Austria 1999

Note: The images for this logbook were once on the web but appear to have vanished some while ago. They may be re-scanned, as the original paper logbook is still around in the expo library - would anyone like to volunteer? —DL 2004-04-29

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!

1999-07-10 | Journey - magnificent trailer-packing | Duncan, Erin

Duncan arrived at Cambridge at 10:20 and a mere 7 hours later we set off for the ferry. Thanks to Earl's magnificent trailer-packing, we didn't need to fettle it at all along the way. Duncan's new "Northern Expo Route*" was pretty successful, although we did manage to get lost in Brussels and inadvertantly explore their tunnel network (T.U. 20 minutes)

We arrived at base camp @ 3 pm and promptly imbibed too much Gösser (what's with the fried mice ?)

* Not actually a new route, but the first time I've tried going by the A3 instead of A8

1999-07-10 | Journey - ballsed up the ferry | Julian T, Theo + Becka

Theo (from Cambridge)

Julian left Cambridge 1 pm, ballsed up the ferry, finally got to France, Dover 7 pm, turned up in Tuebingen 10 am next morning, via a bit of a Brussels diversion + lay-by sleep. Julian knackered so Theo wandered into town, Julian slept, we set off 2 pm. Max 65 mph all the way, 7 hours to Austria, arrived 9 pm. Said hi to Hilde, had a couple of beers + collapsed (John had beaten us here by an hour)

1999-07-11 | Loser Plateau - 2 Carries | Julian T, Becka, John, Theo

Did 2 carries each to set up Top Camp - all the rope we'd got, all the bolts + tacklesacks, tent, gear, food etc. On the way back from the 2nd, went for a walk. We all wandered around the far side of Bräuning Zinken, Julian went for the mental climb up the gap (loose vertical choss, lovely) + the rest of us climbed up onto the col (above the campsite) instead, then contoured to Julian then more contouring on 60° slopes + back via the lake. Duncan already 2 beers down when we got back.

1999-07-10 | Journey - by plane | John P

Got here by plane - Munich - and was the very first person to arrive this year. Got stranded in town and buggered up the public phone in a cafe, but got a lift to the gasthof eventually. Ju, B, T got here later and spent evening in gasthof cafe.

1999-07-11 | Loser Plateau - Carried some stuff | John P, Julian T, Becka, Theo

Carried some stuff up then buggered around the local hills as above. Yes, the main route to top camp is by far the easiest.

1999-07-12 | Base Camp - Base Camp | John P, Duncan, Erin, Theo

Somewhat fewer concrete achievements today but went into town for food etc., bolts for the beer tent etc. Set up the 'new' tent, spent the rest of the day drinking beer (One crate of Gösser + 2 Sainsbury's), eating green chillis, bench traversing, trying to ride Julian's unicycle, wrestling and stuff.

1999-07-16 | Cave - Bullethöhle | Dunks, Theo, Erin, John P

Strolled out across the plateau to find a hole I noted last year, which rattled for a while when stones were lobbed down it, but which was constricted at the top. Went armed with drill & hilti caps, intending to alleviate the constriction slightly. The method is simple: drill an 8mm hole about 10 cm deep, poke a cap in and insert the firing pin (a bit of 8mm threaded bar cut to a chisel tip), put something in place to stop shrapnel from flying out (a carrymat in this case), and tonk the firing pin with a hammer until the cap goes off and splits the rock.

People always ask: "why doesn't the cap just blow the firing pin straight back out of the hole ?". The answer is that the momentum of the hammer is sufficient to stop it. And it always works. I've probably set off about 30 caps before, and have been present when numerous others have been detonated. The result is always the same: the rock falls apart, and the firing pin doesn't shoot off out of the hole.

First cap: Firing pin popped out of the hole. Didn't drop down shaft because it was tied to my wrist with a bit of string. Rock unscathed.

Second cap: ditto

Third cap: Firing pin went into reverse and fucked off at about 500 miles an hour, rock unscathed. Fortunately, the string holding it to my wrist snapped, or it would have gone in a circle and straight through my back. As it was, it simply reddened the skin of my wrist a bit.

Fourth cap (different hole): Chipped off very small chunk of rock. Then we went back to TC as it was raining.

1999-07-17 | 161 - Triassic Park | Dunks, Theo, Erin, John P

A stroll along Triassic Park to show the other 3 around. En route, we looked at a few qms, some documented, some undocumented, in order to decide which to push. Whilst doing this we spotted a tube above a documented lead (the pitch just below the "A" of Triassic on the survey [C1995-161-43, WebEd.]), and crawled up it. Hammered a flake out of the way to enter an aven. Also crawled up a tube just next to the undescended pitch opposite the way to Puerile Humour. This goes about 10m. Eventually decided to descend a pitch in the floor of TP just beyond the one first mentioned here. banged a couple of bolts in, showing the others how to; they will return tomorrow to make the descent.

On the way out, traversed on ledges high above the floor of TP around the point where Wheelchair Access goes off, and found two passages on the E side, which both choked after a short distance.

TU 5¼

1999-07-20 | 136 - 161 - Steinschlagschacht to Scarface through trip | Dunks, Mick

Went to push pitch off top left hand corner of HOTMC. My first trip down SSS and Mick's first ever trip on expo. Very impressed by the endless succession of rebelays. Even more impressed by The Gods Traverse, where we met Rhino & Brian, who had suffered drill battery failure - see their write up for details of their trip. Mick & I went to HOTMC and found the pitch. Loud noises of moving water from the pitch. Lobbed rocks down - boom, bang, boom, etc.....

.... six spits (and about 3 hours) later we were down and very disappointed to find no way on. However, a crawl concealed behind a flake led to a small chamber with a too-narrow slot in the floor. Rock dropped down here rattled, then fell free for over 2 seconds. The crawl continued beyond the chamber and suddenly ended overlooking an impressive rift. Seems to be about a 3 second drop before rocks bounce off stuff, then more silence before boom bang bang bang bang. Should be possible to get a freehang straight down the middle, for maximum exposure.

While in HOTMC, we did some poking around, and at the extreme northern end, where the chamber apparently ends at a choke, noted a strongly draughting crawl below an undercut on the L wall.

Didn't fancy 200+m of prussiking back out, so we went to look at Stairway to Hell. Didn't seem too bad (especially if you zoom through quickly). Got through OK, then found that we had a 4m pitch up into Rocky Horror. Super-chossy-removeable-handholds-climb up. Lots of adrenaline. Rigged rope from a knobble for Mick to prussik up. Then out of 161d.

TU 10½

1999-07-18 | 136 - Rigging in to Steinschlagschacht | Brian, Julian H

Packed 3 bags of rope (330m), 50 hangers and 10 slings and went caving. Two carries to the cave and much farting about later we eventually got underground about 5 pm! Rigging proceeded swiftly, which was just as well as it was already late.

A few things to note for next time:

We put in another spit at the head of the 2nd pitch to make the ascent much easier - no longer are you pulled into the narrowest bit of the slot by the pitch-head bolt. Also put a deviation about 10m below the head of the 2nd to remove a rub lower down. Just below the former 2nd rebelay (on 2nd pitch) was a bad rub previously. This area is now littered with spits! I moved the rebelay bolt to the other wall which seems to have fixed the rub without the need for Andy A's deviation (from a very shoddy spit).

Eventually arrived at the bottom of the Theatre and went for a look at the aven that I'd planned to climb. Unfortunately it wasn't quite as I'd remembered it!

T/U 6½ hours

1999-07-21 | Base Camp - Base Camp | Dunks

Oh look! [arrow points to a toenail sellotaped in to the book]

My little toenail has just fallen off!

1999-07-21 | Journey - Anthony + Julia make it to expo | Anthony + Julia

It took us about 16 days, although we did get diverted via Turkey for a bit. My luggage was a little reticent about joining us, and is probably in Paris as I write these (illegible) lines.

Anyway, I appear to be here & my beer isn't quite empty ....

1999-07-21 | Journey - Journey | Mark S

Lovely flight from Stansted -> Salzburg. 1 h 20 m :-) Highly recommended.

