Austria 1997

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!


It was pissing down all over Europe...


Mike Richardson, Sam Lieberman, Dave Horsley,

Started from York with Tina'n'Mike and quite a lot of not-very well packed gear, and drove to pick up Dave, thence to Sam's with even more even more crapply packed gear. Sam was out but a quick look through his bedroom window showed a huge pile of even more gear. General opinion was that it wouldn't all fit but Tina started from the position that it would so it did

[pic of estate car with stuff on roof with 15 degree elevation to road]

with Tina and Sam on ½ back seat.

Uneventful journey to chunnel except for fuzz in car who were heard to say 'bloody hell'.

Unloaded Tina and quite a lot on Clive who was going to France to go gorge bashing.

On the shuttle Mike'n'Dave went to see Tony'n'Becka who were there as well; on the way back met Sam who asked if Mike had the keys 'cos he'd locked the Astra. Say no more so Dave kicked a rear quarter light in. Sam is now candidate for expo fuckwit of the year. Apart from that and the fact that it pissed down almost continuously ( and we saw two standard & one very mangled crash) the journey was pretty eneventful. T/T 14½ hours
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Becka Lawson,
Team Raspberry Ripple

All v. civilised, even tho' I had shitloads of gear there was only the two of us, so it all fitted. Saw Clive et al at Dover, & Mike et al (who ignored us) & apparently Jeremy was hanging around in the melee, but we didn't see him. Did the chunnel, & Mike + Dave came along to say hi + I splashed raspberry juice all over Tony's car. Oh, and we'd all brought a litre of single malt so we were OK. We drove & swapped & drove + swapped + drove... It was horrible & v._v_ wet. At about 4am it got light, but it was still wet. We did the scenic tour north of Salzburg - Tharau, Mondsee,??, Mendre & finally [scribble] Wolfgangzee. That took an hour in the rain. So are we going to be 1st, 2nd or 3rd (asked Tony?) 2nd if we're lucky, MikeTA will have floored it + Adam's probably beat us too. We were first. Said hi to Karin, shopped in Bad Aussee & MikeTA arrived. Beers in Hildes. I crashed, but the single malt was cracked open.

two trips from all five of us to 19/9 Top Camp with our caving gear + Shit. Even managed to be dry on the 2nd.

PM - Germans dropped by for a couple of hours & a couple of beers. They've re-surveyed our original Stellerweg stuff. Gave them a whisky taster sesh then they went + we finished the 2nd crate of beer, dried our boots + sang (no ghetto blaster).
T/U: 0.0 hours

Jon Barber, Adam Cooper,
Journey - DRIVE-IN - Jon Barker, Adam Cooper + Gear in a dodgy van

BECKA - No date given for this entry, guessed at 18th

Hull- Rotterdam crossing -> pleasant drive 'cos you can get some real sleep. Relatively uneventful drive taking ~15hrs, except 1) the Dutch are crap at signing anywhere outside Holland which makes getting into Germany tricky. 2) Coffee beans work at keeping a driver lively.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sam Lieberman, Dave Horsley, Mike Richardson, Becka Lawson, Tony Rooke,
161 - Wheelchair Access

Team 1: _Sam_, Dave, Mike TA
Team 2: Becka, Tony, Mike TA (again)
T/U 5 hours

With a hoard of going leads there was lots for all to do (all five of us). After a certain amount of whinging about the scrofulous route in we were at the pushing ...{Dave gave me a beer at this point} ... front. Through a squeeze to the left there was a pitch with a traverse over the top (apparently pushed by CJD last year), I traversed over the pitch, up a climb, over another pitch and errr... ummm... it all got a bit difficult, but carried on.

[ sketch plan showing location of survey point marked with "M" ]

Having given up the traverse I then proceeded to hammer a spit in, 1/3 of the way in - ping, the rock fell to pieces. The second hole worked and I derigged the traverse and rigged the pitch (1st one), This dropped 7m and ended in a blind, choked rift.

Meanwhile the other team (team 2) were rigging down the right-hand pitch series, a steeply descending ramp, This was rigged to an awkward squeeze constriction ~20m whereupon they ran out of rope, Mike, having carefully forgotten his harness earlier on in the trip, then proceeded to leave his jammers at the top of the ramp series (chalk one up for the Fuckwit Tally).

Soon it was deemed to be 'Time to Go' and we exited the cave. Most people walked back to top camp - however, Dave and I decided to go 'off piste' and had an entertaining time on the Ht. Schwartzmoos Kgl. (see separate write-up when I get round to it).
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Sam Lieberman, Becka Lawson,
161 - Where the Wind Blows

T/U 5 hours

Pootled along to Where the Wind Blows, _swearing_ loudly at last years deriggers, who had removed all the sodding handlines (but hadn't detackled things like the big wet loose pitch down Alternative Universe). We skipped one handline, cut our rope for the next two, then spent _ages_ faffing at the little up-climb before No Utility Belt Required, 'cos the bastards had taken the rope off that _too_, for no good reason, and our rope wasn't long enough. We had now used all our rope, and I'd misheard how many bits we'd have to bring and we hadn't expected _all_ the handlines to be derigged. To the question marks at the end of Where the Wind Blows, I wriggled down the slot on the left, 5m before the choked end.

[ sketch plan with much annotation ]

I went left, up a vertical squeeze to a small chamber then up another vertical squeeze (Sam first) and a step up and Sam went up a 4m climb to look into a _big_ echoey vertical aven. He couldn't see anything obvious off it.

Tony + Sam rigged the little pitch down the rift on the R after going through the slot on the L (by dint of sending Sam _back_ to derig the bloody up-climb to fetch the rope), Pitch to small chamber, ~3m down, then in one corner a tight rift going off (needs _hammering_) widens out below to ?20m pitch. A _small_ question mark!

Meanwhile I started digging the final boulder choke. Thought the weak draft got a _bit_ stronger. Slow going - a medium sized QM?.

T/U: 0.0 hours

Jon Barber, Adam Cooper, Mike Richardson,
161 - Wheelchair Access

This was my first down Kaninchenhöhle. I was hot and tired by the time we had walked there in the midday sun. The cave was very cold in contrast.

We set off into Wheelchair Access. It was odd route with small bits and lots of climbs. The ways were very sharp and I do not see my over suit lasting very long.

We then started on the shit ramp. Adam sat and put a spit in part way down while Mike continued down and bolted lower down. I just sat down and went to sleep while they worked.

The pitch was descended and another climb was found into a big passage. This could not be entered as there were no more ropes. See later to find out how much more there is ....
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley,
Loser Plateau - Cairning

Whilst the rest were caving I walked from Top Camp to the cave re-cairning the route so I won't get lost again. I also explored three possible digs in the valley/gulley we walk down. Starting from the bottom, on the left as you walk down, just before you get to the bunde highway, you step over it on the walk to the cave. A tight rift with a good cold draft. May go, but needed more in the way of protective clothing than shorts and T-shirt.

In the right hand wall of the valley:

(1) Sam's dig:
Flat out crawl on pebbles with more run in from the right. Way on is a tight rift in the floor at the end. I removed some rocks but rift looks too tight at 5-6 inches wide. But does emit a strong cold draft.

