Austria 1998

Logbook cover - 12k gif

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!
wine wine

Duncan Collis, Steve Jones, Tim Vasby,
Journey - Hammerite Horror drives to Expo

Much time spent stacking gear onto trailer. More time still spent persuading it to stay under the tarpaulin and not scatter itself to the winds. Hitched up and chugged off from the tackle store at a bit past 7. Arrived at Dover early and got on the 10:45 boat, arriving Calais 1 am local time. Stopped just short of Luxembourg to find that the contents of the trailer had settled and that there were now some big gaping bits under the tarpaulin which required some fettling. All then went well until 20 miles before Salzburg, when it was raining hard and my wipers suddenly stopped. Couldn't see a right load, so came off at the next junction. Tried to fettle broken wiper linkage in pissing rain, but couldn't so decided to ring Green Flag. Of course the village we were in had no public phones, but luckily I found a tourist info place staffed by a very helpful lass who spoke dead good english, and better still, had a phone I could use. 10 minutes later, having got straight through to someone useful at Green Flag, I was supping tea and waiting for a call back. Within one hour of ringing for help, I was trying to explain to a disgusting mechanic in a pink shell suit what was wrong. Cunningly took him to tourist info place, where we had a translator to explain the concept of 'temporary bodge fix' which resulted in a convincing-looking fettle within an hour. Carried on happily to Bad Aussee and a Schnapps at Hilde's at a bit past 7 in the evening. Perhaps I should've supped some Gösser before writing this.

P.S. Managed a ton (downhill) on the Krautobahn in Diesel Maestro plus big trailer. Helps make up for doing 30 uphill...
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis,
Base Camp - Song - THE BEARDY OLD LAG

BECKA: no date given for this entry

"THE BEARDY OLD LAG" (To the tune of 'The Old Main Drag'
by the Pogues)

(1) When I first came to Cambridge
I was only eighteen
With a fiver in my pocket
And me old dangly bag
So I went down to the Panton
To check out the scew
But I soon ended up as
a beardy old lag

(2)When the Mornflake & the Tunnock Bars
Were stacked in great piles
With the old expo trailer
We would drag them for miles

[inspiration appears to have run out at this point - maybe the song will be completed on a future expo ? Ed.]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Kate Janossy, Steve Bellhouse,
Journey - Kate + Steve B drive to Expo

BECKA: only arrival date given (08.07.1998 so assumed set off previous day

Remarkably epic-free journey despite driving from Edinburgh via London + Fontainbleau and having the oldest car on expo (a mere 10 years old- whatever happened to expo shit cars ?)

Dave F phoned to ask if he + Henri could have a lift back from canyonning, so I spent a happy half hour bashing my mum's no longer adjustable, utterly shit roof rack until it would fit on the car, so that their tandem could come too.

Nearly got stuck in Fontainbleau due to lovely weather, nice boulders + cheap wine. Stupidly enough, we actually came to expo, where it rained solidly for 4 days.

The roofrack didn't fall off, the car didn't break + we didn't nearly die. Boring or what ?
T/U: 0.0 hours

Kate Janossy, Steve Bellhouse,
161 - Rigging trip to Knossos

Carried shit to the entrance (via accidental detour up Schwarzmooskogel) + rigged the handlines on the little 'climbs'. Went to Knossos, where Steve rigged the pitch, then came out.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sean Houlihane, Steve Jones, Tim Vasby,
161 - Moomintroll and Overflow
Sean, SteveJ and Tim went to push Moomintroll and Overflow. No logbook write up, but we can deduce from the next write up that they didn't find Moomintroll, TU 3 hours]
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Kate Janossy, Brian Outram, Steve Jones, Earl Merson, Tim Vasby,
161 - Pushing trip to Moomintroll

Found Moomintroll on the second attempt. Rigged a short, blind pitch to the R after Moth Chamber by mistake, while Kate went to get SRT kit from Knossus. Then found Zebedee and descended the short pitch/climb with horrendous rigging off 1 bolt with 3 rope protectors. Dodgy traverse round the pitch, at which point Earl & Tim decided to go out, since there was not much room at the pushing front. Brian free-climbed Moomintroll, Kate + Steve J followed with rope, then banged a bolt in at the top.

Lots of bashing at the squeeze eventually created a hole big enough to fit through. Steve 'Mendip Man' Jones did a gravity-assisted descent of the squeeze, followed by a lifelined climb down into a chamber with a small rift going off. He had an interesting time thrutching back through the squeeze impeded by SRT kit.

Narrow rift needs pushing, but take care with crystals on the walls - S.J. E, T - 5 h
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Steve Bellhouse, Duncan Collis, Danielle Gemenis,
161 - Rig to Exhaustion

TU 8

Burgled some rope from Staud'nwirt Palace, to replace Minoan Surprise rope which was needed for Vom. Tonnes of rebelay-loop-length-faffing later arrived in Knossos. Vom took ages due to last year's deviations having fallen off (again). Rigged Exhaustion but didn't descend.