1999-07-19 | 136 - Aven climbing in Steinschlagschacht | Brian, Julian H

Slight improvement on start time - underground by 2pm. Whizzed down to the bottom of the Theatre, stopping only to put another bolt in at the rebelay for the start of Traverse of the Gods, which is also the rebelay for the main hang into the Theatre. This rebelay now looks like spaghetti junction! Four ends of rope and a coil of spare rope all hang from here together with a sling!

Went back up the mud-bank climb at the bottom of the Theatre and across to the aven at the extreme SEish of the survey. This turned out to be a slopey, rifty crack part filled of mud and pebbles. Climbed up about 10m with Brian belaying me on the new dynamic rope. Put about 6 Hilti's in on the way and used usual climbing runners. Got tired soon after and went home.

T/U 7½ hours

1999-07-20 | 136 - More aven climbing in 136 | Brian, Julian H

Whizzed back to the bottom (25 mins) to continue climbing up the same aven as yesterday. Spent some time getting kitted up, climbed up to where we'd finished the day before, did the next move and then tried to put in another Hilti. Oh dear, the drill battery's flat! Not sure why that happened - we'd only done about 10 holes out of that pack. It seems likely that the drill stnadby current (I'd left the battery connected to the drill overnight) is high enough to flatten the battery quite quickly (overnight).

So we prussiked back up to Traverse of the Gods and met Duncan and Mick on their way in. Having nicked a piece of rope, we trundled across the traverse and up to northern end of Elin Algor, with the intention of having a look down the obvious big hole in the floor. Unfortunately I'd forgotten we needed a rope to get down the mud bank above, so that knocked that plan on the head. However, just around the corner to the right of the spit for the mud bank pitch, there's a muddy, loose ramp going up at around 45°. I climbed a long way up this (probably 20-30m), which turned left(ish) soon above the bottom. Right at the top is a small rifty slope, choked mostly with mud and rocks, through which is a pitch of perhaps 20m. Unfortunately its going to be very difficult to fit through the pitch head.

Having exhausted possibilities in Elin Algor, we bumbled off to HOTMC to have a look at some of Wookey's QMs at the bottom of the chamber. We spent some time poking around in the boulder choke and found little except loose rocks and small pseudo-chambers made of unstable rock and shit. I doubt very much that there is anything worth looking at further down here.

After that I went up to the big holes at the top of the lower bit of HOTMC where Duncan and Mik were busy bolting. About 8m up the right hand wall, over the right hand of the two holes in the floor, is a window into what loks very much like a bit of passage. Needs bolting to get up for a look, so went bac home instead.

T/U 8½ hours

1999-07-22 | 136 - More aven climbed planned - Footlights extension instead | Brian, Julian H

Having been back to base camp to charge the drill battery, the plan was to go back to the aven and do some more bolting. Brian had the idea of going to Footlights with the plan of trying to have a look at the top of the aven up which we were climbing. So off we set, with the now mandatory bag of rope planned to rig the bottom section of Footlights.

Anyway, about 2/3 of the way down Footlights, just by the last rebelay bolt, I spotted a hole in the wall up a pile of rubble. On closer inspection this turned out to be a short pitch into a chamber with about 4 QMs. All plans to continue aven climbing were abandoned as we'd just found a going lead where the survey said there were none.

So we did some dodgy rigging off hollow sounding threads and loose boulders and got into first chamber. The first hole on the right appeared to go but subsequently ended up in a large but choked rift. About halfway down this climb there's a climb up to a roof tube which is probably a grade-C QM.

Back in the chamber we traversed over two or three holes in the floor to reach a rift with a muddy floor on the opposite side. This rift goes and goes. There's a hole in the floor to traverse over (on dodgy naturals) followed by another chamber. This second chamber has a big rift-like hole in the floor and a ramp down on the right. We went down the ramp (boulders + mud) to reach the head of a short (9m) pitch into another chamber. Very nice bit of cave just here. At the far end of chamber is a hole (p10?) into a very rainy chamber with a big echo. Can't see around corner so no idea where it goes.

Spent 3 hrs getting cold surveying, then left. Pouring rain and typical plateau low cloud all the way to top camp. Yuk

T/U 10 hours

1999-07-24 | Cave - Cave | Julian H, Brian

Push Oatso and survey back out - info from call-out book, no logbook write up [WebEd]

1999-07-25 | 161 - REGURGITATION | Mark, Julian T

Went to Black Suspender (see separate report) with Earl & Heather and bimbled on to Mohr im Hend & the Regurgitation Chamber.

Water issues from a fissure S corner and from aven above, lip where water pours into chamber is about 100-120' off floor. Roof is out of sight above this.

On W side is hole in wall, very chossy, with hole on R leading into rift which splits immediately. L to be explored later. R leads to traverse. Traverse @ high level not explored. Bridging down to passage -> one way (doubling back) leads back to Regurg chamber. Other way leads to ~15m pitch down (*), stream at bottom. Straight on "not very promising", left leads to traverse, hole to ~15m pitch. It is believed that the bottom of at least the 2nd pitch of these two (or possibly both) can be reached from the bottom of the pitch (*) [Julian bridged down - difficult climb up]

To be looked at and surveyed later

T/U 5½ hrs

1999-07-25 | 161 - Novice KH Trip | Earl + Heather



1999-07-24 | 161 - Iceland | Julia + Anthony

First KH trip for me. In a nutshell: the cave was much nicer than I expected and the walk was a lot shitter. In through 161e, quick stomp to Iceland, only to discover a distinct lack of ice. On to the pitch QM which Anthony remembered as being a climb down to a short pitch/climb which needed a rope. Discovered that it was in fact a sizeable pitch. Put a backup bolt in, then realised we'd forgotten the hangers, so pissed off out.

TU 2½ hours

1999-07-25 | Loser Plateau - Surface stroll | Dunks, Dour, Mick

BECKA - digital logbook gave dates of 25th and 26th for this write-up

Bimbled across the plateau and up into the col twixt Nied Augst Eck & HSK. Lots & lots of entrances here, many of which are horizontal - see notes for this trip. Main find, on the col itself, was a very large horizontal entrance near a prominent rock bridge.

[IMAGE: Sketch of entrance. MISSING]

Two entrances, 'a' found first.

ent 'a' - short scramble down into entrance gulley leads to large opening and immediate pitch. Daylight visible from opp. side of pitch.

ent 'b' - pretty much as for 'a' except descent looks easier via this entrance.

1999-07-26 | 204 - Steinbrückehöhle | Dunks, Mick

Strolled up to cave found yesterday. Took 1½ hours from Top Camp, including time spent lost or looking at big ice stal in Bräuninghöhle. Slanting descent from 'b' entrance leads via a rebelay (also needs a deviation next trip) to a wodge of snow. Climb down and slither round r. hand side of snow led to a gentle slope down to 2nd pitch. This is about 7m diameter. Our rope wasn't quite long enough to reach the snow at the bottom. Without having a stroll around the bottom, can't tell if the 3 possible ways on we can see are real or not. Bum.

Walked back to top camp via summit of HSK & 136. Moved our gear to the HSK/VSK col, ready to lug it over HSK for next trip, when we will take more rope.

1999-07-25 | 136 - 136 | Wookey, Becka, Julian H, Brian

1st trip for Wook - and what a success! Relatively prompt start saw all @ 136 by 9.30 ish & underground by 11.

All gathered at head of Footlights pitch (start of Oatso). Wook, Julian H & Becka descended Footlights to collect climbing stuff from Julian's climb. Brian carried on to put some bolts in the 1st traverse in Oatso. Soon became clear that Julian's climb connected to holes above so it was derigged (1 hanger & some thin string left on it just in case).

Wook & Becka connected survey from bottom of Theatre pitch to bolt at head of Footlights. Noted that small porthole near foot of climb on L let you throw rocks into pitch descending farther. Small hole under rocks in floor had similar effect. Julian throwing rocks down wet hole at top of Footlights showed this was the same thing but it didn't end up in the bottom of the rift like most of the other holes. Derigged Footlights. Wet pitch is a good QM.