(2) Further up on the right as you walk down the valley/gulley. A circular entrance with mud floor, leads to a 3m deep pot which is blind. The way on over the top of the pot soon chokes - no draft.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Jon Barber, Becka Lawson,
161 - Alternative Universe

Mike gave us the briefing as he'd been the only one down last year. Gave Jon a brief lesson in surveying. Found a random carbide mark half- way down the boulder slope ~100m before Bulemic Pit. At the bottom of the boulder slope, you drop down a hole in the boulders (q. loose) and follow a tightish rift steeply down for ~5m to a Y-hand (2 bolts) which Mike had put in. Took out the rope which had been put in last year and rigged out _nice_ skinny 9mm. Q. drippy down the pitch. 28m down to a big ledge. Found Mike's single dodgy bolt on the balcony to the bridge + Jon put in a second bolt for a _nearly_ rub-free Y-hang. At the ledge, I dropped the 5m pitch off 2 naturals - 2 well preserved _bat skeletons_

[ sketch showing locations of bat skeletons ]

(as plan) and an eye-hole through to the main pitch Jon was bolting. No other way on.

Jon + I down the next pitch, Y-hang _just about_ OK with a rope protector and tacklesack on each arm of the Y-hang, but bad rubbing on the lower part of the pitch. Estimate 30-40m. Mike hadn't bottomed this last year [Oh yes I had - Mike TA] - not enough rope. Even drippier at the bottom of this pitch. Person-width rift led off. We thrutched

[ sketch plan of chamber ]

down as far as a short drop (15ft or less) where the rift opened up and continued around the corner - couldn't see how it ended,

Requires surveying from bolt at the head of 2nd pitch and probably a rebelay and deviation (at least!) on the 2nd pitch, plus a bolt for the short climb down the rift.

T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Mike Richardson, Sam Lieberman, Adam Cooper,
161 - Wheelchair Access and Kein Zimmer Rift

Tony, Mike pushing Time U/G

Sam, _Adam_surveying TU 6 hours

(1) _Surveying Trip_ - Mike

Proceeded to passage referred to in the last write-up. The dirty ramp in Wheelchair Access has been renamed Kein Zimmer Rift on account of the lack of space. Surveyed from the 'M' carbide mark at -225m below 161a. Survey station 20 is the bottom of a plumb from the obvious nose containing a spit for the pitch into the big stuff. Tony whinged like a tosser spitting this. Spent ~¼hour running upstream in enormnous passage, before leaving.

See survey book for Sam's sketch of (mainly) the upstream passage - Tony and Mike had investigated down stream ... (next page)

(2) _Pushing Trip_ - Adam

Trundled quickly down to the bottom of Kein Zimmer, pausing only occasionally to kick shit out of a tackle bag to get it down the rift. A few minutes knitting saw the drop into the passage rigged, and we dropped into a huge (well, very large) passage. Hmmm :- upstream or downstream? We agreed on downstream - followed passage for 250m with a few climbs through boulders but always large passage (phreatic tube at the pitch but becoming more canyon-like later). Eventually reached big ledge at side of a massive rift chamber. Tony bolted and descended to a ledge below which the pitch continued, but from there we climbed into the chamber. This is a huge (yes, _huge_) rift chamber with a steeply sloping floor, maybe 40m end-to-end. The bottom end narrows to a wall of mud. Unfortunately we couldn't find any way out.

Returned back up and met Sam & Adam who had just reached the kitted pitch. Tony bolted properly, then we ran upstream for a bit; this leads over a choss bank to another large chamber with a soil bank; up this and left leads back to the main passage, right goes to a climb down into a chamber, with a crawling tube back to the aforementioned chamber.

Now that's what makes expo caving worthwhile. Went out and got back to the Löserhutte before it started raining.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Sam Lieberman,

BECKA - no date given for this trip - but I was on the 161 trip that Sam and Dave were part of so looking at other dates I think this was the 24th. This makes sense as no caving happened on the 25th as we'd all been up half the night before.

Having had a successful first trip in the cave (well, noone died anyway) we exited into blinding sun, er, clag, mist and light rain. We all left together, Dave and I bringing up the rear and all was well trolling up the gulley back to top camp. Twilight had set in so now we had clag, mist, heavier rain and failing visibility - what could possibly go wrong - well....


At one point we traversed round a bit both of us recognised as being an alternative route instead of going up a climb on the 'Authorised' route. Sorry this pen's a bit crap - switching to a new one .... This one's better ... Rather than do the sensible intelligent thing and turn back we persevered on our present course assuming we'd meet the path again. I mistakenly headed rightish (North as it turned out) up a different gully and then carefully kept a vague dark blob of a hill to our left. The vague dark blob of a hill was in fact the Hinter Schwartzmoos Kogel. More dark and more rain. We were now thoroughly lost. Dave had a compass and I had a vague notion of which way we should go - East and maybe a bit North and downhill 'cos we were definitely too high. Ten minutes later it was completely dark and tipping down (still misty and claggy) and it was decided that more walking in which ever direction would get us more lost so we found a rock shelter (dripping, misty, claggy and a pleasant breeze blowing through). We donned every bit of available gear including rucksacks - every bit of available gear was wet of course, and layed in a slight depression in the rocks. It was now 9:15pm, Dave fettled his carbide up and we huddled round it breathing warm carbide soot, and very warming it was too. The rest of the night was sleepless, very cold, always quarter to something and raining, dark, misty, claggy and windy. We waited for a reasonable amount of light and I decided if we headed South and East depending on terrain we would arrive back somewhere useful no matter where we were. 5:30am we set off (in the mist and clag but no rain hooray!!) - the walking around warmed us up and as we got lower the clag cleared marginally. A cliff face covered in Bunda ... mmmmm ... we found what looked a bit like a path and followed it - a bit of dithering around in the Bunda and we found a gulley - no way out at the bottom. '''BUT''' a little way up we found a definite path - sawn off branches and all and .... oh, we were at the Bunda traverse leading to 161d. Turn around and 15 minutes later we were back where we had gone wrong 10 hours earlier, still alive mostly thanks to having a carbide and a compass. 10 minutes further on we found Becka bellowing sweetly through the mist - rescued at last. After a brew and a bowl of Tom Yan Noodle soup we all went back down to base camp and what turned out to be a nice sunny day.

Many thanks to the people who had to get out of their just warm pits, put on their boots (after they'd tipped the water out) to come and look for us (twice) - next time it's your turn to hide.

Sam (only seven lives left now).
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Jon Barber,
161 - Wheelchair Access

Raining so noone else wanted to go caving. I dragged Jon down Wheelchair Access. Jon did some re-rigging on Kein Zimmer and I ran downsteam to the pitch. Jon came along and we ran upstream for a look around and then started surveying downstream for some time. Then we came out.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, Anthony Day,
Journey - Team Lardis Time Travel to Expo

Smaller than it looks on the inside. Travels along right angles in space time. Got to Dover so fast we reckoned we'd catch the earlier ferry. Unfortunately the last 2 miles to the docks took 1½ hours therefore caught ¼ to 3 ferry.

Once in France Anthrax, Megadeth and Halloween kept us awake for a while.

Incidental note!
Fuel consumption against speed for Lada Riva 1.3 !