Knossos rigging trip / Next Siberia trips:
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Kate Janossy, Brian Outram, Tim Vasby, Earl Merson,
Loser Plateau - Prospecting around Schwarzmooskogel

Went to investigate 2 shafts found on our short detour along the newly-cairned tourist path to the top of the hill.

Brian descended a shaft next to a cairn on the tourist path near where it leaves our path - see later.

The second shaft turned out to be 156. Another short shaft nearby was climbed down + a hole in the bottom was found to end soon in a boulder choke.

Uphill from 156, a cave was found which turned out later to be tumbling boulder cave (unmarked). About ½ way down, a crawl through boulders to the right leads to bouldery passage at the end of which shouting can be heard from the next hole along to the right from tumbling boulder cave.

From the main cave, a short climb left into rift connects with a small hole uphill and left from TBC, and goes no further. See survey book for sketches and locates.

Lots of pottering around the plateau investigating holes happened. Brian found a shaft. Need to go back + mark + GPS locate caves. K, E, T - ½

Brian's bit:
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Duncan Collis, Steve Bellhouse, Sean Houlihane,
161 - Rig to pushing front in Siberia

Dunks, Steve B ->TU 16 + Sean -> TU 14

Sean was originally off to Fuzzy Logic with Steve Jones, the two groups planning to travel together to prevent route-finding fuck-ups. Much faffing in Shortage of Walls as Steve B & Dunk discovered that the rope they needed wasn't there, necessitating some quick scavenging from the entrance. Then on to Knossos where three sat freezing off their balls while Steve J flailed around on the rebelay for 40 minutes, eventually mistaking the mud being scraped off the rope for sheath abrasion and buggering off. Sean gingerly ascended to confirm that the rope was in fact OK, and persuaded Steve not to try and continune the planned trip.

So off we went to Siberia, discovering on-route that we'd got an extra bag to carry that we'd left at Exhaustion the previous day and forgotten about, which made the passage to SEP a tad tedious. (4 bags between 3 cavers in tedious rift passage).

Steve rigged SEP, but missed the rebelay spike, so Dunk put in the rebelays on his descent.

Pretty efficient rigging continued, except for one bit where the rope was 3m too short to rig 2 consecutive pitches. Sean left one pitch before the pushing front, and only got lost four times on the way out. Steve B & Dunk carried on to the previous year's limit, and then descended a small pitch rigged from a single thread, which also helped with the final climb from last year.

Dunks descended first and began lobbing rocks down the next pitch, which sounded big. No more rocks, so Steve threw some down from higher up, and then joined Dunks at the head of the pitch to throw down the new supply of rocks. Looks to be about 60m. Steve looked at his watch to time the rocks, and found it was midnight, so the pitch is tentatively named 'Midnight in Moscow'. Then we ran away, arriving at the surface at 05:40 to a beautifully clear morning and the start of a very hot day.

Last Siberia trip (derig 1997)
T/U: 0.0 hours

Andy Waddington,
Loser Plateau - Rounding up old caves

Set off to add tags to various old caves. Someone has put bolts into the spits at B8 and B11 so tightly that you can't get them out without a spanner - grrr ! So GPS'ed and moved on. Intended to tag Lost Rucksack Hole CUCC 1993-01 but remarkably enough, I came across the almost imperceptible marking "101A" - last seen in 1977. Hastily scrambled up and found the top entrance 101. Driled out and put in a stud for a tag, then bolted on a red reflector (cut up road sign). Soon found 103, whose number was far less faded. Put a stud in here too, then searched very hard for 102 - to no avail. GPS'ed all finds and wandered back.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Steve Bellhouse,
Base Camp - Fly Cleaving

May it be noted by all members of the expedition that on this day did Wadders cleave in twain (with a large meat cleaver) a fly in the taty hut. This remarkable feat being achieved without damage to the furniture or occupants of said hut. Mr. Bellhouse then suggested renaming Wadders as 'Mr. Pork' in honour of this incredible feat of cleaver-wielding.
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Danielle Gemenis, Brian Outram, Steve Jones,
161 - Overflow

TU 6 ?

Planned to do SRT practice, but Dan couldn't resist a virgin, open shaft. So Dan started rigging, Brian tried bolting. Bolts wouldn't go in to calcite veined rock at the pitch-head so Dan rigged the 'hero-route' down its main flow off some naturals. Found a going vertical passage at the bottom, so Brian bolted a dry hang. Pitch ~10m and wet. Steve went to Collect some rope from Knossos, Dan headed out v. cold after rigging under the flow. Next pitch looks flood-prone but promising.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Earl Merson, Brian Outram, Steve Jones,
161 - Overflow

TU E, S 5¼, B 5½

Earl carried in 30m rope, so back we went (weather iffy but hey ...). Earl + I touristed off down TP to Knossos whilst Brian rigged 2nd pitch - when we came back he'd vanished ! Back at the Guillotine it turns out.

2nd pitch apparently closes down after ~20m - too tight. Window 10m from top but would require a 10m pendulum ... This may go but main route is a no go !
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, Steve Bellhouse,
161 - Team diuresis push Midnight in Moscow

Went to bolt New Big Pitch below SEP.

