The first part of the log is traditionally taken up by the journey
If this is of no interest, here is a link to the caving!
2001-08-05 | Journey - Mark S travels to Austria | Mark S
An uneventful but pleasant journey via Venice (don't ask!). Flew Stansted -> venice, then bus to Venitia Mestré station. Train to Bad Aussee, arriving at 8.05pm (on the dot!) after 16 hours' traveling.
2001-08-06 | Loser Plateau - Carry to 204 | Mark S, Martin, Earl, Brian, Mike C
Set off from the Bergrestaurant about lunchtime, after ordering five Germknödel in the said restaurant. Cargo was two black water butts and the equipment to assemble the waterworks at 204. At the Kratzer junction, there was a delay of 15 mins 'cos Martin's butt had opened (it was being carried upside-down); thankfully no shit fell out. Eventually arrived at Top Camp and proceeded to 204. Nearly at 204, Martin had anothr accident with the butt again. Earl + Mark took a detour to find a quicker route from the slabs to 204, but ended up just finding Germknödelhöhle, to the west of 204 by a few hundred metres. A low entrance leads to a couple of chambers of a climb to a higher entrance. Eventually Mark + Earl got to 204 (after investigating a hole with a choke and a skeleton - chamois??). Set up some water-collecting equipment and then walked back to the car park. Went to Base Camp. Food in Hilde's. Weissbier. Gösser. Tatty Hut.
2001-08-04 | Journey - Dunks + Martin go to Austria | Duncan, Martin
Got up 6am and packed. Drove to Cambridge for 11. A bit of driving around to Collect stuff from various places. Halfway through extracting shit from the tackle store to pack. I threw a 7 and landed on community chest:
So packed the car + then headed north to Chesterfield (130 miles, 2¼ hours away) to get the rope. 24¼ hours after leaving Cambridge, 19½ of which were spent driving, arrived at base camp.
2001-08-04 | Journey - Journey, Letty koen naar Oostenrijk. | Tony, Mike C, Letty
[the ijk ending appears all over; I can't tell if it is ijk or ijh or yk or yh]
DATE UNCLEAR - written as Zondas uif Augustus.
Trein had naturlijh zeals gewoonljh weer vertraging. Eindelijk een ruirn halfuur te latt in Hock van Holland Tony & Mike tegengehomenl toen hat voor elhaar gehregen om ongeveer een nur rond Schiedam rond te blijven ryden voordat we de hoofdweg konden vinden.
Toen nix - behalve hele kolonnes Amerkaanse soldaten langs de autobahn in Duitsland - prima, hoe meer hoe beter. En ze reden niet richting noord-west, dus geen probleem. Nach osten und immer gerade aus, und bring mir mein fahrrad zurück. En dat soort dingen.
Na nog veel meer saais eindelijk Oostenrijk - wahher geworden toen de weg ineens stopte en grindpad werd, maar dat gebeurde daar na nog 10 X en is blijkbaar normaal in ditland. Oostenrijkers sijn blijkbaer vergelijkbaar met Duitsers, Belgen. Rond zonsopgans aangehomen; paer biertjes en wat te rohen en stapen _ in andere woorden _ de recs overleefd, zonder dat allerslei illegaals wit onze auto was gejat door de moffen _ _ En zonder dat we ergens een berg afgereden zijn. Verbazingwehlend genog _ en ih geloof dat ik niets hatelijx over onze chauffeur mag zeygen dusdar zalihniet doen maar hijheet tony. Maar we zijn leverd aangehomen _ [acid-type smiley]
You what? You did What? MCT [ed: this line in different pen]
2001-08-09 | 204 - Steinbrucken| Martin, Brian
Rig 1st pitch, 2nd pitch, Stich this & Thread down to Wolpertinger*. Go on joll to Cave tree chamber to check out what new stuff was discovered at end 2000 expo, via 110 bidet, no pain no gain, Insig Chmb etc. on the way out drill new spit for Y hang at top of 2nd (Jim'll fix it) pitch).