All trogged on to catch up with Brian & Julian just about finished fettling traverses. Whilst Julian put last bolt in, Wook abbed a bit down big hole on L. Saw huge space beyond but Julian couldn't - weird. Then other three got down & ran around whooping. Wook prussiked back up furiously to catch them, but by the time I got down they had all gone, and following footprints in chamber led to dead-ends! Where were they ?

Ran around for five minutes before going back up pitch to try again. Way on was down LH side of rib & under massive undercut. Beyond was 200m of massive fault-controlled passage going dead along 220°! Wook caught others up towards end when passage went up large rock-pile to meet roof at small draughting hole through which water could be heard & huge chamber seen. Exciting stuff !

Split into 2 teams to survey 'The Overrun' (actually overshoot) from either end. (We were now probably going straight past Eishöhle). After meeting we rigged first hole through which water could be heard, hoping to go under big boulder pile, but in fact it ended in a big flat-floored chamber with a small waterfall coming in one side. Bum. Time to go home, although Julian went to end to have a look and found that supposed pitch could actually be walked down.

T/U 12 hours.

1999-07-25 | 136 - Oatso Simple tourist trip | Erin, Theo

Oatso Simple tourist trip not written in log (added here by WebEditor from Call-out book - no T/U given)

1999-07-26 | 136 - Carry on to check out the Overrun | Wookey, Tony, Paul H, Erin, Phil U

All wizzed down 136, where Tony had first ever 'forgotten to shut Stop faceplate' experience on 2nd pitch. Improved eyehole rigging slightly. At bottom all went to end and checked out new chamber 'Lost in Space'. It is huge ! with 3 big holes in floor & 4 other pitches. Far end is enormous jumble of boulders where lots of cavers wandered about in the interstices peering out over big holes at each other and shouting 'Where am I' a lot.

Wook went along lower part of chamber which almost chokes off but dodgy 4m climb gets to look over big space in boulders. Opposite side & top can be reached by climbing through boulders in upper part of passage. Wook's climb got him into continuation but he was sufficiently keen to avoid reversing it that he failed to check out a way on and just shinned down a chimney to 'escape'. Having got there he found the others had forgotten how they got there, but Erin saved the day by finding the way out.

Then we surveyed it all (with much moaning from Tony towards the end as it became clear we wouldn't get out before dark).

Then far too much trekking & rope to get out. Paul H brought climbing rope out & was shattered.

Another top trip - now more than halfway to Schwabenschacht !

T/U 9-10 hrs

1999-07-27 | Base Camp - Hydrospeeding Hilde's River | Wook, Paul, Dunks, Julian T

Wook's body board & inner tube available. Walked up along river to check it out, and failed to do it properly. Wook & Paul were dropped in above big weir, but it was easy to get out. They shot past Hilde's and made it to the next bridge. Then Julian & Paul did it from further up towards Grundlsee from campsite on left just beyond footbridge. It's slow and shallow there, except the bit under the bridge. Lastly Dunk & Julian walked up on other side of the river and got changed. Dunk had borrowed Paul's surfing wetsuit and got a foot in the arm and the zip the wrong way around before complaining that it was too small. It was 5 pm, so quite biered up. A top caving alternative. Who'll dare do it after 5 days of rain.

T/U 0 hrs 0 mins 0 secs.

1999-07-25 | 1999-01 - Norden Alpen Schacht - Rigging the surface shaft that Brian found on 25/7/99 | Becka + Brian

Surface shaft provisionally named Norden Alpen Schacht.

Brian rigged the smaller of 2 holes down the obvious fault line (the lower, larger hole just above the snow field had an ice/snow plug at the bottom). Meanwhile I traversed around the hill (~30m) to a narrow ledge over a cliff where there's a low q strongly drafting hole. It went to a flat out crawl in mud (the top of a filled-in phreatic q large tube) with a blocked left + then a left view into the bottom of the snow at the larger hole (voice connection to Brian bolting at the top) + passage to the right (still low) with another window to a chamber a few metres below & then a crawl over + down into a tube which dropped into a small passage with boulders + leads on down - I then backtracked to Brian.

IMAGE: Sketch

Brian had rigged the pitch off naturals + a bolt. Down to chamber + fortunately the rope was also ~good for the hole in the floor of it through loose choss to small passage with bouldery floor down (chamber) which led to base of ice plug at bottom of larger hole (we traversed to the far side of this + it blocked fairly convincingly). However I'd dug out stones at the base at the right as it was drafting nicely. A couple of metres of flat out over rocks + into nice walking old stream passage. This went round the corner + a little water entered + then it dropped down what looked about a 10m pitch. Brian clambered to the left of this etc. Then we surveyed everything (~70m all told).

T/U 5 hours

1999-07-27 | 136 - 136 to Lost in Space | Becka, Brian, Andy A, John

Andy + John went straight to where Wookey left off surveying at top end of the boulder chamber in Lost in Space. Andy freeclimbed over a boulder & put a 7m rope on it (needs a bolt + a longer rope on it), then rigged ~30m sloping pitch down from the boulders choked in the passage (3 spits including a v. free-hanging rebelay). They went to the base of the sloping-down - wedge boulder-floored chamber at the bottom, poked around, then surveyed back up to Wookey's survey. Brian + Becka tried to bolt the pitch which Julian had been working on just before all the big stuff. A very pretty chamber after the 5m sloping pitch down which Julian had already rigged, then a strongly drafting hole looking out to a dripping large-echo chamber. Lots of pretties just at the pitch head, together with some lovely loose boulders. Brian threw a few pretties down the pitch + belayed off the boulders. Oh well! Then the drill battery turned out to be dead. Then we found that the hammer had no handle and the driver had no handle. And it was a damn cold place to bolt. After Brian had messed around for a bit + I'd let my infected foot cool down we decided we weren't quite interested in jerry-rigging it just off the boulders so we went off to find Andy + John. Brian put a bolt in on the pitch below Andy's (which needs a backup if anyone else is doing it, currently backed up off a boulder). Down ~35m (pitch provisionally called Steady Aim) to steeply sloping down bouldered floor leading at ~240°, clean-washed (area "water chute") + some drips coming in various spots. End on a jammed boulder at a pitch (~?10m) following the stream down. Finally getting a bit smaller here, pretty big everywhere above. Andy + I got out + Brian + John got out a bit later.

T/U 11 hours

Oh yes, Brian + I found a bit more on the left at the start of the survey that Wooks + I did 2 days ago + we surveyed it. Its just before Lost in Space, a couple more avens on the LHS as you go in.

1999-07-26 | 161 - Pushing 96-25 in Iceland | Anthony, Julian T, Earl

Took the drill off to Iceland anticipating that the pitch me and Julia had failed to descend 2 days earlier would end quickly so we could go off and start bolting the aven in Iceland. Walk in was crap, esp. the bit from d to e in caving gear in blazing sun. Got to the pitch head and put in a practice bolt for a traverse line, then I descended the pitch via 3 bolts. Pitch is fairly spacious in hading rift for ~30m in 3 10m sections, separated by chossy sloping ledges where it is impossible to avoid kicking crap down. Found somewhere to cower and the others came down. Beyond is a further pitch, est. at 15m, but we had no more rope. So we put some bolts in for it and left. Rift is still a fair size and looks moderately promising, but isn't quite what I was expecting (short pitch leading to horizontalish rift).

TU 7 hours

1999-07-29 | 136 - Photo + push in 136 | Becka, Julian T, Julian H

Down ~11, Julian H still bleary from his midnight return from 136 with Erin. I derigged he rope off the Theatre (52m) + took it down Oatso. Took photos of end of Oatso, the chamber above Windy Bottom (pretty) & the Overshoot main passage. Then derigged Pit of Damnation (choss nonsense in Lost in Space that Julian H + Erin looked at yesterday). Julian H used the drill (which died after 3 bolts) + then a hand bolt to descend ~20m into Breeze Through. We went down & slung the rope around a dodgy roof natural to get down the final 10m after the sloping boulder-strewn ledge. And Julian spotted the distant rumble of Wookey + Andy surveying at the same depth. So we fixed our survey to the bottom of theirs & surveyed out. Finally done gone 8. Took drill battery out & went out rather slowly, all feeling a bit knackered. Complete cock-up trying to rig a deviation to stop a rub on the 2nd pitch below the eyehole. Bodged it + gave up
T/U JulianH 11½, Becka + Julian T 12½

1999-07-28 | Loser Plateau - Assorted surface things | Wook, Earl, Mark S, Brian

Day looked a bit grey and rainy for a while so went to 92 area to sort problem with last year's survey 93->94, and try to find the elusive 92. 4 of us spent at least an hour slogging through the bunde to no avail. Checked the bunde areas to N, S, W & E (back past crappers to TC). Fuck knows where it is !