Turns out to be about 50m (but not yet surveyed). Spent half the trip busting for a piss. Got really cold while Steve bolted & descended this pitch. So much so that I lost control of my bladder and involuntarily pissed myself. Never really recovered from this. Shaft descends with big shells in the walls, put 2 deviations (1st one very tenuous), and then bells out massively into chamber ~25m diameter, with shaft continuing sensible-size through the floor.

Pitch lands on boulder-choke floor. Way on is a ~10m pitch, then a crawl and further ~4m pitch to a dried sump pool (we thought). However, there are two ways on from this point, one leads to an aven, the other proceeding to a series of climbs down, eventually coming to one requiring rope (which we didn't have).

Possibility of ways on from the large chamber in M.I.M. but we were too knackered to look.


I'm off to have a piss before I wet myself.

X X X Dunk
T/U: 0.0 hours

Andy Waddington,
Base Camp - Wadders fudges the survey

[only in that I wrote down the length of the final leg of my surface survey from memory - having failed to write it down at the time ...] A.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Andy Waddington, Earl Merson, Sean Houlihane, Tim Vasby,
Loser Plateau

Walked from Bergrestaurant to Top Camp with ambitious plans to go caving, but after fettling the radio, decided we couldn't be bothered, so went to tag the caves found on the 12th. After Sean's GPS got us completely misplaced, we ended up on the top of the Schwarzmooskogel.

50m down from the summit was a large rift we looked at. Andy, Earl & Sean wandered off and found some bits and pieces worth looking at again when we have a bolting kit. My foot hurt too much so I stayed near the rucksacks. The sound of dripping attracted me to a small hole which Sean descended (using rope + naturals). Then we went down to find Wadders tagging Tumbling Boulder Hole, and after a few more tags returned to camp.
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Journey - Wook drives to Expo

Very civilised. No probs with day return. Drove all the way across europe using new-fangled wadders route (Nürnberg - Passau) with no U-turns at all. Had 2 sleeps (4am-8am & 1pm-2pm). Arrived about 10.30 pm, Wookey.
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Kate Janossy, Earl Merson, Tim Vasby,
161 - Overflow Surveying

Everyone else went off to Fuzzy Logic, so Earl + Tim went off to survey The Overflow. I hobbled off early, and after arriving and checking if my lumpy foot fit into my wellies, set off underground at 12:45. A couple of minutes later we arrived at the Overflow. Kate turned up a bit later after a faulty carbide aborted her trip to Fuzzy Logic. Surveying followed and was successful if sometimes not as accurate as it could have been.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Andy Waddington,
Loser Plateau - Rounding up old caves

Took a spanner this time and tagged B11 and B8. Then started a frustratingly slow solo surface survey from B8 towards 101 and 103. Had to break off several times to go and search out the route. What was clearly marked with (non-CUCC) bright orange paint a couple of years ago is now unmarked - very short-lived paint. Eventually reached 103 and tagged it, then 101 and tagged that. 565m of survey, and starting to look like rain. Searched a while for 102 but only found it when the rain started - not quite where it is supposed to be and only visible by a lightening of the lichen where the number "102" used to be - shown up only when wet. Started to tag it in now increasing rain, but drill battery ran out after half a hole. Ran home - all my top camp warm clothes now wet, so went to base.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Sean Houlihane, Danielle Gemenis, Kate Janossy,
161 - Fuzzy Logic

Eager for an alternative point of exploration to SEP we deided to persue the question mark from last year's exploration. Reports suggested there was a pitch ? length - description hazy Straightforward route finding to F.L turn off. Kate had lighting problems and decided to return from Knossos. The final point of exploration last year stoppped at a window leading off up and to the right, and a tight rift pitch. Inspection of the pitch showed it to tbe too small for even the most malnutritioned caver! Climbing across into the window led into adjoining rift. Down and to the left is a rifty pitch that is still as yet unexplored (given the subsequent survey of where F.logic passage goes makes this a reasonably promising lead as it follows the fault that governs F.L. but extending in the opposite direction to the remaining passage). The way on however went up the rift and up a small vertical climb which led into a high aven. There was a pitch ~10m into a further chamber (rigged now with 2 bolts at pitch head back up by natural anchor - thread back up the chamber) which led into a narrow passage and down another larger pitch ~50m. We ran out of rope at the bottom of the 2nd pitch. The "exploratory rigging" left us prussicking out - quite wet and certainly if the stream came up in flood it would be unnegotiable, so clearly needed re-rigging. See following trip rep. for current rigging details. The 3rd pitch looked ~15m. Pleased with promising streamway we had a very ordinary trip home.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Wookey, Brian Outram,
Loser plateau

Went up to Vord to tag hole Brian found '98-02'. Put tag on but later found that Wads had beaten us to it & cave was already tagged '98-01'.

Then checked out other [???] shaft Brian had previously bolted & 'significant 300m cave'. Found it had been tagged 'TBH CUCC 1987 01' by Wads since Brian & Kate had found it. Checked out & found to be more like 90m long.