[funny graph follows]

Some fat Kraut tried to shove us off the Autobahn, but we arrived OK.
T/U: 0.0 hours

William Stead, Julian Haines,
Loser Plateau - Loser Plateau

William and Julian walked over in direction of C136, left gear for tomorrow's trip at highest point of Kaninchenhöhle path above col, and carried on round and slightly up. Noticed small hole under boulders and went down with a head-torch. Goes down for c. 20m to a tightish looking way on (worth trying in proper gear). At this point I could see daylight and crawled up a slope and out.

[drawing of entrance locations]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Robert Winkler,
161 - Tourist + Wheelchair Access with German cavers from Stuttgart club

Germans walked all the way over to Scarface with their gear from the car park (with some subtle grumbles over the climbs!) and I took them on a tourist to the end of Triassic Park and showed them the Fear-On Traverse and the start of Interview Blues. Back to go down Wheelchair Access. More mild grumbles over oversuit-shredding Kein Zimmer. Robert and Robert surveyed downstream from where Jon and I had left off yesterday to the bottom of the pitch downstream. I furtled around in the chamber below the pitch but couldn't find a way on - unless there is a way the other side of the pool where the pitch comes in.....but that is over welly height. I went back to fetch a rope and rigged a pitch (?5m) off 2 naturals and kicked the accrued stones down for a bit. Lobbed down and Robert (the elder) followed.

[detailed sketch of cave]

To small chamber with skinny rift upstream + rift (fine to go down) downstream. Down ~10m to small chamber, then along ~another 10m to top of small pitch in rift - I think this is quite likely to join up to the pool at the bottom of the downstream pitch into the big rift chamber, but should be checked. Robert could see light from young Robert when he was in the 2nd rift after the chamber + young Robert was in the main passage above the pitch. [arrow pointing to a section at the bottom of the next page] Showed the Germans Salt Lake City at the end of the trip and then they walked all the way back to the car park with their gear!
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sam Lieberman, Adam Cooper,
161 - Surveying upstream in Lost World

Discovered a section of _large_ passage containing many mud formations and showing evidence of backing up. Very sump-like. Much of passage (named Bournville Lakes?) was ~5m wide, highly linear and v. tall, hading slightly. Dived off down, even more sump-like, entering a tube before leading ultimately to a small mud-choked bit. The water had cut deep trenches in mud banks but seemed to seep into choss in the floor. Surveyed this lot so didn't have time to complete the whole upstream survey.

(Survey continued William & Sam) Adam
(28/7 - written up earlier) T/U 7 hrs
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Mike Richardson, Sam Lieberman, William Stead,
161 Surveying and Photographing Lost World

Dave H and Mike - Photographing Lost World

Sam and William - Surveying Lost World

We went to Lost World, Sam carried my camera gear down Kein Zimmer rift. I took lots of photos in upstream Lost World which I hope come out. Tried photographing one of the many bat skeletons in the large chamber upstream Lost World, which almost certainly won't come out. I'm not sure I had enough light to do the large chamber justice - may be worth going back with some bulbs instead. Took more photos on the way out, including of Kein Zimmer rift, up which Mike carried my ammo can.

Because I kept taking more photos on the way out we didn't get out 'till close to our call-out time of 8pm.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sam Lieberman, William Stead,
161 - Surveying Lost World Upstream

Sam (notes) and _William_ (instruments)

My reintroduction to KH after 1990 expo - don't like climb to new entrance. Arrived just in time to hear a winging sound and see Becka disappearing underground. Passed grottyishly rigged surprise of Wheelchair Access - could do with extra bolt to remove need for rope protector. Down to Lost World via Kein Zimmer (Kein Raum/Platz?) rift which proved much easier than we'd been told. Sam and I started surveying while Dave and Mike took piccies. Got up to survey st'n 4 where Sam suggested we go up a side rift towards sound of running water. This we did and found huge area with small stream running down wall, disappearing under boulder blocking exit and simultaneously holding back a large pile of mud and gravel. Might just get down but probably not worth trying unless you fancy getting buried alive. Decided to survey it and ripped my suit. Continued surveying to station 10 in the chamber full of dead bats (Ptearamack Suit Chamber?) - well 2 or 3 anyway. Continued through the crawl to the black floored passage (Bournville Lakes) and connected up a few more legs here and there. By this time I was freezing so we started out. Mike and Dave went on up the rift while I put a bolt in the bottom pitch to improve the take off and still caught them up before the top of the rift pitch. Out ca 7.30pm, back to camp where we waited for Julian and Anthony to come out of 136 before going down to base camp in the dark.

Time Underground 7½ hrs, William

P.S. Pause for a rant. When joining ropes at a rebelay, join the rope _loops_ not just the maillon. That way you won't die if the maillon unscrews.

[drawing of correct method with large tick]
[drawing of wrong method with large cross]

PPS I like the rigging generally really!

[Insert: page torn from magazine - advertisement "Now there's a new way to avoid the wet patch.", captioned "Open, for a new exciting product - useful for Sump clearance, wild nights out and rising damp."]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Duncan Collis, Becka Lawson,
161 - Rigging towards Siberia

{xxxx} = corrections from Becka

Dunk had an Idea: "Let's push that lead in Siberia!"
Phil: "Sounds like fun. Where's Siberia?"
Becka: "Can I come too?"

So we arrived at 161d, and worked out what we had forgotten. Unfortunately, I managed to fettle up a replacement for my lamp belt, so I had to go caving. We arrived at the guillotine to find several 9-10m lengths of rope, and three ropes >=56m. Mutter. General rope cutting and fettling, (the 60-odd m rope), and then we were off. Rigged into Knossus via an airy rebelay {Found tacklesack which had been left from last year}. General wandering around trying to find YAPATE inlet. Found it. Stomp. Replaced the traverse line {No, we didn't, we replaced the maillon on the pitch head and left all the rope (circa 1990 or so)} below staircase 36, and prussiked up. Becka replaced a dodgy looking hanger {maillon}, and we trundled up Chicken Flied Nice, with a short diversion to look at Hyper Gamma Spaces.

Next: lugging the tackle-bastards up Burble crawl. Not as nasty as it could have been, but still pretty miserable. Popped out at the head of Vom pitch, which Becka rigged half-way before running out of things to, and then couldn't find the right way down. Dunks then had a go with equal lack of success. {Later we found out it had been rigged off a deviation which had later fallen off as someone prussiked up it.} Phil didn't try. We came out, happy that we didn't have to lug all the tackle back through Burble, and exited to warm sunshine at 7.00pm.

T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Anthony Day,
136 - Steinschlagschacht

Walked to 136 the hard way, up, down, up, down over choss etc. Walked back to get my gear. Sat around a bit fettling things, untangling 200m of rope and remembering how to put on SRT kit. Eventually got underground about 2 o'clock. Completely rerigged the first pitch to avoid as much of the loose rubble as possible - now a 45° bolt traverse to the head of the pitch. Pitch head has moved from the original '83 position - now out of the line of fire from the boulder slope. Fine pitch (c.35m) with mostly free hang (and a lot of bounce) - one deviation.

Continued on from foot of 1st pitch into large chamber sloping downhill from entry point. There appeared to be 2 or 3 ways on from here but only one spit in evidence from the original '83 exploration. We rigged down the most promising hole (not where the original spit was) on the opposite side of the chamber about half way down the slope. After about 15m descent found spits from '83 exploration and followed these for around 100m descent. Eventually arrived at a ledge next to a waterfall with the water disappearing down a rift in the floor. This route looks a bit damp and unpleasant.