Next, once we decided it probably wasn't going to rain significantly, Wook & Mark S went up to 156 to join up tag & 1st rigging bolt, then on to Vord summit, signed book & surveyed from 138 to 136 to 135. Put spit in 135 for forthcoming tag. Spent another hour or so traipsing around looking for the elusive 137. No joy, although we found a hole (shaft) that goes at least a bit in the middle of one of the bunde lumps directly below the Vord summit cliff. GPSed to:

IMAGE: Sketch

Then it was getting past tea-time & started raining. Got thoroughly wet on way home & cooked in super-spacious new tent.

T/U : 0

1999-07-29 | 136 - More in Chile | Wook, Andy A

Co-incident with Becka, Julian, Julian trip

Trundled on down 136. At last pitch before Theatre Y-hang (below new deviation added on previous bit a day or two before) Wook noticed that annoying rub had become serious - rope was deeply shagged with core starting to show. As we had a drill handy, put in a hole, before realising I had no spit or hanger. Andy came back to foot of pitch & I descended (after tying knot round dodgy bit & another for clip-in loop). Stole hanger from rigging & spit from Andy & went back up. Then realised I had setting tool, but no hammer - sigh ! gave up & left spare rope, explaining to others that it needed fettling.

At bottom, collected hammer & hangers & went along Overshoot. At point where Undershoot goes off right, noticed climb up to L. Andy A shinned up with aid of sling & short gibber. Beyond was 15m pitch back down. Bolted and descended. We only had one rope so took it off climb up to go down here.

At bottom narrow rift led to narrow shaft, with breeze descending. Apart from the breeze it would be pretty unpromising. Wooks started shinning down before andy pointed out that it looked rather too much like a pitch for that to be sensible, so rigged from a bolt. It soon belled out into big space (Andy was right!) After a couple of rubs put in rebelay. Looked like rope didn't quite reach bottom, so Andy went back to Overshoot to yell at Becka from top of climb to go find some more rope. She duly obliged. In fact rope was only a couple of feet off floor (= OK). Now in large rift which took some time to explore (up climb to chamber, then down climbable rift to big, wet aven, then back down other way out of chamber to 15m pitch). Spare rope again - just reached bottom. Fortunately this stopped so we only had a really long survey to do. Part-way through Haines & Co. arrived high at far end of rift, having descended next QM along Overshoot. Surveys were duly connected. Eventually finished and went to Lost in Space to join up Pit of Damnation survey properly. Then checked QM at end (looks good) & wended weary way out.

Both teams forgot a setter on the way out, so Julian had to put in a crap hand spit instead (on the deviation on 2nd pitch below the eyehole).

1999-07-30 | Loser Plateau - Useful surface things | Wook, Andy A

Changed 99-01 tag to 'CUCC 201' (99-02 tag removed a few days earlier)

Changed 'TBH 87-03' tag to 'CUCC 199'

Survey 199 to grade 3-and-a-bit, working out why the previous surveys had differed so much (there are 2 side passages - each previous trip had only found one).

Met Tony, Paul & Becka near 136 checking out 97-08 and related holes. See survey book for details. Wook knocked ski-stick down hole just as we were packed to go so lined descent of 54' deep shaft was needed to retrieve it - mutter.

T/U 30 mins

1999-07-28 | 136 - Windy Bottom (136) / Pit of Damnation (136) | Julian H, Erin

Underground about 11.30 am - damn hot as usual. Went straight to the undescended pitch into a wet chamber, with the intention of rigging it for a look. Howling gale blowing through the relatively small window into the chamber - damn cold putting bolts in. Having eventually rigged the c 5m pitch, it turned out that there was nothing more than a very big aven, which we were at the bottom of. Fairly clean vertical shaft going up around 30-40m and about 8-10m in diameter. There must be something good at the top of this, judging for the size and draught. Exceptionally wet place when raining outside.

So, having surveyed and derigged Windy Bottom, we thought we'd go for a look at the most southerly extension of the "new bit" (now Chile). Boulder choke looked both hard work and too high up in the hading rift, so we picked a big hole in the floor at the bottom of "Lost in Space" to push instead.

Rigging was exciting due to the huge piles of hanging death all around. Having got over the lip of the pitch, it quickly became aparent that a rebelay would be in order. Unfortunately, the walls of the "pit" were entirely made up of boulders and small rocks glued on with mud - none of which was very appealing for a rebelay. Decided to ignore the rub and proceed to the bottom anyway.

At the bottom is a fairly large extension of the hading rift visible above, in Lost-in-Space. Unfortunately there were no good leads to go any further, so we surveyed and derigged. Time now very short for meeting call-out so exited in a big hurry.

T/U 11½ hrs (Julian)
13¼ hrs (Erin)

1999-07-28 | 136 - push end towards Stellerweg | John, Andy A

136, push end towards Stellerweg

[info from call-out book, no logbook write-up, WebEd]

1999-07-29 | Loser Plateau - surface surveying to Steinbrückenhöhle | Mick and Duncan

[in call-out book as surface surveying to Steinbrückenhöhle - no write-up, WebEd.]

1999-07-29 | 204 - Comment | Duncan


70m deep
260m surveyed
12 qms
still going . . . . .

Proper write-up soon. x x x dunks [there never was. WebEd.]

1999-07-31 | Journey - Helen and Nick go to Expo | Helen and Nick

We drove Helen's shiny new car for a long time. The journey was almost completely uneventful apart from being stopped by the Pirmasens Police for speeding (50 mph in a 50km zone) and for having an illegal load (the hang-glider protruded 50cm in front of the car - not allowed in Germany). So we pleaded stupidity, smiled a lot, untied the glider and pushed it back a bit (making it very unstable) and tied it back on. Nice Mr. Policeman relieved us of £10 and wished us a good day.

Saw the aftermath of a 'coming together' on the autobahn - no-one hurt, just lots of bent metal. Strange what happens when people drive at 120 mph.

Arrived at 1:00 in the morning to be greeted by Duncan, pissed off his face and spouting complete bullshit. Went to bed happy in the knowledge that some aspects of Expo never change.

1999-08-01 | 40 - Go look in Eishöhle | Wook, Andy A, Becka, Paul, Mark S, Julian T, Simon

Went to look in eishöhle to see if we could find some extra ways on. Everyone gawped at Schneevulcanhalle for a bit, then we split into 3 teams: Mark S & Simon took pictures, Wook & AndyA tried to find ways on, and the rest went towards 'the old cave', after putting in a second bolt on the pitch. Becka, Paul and Julian surveyed this, called "Oldway". Wook & Andy tried shinning up the rubble slope on the W side of the chamber. It just leads to a wet boulder choke. However, on he LH wall there was a slot which had a major gale coming out of it. No-one had got round the bend so Wook was soon into new passage (again!). Soon led to pitch. Went back for Andy & rope. Rigged 15m pitch into big descending canyon. Yipee! Reached another pitch after a climb-down. We only had one hanger left so rigged a huge deviation with a knotted sling to get to the floor. Unfortunately it ended! So we surveyed out, but noted significant draught still, so left it rigged for tomorrow.

T/U 6 hours

1999-08-01 | 40 - Eishöhle | Mark S

[Date guessed at and heading added]

Mark S :- Photo trip somewhat abortive due to flash failure (results to be discovered -:) We took a few photos in Schneevulkanhalle and then went down the pitch into the passage which Julian, Becca + Paul had descended around to the left of the chamber (coming down the snow slope). This eventually ended in a "too-hard" ice climb [see survey data] + we went back.

Not too hard, drafting well, but ice all too soft, better done on rock or entering from the other direction ?