* Deviate thread Pitch with dodgy natural on left wall looking SW above 99-06C QM deviating into potential water down pitch but away from rub point and towards above QM.
2001-08-10 | 204 - 204 | Martin, Brian
Go down to Insignificant chamber to push lead ( ) climb up to left TU 5
2001-08-09 | Journey - Phil & Mike TA go to Austria | Phil, Mike TA
Set off Ormskirk 1900h -> Elland to pick up MCT. Tanked down M1 to cambridge - pick up stuff from Wookey. Drove to dover to watch our ferry leave. Slept. Ferry. Autobahn. Austria.
Speeding cameras activated on 14.
Phil U:1 MCT:1 .: draw
decider on way home.
2001-08-11 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Becka, + Martin
Survey down 24A QM from 2000, midway up on left in Treeumphant passage. Easy passage heading up for 9 legs up to chamber with way on continuing (probably) up easy but loose climb - needs a handline? Then surveyed off lead just back from this climb heading down + south, initially into small chamber with lots of snow and I thought I could see a glimmer of daylight alcove. Passage continued on other side of chamber, initially walking down v. atractive phreatic passage the becoming lower, stooping. Had to turn back (after 5 hours surveying) to reach call-out without finishing, so still an open lead. after 40 legs, I was still toasty warm + hadn't put my balaclava on - regretted the extra furry on the way out though. Survey called 'Crowning Glory'. T/U 7hrs 30min
2001-08-12 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle | Becka, + Martin
Survey down 41A QM from 2000. For Becka + Martin, after showing Andy + Wayne where 40A lead was. They put 2 bolts in to put handline / shunt - needed? on short climb up over pitch. After tootling back to find us to say their bolts wouldn't set, we eventually realised they'd omitted the cone. Ah. They went back, got up + into 100m passage, large, sloping up + they thought continuing the same direction as Treeumphant passage + ending in a large aven with a further climb to do, to enter continuation of passage. Martin + I surveyed up 41A, smallish walking passage heading North, parallel to Treeumphant passage. Bridged over pitch, only ~5m down but seemed to be a couple more pitches below from rocks bouncing + the draft possibly came from it, not very large but fine except for large, loose boulders at head of it. well worth looking at. We continued surveying up to aven with mud pile on floor, + then another branch off left, passage in tightish rift, small chamber to right, passage continued left into near flat-out-crawl, deteriorating to flat out crawl. Stopped survey at T-junction, ways L+R about large enough to continue but fortunately our time was up. 30 stations in 4 hours. Met other two + headed out. (over 350m surveying in 2 days). [bracket covering 5 lines from 'mud pile on floor' to 'to continue but' saying 'All heading up gently']
2001-08-12 | 204 - Steinbrückenhöhle - SAME TRIP AS ABOVE | Wayne + *Andy
ANDY (FROM TSG)
I'M MORE USED TO USING THRU-BOLTS AND A DRILL WHEN IT COMES TO CLIMBING SO USING A HILTI BOLT WAS CHANGE TO ME. I THINK THE LAST TIME I USED A CONE ? (WELL I CAN'T REMEMBER) ANYWAY IT SOON CAME BACK TO ME WHEN I WAS TOLD WHAT TO DO!
WE WERE DIRECTED TO CLIMB THIS SHORT CLIMB BY MARTIN & BECKA. IF YOU READ THE ABOVE, THEY HAVE FILLED YOU IN ON OUR CLIMBING ACTIVITIES. AFTER CLIMBING THE CLIMB, USING A SHUNT BECAUSE THEY CAN BE MOVED EITHER DIRECTION ON A ROPE, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO CHANGE DEVICES; IN TERMS OF ABSAILING OR PRUSSIKING DEVICES. THE POINT I PUT ACROSS WAS, THAT USING A SHUNT IN THE [IWTIYI ??] EXPLORATION OF THE CLIMB WAS ESSENTIAL, AS THAT I COULD HAVE CHANGED MY MIND ON CLIMBING UP AND THE SHUNT CAN EASILY BE MOVED DOWN THE ROPE TOWARDS ME IF REQUIRED. I NEVER SAID THAT A SHUNT WAS REQUIRED, ITS SOMETHING THAT I USE AND SOMETHING/a DEVICE THAT I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ALSO USE THEM. YOU CAN EASILY USE A COWSTAIL ON IT NOW. I'LL STILL USE A SHUNT, LIKE I DO ON MOST HANDLINES I DO!