_Note:_ The pitch head at the 2nd pitch is both loose and awkward. Typically people kick rocks from this which fall around 70/80m down the pitch to the obvious ledge. It's advisable not to call "pitch free" until OFF the 2nd pitch and for the following people to wait under this obvious ledge.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Julian Haines, Anthony Day,
136 - Steinschlagschacht

Faff, faff. Then Becka realised she had forgotten her oversuit at 161 so had to go back down the bloody hill to get it (see Fuckwit count). Finally got underground about 2pm. Anthony and Julian started the survey (Anthony had done the surface survey to 136 earlier). After the first pitch, I took over the surveying with Anthony and Julian went down to continue the rigging. We did lots of dodgy plumbs and ambled on down nice airy rigging with hardly any choss at all (_what were_ they griping about?) Surveyed down to where A & J had got yesterday, then Julian had rigged a traverse line over a wettish rift into an eyehole. We reckoned the original CUCC route had gone straight down the wet route. We did another 54m rope worth down the eye-hole route, over a sloping hole and down 2 or 3 ledges until Julian got bored of rigging and our survey had caught up with him (189m depth surveyed, with 40m plan extent, fun, fun, fun!) Then we turned round and prussiked back out again to a fantastic sunset.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Jon Barber, Adam Cooper,
161 - Sam's rift at top of K(l?)ein Zimmer

Went with drill to push over the 1st pit (Sam did before, blind pit). Bolted down 2nd pit, clearing choss on the way. Approx 20m deep before choked. Adam bolted up to the last bolt before suggesting Jon continued. He did - it went about 10 feet! Went out - Tony frozen. Needs further push for 3rd pit!
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Adam Cooper,
Surface - Surface ramblings

Went round the Augstwies side for a look around, starting at 201 level. Lots of bunde bashing and following Bambi tracks up ridiculous slopes. Located (1) a tube
(2) a cave CUCC 1997 # 1 ... (see KH survey book, sorry)

Both are in the cliff which 161d sits in. The tube was too high - need to ab in. The cave is 30m long and may draught slightly. Worth a dig as it is ~30m lower & 20m S of 161d. It is phreatic.

Sketched some surface features to the limit of my ability. See non-KH survey book.

T/U 30 mins

T/U: 0.0 hours

Jon Barber, Duncan Collis,
161 - Siberia

I was talked into going to Siberia with Duncan. There were plenty of comments like "Its not that cold", "Burble Crawl is not too bad" and the like. It was in fact one of my best trips and I was warm. This was the first time I did not need a hat and gloves. We went in through Triassic Park and into Knossos. All nice and big. Then Burble Crawl. Not too small but .. its uphill for 100m. Vom Pitch followed. We were glad to get out of this place at the bottom, lots of bits fell off including what we rigged off. Duncan found the way on and off we went. (There is also a hole at the bottom of the pitch. Possible lead!) Found a windy passage. I got cold while Duncan rigged then we went out to meet our call out.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sam Lieberman, Mike Richardson,
161 - Last and final bit of Magic Jumars

First trip down Magic Jumars (in fact first trip down Alternative Universe) before we'd even got to the pitch series we spotted a V. V. good lead requiring a bolt traverse (Anthony, Dave shits muesli, there was an awful lot of Dave knowledgeable bullshit going on not to mention a "pendule") spot the pissed ramblings in log book). Meanwhile back in the cave....

[map drawn here]

Having descended the pitches Sam took off his SRT gear and squeezed through the rift at the end. There was a gorgeous echo (worthy of a Welsh choir) but the rift got too tight errrrrrr................ well a team of dehydrated midgets might get through - derigged in the well dripping pitches.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sam Lieberman,
161 - Re-rigging Where the Wind Blows

After de-rigging Alternative Universe, Mike headed out from the Guillotine, with some time in hand I decided to go and recover my tape slings and re-rig the traverses and hand-lines in Puerile Humour - boring stuff really. Ran down Triassic/Puerile Humour did the re-rigging/collected the spare ropes and ran back down Triassic.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Andrew Atkinson, Mike Richardson,
161 - KHöhle - Puerile Humour

Photographic trip up Puerile Humour. Went in with Sam and Adam to show us the way. Took a couple of photos of Slidy Caver on the way in while waiting for Andrew to change. I started photographing at Penguin Falls, and took one and a bit films in Puerile. Took no piccies in Triassic cos I was told there already are plenty. Finished off with some pictures in Critters' End, Perseverance and Slidy Caver again. Got out with weather still OK, but heavy cloud building. Back to camp OK, but it started thundering, lightening and pissing down on the way down.

Previous trip (Where The Wind Blows) / Next trip - 1999 ?
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, William Stead, Phil Underwood,
161 - Siberia

Finally got to the pushing front in Siberia. Someone Else's Problem is fucking big. Whacked in some bolts and threw William down on a bit of rope. No sign of the bottom - estimate about 50m. Came back out to darkness and pissing rain. Siberia is in fact dead nice. A bit blowy, but dead nice - lots of sculpted flakes of rock, and quite a lot of ?s all over the place.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tony Rooke, Becka Lawson,
136 - Steinschlagschact

We went down ~same time as Julian + Anthony, we'd split a 200m rope between us to rig each of our 2 routes. J & A bombed off with the drill through the Eyehole route whilst Tony put another bolt on the opposite wall to the end of the traverse. We went down the damper route, though the Y-hang was well away from the water. Down to ledge in the rift, walked along it ~10m, found an 83/84 bolt. Tony down that, put a rebelay bolt over the lip, moaned quite a bit about dead legs and down another short pitch. Along a ledge R ~10m again, still stringing along our 100m rope and ..... der-der-der-duurh, we think we found the "Phreatic Phantasy" level. A few widgy 1 metre (max) diameter tubes going off at quite steep (?60° or so) angles which intersected with the main shaft. I furtled around for quite a time rigged off various so-so naturals, to see if anything promising went off. Nothing really seemed to be drafting they were quite mud-filled. I rigged the next little pitch off 3 naturals and swung around and around some more to various odd holes. Snapped off a v. fine white stal. squeezing into an unpromising rifty-hole, sadly.

[detailed sketch of cave entitled: Fantasy Frigging Freatic Level]

Oh dear. Out to the traverse line, met the other 2 who'd bombed down and bombed out, surveying. Tony went out. Julian, Anthony and I went back down our route to survey it as far as a knobble (CM) above and on the wall by the 2nd natural (see plan over). Oh, except Anthony ballsed up and didn't get a compass for that leg. Everyone turned their noses up at my phreatics then we prussiked out with loads of drill gear which was bloody heavy. I ended up with 2 tacklesacks on the entrance pitch with the usual CUCC 2m donkey dicks on which meant they swung nicely into all the ungardened choss on the traverse line at the top. Crash, rumble, crash. "You still there Anthony?" Dour grumbles from the farthest corner of the cave. Out to thunder, lightning and downpour. Walked down in caving gear. Yum,yum.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Anthony Day,
136 - Steinschlagschacht (136)
TU 8 hours