On way back (still in the "oldway" down the pitch) Simon + Mark explored a hole on the left [whilst returning to Schneevulkanhalle] down a small ice slope; this led to a pitch (~15-20m??) with a rusty spit (not of CUCC origin) in place [Pitch not descended].

Out of time => back to SVH

1999-07-31 | Loser Plateau - Mark S goes hunting for 155 "et al" | Mark S

Set off from carpark with intention of finding 155 "et al" at about midday.

Took 201 "Stogerweg" path towards Eishöhle. Missed turning @ red omega and so ended up going past 22 (?32) - needs checking - and "88" - presume numbered incorrectly - then turned back.

This time I found the omega and so headed up towards Bunter's Bulge ("The Nipple") or "Weiße Warze". LOST PATH!

Thrashed through bunde with GPS for a whole hour, at least, but eventually found "it".

GPS took me to a snow-plugged "entrance" [more of a choked shakehole] - seemed to fit 155 desc. - but no number in evidence - so headed back to Weiße Warze.

* checked 153 (sic) position (from desc. on WWW) => 013° of Weiße Warze

* INCONSISTENT with GPS position (check GPS + you'll see what I mean).

=> search for 153 aborted

* few holes in area came across seem to be mainly insignificant

* nothing else of significance found except shaft with snow at bottom 1999MS02 posn in Wook's GPS - just on traverse from 136 towards Bunter's Bulge.

* if this needs clarifying, please email Mark

1999-07-31 | 136 - Chile Again | Becka, John + Simon

Down to the Far End beyond Lost in Space. Sent John to rerig Andy A's pitch (bit of an unusual rig of a clown + missed the critical rebelay, otherwise OK!) + put a second hand bolt at head of Brian's Steady Aim pitch. Simon + I looked down the pitch Earl + Phil had rigged to the left of Andy's pitch + surveyed back to Andy + John station 5 (this survey the Left Route survey, linked to LostinSpace2). Looks good down there, complex, lots of holes all over + possibly also some horizontal stuff + good draught.

Came out + shouted to John we'd be 10 minutes to get to him. Got to head of Steady Aim pitch, no John, though his dangly bag with spare food, water + carbide was there, plus the bolting kit. Simon went down to the pitch + couldn't see him. We both started searching + shuting + whistling. This lasted about 30 minutes and was bloody distressing looking for mangled oversuits at the bottom of climbs. Finally he turned up - he'd found a way through boulders to the bottom of the floor after Steady Aim pitch, and had scooped 200m passage. Finally decided to come back + got lost on the way. Ticked off. Started to survey back where he'd been, down ramps (q. steep) with a few QM's until got to a narrow canyonny bit. Stopped the survey + looked up the passage, a sticky mud option plus two ways on, left goes slightly upwards in lovely passage with fossils in the roof. Down gets watery + eventually narrowed down. Simon went in, got wet, + reported Darren-like passage, which opened up a bit + then choked bit probably a way on. Headed on out fairly slowly.

T/U Becka 12½ hours, Simon + John 13½ hours

1999-08-02 | Loser Plateau - Surface survey + shaft bash around Nordalpenhöhle (1999-01)| Becka + Brian

Surveyed a leg from new cave tag for Nordalpenhöhle to end of previous surface + cave survey, then surface surveyed to the other shaft that Brian + Julian H found at the same time as Nordalpenhöhle about a week ago. Brian put a spit in at the head of this shaft then found the tub of spits + cones he had brought was actually carbide.

So he rigged the shaft on naturals + two deviations. Down 30m or so (v. roughly) + he got to a big chamber with a couple of places with a draft coming out of chokes/boulders. He thought somebody else had probably been there already. Not very exciting. Came out, derigged. I'd surface surveyed to the low horizontal drafting tube I'd looked in the first time (26th July) that Brian + I went to Nordalpenhöhle (last station marked with a red B on the underside of its roof). We both went in + had a really miserable time doing the flat out crawl over sticky mud + pointy rocks which I'd forgotten from last time. Took all the rope etc. back to the col.

IMAGE: Sketch

T/U Becka 30 min, Brian 60 min

1999-07-30 | Loser Plateau - Surface bumbling around 136 etc | Becka, Paul, Tony, Andrew, Wookey

Various tidying up of surface survey stuff + ferrying bits of gear to Eishöhle (by Paul, Andy + Wookey) + lots of sitting around by 136 going down all the holes there. Paul went 54 foot narrow rift on ladders, Andy found a through trip and I found some squitty holes. I went to the top of the Schwarzmooskogel + it was very pretty. Fester day.

1999-07-30 | 136 - Far End of 136 | Phil U, Earl M

Underground about 11:45 am. Descended pitches to 'Lost in Space'. Through boulders to short climb - needs re-rigging to avoid poor rub. On to 4m pitch and finally to pushing front. Set two spits and rigged 10m pitch. Descended into small chamber: ways on down through boulders or forward. Downward route was not pushed; Forward leads to ~30m rift pitch with possible way on at bottom. This was not descended as Phil's light was failing. Returned to surface bringing Oldham drill battery, 16m, 14m + 30?m ropes out. Installed improved deviation using spit placed by Wookey.

T.U. 12 hours

1999-07-31 | Loser Plateau - Surface exploration around VSK | Erin L, Earl M

Started from 136 with intention of looking for alternative entrance to 136. Followed obvious rift on surface until we realised that this was not necessarily above 136 anymore. Eventually made our way to the summit of VSK. Rift on bearing 220° from 136 passes close to summit of VSK and continues downhill. ~50m from VSK large rift crosses this at right angles (see Tim VB's report 1998.07.15) Placed bolt for 50' ladder (nearly reaches bottom) and climbed down. Small snow patch on bottom, connection to neighbouring shaft, no obvious leads.

T.U. ~30 seconds

Wook investigating other shafts to the north of this (?)

1999-08-01 | 147 - ReExplore and resurvey 147 |Tony R, Earl M

Started by exploring whole cave, to gain understanding of its structure. Main passage is a hading rift. After entrance, main passage continues horizontally for some distance, with two (joined) pitches (reachable along loose slope from entrance - care!) in floor. These can be traversed over. Passage (now phreatic tube 1m diameter) zig zags onwards to climbs down and terminal aven (~20m). Several holes in floor at various stages. Two notable side passages: shortly after entrance, tube on right passes windows onto pitches, then heads away from rift for ~20m before becoming too tight. Mid way along main passage, vadose side passage on right leads after ~20m to mud bank blocking 80% of passage. Could be moved easily. Passage continues beyond for at least 5m, but further unknown. Returned to surface to ditch tackle, then surveyed main passage.

TU 4 h

1999-07-30 | 161 - Survey "Frozen Turkey" (pitch off Iceland) | Anthony & Julia

Plan was to go to Iceland, survey the stuff we'd found earlier, push until we ran out of rope, and derig so we could relocate to somewhere more interesting. Didn't move my arse out of Top Camp until 12:20, so we knew we were in for a late finish. Changed at 161d, walked to 161e and were under by 3 pm. Survey went reasonably well, but at no great pace owing to verticality and lots of loose shit around. Rigged the undescended pitch which we'd bolted on the last trip, to find our rope didn't reach the bottom. I set off down with another one, but the pitch needs another bolt to avoid a bad rub, and Julia was now very cold, so we jacked. Looks like there may be a way on at the bottom through a fairly narrow rift (probably another pitch).

Derigging went smoothly and we emerged from 161e at 11:45. Changed at 161d and left there at 01:20 carrying my gear and a bag of rope. Arrived Top Camp 03:00. The walk was grim, and it later transpired that I'd also carried Julia's SRT kit inadvertantly, which didn't help matters.

T/U 8½ hours

1999-08-01 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle |Anthony, Duncan, Tina

Looking for a nice easy trip the day after a major session in Bad Aussee. Carried mine and Tina's gear to Steinbrück between us, and went for a look round since there wasn't any gear available to finish the survey. Cave is very promising indeed - mostly Puerile Humour sized phreatic tubes trending up and down dip at about 20 degrees, including a superb ~40m long phreatic ramp, and a number of promising leads. Went to one of the best - a pitch at the lowest point of the known cave. Banged in 3 bolts but didn't have time to descend.

