CTS 92.1952: Cambridge Underground 1992 pp 16-18

161's new bits 1991


Here are the new bits discovered in KHöhle in 1991: Burble, Dewdrop, Francophobia, Ambidextrous, and Trehala.


At the 90 degree corner in CFN, where the passage changes into a canyon, a small streamway passage comes in on the left. A strong draught can be followed up here for 20m to a high aven. A waterfall comes down on the right (along with most of the draught). There is a traverse 2m up around the r.h. wall leading to a 2m climb into burble crawl, the most obvious way out of the aven. A tape assists the move up into the passage for shortarses. A difficult 2m climb above the burble entrance on the right (one bolt placed for security) gives access to 'shelf indulgence'. There is only an impassable rift (in back wall) and a small chamber here (on the left).

Burble crawl

Burble passage starts at stooping height, but rapidly degrades to crawling, flat out in some bits. 90m of passage leads to the head of Vom pitch. A short traverse around to the right leads to 25m of walking passage to a boulder blockage. The traverse to the left has also been made (another bolt here for the retreat). It is a dead end. Vom pitch is 37m deep, rigged with a short traverse line, a rebelay 5m down and a deviation at 20m from naturals. Below this is a sort of ledge where the pitch intersects a hading section, forming a large convoluted chamber. This ledge can be accessed from 'the maze'. Another natural rebelay, and a tensioned abseil reaches the boulder floor of the chamber. There is a way out in the eastern corner.

This passage is the way into the Leadmine/Maze area. This is a complex of joint-controlled passages, generally 0.8m wide by 2-3m high with sandy floors - very civilized. It comes almost immediately to a T-junction. Left is the Maze, right is the Leadmine.


The maze passage goes uphill for 15m to a small chamber with a sandy ledge 2m up on the right, and a crawl from the top of it connecting back to the roof of the passage just traversed. The obvious way out of the chamber is left in a very high, pointy rift, which is awkward to traverse along over holes, especially coming back. 15m of this comes to another T-junction. The crawl to the left winds back to ledge 8m up Vom Pitch, and thus to a climb back down into the chamber below it. Right, in larger passage, leads to a widening and a 3m climb down into 2m wide passage. To the right a crawl back towards the last junction is blocked by sand. To the left a stooping passage through a shallow pool and lots of gloopy slime leads, in about 30m to Exhaustion Pitch. This is a 25m deep hading pitch with a deviation on the opposite wall 10m down. The bottom is climbed from a ledge to some confusing horizontal passage & a way on.


Turning right at the junction gives 25m of passage to a short drop and kink to the left, with a sand filled chamber down to the left. 5m beyond this is a passage off sharply back to the left, leading to Repton.

Carrying on forwards another 20m of passage leads round to the right past a 1m climb up on the left to a sand-filled chamber with a hole down through the sand in the far corner. The apparent dodginess of this 'sand pitch' means that it has not been investigated. The climb just before this chamber accesses 20m of high passage with a couple of 4m climbs up at the end to boulder chokes.

Back on the route to Repton 15m of passage leads to another passage parallel to the one just left. You can go left for about 5m to a dead end or right for 10m to a 2m climb down into 3 connected sand-floored chambers. The only way out is the 4m climb up the sloping R.H. wall.

At the top of this climb the obvious route to the left goes dead straight for 25m to foot of a wide inclined bedding full of boulders. To the right a traverse around the top of the pitch leads to a small chamber with a hole connecting back to the chambers below and a crawl up in the roof going nowhere.

The wide bedding leads for 10m up into the huge Repton chamber. It debouches into the smaller Repton I half. There is a steep rock pile up to the left leading into Repton II and a descending slope to the right. About 10m downslope a huge block forms a 2m high step across the chamber. This can be passed by a hard climb on by the far wall, or an easier chimney behind a rock against the wall just below where the bedding enters the chamber. 20m below this step is a 30m pitch down into hyper gamma spaces. Halfway down this pitch is a ledge/col, one side leading down into HGS, the other down into a complex rift/collapse area which probably connects with the passages below HGS.

Climbing over the rockpile from Repton I (beside a 10m cubed block) leads into the huge 20m high & wide space of Repton II, sloping down to an obvious large passage going out of LHS of the end wall. 15m down here a climb/slide down a sandbank leads to a window into a 10m diameter chamber. The sandy passage can also be followed round to the left to overlook this chamber.

There are three more ways out of the chamber. On the right is a very tight passage which can be followed 5m to a junction where the left branch is too tight. Right here leads back through a tortuous crawl to the window. The second exit is climbing up high on the right. There is a way on here beyond a sandy climb. The third exit is the obvious passage ahead, with a small stream flowing in the bottom. 15m down here is a 3m climb up into a chamber where the water comes out of the roof. A further 5m of passage can be climbed down into beyond this.