Bombed down the "Eyehole Route" as far as the limit of the trip on 29/7/97 to find Julian putting in more bolts at the head of the next pitch Some time and 3 bolts later, a distant "pitch free" was heard & I followed. Pitch is approx. 60m with deviation & 2 rebelays. The last 45m is down the wall of a jolly large chamber. (roof not visible from top rebelay (at least 65m high) chamber appears to be part of an enormous rift, ~10m wide and 20m long, choked at either end. At the southern end, a hole is visible ~10m off the ground, possibly accessible by a chossy climb which neither of us fancied our chances of getting back down again without a rope. A hole under the far wall of the chamber from where the rope lands leads to the foot of a drippy aven with no other visible leads. Survey data puts this lot at -257m from 136 entrance and ~30m below the level of Forbidden Land. No obvious draught, though the big pitch is quite breezy. Undid the last 2 rebelays on the way out with a view to hauling the rope out from the top later.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Adam Cooper,
Surface - some rambling/digging/surface rigging

Claggy weather so went to
(1) rig/insert spits for an ab off from Scar Face to below the cliff for
a) surveying down lower
b) rescue evacuation to a helicopter landing
(2) dig the back of 1997/01

(1) rescue rig not completed. Ran out of rope and cones (dropped one :-( ). So far one spit + 4m and 3m north of 161d for traverse round + 2 spits ~ 15m N & below at top of grassy swathe. 40m rope from these takes you through relatively choss free and bunder free region ending on a steep cliff face where 2 more spits are needed for a ~ 30m? drop down to walking terrain.

(2) Dig 4m gained but needs more effort to continue to shift sandy floor & more cobbles back in passage. No draft perceived.

_A walking route to the bottom of the Scarface cliff._

Climb approx 15ft above the entrance to 161d, on the path, contour left (southish), aiming at a grassy band below a cliff. Drop diagonally down this grassy band, until an incised gully* (quite narrow) is reached which affords a scramble downwards to a more level patch of broken ground. Contour round & up slightly to the bottom of the cliff.

*Just after entering the gully, a cave entrance behind and to your right (facing down) is seen (entered - no way on ~ 12m of passage & fractured rock floor. Not tagged.) Lower down on the R, right in the gully is another (undescended) cave.

_Another small cave at the cliff base_

Another cave of water worn origin was investigated, (very) approx 150m S of 161d at the base of the cliff. It is dead straight on a bearing ~ 290° and dips at -30° from the entrance. Dimensions approx 0m5 wide, varying in height from ~1m50 to 0m5. Cobble floored. Length approx 16m. Ends in rubble at floor level & 2 impassable slots above. Seems to draft slightly. Marked "+" and '97/2" in carbide, _not tagged_.

Time U/G ~ 1hr
T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Becka Lawson,
136 - Steinschlagschacht CONNECTION Trip!
T/U 7 hours

Everyone was nursing non-existent post-dinner hangovers in the rain, but Julian + I + Adam, being mugs, headed up the hill. Clag + drizzle. Oh well, we'll walk to top camp, brew up, and psyche ourselves up. I climb into my soaking Alpinex, after my last 136 trip, I was trying to dry it, ended up just making myself miserable, but a good dose of Tom Yam noodles soon sorted us out. Tootled up to 136, bombed on down - gone 2pm! round the Eyehole route to the top of the pitch series into the big chamber. Julian gets the drill out + sweats + strains over a nightmare traverse over a great slab of chossy 80( rock, 50m above the deck. I get cold. Occasionally I make helpful comments like "Do you really need another bolt? Can't you just swing over from there?" and rack my brain for conciliatory phrases after the traverse goes nowhere, "Well at least we know how many bolts the drill does now," "It was a fine view anyway", "Good practice for the real thing" etc. etc.

Eventually Julian disappears over the edge, swings over to another rock bridge, and I can footle over. I'm frozen + Julian is shagged so I get to do a loose 6m hang off a dodgy natural down to a chossy mud slope. Julian is enthusiastic about a vague shadow on the far wall. I try not to get too pessimistic. I get down, the 'way on' looks like a loosely bouldered alcove. I start screeching, at Julian, "Look, look!" "What?" "Look!" I've spotted a _huge_ CM13, we've made the 161 connection to the Forbidden land, yelp. I go hollering off down the next chamber whilst Julian whacked in a couple more bolts for the final pitch, then we both went off for a tourist. We headed towards Elin Algor, but it got v. loose boulder choke. Then we played around down Tirolia Werke as far as the pitch + poked around some QMs. Then we surveyed from the QM13 to Anthony's last point, as we were good bods! Then we went home, prussik, prussik, prussik. Thought there wouldn't be anyone at Top Camp to brag to, but no, every tent was stuffed to the gills so we kept up all the Off-To-The-Far-End-At-6.30AM-Tomorrow-Morning Team up as we pigged out on tortellini again. A fine trip on a dreary day - KH over 500m + a new entrance!!!
T/U: 0.0 hours

Chris Densham, Mary Lane, Mike Baslington,
Journey - Swiss Alpinists arrive...
Mike Baslington - (Juliette Kelly's 4C's buddy)

Mary Lane (Fran's sister)

Just left the Swiss Alps after 2 weeks very pleasant climbing. Just trogging up the hill to see about doing some caving. Chris
T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Anthony Day, Becka Lawson,
136 - Steinschlagschacht
T/U 8

Team keen up at 6.30 which meant all of Top Camp was up & around by 7.30 & I was the last to leave Top Camp at 9.30 or so.

What is CUCC coming to ? We three beat William + Andrew down 136 + headed off down the wet (Original) Route [ to be called Wet Dreams, and passing through Fhantasy Phreatics level ?] to continue the survey down. I rigged until I'd finished the 100m rope (which had started at the Y-hang of the traverse, where the Eyehole Route splits off). This is 2 pitches off bolts, one off naturals & then 3 more rebelays off increasingly dodgy bolts. No shortage of 83/84 bolts - often two within a metre of each other, but some impressively lousy placements, bolts sticking out miles, wet hangs, etc. etc. Still, it must have been miserable rigging it in the first place. The Wet Route is smaller than the shaft series above the traverse, & apart from the piddly phreatics, it is down, down, with spray + a series of ledges ~10m apart. Finished the survey (a resurvey from the Y-hang would be worth it, if the wet route ever goes anywhere!) & then we derigged the 100m (which was the point of all the above) & went down the Eye-Hole route & rigged the 100m into the Big Chamber. I did the traverse & had a look at the drop.

[ sketch showing location of a QM near connection point ]

QM SHOULD BE DONE, GOOD POTENTIAL + drop of ?20m into rifty passage from the bridge before the final ~6m pitch to the Forbidden World connection.

However, I didn't have a bolting kit + the rock was really chossy so I went back. People in the chamber look _really_ tiny from 45m up on the traverse. Down to the Big Chamber to meet the others, a jolly free hang. Julian had drilled his way up the mud/rock to get to a hole at the south end of the chamber, but it went nowhere. He left the rope on it.