T/U 4 hours

1999-08-01 | 136 - 136 | Jon, Mike

Returned to finish survey of day before, and look at new leads. Completed survey - most promising lead (trending SE) ends at infilled passage - may be possible to pass with short climb. Otherwise continues along small, narrow, wet 'Darrenesque' crawl. Also investigated passage going in opposite direction (Goo junction) - turns into short, narrow VERY muddy passage, into a squeeze leading to a sump and a very water-filled passage. Not recommended!

T/U: 13½ hrs

1999-08-04 | 136 - Steinschlagschacht | Becka, Jon, Earl, Brian

Down to Lost in Space and looked at Left Route. Down Jon's 4m pitch and Earl + Phil's 10m pitch. Brian + I rigged to the 2 alternative bottoms entirely on naturals (!) as it wasn't too steep. Brian's way went to a deadend chamber. My way got all clean-washed + drippy + ended in a too-tight rift. Sigh. Higher up there was a Grade C QM up a steep mud climb, looked like there could be a pitch down the other side &/or a tube heading off horizontally - but I climbed up to the same level as the tube & it looked mud-filled under the glare of my dodgy yellow electric. [IMAGE - MISSING] Earl + Jon surveyed out + detackled. Brian went up a climb at the top of Jon's pitch (ie. at the end of the big rift chamber v. near Andy's pitch). Loose & didn't lead to anything promising. Had a third attempt at re-rigging Andy's 6m upclimb more sensibly + bodged it again - doesn't seem to be any easy way to do it. Brian went down the hole in the floor directly below Andy's upclimb. Went to a chamber under the boulder floor with no draught + no obvious way on. Turned round + went home, taking out 60m rope and a tonne of hangers.

T/U 11 hours

1999-08-05 | 40 - Eishöhle | Becka, Paul, Wookey, Andy A, Julian T

Through the scrot to the traverses. Andy rerigged the climb before that and about 8 more bolts went into the traverse (we discovered we'd brought 3 bolting kits so thought we'd better damn well use them). Surveyed from beyond traverses to pitchhead. Rigged pitch + traverse before it (to avoid the drips), down ~15m to another pitch. Paul + I decided we were superfluous to requirements + bummed off out, only an hour out from the pitch head + got to do most of the walk in the light, a good thing. The other three rigged down 'eiscream' as far as a tightish squeeze with the pitch series carrying on beyond. They'd run out of hangers by then so surveyed + derigged out + had a hard walk back with all the rope.

T/U Becka + Paul 8 hours
Wookey, Andy + Julian 13½ hours

1999-08-03 | Loser Plateau - Looking for 193 | Nick

Found in 1995 and never seen again. Had a wander round and found something that is roughly right and in roughly the right place. It'll do. Need to survey to it at some point.

1999-08-04 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle surveying| Anthony, Julia, Nick

Went to survey lots of passage and push the pitch rigged on the previous trip. Team efficient consisted of Nick making up the numbers, Julia converting them to illegible scrawl and Salvador on pictures - seemed to work quite well. Pushed a couple of leads - the airy traverse over the hole in the floor was airy and led to not much more cave. Julia scrotted over a boulder choke and found some really tight horrible stuff. At this point, sense prevailed and we went to do the pitch, to find Duncan's calling card at the bottom - a Tunnocks Bar Wrapper. Mick and Duncan had gone down a parallel shaft and beaten us to it. More stomping passageway and phreatic tube-type stuff. Did a bit more surveying then got bored and came out. 1st pitch is jolly awkward. Good trip.

TU 7 hrs

1999-08-05 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Anthony, Helen, Nick

Went back to push the phreatic tube. This was draughting and seemed promising. A hole in the floor was gardened and became a very small phreatic tube going down 4-5m. Needs a rope (C-). Beyond the top of the hole the cave again became small and scrotty. There is a possible lead (QM C---) - a small crawl from the bottom of a pit in the floor. We were running out of leads, so surveyed out. Then Helen decided to climb up into a small roof tube. Anthony had looked at this briefly. Roof tube heading upwards - obviously going to be full of mud. Helen disappeared round a corner. "It goes!" . "It's big"

"Oh really" came the enthusiastic reply

"Can you hear the echo .... echo .... echo ?"

The tube popped out into a large chamber - 10m in diameter, high roof and about 25m to the floor. Started bolting and used up both our hangers descending 6m. Needs another rebelay, then should be straight down to floor. By this time we were cold, so headed out.

TU 6 hrs

1999-08-04 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Dunks, Mike TA

Went to descend 3m diameter shaft near entrance. Animal rig consisting of thread, boulder & 'tector got us down ~18m pitch into 6-9m wide phreas with ice formations. This led to a spacious but loose pitch, and a phreatic maze. While scrotting around the maze, found an aven with a loop of rope visible up in the air - the pitch the others were planning on descending. Decided to leave a Tunnocks bar so they'd know we'd beaten them to it. Then decided to eat the bar and leave the wrapper.

Then we went to descend the loose pitch. Several possible pitch heads were inspected, until we decided on a reasonable one. Thread & single spit led down a short pitch to a bridge of wedged rocks, from which we were able to descend a further 15m in a large shaft. At the bottom were two ways on, both short pitches.

Started to survey out. Met the others, agreed to complete survey, then meet up again to decide which other bits each team should survey. However, on our way to find the others we inadvertantly found '115 a day passage', 115m of very dusty phreas heading up dip. This eventually splits and becomes narrow (grade 'c' qms), but there is a pitch at the end (grade 'a' qm)

TU 6 hrs

1999-08-04 | 40 - Eishöhle | Wook, Andy A, Simon

[Call-out book says 08.04 and 08.05 was another trip to the same place]

BECKA - Previous line from previous (anon) webeditor - I think the trip written up here is actually the 08.04 trip and the 08.05 trip was written up as Becka's 08.05 write up earlier - except for the extra comment in the next entry about rigging the traverse.

Went back to end of 'Up, Up & away' to go down pitches. One bolt & crummy deviation got Simon to bottom. Unfortunately it was full of rocks so it didn't go, apart from a tiny hole with a draught down which thrown stones went some distance. Simon hammered this for 15mins before giving up. Some Hilti caps would fix it.

Draught also disappears into 1" wide rift at far end - mutter. Wooks swung into rift which looked promising part way down pitch, unfortunately it just goes to the bottom of an aven. So we ended up back at the top looking at traverse over top of pitch, where most of draught came from. Put in a knotted sling belay and Wook got over to far wall & climbed up, then put in bolt. Another traverse beyond. Andy's turn this time, achieved with skyhook & 2 bolts.

Beyond was steeply ascending ramp/rift, surprsingly easy to ascend 45m following strong draught, until finally some walking passage is reached. We surveyed as far as this then went for a run-around. Most of draught came from up more steep rampy shit, but some went other way, which led to a big, wet pitch. Finally, something going down ! 1st window was very wet, but traversing past (needs an 8m rope, 2 slings, 1 hanger) leads to a nice dry hang.

TU 11 hrs

1999-08-05 | 40 - Eishöhle addendum | Becka, Paul, Wookey, Andy A, Julian T

Logbook claims this is an addendum to 08.06 write-up but dates screwed up for this and previous entry so I've put it down as 08.05

1999-08-06 (Addendum to Becka's write up)

Traverse was left rigged with 23m 1994 9mm, 1 old bend, 3 new bends, 3 twists, 2 rings, 1 bollard.

1999-08-02 | 40 - Eishöhle | Wook, Andy A, Paul

Went to check out where draught goes at bottom of 'deviant alternative' [this bit is now called 'Delaying Tactics' - 'Deviant Alternative' now refers only to the initial entry passage, WebEditor]. Andy skyhooked into roof and then descended on dodgy sling belay - didn't help get round corner. Wook followed. Andy climbed up instead, on belay to get round corner. Chambery thing reached with 4 tubes going off. 1 was too tight, 1 went back to point at pitch head, 1 went to boulders blocking way to enticing space. Last allowed access to same space but this also just led back to above pitch-head. Decided this was defo dead.