ABOUT THIS CLIMB, THERE WAS ABOUT 100 METRES OF SLOPING PASSAGE ENDING AT A AVEN, WITH PASSAGES CONTINUING BEYOND BUT NOT EXPLORED. IT GOES IN THE NORTH DIRECTION, BUT IN SEVERAL BENDS (MANY 90°). WE WILL SURVEY TOMORROW?
2001-08-13 | 204 - 204 | Wayne + *Andy, Mick + Duncan
WE SURVEYED THE PASSAGE TO THE AVEN (SPEAK TO DUNCAN) MICK + ANDY LOOKED AT THE CONTINUATION OF THE PASSAGE, ANOTHER 50 METRES + PASSAGE, ENDING AT PITCHES. (SPEAK TO MICK T) DUNCAN WILL DRAW UP SURVEY. [all the E's in previous write-up are indistinguishable from U's]
[In even bigger caps, pointing at above writeup] LURN TO FUCKING WRITU
[In another hand:] Is this in hebrew? MCT. [And presumably in response:] IF YOU LIKE, FUCK OFF
2001-08-13 | Loser Plateau - Surface | Becka, Martin + Earl
Had entered positions of Cave Tree, Great Oak Chamber + the snow chamber in Crowning Glory into Earl's GPS. Walked up to 204 + set off to find points on surface. Turned out to be q. high up , ~100m above the points we'd surveyed underground, though GPS aren't so good at height. Wandered right up to the bunde-covered peak then back down 204. Lots of big shafts, then Martin found pitch down a thin rift. Put a cairn by it. Mark S, Animal, et al surface surveyed to it next day (14/8) the next day Animal + MikeC (15/8) drill-bolted down + got into Cave Tree via a loose entrance pitch, ~35m down.
T.U. 10 minutes
2001-08-14 | 204 - 204 | Becka, Martin + Earl
Down Treeumphant + turned left down Crowning Glory (QM24A). Climbed up free climb at end of main passage where our survey on 11/8/01 down main passage had ended. Put handline (11 metres OK) on + left Earl to put in 2 bolts for pitch down Martin + + went back passage + down left, past snow chamber (put carbides out - Definately Daylight up there, albeit only a glimmer). Down to end of where 11/8/01 survey had ended (down walking passage q. steep down). Continued surveying on until something that looked like a pitch. Kicked rocks down then decided it was freeclimable, called it Helter Skelter. Ended in a draughting hole with boulders which looked like it could be squeezed over if you didn't mind loose stuff or given a bit of crow-bar persuasion. We dug it a bit then finished off the survey there + headed back to Earl. He'd just finished rigging a hand-line (needs ~16 metres) + got down to the floor, avoiding the pitch. He could scramble up a boulder slope the far side of the pitch + said there was another pitch with passage continuing the other side, needing bolting around the pitch to get to. We'd run out of rope, so headed back down main passage (called Bouldercoaster?) + left immediately after free-climb down to get shortcut back to Treeumphant via the QM28A. Did more taping, & showed Earl Cave Tree Chamber, then down to 53A. Earl thought about putting a bolt in for pitch there but decided against it, poor hang + not v.exciting pitch whilst Martin + I surveyed. We realised that 42B joined to 53A, so we surveyed between the two starting at 42B. Finally, still had a bit of time left so started surveying up 12B, which Mark Byers had had a quick look up last year. Quickly became pretty low, wide passage with nice mud on floor + white stals. Stopped surveying at station 7, at top of small chamber. Out, goood, varied trip.
