mins or so, had a nose down a bit of rift the other side of the 'Dark Room', and then decided to get out while we could, if we could. It was very wet, very very wet. 'Bottom Bypass' was very wet. 'Q8' was incredibly wet, disgustingly, unpleasantly wet. 'Shell pitch' was wettish. Both of us were very cold by the time we'd got out. Oh well, perhaps we'll manage to avoid it happening again !

T/U : 3¾ hours.

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16/7/91 | Kaninchenhole - Pushing-surveying trip down Burble| Andrew, Julian S, Mark McLean

Had a luverly time scrambling around in a maze of passageways leading off below the burble pitch in the opposite direction to Repton Chamber. We eventually worked out that Wookey had been there before and that it was possible to crawl/walk/traverse in a loop from the chamber. We also found a pitch at the end of a muddy passage with a 6" deep pool of water in it. There was a stiff breeze blowing up from the pitch so we rigged it and descended (with some fun caused by Andy's lousy rigging RANT !) to a continuing maze of rifts and passageways. This is still going strong and deep with at least one tight but deep pitch to be descended. On the way out we surveyed our loop.

Also we had a go at a climb at the head of Burble pitch. In true caving style I sat on the pitch head assuring Andy that I would jump off if he fell and thus limit the fall to FF1. He climbed up a rather cruddy mud covered passage to a dead-end. The longed-for Burble by-pass continues to evade us !

T/U 17 hrs

Elevation of bottom of Exhaustion

[grade 1 sketch]

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17/7/91 | "survey" + "Pushing" trip down France | Paul S, Mark D, Penny, Tony, Hugh

Entered cave at 2.34 (Pauls timing). At 2.40 someone turned the taps on, whilst Penny + Hugh were still at 4th + 2nd rebelays respectively. Little dangerous at first as loadsa loose choss brought down. Everyone down OK except by now cold + wet + windy.

As water showed no tendancy to drop, thus making the object of the trip unattainable, a retreat was proposed, seconded and carried unanimously. But first we took photos of the dice, of Belgium and of the phreatic tube (nice bit o'cave that). Also found a miserable bit of sideways crawling in mud and Mark went up the slope at the back.

[grade 1 plan labelled BCRA: -5]

Thence out, pitch OK in terms of safety by now but very cold hands all round. Marks footloops broke on the way up, which elicited absolutely zero sympathy.

T/U: 4 hrs

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23/7/91 | Knossus derig. | Julian S, Tony, Mark S, Fran

(Date guessed, and Julian guessed)

Derigged Knossus wandered slowly back because we were all knackered 'cept for Amrk Scott. People had fun going up S'not pitch - Abandoned tackle sacks @ the bottom of the entrance pitch for hauling the next day.

T/U 6½ hrs

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14/7/91 | Dungeon (1) | Iain M, Ian H, Fran

(Date guessed)

Attempted to rig Dungeon, but difficult lots of ice, no sign of previous bolts, probably under huge pile of snow @ the bot of the 1st pitch - aborted this + went for a tourist to dreamtime & hole in the roof - put in another bolt @ the bottom of the 3rd pitch to pull the rope onto the edge.

T/U 7 hrs

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15/7/91 | Dungeon (2) | Iain M, Del, Fran

(Date guessed)

Started bolting in Dungeon @ the bottom of the boulder slope in Big Sainsbury's. Got two bolts in. I went for a wander underneath some boulders and told them I'd found a four second pitch, hummm !!! so Iain went down having rigged off a large natural thread. Realised that people had been there before and having discussed it with Del realised we'd found the squeeze bypass and had dropped into the LH route close to the old camp. Went for a tourist - rigged SNOT pitch - Iain was blowing his nose down it - rigged the chunnel - went as far as bungalow - my light died - Iain + Del went as far a Knossus came back. Dels light had died by then so all three of us came out on one light which made life interesting !

T/U 8 hrs

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17/7/91 | Niflheim rig | Mark F, Iain M, John W, Fran

(Date guessed)

Went down thro Butcher, Baker whilst Iain M rerigged Snot for a while. Mark had a few problems finding bolts - got as far as Niflheim which Iain M rigged when Mark bottled out sat in a pool for 1½ hrs whilst people pottered down there trying to find the rebelay. Came back out again with another dead light. Iain M made sure I wasn't in front of him - only I sussed rebelays on this trip @ last !