Paul now very cold & bored as we had arsed around for 1.5 hrs. Went up to Andy's lead above original pitch (now derigged). More climbing up here (Paul refused on 1st bits, Wook on 2nd, Andy on neither) led to walking passage with strong wind. Main rift stopped at drippy boulder choke. Passage went for ~30m to rock bridge overlooking nice pitches (one either side, possibly the same thing). Did hurried survey out to get back for dinner.

TU 6

1999-08-07 | 136 - 136 | Becka, Neil + Jon

Under by 10.45, pootled beyond Lost in Space. Neil rerigged (another bolt) Andy's pitch to give 2 pitchhead bolts . . . but it still rubs + still has the free-hanging rebelay in it. Then Neil put a deviation bolt in Brian's pitch which now doesn't rub (we had a drill, by the way!) Whilst Jon looked at the traverse on the left in the inbetween chamber - pretty sure it drops down into the left route stuff. Down the 30m pitch at the end of Carpetland (Pebbledash) to get to the pushing front. I thought the next pitch looked free-climbable but by the time Neil had scrambled up the wall a bit the drop was at least 5m. Jon + I surveyed down whilst Neil wielded the drill. We just about kept up with him down 4 squitty pitches to a really wet drippy aven and passage ... that lasted about 50m in tightish canyonny passage with some delicate stals and weird bulbous calcite that looked like it regularly flooded - muddy and gloomy. The drill faded out on the final pitch and Neil dropped the spits down it, so he slung a rope around a weakly-wedged boulder in the canyon (the good belay) and a sling around a vague stump of calcite (can you sit on this belay please) & lobbed off down. He came back - found a sump! We'd been about ready to turn round but decided we had to finish the survey (lovely bit of stream passage at the bottom followed by a big, dark, ominous circular sump pool with froth on top and no way on, Tick). Then derigged all the rope up to Carpetland + staggered off with 2 tacklesacks of rope + rigging gear, the drill + battery to bottom of Oatso, aided + abetted by some of Neil's marzipan + impeded by a failed attempt to haul up Brian's pitch (rope fails to hit bottom cock-up). Got out steadily + fantastic stars, with a couple shooting.

T/U 15 hours

IMAGE: pitch 1, 2 rigging - 6k gif

IMAGE: pitch 3 rigging - 5k gif

IMAGE: pitch 4, 5 rigging - 8k gif

IMAGE: pitch 6 rigging

NOTE - Passage continues for 50m streamway to sump TOTALITY

1999-08-05 | 136 - 136 | Jon, Neil, Tanya, Simon

- Previous to above trip, went down through 'Lost in Space' and 'Steady Aim' pitch down to 'CarpetWorld', where Neil did a cracking job of rigging the traverse and 30m pitch. Then down the pitch and onto more meandering rift and short pitches (see above), then surveyed back. also had another look at end of 'runny bottom' to SE - climb looks loose and unprotected, crawl OK but not a pleasant day out!!! Somehow managed to stay down 14 hrs - Simon's initial stab at surveying being a minor factor?!! (I can sort of see some numbers, but they're pretty blurred.....) Everyone pretty knackered on that last pitch up...

T/U 14 hours

1999-08-05 | 204 - Unclear if trip occurred | Erin and Duncan

In call-out book as intending to descend Steinbrückenhöhle - not clear if this trip took place, no write-up in logbook, WebEd.

1999-08-07 | 204 - Unclear if trip occurred | Mike, Tina and Earl

In call-out book as intending to descend Steinbrückenhöhle same day as Helen, Nicka and Brian - not clear if this trip took place, no write-up in logbook, WebEd.

1999-08-07 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Helen, Nick, Brian

Pushing lead from Millennium Dome (it didn't need another re-belay), Nick scrotted thru the boulder choke on LHS, which had a gentle breeze but got too small. No leads at top of boulder choke. Rift on RHS, tight entrance to pitch (rigged off 2 large boulders), opened to medium sized aven, 10m pitch to rock bridge between 2 pitches. One side ~10m ? pit, looked to be boulder choked (+ ½ way up aven, keyhole/rift lead). Other pitch looked promising - ledge/aven ~5m down, continued thru hole in floor. Brian rigged to this hole, reported lots of blackness below and lack of rope -> came out, no survey due to lack of survey gear at Top Camp.

TU 6 hrs

1999-08-08 | 204 - 204 | Nick, Brian, Anthony

From the makers of 'Interview Blues', we proudly present a major new motion "Scrotty Rift Pitch Series II - This time its even more pointless"

With Brian pushing, Anthony and Nick surveyed in. Brian's bottom of blackness turned out to be a blind 30m pitch with scrotty rift (too tight) at the bottom and the sound of running water just round the corner. Brian tried the next hole along, which came to the same place. The next hole, rigged 'au naturel' (from a large boulder, rather than without clothes) went down parallel to the 30m pitch with several windows onto it, before landing in ... wait for it ... scrotty rift! Another short pitch (which was by-passable) and then several climbs down saw us deep in the rift. At this point Brian the Bolter bolted (out of the cave) and Nick and Anthony finished the next pitch, a fine 15m hang into a largish chamber with lots of echo and a small unpromising rift in the floor, and not a lot else. At this point we left, derigging the rope for Duncan to play with on his pitch series the next day. 230m of surveying Hurray! This bit of cave has 2 leads left - the eye-hole off the 1st pitch from the Millennium Dome (QM B) and the rift at the bottom which is small, but draughts (QM B).

TU Nick & Anthony 10½
Brian 8½

1999-08-09 | 136 - Push near Runny Bottom | Becka, Jon, Neil

An hour down to the end of Oatso, pretty damn familiar territory by now. Down Steady Aim and the CM arrow climb under boulders to the aven climb I'd told Andy + Simon to look at + which they'd free-climbed partway up yesterday. En route, we looked at the big wet canyon on the bottom right of Lost in Space, but decided it didn't look too promising. Likewise the pitch at the base of the CM arrow climb below Steady Aim pitch. Likewise the squitty rift at the base of Steady Aim pitch (opposite side of the boulder chamber). Anyway, back to our aven, easy freeclimb up ~20m, right goes to mud-filled tube, on left rift goes off up steeply. Jon climbed up to under the crux, which was smoother and more vertical than the lower section, which had lots of footholds + thutch potential. Jon put a protection bolt in, then Neil belayed him (on lovely muddy SRT rope), put a sling around a higher natural then had a few minutes of heavy breathing as he strained up to the easier section ("I'm nervous" said Neil!) Jon put a bolt in at the top, below 2 roof tubes, I came up + put another bolt in, then Jon went up again towards the more vertical roof tube, which had a great draft (and impressive white hand-sized helictites) but had conclusive carbide + electric failure + we decided we'd really not got the kit for this so we surveyed 3 legs out + went home (derigging Steady Aim & Andy's pitches).