2001-08-15 | 204 - Huge passage | Becka+ Earl
Back to where we'd finished surveying down 12B yesterday at station 7. Surveying down into chamber (after putting in a largely superfluous 8m handline). Turned left, free-climbed down to bottom of chamber, clambered down + over boulders into rift for ~20m, until got to edge of very large pitch. 2+ second free drop + lovely clean shaft. Surveyed all that. Back to chamber, continued surveying up passage until popped out into HUGE passage. Ignored right passage + surveyed along passing several QMA's + getting 5 consecutive legs of over 20 metres. Finally ended in loose boulder slope leading up to hole in ceiling. Do-able but not great - the passage high above just before the boulder slope looked better. Back down the massive phreatic passage + met Martin, Tony + Letty. Sent them to look at the big stuff, whilst Earl + I surveyed up right where we'd popped out into big stuff. Didn't go far, right ended in another boulder slope up, straight on was a good, draughting walking size passage. Earl + I went back to the chamber with Letty to tie up + finish the survey there whilst Tony + Martin surveyed the first left in the big passage which became a rift + then we could see their light from our passages near the chamber. Fine trip. Out.
2001-08-15 | 204 - No pain no gain | Martin, Tony and Letty
Pushed leads in No pain no gain 2000-2B was pushed to the pitch under King Carbide just above pleasure dome. Pushed leads there which all ended in pitches into pleasure dome, apart from one which was left unpushed.
We then went to look at the stuff of 12B, we surveyed one of Earl and Beckas side passages to find a number of white stalactites. We then met Earl and Becka who showed us the way to Swings and roundabouts. We had a tourist, then Tony I pushed a lead which looped back to a previous part of Becka and Earls survey. Meanwhile Letty showed Earl and Becka the side lead to confirm the connecting survey stations.
2001-08-14 | Loser Plateau - Surface Survey | Anthony, Julia
Sat around until 5pm when it was sufficiently cool to walk more than 5 yards without totally dehydrating. Surface surveyed from 204A to a hole Becka had spotted earlier in the week via 2 other holes. The first is a small downhill crawl at the bottom of a shakehole, looked at by Mike TA who declared it to be a dig [now tagged 2001/02]. The second hole is a short (~5m) downclimb with passage going off [now tagged 2001/03]. Survey puts this straight over the colonnade in 04 (which boasts a couple of avens). This hole had what appeared to be a freshly placed spit of unknown provenance. Neither hole has been tagged yet, though spits are placed for this. The final hole was descended by MikeTA and MikeC the following day...
2001-08-15 | 204 - 204 | Anthony, Duncan, Mick & Brian
Plan was for Mick & Brian to bolt across a pit at the northern extremity of "Chocolate Salty Balls" while me & Dunks caught up with the surveying backlog. Got to Cave Tree chamber to find a rope hanging out of the roof and an Animal stood at the bottom - hence 204 had its third entrance. We were warned that the pitch head was "rather loose" but planned to go out that way. Surveying proceeded at a reasonable pace, and we caught up with Mick & Brian just as Brian was preparing to place the last traverse bolt. At this point we noticed that there was no draught coming from across the pitch, so it came as less of a surprise when Brian teetered across to find all of four feet of cave. While we were there, we thought we might as well drop the pitch. At the bottom is a short horizontal passage leading to another pitch. This appears to be moderately deep as a stone rattled for 11 seconds down it ...
Steamed on out and got to the bottom of the new entrance pitch. Pitch was very nice until the last 5m where the rope appeared to hang out of a "rather loose" boulder choke. Once off the rope, the fun continues with an uphill squeeze through mobile boulders.