[sketch plan ]

I looked around the chamber q. carefully. The only lead I could find was through (down) the boulder climb (q. stable, big rocks) q. a long way (10-20m) to a q. strongly drafting rift/pitch which would need a bit of hammering to go (or maybe you could get into it from another spot through the boulders). Back out, de-rigged the 100m (again!) + left it on the top of the traverse (well, it might be useful there!) + the drill (see previous excuse) & ambled on out. My last trip! Anthony's knee now thoroughly knackered.
T/U: 0.0 hours

William Stead, Andrew Atkinson,
161 - Push/Survey Wookey's 1996 lead in Forbidden Land "The Gravel Pit"

The original plan had been for Mike (Animal) to go with Andrew via Stairway to Hell, special permission having been sought from Tina. However, new way through from 136 means lots of prussiking, so I was drafted in instead. Went via Kaninchenhöhle to pick up SRT kit to find team Keen _still_ not fully underground & returned to 136 entrance to find Julian & Anthony taking the piss over a half-changed Becka (or vice-versa). Followed Julian, Anthony & Becka underground ca 11.30 am & did _lots_ of abseiling down to the bolt traverse followed by a lot more abseiling & a 100% wacky, way-out traverse miles up in the ceiling to reach ... The Forbidden Land. Headed _South_ towards Wookey's lead via a 5m pitch Andy had forgotten about. At this point my penknife came in handy to cut the rope we'd brought. Continued down Wookey's lead to find ourselves in a medium size chamber where the floor + walls comprised entirely gravel or choss (The Gravel Pit). Looked down a pit in the floor where the take off was also 100% choss, no chance of rigging it + too steep to climb. So we went round to the left between _more_ gravel banks to find a pitch with a stream coming in. Andy used the bolt kit I'd picked up from KH entrance to rig it + kicked loads of choss down. At the base of the pitch is a small chamber + a climb down with the water. Passage continues in walking vadose trench to where the water disappears under the stones. Passage continues to an aven + a small chamber with lots of mud + a choked mud sump. Pity. Surveyed out, with me on instruments until my glasses misted up, so swapped. Surveyed back to original lower bolt. _NB_ took a look at an alternative way to the choss hole in the floor where there is a solid boulder in the roof to rig off. This seems to go somewhere else + should be pushed (A). Out at sundown via _lots_ of prussiking + getting

T.U. 9 hrs
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, Jon Barber, Andrew Ketley, Phil Underwood,
161 - Someone Else's Problem
TU 14

Picked up 75m of 9 mil at the Guillotine. Then went to retrieve Andrew from the far end of Salt Lake, while Jon + Phil set off to survey to SEP.

Faff, Faff, Faff. Eventually the survey to the pitchhead was complete and descents had begun. Wibble, Wibble went the cavers. Twang, Twang, went the 9 mil. F***ING BIG SHAFT. Only rubs a little bit half way up. (Fettled with a loopless rebelay off of a spike on the way out.) The rope was just reachable after unloading it.

LEADS: (1) Down short climb, traverse across head of another climb into a draughting crawl.
(2) Down same climb, climb down again, then down 5m pitch. Undescended ~15m pitch with wind farting up it.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Mike Richardson,
161 - Moomintroll
TU 5½ hrs

Aim:- to bolt up at Moomintroll

No problems getting to Moomintroll but the traverse around the right hand side of Zebedee is a bit hairy in that it is horribly loose and all the holds come off in your hand. The climb up is pretty impressive, a good big black space waiting to be explored, but it is not clear whether it just goes up and up.

At any rate we looked at the climb, reckoned that with a bit of bottle and a climbing rope it would be no problem to get up it, but as we had neither we had to start bolting. Put the first bolt in, about 5 ft up. Unfortunately, at this point I dropped the driver down a small crack. Should be able to get it back with a coat hanger.

At this point we decided that it would be much easier with a drill and that it might be a good idea to jack. I made sure the jack was certain by hitting the entry to Hymen Crawl with the hammer & snapping the head off.

As we had only been down the cave 2½ hrs we needed something else to do. So on the way back we climbed up to the left just after the two holes in the floor near the start of Wheelchair Access. There looks to be a roof tube going off at this point but we failed to climb into it. Mike had a look at some other small tubes going off and found some surface debris & bits of skeleton, but it closed down after about 6 ft.

We still had more time to kill so looked down the two holes that you traverse across just before you reach Moth Chamber and the short climb up in Triassic. The two holes connect, lead to a 1.5m climb down to the head of a pitch. Unfortunately, this just drops into Wheelchair Access, and needs surveying.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Mike Baslington, Chris Densham, Mary Lane, Juliette Kelly,
161 - Lost World

Wheelchair Access -> Lost World to survey the downstream end

_TU_ Dave H, Mike & Juliette 9 hrs
_TU_ Chris D, Mary 7 hrs

Rather a slow trip, didn't get underground until 1 pm. Even then everything went really slowly, taking almost an hour to get from the entrance to the start of Wheelchair Access. The new route into Wheelchair Access needs surveying, but me and Mike, who'd got bored and gone on ahead didn't have the gear.

We headed on down to Lost World as a group of five, once we got to the big stuff, as it seemed to be taking ages for everyone to get down the last 5m pitch I took Mike for a quick tour of the upstream stuff. On returning, the others had disappeared downstream so we buggered off after them, to catch up in he boulder choke.

At this point Mary and Chris decided to go out as it was getting late & Mary thought she would be slow. This left me , Mike and Juliette to do the survey, and me to have my third ever go at doing book.

We pushed through the boulders, down a climb and eventually found the pitch into the chamber. Got off the pitch part way as soon as we could step into the big chamber, but the pitch continues below. Found the Germans' G find survey mark and survey left as you look into the chamber. This ends at an aven, with water coming in. I then surveyed back underneath what I'd just done, but at stream level ending up roughly back close to the pitch. From here two possible ways go off. To the left a long straight rift taking the small stream. The boulder floor drops and the stream disappears under the right hand wall and the passage is not enterable. The rift continues, but you are now ascending boulders, and soon the roof is seen which descends to meet the floor.

To the right a short piece of rift with water entering down one wall, soon ends in a deep pool (marked a survey station with a cross on the wall at this point - no. 16 on the left hand wall as you face the pool).

Mike waded across the pool, shallowest along the left wall to find an inlet stream. Looking at our survey and Becka's description of her trip with the Germans, I think this inlet is the continuation of the pitch into the chamber - but this needs checking.

There are no other obvious leads except this inlet in the chamber.

As it was now getting rather late we couldn't:

(1) Do some tie up legs I wanted to do

(2) check the continuation of the pitch into the chamber.

(3) Derig.

So we headed out. As we'd bombed down through the boulders really quickly we'd not taken much notice of the way out. At one point, there is an unobvious climb up t the right - which is the way out - however it is much more obvious to climb up through the large spaces in the boulders to the left - this ended in a large rift pitch, which, looking at our survey, may or may not connect back into the left hand rift continuation of the large chamber.

We soon found the real way out and 'cos I'm getting lots of hassle about writing too much I'll just say it took ages to get out.

Things to note when derigging:
There is tackle up a climb on the left, as you go downstream near a rock bridge marked with a tackle bag. This may be interesting as it seems to be heading away from the large chamber.
It also needs surveying.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Phil Batten, Brian Outram, Andrew Ketley,
161 - Surveying Siberia Left hand branch
TU 11½

Fairly swift journey in. Tried to fix previous Siberia survey up to genuine survey station, but couldn't find CM labelled 'end', so settled for CM _not_ labelled 'not this ...' (point 2 of last Siberia survey a few years back).

Set off up LH route - lots of mazy phreatic passage connecting at insane angles with a loop or two. Now X-ened 'Fuzzy Logic'.