Then went to top of Vord and surveyed back down to include TBH, 156 & 98-01.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Wookey, Brian Outram, Andy Waddington,
Loser Plateau - Surveyed from 90 to 91, 159*, 93 & 94

Surveyed from 90 to 91,159*,93 & 94

Tagged all these caves, & extended surface survey to include them. 92 remained impossible to find.

In afternoon went over to 101, 102 region to finish things off. Wook went down 'Lost Rucksack Hole' & found it quickly got beyond 'Shorts & T-shirt' caving, whilst Wads & Brian connected survey back to 102. Wadds checked out 101a, but didn't get quite as far as 1977 effort, due to squeeze needing proper caving gear.

* later note: this was detagged and retagged "160", when Andy found (and surveyed to) orange-numbered 159 later in week.
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Wookey, Andy Waddington, Brian Outram,
Lost Rucksack Hole - Lost Rucksack Hole

Went back to LRH with more rope. Cave went down past snow bridge to narrow section with impending doom from snow & ice columns. End of rope trapped by ½ tonne of fallen snow/ice !

Back up at snow bridge, way off led to pitches & draught. Put in bolt & escaped, soaked !

Needs more rope

[sketch survey - click for enlarged version]
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Andy Waddington,
Loser Plateau - Rounding up old caves

Still an hour or so of daylight left after tea, so jogged off across the plateau. Found a "+" marked cave I haven't seen before just below the col. Tagged "80", tagged "82" on R wall inside entrance (not the numbered boulder outside which the surface survey goes to). Tagged "148" on its survey point. Tagged "107" on its survey point and put a tag "LASER 0/5" on the spit of the laser point above - then back to TC - and all in under and hour !

Ah, missed one... after doing surface survey to 173 with Brian while Wookey was down Lost Rucksack (also on 19th), I used GPS to refind 107 from a random direction (ie. not via cairned walk-in). Looked for 157 (suposed to be near 0_5) but couldn't find any numbered caves above 0_5. There are however, a lot of interesting shafts up here - well worth a look (only ~20 mins from Top Camp). 157 is definitely worth a visit, if you can find it, as it has a 50m entrance shaft with a way off 25m down to a parallel shaft (some bolts in place).

Whilst Wookey was exploring Lost Rucksack I wandered off, finding CUCC 1996-05 - perhaps the most easily relocated cave on the plateau ? GPS'ed it and returned.

Andy W, no TU

T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Julian Haines, Tim Vasby,
Loser Plateau - Looking for 40, Eishoehle

(please add spelling/grammar mistakes as appropriate)
Went in search of Eishöhle via col between Vorder Schwarzmooskogel & Hinter Schwarzmooskogel. Started ~50m below 136 and traversed round. 300m away and lots too high according to GPS. Went back a bit, and along again. Still too high. Grumbled. Went back to route to 161d and tried again. Found we were 150m away from interesting Eishöhle entrance. Unfortunately, there was lots of [???] (cliffs, rifts) etc. in the way, so eventually did not make it to Eishöhle, and came home grumbling. It was bloody hot & bloody crap.

P.S. We found some random tourists following our cairned path to 161d. Said they were looking for the Appelhaus. Very Odd.
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Kate Janossy, Brian Outram,
161 - Eau Naturel (Locophobia)

Set off to do Fuzzy Logic, but Dan forgot her furry, so Brian + Kate went to investigate the pitch at the end of Locophobia. The other depression nearer the end of Children's Railway (marked as p4 on survey) can be easily climbed into, and here there is a rift leading towards the large pitch. This can be rigged off 2 lovely naturals forming a Y-hang, so this was our chosen route. The bottom of this pitch is a wet pit with a wet, too tight rift going off. However, a few m up you can carry on along the rift to a second pitch.

This could also be rigged beautifully off naturals (with only a small rub). However, we'd used all the slings on the deviation on the first pitch, so Kate replaced these with a donkey's dick and a prussik loop, while Brian rigged the second pitch.

This dropped into the bottom of an aven which is very likely to be the bottom of the big pitch in Locophobia. The rift continued up a boulder climb, then ended with too tight wet rift in the floor. After a scary moment where we dropped the only pencil down the rift, but eventually retrieved it, we surveyed back up + derigged.

The compass was completely crap despite lots of time down my furry, so I just read it from above (sigh!). Couldn't find a survey point to link into at the top, so we surveyd to the tip of the prominent rock outcrop immediately above the rift. Needs to be linked in later to triassic.pt3.1 or triassic.pt3.2 (its between these 2 points)
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Duncan Collis, Steve Bellhouse,

Record low enthusiasm and massive faffing at entrance, but eventually we ended up going underground. Potential jack at the guillotine when my carbide completely failed to work. We fettled the tube and bashed it about a lot, and we were just at the point of abandoning the Midnight surveying trip and pottering along to the pitch in Locophobia for an easy trip, when it suddenly burst into a lovely flame, so we muttered a bit and decided we'd better get on with it.

Usual stomp through Triassic, into Knossos, Yapate, 36, Chicken Flied Nice, Burble (first time uphill with no tackle), Vom, Fucking tedious rift, Exhaustion, rift, SEP, loads more crappy pitches.