T/U 11½ hours

1999-08-10 | 161 - 161D - Pushing Regurgitation (almost) | Becka, Julian T

T/U 6 hours

Last trip to fetch bolting kit & rope left behind on noddy trip 3 weeks ago that we (expo) never got back to. Scarface was well out of favour with all the other entrances not so hard to get to, except for Eishöhle with its really horrible pushing front as well. We stretched across Fear-on traverse, which was really horrible, and lifted up 100m of 1994 9mm rope which was muddy and stiff as wire and no good to anyone. There was a storm outside and water was pissing heavily down every side shaft and rumbling from the passages. The candle I had left on at the Guillotine was welcoming, though Becka had objected because it was a waste of wax. Down towards Mohr im Hemd my carbide was dingy again and I had to beg the use of Becka's pricker for the third time which was inconveniently entangled with her dodgy backup electric such that it stopped working when you got it out. Much complaining along the lines of get your own. But where from ? Down the pitch into Regurgitation on the two lovely bolts fitted by me and Mark Shinwell opposite the gorgeous natural. We bickered some more and got into the opposite rift and bolted a pitch using some of the 9 mil we'd chopped in half with a rock in Staud'nwirt palace. I got to the bottom where there was a layer of mud and a passage heading back under Regurge and we rolled around in some very tight crawls and watery bits all loosely packed with boulders as you would expect. At one point I got an echo from the chamber above. I tried really hard, desperate to find some new cave to call my own, but it wasn't going to happen here. Went up from the floor (Becka had added another bolt to warm herself up and decided to detour into the side bit I had climbed down to last time when Mark was saying it was about time we got home. Pushed a bit harder and got into easy rift which traversed comfortably on and down for maybe 60m till it got a bit wide and off the floor. Could have done it if someone was there, still going well, but I turned back and got lost. Quite confusing area. I didn't recognise most of it. Then I heard Becka screaming for me like someone who has just seen the sump monster. As if I could do anything. I yelled "Don't Panick!" into the nearest space I could hear the sound, but she continued, getting me all hett-up such that I had to force my way through loose boulders anywhere. And I came out at the bottom of the pitch from a place I had determined 20 mins earlier there to be no way on. We surveyed nothing, exited, detackled and discovered a dangli bag missing at surface. It was left at the bottom of ladder pitch at end of Staud'nwirt passage by Becka who never makes mistakes like that unless she's tired, and it was my fault she was tired so I had to put on an oversuit and go and get it. Borrowed her carbide and took the pricker out as soon as I was around the corner so I could prick it whenever I fucking well liked and have a big flame so I didn't get too spooked by the sump monster. Solo caving just gives me the shivers. We left some crap by the bunde highway to pick up in the morning rather than lugging it all in one gut-busting load as we did at Eishöhle with 3 macho men and no feminine voice of reason. Bit tedious to fetch in the morning. Would have preferred a lie in with a slightly more broken body.

1999-08-09 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Erin and Earl

Erin and Earl descended Steinbrückenhöhle on a photographic trip (date from call-out book). We know this trip occurred, because the photos are on the site, but there is no log-book write-up.

1999-08-10 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Nick, Anthony, Helen, Julia

Derigging trip - first three pitches were left to do. Plus some extra tackle sacks. We came, we went down, we came back up again with our friends.

TU Helen 1 hour, Julia 1½ hr
Nick & Anthony 2 hrs

Saw a salamander on the way to the cave

1999-08-11 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Duncan, Mike TA

Pushing down the Ariston (& on & on ...) series. Basically, it goes. Now over 200m deep, 3 qms at the bottom, one of which is a 3 s drop in a wide shaft. Surveyed & derigged. Arrived at the bottom of the 2nd pitch to the sound of rushing wateer. Sprinting exit to find 2cm diameter hailstones all over the place.

TU 10½

1999-08-08 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Duncan, Julia

??/8/99 given in digital log book but [1999-08-08 from call-out book]

Bimble round ticking off QMs in the top phreatic stuff. Found a new qm at the foot of the 2nd pitch. Land on the snow & shin up about 2m - oh look, there's a pitch. Perhaps one day we'll have some rope. . . .

TU 5

1999-07-18 | 161 - Triassic Park - Latzio | Erin, Theo, John P

The 3 of us headed back down T.P. to the undocumented q.m. hole in the floor where we'd previously hammered in a few spits. I rigged + dropped the pitch (Latzio) while John tried to put a spit in at the top of Scorchio (named in honour of the fucking hot weather). Latzio got too tight at the bottom, but I could see a way on through a tiny mud-choked hole, so in a fit of keenness I tried unsuccessfully to bash my way through a bit of the choke. After a while I decided I needed a bigger hammer. Meanwhile John had discovered that the rock at the top of Scorchio was deeply shit - all 3 of the spits he'd tried to put in had caused the rock to crumble, so we decided to call it a day.


1999-07-19 | 161 - Triassic Park - Scorchio | Erin, Theo, John P

On the advice of old lags, I decided to give up on hammering through the tight bit of Latzio, so Theo & I surveyed it and declared it finished. After much faff, the 3 of us finally decided where we'd put the spits for a y-hang. John and I pounded them in, while Theo sat around, getting mildly hypothermic. After an hour 40, we had 2 spits, the world's largest y-hang, about 3 rub points, and a deviation rigged off a pebble.


1999-07-20 | 161 - Triassic Park - Scorchio | Erin, Theo, John P

It was John P's last day on expo, so we decided to finish off Scorchio, which he'd found on Saturday by looking through a window on the left side of T.P.2. John went down the pitch and put in a spit for a rebelay, while Theo + I kept warm by surveying in circles. John declared the bottom of the pitch too tight, so we all went down to base camp + drank some beer.


1999-07-24 | 161 - Triassic Park - Scorchio | Erin, Theo

Date of [24th - from call-out book]

After being trapped in our tent for 3 days due to rain, we headed back to T.P. with relief and the desire to move onto something more interesting. I went down Scorchio to derig + survey, and was overcome by the drive to see what was beyond the squeezy bit. Unfortunately, even after I'd kicked a good bit of mud glop out of the squeeze, I still had to take my belay belt off to get through. Forgetting to put my stop on a cow's tail made the whole thing a bit exciting and all I found was another vertical squeeze. Chickening out, I declared it done enough, and we surveyed the accessible bit. The bottom of Scorchio is definitely a grade W q.m. Across the passage, Theo hammered in a spit for Dynamo Kiev, the last q.m. in our little area. There was much rejoicing when it, too, was too tight, so we could survey + go home.

T.U. 6¼ hours

P.S. It's worth noting that we didn't look at the most promising hole-in-the-floor q.m. in that area which is located [at this critical point, the log-book write up just stops, Webeditor. However, perusal of the 1995 survey book suggests this is C1995-161-43]

1999-08-07 | 136 - 139 to 136 and surface surveyed 147 | Andy A, Simon F

Date given as "[must be 1999.08.07, Webeditor]"

Went to 136 to push the far end. Got to cave entrance & didn't feel fit enough for the trip. Still managed to spend 6 hrs underground buggering about though (everything was going wrong & the time kept adding up). First though we surface surveyed 147 *. Next dropped 139 into 136 & surveyed it. And that's it. 6 hrs!

* bolt connection to orange spot

[Webeditor's note: the reference to dropping 139 into 136 is a surface survey reference and the implication that this is an underground connection is disinformational]

1999-08-08 | 136 - 136 | Andy A, Simon F

Date given as "[1999.08.08 from survey data, Webeditor]"

Return to 136 to push far end. This time made it down to far end. Intent on climbing the Avens Becka had described as a possible lead. This turned out to require multipitch climbing on moonmilk using static cord & thread belays around rock that wobbled and broke off. Chickened out at ½ way through my lead due to lack of dodgy threads but the roof was drafting. Jon T later chimneyed up solo at a narrower point (nutter) only to find that it just continues up & up. Surveyed the aven to Undershoot survey already done. Next continued further down watershoot to another aven, but this sadly turning into a downward trend & rejoined the winding passage to carpetworld at the end of watershoot. Didn't seem much point surveying this. There was, however, a side rift, but this, according to andy's unpleasurable experience, tended downwards & became tighter. The sounds that were emerging from the slot where he disappeared were testimony as to how much of a bitch it was to reverse.

Finally, it was my turn to do the nasty cold wet Darren Cilau entrance crawl. I had been down it before & noticed a passage on the right & it was this I had come back to see. (The end of the crawl incidentally appeared to just fragment into tighter, sharper, more closed down streamway - altogether I think that there would be no way through). The side passage though, was much more promising. It opened up into a rift which seemed to be coming from the waterfall at the start of the crawl (blocked) & going in the same line as the passage before it, ie. towards Stellerweg. It may, therefore be the continuation of the dry cave (but there is no obvious draft). Further progress in the rift was stopped by the need for a short traverse over a big hole, a passage continues at my level on the other side of the hole, at the top of the rift. Worth a look anyway.

T/U 11 hrs

1999-08-09 | 136 - derigging in 136 | Neil, Brian

[info from call-out book, no logbook write-up, WebEd]

1999-08-10 | 136 - derigging in 136 | Duncan, Andy A, Simon, John, Earl

Derigging in 136 [info from call-out book, no logbook write-up, WebEd]

... and that seems to be it. No write up of derigging trips, nor of a photographic trip in 204 (Erin and Earl) so the logbook seems to be an incomplete record, Webeditor.