T/U 10½ hrs

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21/7/91 | France rig, Survey | Andrew, Tony, Mark S, Henri, Fran

Surveyed down from the dice thro 2 pitches, Tony felt crap [quite literally] & went out followed by Andy + Mark S. Me + Henri kept surveying a while but got bored + went out. Mark had started to rig 4th pitch with a lot more possible ? + depths beyond - didn't bother derigging until the day after. [continued later]

T/U Andy:3, Tony:3, Mark S:3, Henri:5, Fran:5

20/7/91 | Eishohle | Julian S, Andrew, Henri, Fran + *Hans

(Date totally guessed)

After a sweltering heating daying walk (? - my brains gone !) we eventually got there. The crawl had iced up for the first time in years made it nice and slidey - got to where the pitch should be + there was a massive pile of snow which came as a surprise to hans but he rigged it anyway - using thin cord in a single fishermans as a back up + an overhand for the actual rope but we went off it all anyway. Fairly amazing stuff certainly the time to get used to crampons landed @ the bottom of a 50m pitch in a massive chambers with all this ice Hans was going round manically on his crampons occasionally Andy followed but only armed with iceaxes. Lots of ice incredibly pretty + fairly amazing stuff crawled up a hole + found another entrance normally closed. Andy went up unroped we however didn't follow + went back the other way had a few problems going up the slope ended up with Hans practically dragging us ie. bring as many jammers as possible very useful stuff also lost a few peoblems - me twice - Julian - 5 times including twice @ the top oh dear - get ones that fit - well made it out eventually ! Went two ways back Henri with Hans whilst me, Andy + Julian bubderbashed + limestoned our way back up to 161 + back - fairly knackered by now - not surprising really !!

Last CUCC trip here (1990) / Next trip

20/7/91 | Toddle Around Big Sainsbury's | Olly, Julian S

Ian H told us there was this big hole near the top of Dreamtime ("What ! Another one ? Never !). If we were feeling bored we could even go down and have a look. So off we ambled. Cave entrance - Faff faff stall (Do we really have to go caving ?) Finally summon the energy to do down. Make our way slowly to this amazing hole that Ian H and Andy have already bolted (olly - Christ, these bolts really are shit !). Undaunted by such things as almost zero rigging gear and almost useless bolts Olly lemmings off the pitch head and whizzes to the bottom of the rope, pausing only briefly to use his spanner cord for a deviation, only to find that the rope doesn't reach. Surprise, surprise, another sodding great hole that goes down long distances. Got bored and ambled slowly towards the entrance. Surveyed this bloody pitch to the (wrong) bolt on the 3rd pitch, derigged 3rd pitch. Then Olly decides to fetch the drill battery from the bottom of S'not pitch while Julian pokes around in the hole in the wall at the bottom of the 2nd pitch. Result ? Ten minutes later Olly returns to find Julian wedged tightly in some ridiculous rift that goes off long distances but is only 6 inches wide. (Sodding cave; pitches too big, passages too small). Julian swiftly extracted and by now bored cavers wander slowly out. Passage apparently runs parallel to Rabbit Warren. There may be a way on but lots and lots of boulders.

T/U 5 hrs

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22/7/91 | Derig France | Mark S, Julian S

"You're lying around the campsite festering. Bugger off and get the rope out of France."
"Sodding hell. Do we have to ?"
"Yes. Bugger off."
Normal boring derigging trip. Forget grease, fetch grease. Whizz down to bottom, prussik slowly out - Prussick, prussick Sod the tacklebags caught again. Free tacklebag prussick prussick. Repeat until caver gets bored, and then about ten times longer. Aargh. End result the air is turned completely blue as caver gets within six inches of last rebelay (France - whole armies of rebelays lying in wait for naive speleologist. Has anyone else ever noticed how there always seem to be more on the way out than on the way in. I always lose count - seemingly around fifteen. Anyone ever wondered how many different types of bolt there are in the world ? You find out down France. The bastard that rigged it made every sodding rebelay too tight. Hours staring at all the different bolts. Your dreams become filled with bollards, simple bends, rings and clowns all laughing at you. I swear there's one type that moves round the wall. Coming down - nice ledge in just the right place. Going up - shit my feet are six inches above the ledge and two feet further out ! That bloody clown's laughing at me again. Its the eyes following you around that really gets to me though.)