This all passed uneventfully, and I even managed to do the crappy tight pitch head without cocking it up for the first time. Unfortunately, I left my dangly bag at the top, rant. Luckily there was nothing crucial in it (or so I thought) so I decided to leave it and pick it up on the way out.

So we were being averagely efficient when we started surveying. Compass / Clino behaved itself, and due to much racking our brains on the surface and a short discussion in the cave, we made a pretty quick job of the big pitch. 2 tapes weren't required in the end, the pitch split into a 23 and a 29 at the first deviation. Got the bottom of last pitch, burned through rope (knife was in my dangly bag) and decided to do a bit of pushing before finishing the survey. Took a bit of rope down the cascades (which have dried up, but are still very nice), rigged the last 10 ft pitch off a couple of naturals, and were delighted to find that it stopped. Or almost. It wasn't a sump, but a mud choke, and there was a tiny draught. Dunks dug a little, but said it was too big a job to make progress. Serious digging at -500m was decided to be a bit too keen, so we declared it as being DONE and surveyed out. We were reasonably sure we'd found the deepest point in the cave, and we named the last pitch Rasputin due to its failure to completely die.

We went for a look around in the chamber part way up MIM. It isn't as big as it seemed from the rope, ~20m at its widest, and the possible ways on turned out to be full of mud. There _is_ horizontal development at this level though, so maybe some will be found down Fuzzy Logic.

With the chamber and the bottom both ticked off, we decided to haul the ropes out. This turned out to be a cock-up as the bags jammed 30m up. We swore and faffed and pulled really hard to no avail, so we tied them off and left them until next time. Hopefully I'll be able to ab down with the tackle tied to the end.

After that fuck up, my light failed and my spare cell and carbide were a few pitches above me, so Dunks had to light me for a bit. We did this reasonably efficiently, but it still slowed us down a lot.

Eventually I retrieved my bag, sorted my lights out and we began the long slog out. Dunks had a hard time on SEP when his central MR got twisted the wrong way, so he prussiked quite slowly, but after that we did okay, but we were slow because we were bloody knackered. Finally we got out after 5 am, once again to a clear sky and beautiful sunrise which almost made everything alright.

PS we returned to base camp and found out that KH is now _27m deeper !_

Previous trip / Next trip (derig)
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Wookey, Andy Waddington, Brian Outram,
Lost Rucksack Cave - Lost Rucksack höhle

Wookey, Wads (+ Brian later)

Went to try and finish it off. Took 55m rope. Rigged off Bolt to find big rift. 2nd bolt allowed descent to bottom in nifty hang. Found rift blocked by snow.

Whilst Wook was bolting, Wads noticed that draught was, in fact, breathing.

Also chopped off end of rope stuck in snow choke from last trip. Tied knot in bottom of cave, then derigged. Survey generated from measured rope lengths.

Afterwards did survey from 173->103->101a->'+' (Wads write-up).

[survey here]
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Julian Haines, Wookey, Andy Waddington, Phil Underwood,
40 - Eishöhle - SVH

Set out once again to find a route from top camp to Eishöhle without walking to the Bergrestaurant first. Two GPS this time - as if that was likely to help. Walked initially to 136, stopping to fill rucksacks to bursting point with caving gear ditched the previous day. Spent some time 'traversing' around just below the summit of the Vord, passing several old CUCC finds en route (forgotten numbers). Eventually found a place to descend - lots of traversing around cliff edges and over boulders. Bumped into marked (red paint) route from car park to Eishöhle and followed that the rest of the way. 4 hours to SVH !

Civilised change on horizontal ground with both shade and view. Entrance is small crawl down bedding plane until meeting significant amount of ice. About a 10m ice climb up (fixed ropes for belay, generally < 30°) until the top of the snow slope into SVH is reached. Only 1 spit here, so ice-screw backup required. 2 ice screw deviations on the way down. ~30m to the floor (50m+ rope required). SVH is v. impressive. Mostly ice floor with some boulders. Huge ice stals and frozen waterfalls. Possibly 3 ways on to explore still.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Kate Janossy, Brian Outram, Tim Vasby,
Loser Plateau - Prospecting + festering

Went to a horizontal, draughting hole Brian + Wook had found on 19th + decided needed digging. Kate kicked the sides a bit + managed to squeeze through into a short passage ending in a chamber full of boulders with a boulder choke in the floor. Couldn't tell where the draught came from. No ways on. Had a shit time getting back out through spiky boulder slope in short sleeves. Sat around outside in the shade drinking cup a soups then went home when the shade ran out.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Wookey, Phil Underwood, Julian Haines,
40 - Eishöhle - 'Connect to 136' trip

Proper trip to try and find route from Eishöhle to 136/KH. Took loads of rope, hangers, ice screws etc.

Decided to try ice slope (NE end) down first as these were much easier, safer than the 5m ice climb up to passage on the NW side of chamber, which is closer to 136.