The only other way out of Repton II is an obscure 8m climb down through boulders under a drip against the RH wall about 8m back up from the foot of the slope. At the bottom of this climb a couple of rocks have been moved to reveal a stooping passage with a howling draught. This zig zags for 25m to an apparent dead end. 4m back from this a crawl on the left comes out to a T-junction with a chamber off to the left. This is two very promising QM's.


The 161c entrance angles in to a rift. A low bedding ahead leads to 161b. On the right are a couple of holes. The second of these is rigged down about 15m in a complex rift, 2-3m wide, to a steeply descending 12m traverse. From the end of this the pitch drops in a spacious rift. At the second rebelay about 30m down it is possible to swing off 2m to the right into Robinson Crusoe (don't let go of the rope!), a 2m diameter tube heading straight down-dip, parallel to the one into France, 10m below. After 30m this comes out into the FCII rift. It is (just) possible to traverse round on the left to get into the continuation of the passage (Man Friday) on the other side of the rift. There was a footprint found here. It is blocked by boulders after about 10m.

The Francophobia pitch drops another 10m into France. There are two passages out of here back to FCII. Below the 5m cubed block is 'Roll of the Dice', a 25m pitch down to a shelf. A 3m climb down through rocks to a sloping boulder floor is possible. There is a way off about 3m up the RH wall behind a boulder. At the foot of the slope a rift goes off to the left. This is accessed by climbing down under a wedged boulder. Another 20m pitch 'Deja Vu' into hading rift is the current limit of exploration.


About halfway along Ragnarök is a large side passage. A climb down over boulders leads to a short pitch. This can also be accessed by a 15m walking passage coming out 15m further along Ragnarök at a 2m climb. The 6m pitch lands at the foot of a sandy slope. At the top of this the passage turn left & after 8m comes out at a col at the top of a deep rift passage. A direct pitch on the right of 20m into the passage is avoided by climbing down the left side of the col and doubling back underneath to a permanently rigged pitch of 11m. This section from Ragnarök to the pitch is 'Time Dilation'. At the foot of the pitch there are two ways on. Up a sandy passage to the left or down to the right.

The sandy passage goes dead straight, sloping up dip for about 20m to a steep rift climb down into a chamber. The continuation can be seen at the top of a 10m pitch. It seems likely that this is close to the foot of candlestick pitch on the LH Route.

From the bottom of Time Dilation pitch the other route involves traversing out for 2m and then a step across into a slot on the right which leads into the continuation of the passage. A small inlet comes in at this step, opposite the pitch. The passage now widens to the size apparent at the top of the pitch, and goes for 10m to a squeeze on the left, following the water. A difficult climb on the right here apparently gives access to a dead end ledge, but it has not actually been done to confirm this. Beyond the 2m narrow section is a small chamber where the route almost doubles back. The stream goes off impassably to the right whilst the route is a 2m climb up. At the top is a sharp right (although the rift continues higher up). Here is wider passage and another parallel rift after 10m. On the right is about 5m of tight passage - only passable at the top - 'Pretty pointless' (it had a small stal in it).

To the left is an easy traverse giving a 6m pitch back down to the floor. This can be by-passed by climbing down 5m through boulders just after the corner. 5m beyond this climb the main passage turns sharp right, but a narrow route can be followed to the left to look out over an 8m diameter hole. A short stream passage (10m before it gets too small) comes in from the left.

The main passage is 5m wide here as it skirts round the hole to another view in from the opposite side. Quite a lot of water comes in from the roof above the hole & a short pitch can be seen at the bottom (5m down). This could be the water from the powerstation series.

The passage continues large to the right for 20m before closing down somewhat to 1m wide for another 10m to a small chamber. Beyond here is 'the Wormhole'. The passage shrinks to crawling size and then executes a couple of tight bends. Two short down climbs follow, and the passage comes out in Wobbling on the RH Route.


Following downslope from the ledge at the foot of Automatic Doors leads to an obvious rift/hole. Just to the right of this an unobvious wiggle through boulders leads to the head of S'not Pitch. This is a 35m rift pitch with 3 rebelays & a deviation. The pitch lands in a joint-controlled high passage. Uphill to the right a crawl can be followed for 5m to a parallel rift with a couple of blocked ways off.

Following the graded stones downhill leads via a sharp left to easy passage leading after 60m to the Left Hand Route. This passage (Dewdrop) splits for the last 10m, the LH route having rocks in it, the RH route being a bit smaller. About halfway along dewdrop there is a hading rift on the left which can be climbed up for 4m to the foot of a big aven (8m diameter). This may connect with the bottom of Dungeon Pitch.


On the right of the Black lagoon, 5m from the end there is an obscure, low (0.3m) passage off. This leads after 17m to a large chamber in two sections, about 25m by 10m. It appears to have been filled to a depth of about 5m with conglomerate. This can be determined because it is possible to climb down against the RH wall to floor level in several places. It seems to be a dead end.