Tacklesacks - bastards. Hate cavers. Refuse to go down caves. Hate it when you try and take them out again. Bastards. Nothing more to say really.

One more thing. Left campsite at noon. Got back at 9:10. How long is the walk ?

Um yeah !

T/U 3 hrs

Previous trip / Next trip (in 1992)

20/7/91 | Prospecting up Hinterer Schwarzmooskogel ?! All day ! | Andrew, Fran

(Date totally guessed)

Found quite a few holes only major one was just below the summit terrified myself climbing down a 50ft ladder above a snowplug + loose boulders - refused to jump down the extra 4 ft needed to reach the bolt rerigged + sent Andy down went another 10ft below snow still plugged could be very big tho. so named 161d - thus giving us the highest entrance !

To B Zinken 236½°
To Hinter SKL 37½°

About 5 mins from the summit down grass deer path on RH side of main (from top) gorge in bunde. Two large holes.

20/7/91 | Prospecting | Henri, Fran

(Date totally guessed)

Sent Henri down a few holes - yes I don't go down ladders unless forced ! Two 50fts going nowhere one 5m below 161c - very obvious once you remember where it is otherwise it takes 1½hrs ! Also a 50ft just below 161a ending in a 20ft high chamber. Lying by entrance pitch - mysteriously found Ian H gear there who knows why maybe thats where he disappeared to ?!

21/7/91 | Continuation of France rig + survey | Andrew, Tony, Mark S, Henri, Fran

start of this trip

Pushed France down yet another pitch with several leads on which weren't descended because we had no rope. I descended the 4th pitch to a ledge with about 20m of pitch visible below through a squeeze bit with a way off to the right & left and at the top of the pitch a rift going 2ft so heres a sketch (grade 1)

[a grade 1 elevation]

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14/7/91 | Derigging Dreamtime | Wookey & Olly

After Wooks and Ian H had carefully put in lots of nice bolts, Fran goes & finds a better squeeze bypass and so team Charlie have to go pull the rope out again. On the way (having failed to find Snot until Andy showed us) we poked down a hole in LH route (goes down until free-climbing seems v dangerous) and crawl nearby (looks nothing like Animal's or Dave H's sketches). Then pulled D.T. apart.

T/U : 5½ hours

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Wookey's write-up (same trip)

22/7/91 | Hellgrind and everywhere | Wookey & Olly

and 23

Survey calibration cairns - survey bottom of Snot pitch - derig rebelays at bottom of Niffleheim - discover and survey Trehala (off Black Logoon) - improve grade I survey of Hellgrind to grade II - survey Time Dilation and Ambidextrous - discover Repton drops into Hyper-Gamma spaces - derig Burble pitches and put fixed rope on Repton - remove Burble tackle to bottom of Knossus and tie to rope - exit v slowly - die on entrance pitch.

God it was awful ! What heroes we are .... trumble ... 'spose it's my own fault for having the idea in the first place. Oh hum.

T/U : 20 hrs 30 min.

P.S. We used every rigged rope in the cave except the one on French connection !

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24/7/91 | Puffball De-rig - Second Wave. | Henri & Olly

Got on second trip since I'd had ½ hr sleep when wave one (Wooks + Andy) left camp. Set alarm to 5pm & got awken by Hen at 5:30 am. Suffice it to say that ... God it was awful ... what heroes we are ... etc....

T/U : 8¾ hours

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25/7/91 | Derig the entrance pitch | Wook & Olly

+ Andy Fran Henri TU 0 hrs but a hell of a lot of hauling

Everyone being crap, so I foolishly agree to do it. Sit in Wookmobile II in Loser car park in pouring rain and eventually go for it. Got drenched by the time we arrive at Top Camp - drag SRT gear to cave, descend into river down entrance pitch - hide carbide and tie ropes to hauling line, shiver a lot, prussik up and realise that the grease is on floor 20ft below curse and decide to ignore it. Curse continuously up and meet Wooks on ledge (stranded now, having no-geared down and Andy + Fran have deserted for Top camp. Finish prussiking & lower gear. Wookey enjoys my foot loops, cows-tails, etc. which are big for me. Feel hypothermic, until Wookey lends me some dry clothes - opposite problem to him using my SRT gear - and we go back to base. God it was awful ..... and so on.