Put in a couple of ice screws and Julian belayed wook down. This is part already surveyed by VfHO. Chokes in rock and ice to SE, showing that 2nd pitch doesn't connect. At bottom (N) end there is a draughting (out) dig! somone has dug it a bit already. Large rock makes it too small even for wook with SRT gear off, but very interesting. We decide to come back if we can't find anything better.

Move 20m over to next pitch. The Wook descends. Ice quickly peters out and short (5m) pitch in canyon stops progress. Strong draught (out). Exciting! Others come down and Julian bolts pitch. He descends & kicks dodgy-looking ice-column - it comes crashing down - good call!

At bottom is a scrotty rift/tube. Julian goes down, grumbling, and then declares next bit 'too small', but maybe a Wookey would fit. The ferret was duly despatched, after removing gear. 'Fairly crap' but not really too bad. Beyond there are marks to show that one person has been here before, but no evidence that they had descended the pitch at the end. Bolting kit and rope were passed through the tight bit & pitch rigged. About 8m to floor. Tiny rift crawl that looked rubbish so re-ascended & pulled over rock-bridge to larger passage - real passage you can run around in! Looked both ways (choked to R, goes to L) until it opened into really big 'Triassic-type' passage. Went back for the others.

It soon became clear that Julian was too fat (too long actually, and hindered by his huge plastic boots). After much ranting & swearing Phil came through (with SRT gear!) and Julian had another go, but failed.

Wook and Phil went off and explored passage both ways for 30m or so until the traverse became too hairy.

Went back for bolting stuff etc. Julian eventually had to take off everything apart from his oversuit! to get through & finally arrived at foot of pitch in cloud of ranting and expletives :-)

Julian Bolted traverse whilst Wook & Phil surveyed the rest. Eventually (after 5 bolts) the hard traverse was passed to reach a point where large passage seemed mud-filled and canyon took over. Ran out of 50m rope at this point so went home via long survey out.

Rift in floor is obvious route on, also QMs at other end of trunk - staircase 36 -style climb up required to obvious continuation, where draught may go? Also obscure rift in floor, and eyehole up wall.

Eventually connected back to SVH survey & pissed off out to huge thunderstorm at entrance. Returned trying to catch our Midnight call-out which we missed by about 15mins, but no-one seemed to be worrying about it too much.

{No-one at TopCamp had the slightest idea of where Eishöhle was, so there didn't seem much point worrying! DC}
T/U: 0.0 hours

Steve Bellhouse,
161 - Gear Collection

Steve B spent a few minutes collecting gear from Triassic Park at this point (23rd), but did not think it worth writing up.
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Duncan Collis, Tim Vasby,
Loser Plateau - Surface Stroll - Marking Cairns on route @ ~30° from Top Camp

Was supposed to be derigging SEP wih SteveB, but unfortunately suffered from runny-bum. By mid afternoon I was more or less OK, so went for a stroll.

Thought it might be useful to find & cairn a good route out across the plateau to enable prospecting well away from the top camp ( + towards the area N of KH ).

3 ½ hours of bunde (+cliff) bashing found us on the spur of the HSK which extends out into the plateau. Loads + loads of unmarked + unbolted shafts round here, only 45 min from top camp following our cairns. Intend to survey route next year.

Holes noted on route (all close to 030° bearing from top camp)

1) Nase 204° VSK Nip 142° HsK 061°

Large gash, snow in bottom, no obvious markings. Aligned on 050°

2) Brauning Nase 208°

VSK Nipple 159°

LH shoulder of Kl Wild Kogel 0°

Basin with several holes, all look choked, but need checking

3) Natural bridge

Continuing from previous bit, a large depression contains a nice natural bridge.

Nase 205° Nipple 159° HSK 069°

X in circle = small opening with draught, appears snow choked.

4) Large snow choked shaft, possible way on at bottom

Nase 204° Nipple 160°

LH shoulder of Kl Wild Kgl 359°

5) Oval opening ~10m long containing snow.
1 possible way on (entered for about 8m in shorts + Tshirt + sunburn) but no draught

Nase 205°
Hinter 357 075°
LH shoulder of KlWildK 357°


Hole with old fashioned twist hanger, red paint on it. Attached by Allen Bolt (Non-CUCC?)
Nase 205°
HSK 076°
VSK Nipple 170°

7) Nipple 173°
HSK 080°
LH shoulder Kl wild Kgl 357°

8) shaft with massive chocked boulder, snowchoke, possible way on at bottom

Nase 205°
Zinken 227°
HSK 090°

9) Large Hole with cairn next to it (Not our cairn, someone's been here before)

Zinken 228°
Nase 210°
Nipple 185°

10) Very small hole, rattly with big echoes for several seconds. Too small to enter, possibly hammerable.

Zinken 226° Nase 207° Nipple 195° LH shoulder of KWK 347°

Follow path marked by stone wedges vertically next to it.

11) Big shaft snow at bottom, possible ways on, following rift.

Zinken 224°
Nase 205°
Nipple 184°
LH shoulder of KWK 345°

12) Hole surrounded by ring of small shrubs.

Many other holes not noted due to "Shaft fatigue".