If this pitch is to become a trade route, some serious gardening must be performed because at the moment it is a deathtrap - one of the loosest pitch heads Dunks or I have seen in Austria *
* This place is a fucking death-trap. it is in danger of major collapse. I'd give it a resounding Ø star recommendation. Duncan
2001-08-13 | 204 - Chocolate Salty Balls | Duncan, Wayne
Survey of stuff pushed by Wayne + Andy on an earlier trip. About 120m of stomping passage trending mainly north from Cave Tree Chamber.
2001-08-17 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible - Connection seeking | Hils+ Olly
We heroically dragged ourselves out of our pits at 7.30 the morning after the Expo Dinner + headed up the hill to Find The Connection. - a bolt traverse around the head of Over The Top.
Olly wants to call this traverse "Too Hard For CUCC" (I think on the grounds that he couldn't drag anyone else up here when there was 4k of open passage to be walked into on the other side of the hill, till an unsuspecting Oxford mug came along), but since he bolted the entire traverse while I fell asleep on a pile of rope, it might not be as appropriate as he'd hoped :-) [This smiley actually vertical - Ed]
Anyway, we (Olly) bolted the traverse, and found a loose sand/rocks slope heading up a tunnel on the far side of the pitch chamber. TBC....
Heading [Arrow pointing to comment in pencil Not surveyed'] back from Over The Top, I (when I wasn't asleep) dropped a pitch (~20m) to a rocky floor, with a slot in the wall at chest height, heading down a pitch of indeterminate length. *
No naturals + I didn't have a bolt kit, so couldn't go any further. It's heading the wrong way for a connection anyway (both horizontally + vertically), & Olly thinks it might drop into a known pitch whose name he isn't sure of ("the Mission Impossible Pitch"/"Ol's Pitch"??).
(* Stone rattle varies between ~5s and ~10s )
2001-08-18 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible | Hils + Olly
More connection-seeking mit Hils + Olly (....cont'd from Fri 17th)
Yesterday (18th - bit confused... ) we bolted/climbed up a 20m 45° slope, beyond the sandy slope ( see writeup of Fri 17th). This made us very happy, coz apparently the most promising-looking leads in KH around the Theatre - the nearest part to where we are - are unbolted up-pitches, so, we wanna get high...
2001-08-19 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible | Hils + Olly
[Olly (while calculating coordinates so we can figure out where the hell we're going); "Yay, we're 3mm further North"]
Following the rift upstream leads to a climb which I've temporary-rigged (needs rigging as a pitch really). At the top you can go left, right or up ... TBC ...
2001-08-20 | 40 - Eishöhle - Mission Impossible | Hils + Olly
Mon 20th am (ED: "FIRST BIT" not a caving trip, just an admin sesh)
The currently closest explored EH point to KH is 37m away. Our bolt traverse over Over The Top started 102m away. The first day we got 32m closer. The second day we got 16m closer again. From this we conclude that our approach to KH is an exponential decay to a asymptote at 38m separation. FFS. Shall we just go to the pub?
Oh yeah, and we've rejigged the "bolt traverse" round Over The Top as a pendule - new rigging topo:
Guess what. Looking for a connection again.
Now we've also rejigged the upper half of Devil's Chute: new rigging topo :
We also climbed a few metres higher in yesterday's rift [ rerigged the pitch - new rigging topo:
then decided to check out the downstream direction of the high-level rift, to see if it went anywhere different from downstream rift at low level (i.e. where we'd come from). It doesn't [appear to], so we surveyed + derigged it.
The remaining lead is to continue climbing + traversing in the upstream direction. Following upstream at floor level reaches (yet another) drippy aven but (yet again), a few metres before the aven, it's possible to climb the rift (which we've now done), and traverse across. (The rift isn't confusing any more - linear, but hading and winding.)
Top cave. Top 4 days. Don't know if I'm going back there, but somone else should :-} And here's my most important Top Tip: wear crampons that stay on your feet. Otherwise you end up doing a frighteningly friendly dance with Olly in order to claw your way out of Schneevulcanhalle. Euugghh.