T/U : Olly : 1 hr
Wookey : ½ hr - (if you can call it U/G !)

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16/7/91 | push and survey Burble | Wook, Gill & Henri

Gill & Henri both desperately keen to go caving so I took them to show how awful it was. Henri came to her senses & jacked at the top of boulder alley.

Gill & I continued & met team Burble A surveying a new conncetion to Exhaustion pitch.

We went to Boulderdash & poked around & fettled Gill's carbide for about an hour - too full error. I find an 8m climb down through boulders under a drip to a severely draughting hole behind some rocks. These were small enough to move so I did & zoomed down some stomping passage - but it choked after 2 zigs (20m) turned round & wondered about draught so went back & following breeze led through 'obviously choked' bit to a sizeable room. This is a gaping QM.
T/U Wook:15 Gill:15 Henri:5.5 (Jacker)


Also poked obvious passage at end 'A'


Needs surveying & is sufficiently complex to need more thorough checking.

There is also a hole in the wall about 10m above A but it is pretty thoroughly inaccessible !

Surveying the chamber (called Boulderdash in survey - but now Repton). Climb down to pitch end needs some sort of aid on it cos its bloody hard.

Went out & surveyed Vom pitch on way out - to connect lead mine survey to Burble crawl. Called Vom as Gill felt ill all the way up.

She was totally shagged on the way out. Good but slow trip. out at 04.30 for dawn.
T/U Wook:15 Gill:15 Henri:5.5 (Jacker)

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20/7/91 | check out LH route | Wook & Andrew

As the Left Hand route had kindly been rigged for us by Mark F & Iain H we decided to get on down & have a lok. Finished & improved Niflheim rigging - but needs at least a deviation out of the water at the top.

Rigged on down into Time Dilation, p6 with totally shit get on/off. Then climb down to short p7. Both these have been left rigged so you can get into LH route. French connection has also been rigged so D&S will also get you there.

Gave up on roof bolt & wazzed down on natural to poke whilst Andy finished off bolt. Pushed a very unlikely tube & finally dropped into Wobbling - hooray - didn't have to go back up Niflheim if it rained (which it did as soon as we started the survey). Had compass failure after 9 legs so boogied on out.

Andy reckons he started up Knossus at 02.00 - I reckon he did it at 02.29 - he got out at 03.10 - I had a baggy & got out 05.03 he took 1 hr 10 - I took 2 hrs 20. After waiting an hour & 20 mins at the ent. (04.30) Andy decided I had died & called out Mark S, Olly & Tony. I was thus somewhat surprised when people turned up at 5.45 am - apparently to go caving ! There was much ranting but I had 2 hours to spare on my call out so I maintain it wasn't my fault - I can't help it if Andy is [illegible], although quite where the extra ½ hour went in Knossus I have no idea.

T/U: 15 hrs

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23/7/91 | Puffball derig - 1st Wave | Andrew & Wook

Henry & co came back from eishohle reporting thunderstorm the next day (afternoon) so it was obviously necessary to derig puffball immediately.

Andy & Henry volunteered for 1st team but it was reckoned that Henry dragging a baggy all the way from the bottom would have an unfairly hard time so that meant Wook or Olly: Wooks had had 2½ hours sleep since getting out at midday so he got the job,

Went to go caving before realising that I had forgotten my oversuit. Met Tony halfway back with oversuit (& wellies !). Underground by 10.30 (pm)!

Zoomed down to the end to laugh at ladders. Too many tacklebags and too much gear made for a slow exit. Met Henry & Olly at 1st pitch. T. Bags were bastards, esp. in Q.S.C. & Tarzan's Folly. We were so fuckin' 'ard - shifted about 40 kilos of gear out (& my bag was heaviest). Buy some small T sacks next year.

T/U 10 hrs (30 hrs caving out of 42) & I was hardly tired at all. Oh yeah ?

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