END OF WALK was found at: little one left of Schönberg 303°, LHS of KWK 340°, Zinken 223°, Nase 208°, Nipple 188°

Original notes are in A6 Hardback book, blue, labelled "1998 Top Camp". [and the above logbook entry has been clarified/corrected from said book by Wookey, 1998-10-24]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Andy Waddington, Kate Janossy,
Loser Plateau - Includes 159 and 1998-03

Walked up to Top Camp ahead of Kate. Whilst waiting I went to look for B-10. Instead, found a cave with an orange painted number "159". But didn't we just tag a cave "159" a few days ago ? Oooops ! So did a bit of deduction, made a tag "1623 160 CUCC 1988" and took this to replace the 159 tag. Then put the 159 tag on the more northerly of the two spits at 159 (Y-hang). Kate and I then surveyed back to the TC boulder.

Next Kate wandered off to sketch the cave she had dug earlier, whilst I searched in vain for B-10. There are cairned routes all over the area NW of Top Camp. One goes from 159 along a terrace to emerge, surprise ! at 160, by a route other than the one we surveyed. Half way along this terrace, a narrow corridor in the bunde goes off N. This soon emerges at a grassy clearing with a wide karren terrace going west. Follow this and you come to yet more cairns. There is a rift entrance marked "CUCC -" which clearly needs a descent.

Still failing to find B-10, I headed off towards Kate. Found three big shafts, one obviously choked and the other two marked "+" right on the northern edge of the grassy area of lower Top Camp. These need documenting.

Found Kate, tagged her cave "CUCC 1998 03" and surveyed back to existing surface survey.

Wandered back to TC, had a brew. Decided to do a carry down. Thunderstorm promptly appeared behind VSK, but I reckoned it had missed us. Got a few spots on walk back, and another shower made me run the last quarter mile, but basically got home dry. Met rain at Bad Aussee - mega storm at base camp so didn't come back up. That will spell the end of plans for a Schneevulkanhalle photo trip. Drat !
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Julian Haines,
40 - Eishöhle - 'Connect to 136 mk II' trip

Went back to rift at end of new bit in Eishöhle. Having successfully negotiated the evil-bastard, oversuit-ripping, plastic-boot-catching squeeze, we trolled along to the rift where Julian whacked in a bolt and decended into a false floor full of mud and slime-shit. Another bolt and Julian descended to the bottom where the rift ended, with a small tunnel leading back under the rift. This was too tight for a Haines, probably too tight for an Underwood, and so we ran away. We paused to have a look at the climb, and decided that it would be a silly thing to do without proper climbing gear.

De-rigged to the bottom of the snow slope. Left the cave to find night falling and clag rising. Got changed quickly, stormed up the hill, and got back to the main path just in time.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Brian Outram, Danielle Gemenis,
161 - Fuzzy Logic

Carried rope & Hammer drill to Top of 1st pitch. Drilled extra pitch head bolt for Y-hang. Descended pitch while Dan rerigged top of pitch. Top of 2nd pitch - Drilled 2 pitchhead spits for Y-hang by hanging off a flake with sling to take rope out of water. Stepped on original natural flake at top of pitch and it disappeared beneath me with much booming. Descended pitch and was able to thread a deviation sling thru a tiny flake to deviate rope out of water and descended to ledge. Started to drill a rebelay spit just below the ledge when the drill battery ran out of juice so exited cave with battery to recharge as we lacked any other form of spit drill.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Julian Haines,
40 - Eishöhle -"Connect to 136 mk III or derig" trip

Bimbled into the ridiculously large chamber. Julian went up the 45° choss/ice slope, twatting in ice screws as he went. Unfortunately, this didn't actually go anywhere. Had a look at a couple of other climbs just to the right. Decided that these were too scary and probably didn't go anywhere nice. Went up the snow-volcano dragging tacklebags behind, derigging as we went. Left the bags just before the crawl to the entrance. Exitted to glorious sunshine, mumbled about the likely temperature (hot) on the way back, and emerged from our SRT kits like pallid snakes moulting. Went back for the tackle-bags, and returned 10 mins later to 50 foot visibility and a delicate sound of thunder. Grumbled.

We walked back in the intermittently pissing rain to the carpark via the 201-weg. Julian carried his fucking heavy gear, and I carried two fucking heavy tackle sacks. Did not die on the walk back.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood,
Loser Plateau - Random stumblings

Dithered at top camp for quite a while. Hoiked a shed-load of radio-gear + 100m rope down to car park. returned to Eishöhle entrance & gobbed in it. Collected all remaining shite, and hoiked it to the path to 161d. Returned to car park.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, Danielle Gemenis, Brian Outram,
161 - SEP - Derig

TU 12

Previous trip had left two tacklesacks dangling half way up Midnight in Moscow followig an abortive hauling attempt. To avoid lowering the bags to the floor, descending + then prussiking 5m with 2 bags, the rope had been re-rigged to leave the bags in mid-pitch. The big question was whether it would be possible to ab down a rope with the weight of 2 bags on it.....

Fortunately it was OK. Dan & I derigged to the top of SEP while Brian did some bolting down Fuzzy Logic. SEP is still too big.