Rough description: LH branch off Not This Junction turn sharp left. Passage follows rift for a few metres before turning left again. Rift continues straight ahead, but looks too narrow to push. Small opening on right before left hand turn quickly chokes with mud. Left hand turn leads into Y-junction with swirlpool at intersection. Left leads to steep phreatic tube; this connects back into right hand turn. Right turn leads to connection with left hand turn, then into complicated rift junction. Rift pitches up to left and down to left probably connect up; this is a going lead. Right hand small hole leads into left hand rift and small passages connecting back up the passage, but it is v. tight.

Not having a rope to hand, we went back to poke around in some Siberia leads, brief sketch of crossroads on the way to SEP follows:

[ sketch of Greengables ]

RH passage leads into small chamber with easily climbable (at least for a while) rift off to left and small passage to right.

Middle passage leads into rift junction. High LH passage connects back into route to SEP, straight on in a loop also connecting back to SEP route. Right leads into oval shaped rift with ~6m aven at far end. Small passages off to left of SEP route connect up in easy crawl in muddy phreatic passage which does not appear to close down - 'Burble II - the Mud strikes back'.

At this point it was 1800, so we chugged on out in order to get back at a sensible time.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Chris Densham, Andrew Atkinson,
136 - Steinschlagschacht

First trip in this hole for me - far less chossy than feared, due to latest bolting techniques no doubt. Down to pit at connection between 136 + KH - bolted down 'Distraction' - swing across to a window, down to drippy drafty chamber - with footprints. We'd reached the Orchestra Pit. Surveyed & derigged (50m vert.) then went off to the Gravel Pit. Bizzare place, walls of eroded stuck together gravel. Dried up stream sported a STONKING DRAFT - all it needs is a crowbar to open it up a bit. This must be done soon ! Alas we had no crowbar. So we put in our penultimate bolt in the only solid wall in the area & dropped down to a squitty streamway. "Have a look at it if you want, I'm too fat" said AA. So I grovelled in until enthusiasm waned after 30 mins or so. Then AA continued the flat out crawl in water until that choked too. A Grand Canyon it was not. Saved the seventh & final bolt to take out the rub to the core I'd noticed on the 2nd pitch. Good trip, shame nothing went.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Chris Densham, Mary Lane,
161 - Staudnwirt Palace

Went to Staudnwirt Palace, climbed up miserable climb, bits of it fell off at embarassing moments, de-rigged two ropes and retrieved Julian's gear for price of two beers.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Andrew Atkinson, Mike Baslington,
136 - Steinschlagchact
T/U 8hrs

Went down with the intention of taking a few photos and then pushing some leads in Forbidden. My first (+ last?) underground photo trip with mostly overground photo gear. Took pictures of people on most of the pitches, traverse of the gods and eyehole traverse. Had an attempt at taking picture of chamber at the end of Elin Algor, but this proved tedious trying to use "B" setting on camera. I doubt I'll bother with that again !

Once in the Forbidden land, we systematically reviewed all known leads and possibly found one or two others. Went down Tirolia Werke first. Andy climbed up the roof tubes on the right hand side (walking W) and found most either closed down or turned into avens. About ½ along Tirolia Werke on RH side, small climb up (c.3) leads to large(ish) chamber at foot of aven. Grade C tight, wet lead in here. Looked at Gravel Pit. Big draft but not very inspiring. Opposite(ish) Gravel Pit is a big fallen boulder with a pitch behind. It's possible to climb around the boulder to pitchhead, probably about 10m hang, possibly a way on at the bottom.

Next we went back up Tirolia Werke, into Elin Algor and up to the large chamber near the Pump House turn. Look/threw rocks down all the holes. Big Holes in the chamber sound dead and look very likely to be choked - probably not good leads. Went down choss back and around the RH wall to small adjoining chamber. Climbed up another choss bank towards Chris D's lead - _BIG_ pitch with good boom at the bottom. V. good lead but for the small scrotty connecting tube.

Exitted chamber, climbed up into Pump House and thence to Hall of the Mounting Choss. Pump House passage has same feel about it as Mississipi/Mississipi Mud Pie - the other side of Stairway to Hell. HoTMC is huge and loose as the name suggests. Pitches in the top left corner (looking from the bottom of the slope) look quite good leads - may eventually go to Regurgitation ?

Exitted, stopping en route only to dismiss a couple of scrotty leads off the side of Elin Algor.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, William Stead, Jon Barber,
161 - Pushing below SEP
TU 17hr

Pushed below _S.E.P._
Whacked in loads of _Bolts_
Abbed down some _Pitches_
Found a short _phreatic passage_ "Auspuff"
with _undescended climb_at the end

Previous SEP trip / Previous day's
T/U: 0.0 hours

Julian Haines, Chris Densham,
136 - Steinschlagschacht

Tripped our way down to the 'Y' hang above 'Traverse of the Gods'. Set about bolting over the top - straight over ? No - left horrible climb up carrying drill, tacklesack etc., over the top to a high level chamber over the pitch. Through a window, down pitch to 'The Box' - superb view across to 'Traverse of the Gods', and tried to bolt the 'Footlights' traverse across the 'Theatre'. Got half way across - an imposing situation that ended in overhanging choss. Oh dear. Need some magical method of getting across the choss to the mythical window that heads south to Stellerweg.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Anthony Day, Andrew Atkinson, Juliette Kelly,
Surface 136

walking around the area of 136, putting tags on stuff [Tagged 136, 138, 139, 97-07 (formerly WK7), 97-08 (formerly WK8,9,10)], taking photos of entrances and finding new cave. Near 163, which has some nice ice formations, we found a couple of interesting things. A going hole numbered

which we think is one found by the French or more likely the Germans. As we came traversing back we found
88 F -
This looks very promising, it looked undescended, is a hole in the cliff face immediately turning into a rift pitch. Its only about 50m higher than 161d entrance in height terms, but located above the forbidden land.

H88 was explored by AndyA, who eventually got bored with crawling. It is further south than the current southern extremity of 136 and is ~50m above level of Forbidden Land - should at least be surveyed to. AJD.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, William Stead, Jon Barber, Phil Underwood,
161 - Derigging SEP
Dunks_, William -- TU 11 hour Jon, Phil U --> TU 6½ hour


[mis-dated as July not August, and nobody noticed for 26 years - Philip S.]
T/U: 11.0 hours

Dave Horsley, Brian Outram, Mike Baslington,
161 - Derig of Wheelchair Access
TU 6 hrs

Initial aims were to go down, look for leads and survey some bits + pieces. But we also had to be out quite early so we could have a meal at Hilde's. Unfortunately, on the way in, I thought to check the traverse and pitches off under the wall to the left to see if any gear had been left. Yes, the traverse was still rigged, so Mike went across to derig & found that the pitch at the end was rigged via two rebelays and was at least 20-30m deep. When we got this rope out, found we had an extra 83m rope to get out. Headed on down to the Lost World & headed downstream. Checked out the 'big rift' that we had seen last trip down, to the right just after the climb down. All this was was a climb up in boulders and then looking back down on the main passage from a great height.

Onward to the final chamber to check out a couple more leads.

(1) Continuation of the pitch - lands at the deep pool (which was fairly empty) just beyond survey station 16.

(2) Mike climbed the inlet and I could hear him from the top of the pitch. I made a visual connection from where the water sinks at the passage just back from the top of the pitch with this inlet, via a rather large wide pitch, narrow at the top and covered in chocked boulders - one of which I was standing on.

Did a couple of grade 2 drawings - couldn't survey as we'd left the tape behind.

This left Becka's climb up to the left (as you go downstream) by the rock bridge. This looks quite good. 2m climb up to a 15m pitch down with two ways on, again I took some grade 2 drawings.

Detackled this and started on out. Detackling was OK, even of Kein Zimmer Rift. We each prussiked up it with a tackle bag, Mike filling his with the rope from the pitch as we went - no problems.

Left gear at the guillotine, continued out with a tackle bag each, which we left at Mothshag.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Chris Densham, Anthony Day,
136 - Footlights Traverse

Finally got underground after a week nursing an injured knee (more through boredom than any improvement to the injury). Attempted to replace my main beam bulb with the Julian Haines lighthouse bulb and in doing so snapped the connector to the main beam - mutter. So rather than take an FX5 down just for the pilot, I caved with my zoom and its dodgy connector as back up for my Austrian sand grade carbide - not an auspicious start.

Bumbled down to the theatre box and Chris continued on the Footlights Traverse complete with homemade grappling hook - a crowbar lashed to a 1½m yellow pole. Unfortunately, since being taken underground, the string by which the crowbar was attached had got wet, stretched and was thus no use. So the yellow pole was abandoned, and I watched as Chris teetered across a chossy and airy traverse, banged in a couple of bolts and found ... no cave whatever. So Chris continued down the wall and found an eyehole into a chossy little passage, banged another bolt into its camembert-like walls, and I followed him, only shitting myself once on the traverse. The passage leads to a loose, uninspiring looking pitch head, which opens out into a decent shaft with aven above, which lands on a rock bridge (ie. a jammed boulder) with more pitch beyond. This whole area is gloop coated and falling apart - very KH like - and there is a significant draught coming _up_ the continuing pitch. This is quite a good lead, but we had run out of rope.

Rather than survey out, I pootled out at this point whilst Chris drilled some more bolts to improve the rig. Not surveying was probably a good thing since it took an astonishingly long time to get out, not helped by an ailing leg and too much beer at basecamp the week before. Also, the big loose flake at the top of the big pitch is no longer a problem as Phil kicked most of it off. The remnants of it came whistling past my ear as I hung on the rebelay below the ledge we wait on before ascending the big pitch, causing me to gibber quite a lot, especially as I could smell freshly fractured rock on the ledge. Phil also neglected to call pitch free, so I spent quite a while at the bottom before making a cautious ascent (the rope looks OK). I then gardened the rest of the rubbish at the pitchhead in the general direction of Brian's head to ensure no repeat performance.

Previous trip / Next trip

_Haines Miracle Carbide Cure_

As the glorious expo leader departed, he bequeathed me a few of his precious items, namely 3 lumps of large carbide (all the expo stuff from the Austrians is tiny bitty stuff). This was gratefully (and gullibly) received, and used on the above 136 trip.

And so it was, Footlights Traverse now being bolted, Anthony headed out with the spare carbide & I started out lugging the drill + battery. That's strange, I thought, my light's going a bit dim. Fettle. The bitty stuff all gone, but Haines lump was sat there just as it went in. Magic - everlasting carbide ! Complete with calcite veins ... hmmm, chortle, most amusing. Dark thoughts cast in the Haines direction on the dim prusik out.


T/U: 0.0 hours

Brian Outram, Phil Batten,
136 - Tirolia via Elin Algor

Trogged off down the pitches & across the traverse to the slot and waited for Phil. We both walked along Elin Algor (lead off to right up climbable rift with stream descending & little mud volcanoes - did not push as did not fancy climb due to state of my shoulder). Came back to climb up through boulders just after 1st main chamber past junction in Tirolia and investigated climb up into roof on left with pitch: whacked in bolt & sling around natural & lo & behold I ended back in main passage - got pissed off & went out.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Jon Barber, Phil Batten,
161 - Moomintroll

[Marked only as Phil, so had to guess U or B -- JGT]

We went down to have a look at the climb up beyond Moomintroll. Having taken a drill battery with us we then found that the drill did not work. There were no bolting kits either so we went to look anyway.

We traversed around the terrifying pit (8 ft deep) and found the climb. Looked at it for a bit and then I climbed up it. There were only a few loose hand holds. I rigged a rope for Phil and up he came.

As expected, there was a large aven. However, there was no obvious way on. We sat down for a bit while we decided what to do next. At this point, some water was heard dripping. I went to investigate a tiny tube where the noise was coming from. After removing a few rocks the floor dropped away to reveal a 30 ft drop into a large space. With a little enlargement someone will be able to fit through and see where the draft is coming from.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Anthony Day,
Surface - Pissing about on the surface

Plan was to put tags on the unmarked 161e and 161f entrances, except I left the tags at top camp. Bunged in a spit at 161f anyway and tried to do likewise at 161e except a large chunk of wall fell off when I tried to set it. Got bored and went to retrieve gear from 161d. Whilst failing to find 161f I came across lots of holes - this is prime prospecting territory for anyone wanting to find a more northerly entrance to 161 with an even more atrocious approach.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Chris Densham, Brian Outram, Jon Barber,
136 - Footlights cont.

Brian & I trolled around Forbidden Land derigging various bits & pieces to generate enough rope to drop the pitch at the end of Footlights. Having decided this would become a through route, I tarted up the traverse on the way over to make it more comfortable, ie.

[rigging sketch]

rather than the precarious rebelays that were used to rig it. Jon & I surveyed in, Brian arrived with rope & went off down the first pitch. 30m later he touched the floor: "It's big". Oh good. "There's a rope here". Oh bother. Been Hainesed again - his climb up from the Orchestra Pit finished here. Brian & I checked out the rift chamber pretty carefully - the draft appears to drop in somewhere at the southern end, then heads up the pitch we'd dropped. One drippy chamber could be seen through a tiny window - almost certainly the same as the Orchestra Pit. Otherwise - the entire S end chokes.

At least it gave us a chance to start the derigging early. Out at 4 am, back to camp just before dawn, in time for some carries down the hill.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Anthony Day,
Surface - Pissing about on the surface again

Planned to surface survey 191->161c, and look for the elusive 192, which is allegedly marked and in the same area. Took a while to find 191 and in the process we found 180, which I thought was miles away. Didn't have a tag for 180, but put in a spit for one and surface surveyed from there to 191 and back to 161c. Failed to find 192. Took photos of 180 and 191, the latter now sports a CUCC tag. Retrieved gear from 161d and derigged climbs on surface route and trundled back to topcamp for a brew, then on to 186 ("Rosenkavalierhöhle"). This is the hole erroneously numbered 185 on the side of the Vord which Olly & I refound in 1994 and which William had confirmed as being 186 earlier this expo. The paint has all but disappeared, but we banged in a CUCC tag and surveyed back to top camp - another gets ticked. No photo because I'd run out of film.

Incidentally - The marking at 161c entrance is
1623/_161c_< added later by CUCC

This is similar to the markings on caves H88 and 88F found on 7/8/97 making me suggest that latter caves are also French.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Anthony Day,
136 - Derig 136

Team hero having done the hard bit the day before, team knackered knees went down and derigged from the traverse to the eyehole. All the spits are greased, though I couldn't get the syringe to fill so used my finger. All spits above eyehole traverse have a matchstick in too. Circlips are shit gear - at least half the bolts fell out when I unscrewed, but I think I've rescued most of them.
T/U: 0.0 hours