Headed out with a bag apiece after leaving the 85m rope at Fuzzy Logic for later use. At Knossos I started to feel a bit odd (Less well co-ordinated than usual, staggering, falling over, etc) this got worse as I went along Triassic. The entrance series was hell, and Slidy Caver a total git. Spent about 5 minutes between Mothshag and the surface, sat looking at the small pit in the passage floor, wondering how I was going to get across. Eventually reached the surface + lay dead just outside the entrance.

Danielle said she'd piss on me if I didn't move. I wasn't in the mood, so I rolled over out of the way, ending up face down in some nettles but too knackered to care. Got changed and set off slowly towards top camp. had to keep stopping (thought I was going to throw up). A good trip.

xxx dunk

PS to myself. Remember to eat more next time. That way you don't run out of sugars.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Phil Underwood, Brian Outram,
161 - Fuzzy logic - pushing the realms of uncertainty

"twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the borogrove" Meanwhile, Phil & Brian went caving. Armed with a trusty drill battery, we set off in pursuit of the beautiful pitch and the train-tunnel passage straight to top camp. What actually happened was that Brian rigged the third pitch, whilst Phil rigged the other two pitches with the 85m rope. The third pitch leads to two parallel shafts, one wet & becoming too tight, the other dry, with several ways on. There is a passage coming into the shaft half way down. This has two ways on after 10m - one looked tight (grade C, Wookey job), the other a twisty phreatic crawl that leads to a small chamber with small leads top and bottom ( grade A Mendip, grade C Austria). Back to the pitch. This lands on a mud floor, and quickly leads to a short pitch rigged off naturals. This lands on a ledge overlooking a stream passage with a shallow pool of water. At this point the drill gave up (3 spits drilled), so we left towards the surface. On our way from Knossos through Triassic Park, there were lots of drippy noises, and much activity at the Overflow. When we reached the surface do you think we found:-

a) Clear skies, with a beautiful half-moon?
b) Clag & drizzle?
c) Torrential downpour?

Oddly enough it was a). Very confused, we made our weary way back to top camp, pausing only to fall over.

sketch survey plan/elev
T/U: 0.0 hours

Duncan Collis, Danielle Gemenis,
161 - Fuzzy Logic

After Brian and Phil's efforts we had a further small pitch to rig in what they described as "terminal" looking cave - was that a medical term that Phil has learnt this year?

Routine trip down to point of exploration. Then down a short (~10m) drop on natural anchors to a floor, cave went horizontal at this point with 2 main rifts leading off. The routes down through tight rift passage blocked with black mud. An old muddy streamway can be followed up ~80m till it chokes. In the other direction there is ~100m of tight rift passage (small caver size) heading upwards at 45° angle. Rift passage that is tight and echoing requiring small cavers and some perseverance. May lead to more open passage, for survey reference.) After thrutching around in tight horrible passage for a few hours - we went home. Survey of passage horizontal shows it to be at the same level as the tight section below SEP. given that this is known to be a short band (~10m) it may be worth looking at these tight rifts to break through into larger stuff below.

sketch plan
T/U: 0.0 hours

Danielle Gemenis, Duncan Collis, Phil Underwood, Brian Outram,
161 - Derig from Fuzzy Logic to Knossos

Danielle, Duncan, Phil U and Brian derigged from Fuzzy Logic to Knossos, but no write up in log. Info below from Duncan and Phil, 1998-11-04]

Duncan> I seem to remember the final trip as being a survey trip for all the new stuff in Fuzzy Logic, and then a derig back out. I teamed up with Brian for the surveying, and we surveyed from the northern end of 'Clear as Mud' back to the foot of the Fuzzy Logic pitches, and then continued surveying along to the southern end of 'Psycho Street'. Meanwhile, Phil & Danielle surveyed down the Fuzzy Logic pitches and then surveyed most of Bear Bum passage, which branches off from Psycho Street. We all met up at the foot of the pitches, and Danielle and I set off first, and waited at the top while Phil & Brian derigged the pitches. Phil & Brian then set off with a load of rope, and Myself & Danielle began derigging as we followed them out.

Phil> This is pretty accurate, although it might be worth mentioning that the data for the Fuzzy Logic pitches were put on the back of a pack of batteries. This was mostly because I'd dropped the survey book down a very small, but quite deep hole at the start of the survey. Mutter. Fortunately, we found another survey book half-way down the pitches. The actual drawings were done on the back of a fudge wrapper at first, and then transcribed.

Duncan> Brian and I went underground first, and Brian & Phil re-emerged first. I think my TU was probably about 17h30m or so, with Danielle next with about 0h30m less, then Brian with about 1h00m less, and Phil with about 1h30m less than me.

My abiding memory is of setting off along Triassic feeling pretty shagged, and then finding another tacklesack of rope (with only one handle and no dick) at Locophobia, and then finding yet another tacklesack's worth (and a very knackered tacklesack to pack it in) of assorted crap at the Guillotine.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Brian Outram,
Loser Plateau - ARGE package

A mysterious package found under Brian's Car at the bergrestaurant Car-Park...... [with the following missive:]
T/U: 0.0 hours