P.S. derigged the bolt traverse (Too Across)* and the going-the-wrong-direction pitch from Fri 17th.
* (but left the pendule in place, obviously)
2001-08-17 | 204 - 204B | Becka + Earl
Up + off early after the dinner. Plod up to 204 with 'bide + stuff. Underground ~1pm, still feeling a bit woozy after drinking too much last night. Down to Swings+ Roundabouts. Surveyed phreatic tube to RHS at start. Pretty, inclining up, gets to large but not especially deep pitch + side passage linked back into S+R. Back to S+R, + started to survey QM on LHS about halfway along as far as a pit in the floor. Out.
2001-08-18 | 204 - 204B Back to Swings + Roundabouts | Becka + Earl
I think this was the 10am underground day. Back to Swings + Roundabouts. Finished surveying the LHS, QM which we started yesterday. Climbed into pit in floor. No big ways on. Up over the top, continued to loose boulder choked area. Thought I could dig through in the floor. Moved enough stuff to wriggle myself down + got into **BIG** passage with what looked like 3 ways on. Jabbered to Earl + started pulling boulders out of another small hole (so two ways out, both bit loose) + we surveyed through whilst I tried to work out which way we wanted to head for KH. Then Earl wandered out into the massive phreatic... and found a survey point - Earl sniggered like a manic mouse for a couple of minutes - Bum. Another QM A ticked off. Had a slow wander up S+R + couldn't see any more obvious ways on so I decided to have another look at the loose boulder slope at the end. Noticed a largish solution tube at the top, above the boulders. Climbed into it + whoa, it went up steeply + popped out near the top of the pile of boulders in a chamber with a ramp off to the right + a passage ahead. The passage had a 3m drop into what looked like the continuation of the Swings + Roundabouts main passage. Looked good! Slithered back down the boulders to Earl, Happy. Out
2001-08-19 | 204 - 204B to 204D! | Becka + Earl
Back to where had finished off yesterday. Continued the survey from the boulder pile up the solution tube ("Suspended Solutions") + rigged a ladder off a natural down into the passage below. Noticed a moth in the chamber - hmm. It turned out to be a 11m x 11m massive chamber, very alternative, huge q.low angled roof slab and boulder floor with a river bed of dry mud running through it. Earl + I squabbled over who got to go first. One main way out - and a pile of snow + ice. Hmm. Then Earl ducked under another low roof ridge - and saw daylight... slightly disappointed the passage had ended but a new entrance was the next best thing. Chimneyed up about 6m + there were several places with light chinking through boulders but nowhere big eough to get out . Earl put a bolt in from a ledge then hung off it as he hammered away at the boulders. After some considerable gardening (hard to stop Mr. Merson when he gets going so I just cowered) he could squeeze out + then had a better angle of attack to kick down yet more choss. Put a rope on to protect the freeclimb + surveyed out. The snow plug was rotten + q.hard to climb out of + the rock above chossy. Got out to a fine + novel view of the plateau + tried to decide which way was home. I persuaded Earl to surface survey back to 204D. Fortunately not too hot but it took some time + by about halfway I'd regretted pushing Earl to survey but by then he wasn't letting me duck out of it so we slogged on with me getting increasingly terse and grumpy. Eventually Mick heard us + found us another survey station (2001/03?) to survey to. Then Earl was a hero + went back down the 3 pitches of 204D to fish out my SRT gear.
T/U 6 hours ? Becka; 6 h 45 min Earl
2001-08-20 | Cave 2001-05 - GNDN (Goes Nowhere Does Nothing) Cave | Becka, Mick + Earl
Walked to 204D, showing Anthony where it was. Put in a tag bolt for it + surveyed to it. Then we all wandered around the area looking for likely entrances. The skylight in the 204D shake-hole looks into a cave with a large entrance (with a smashed glass bottle in) which quickly closes down with the only QM being at the base of an icy ramp which looked like it was filled with boulders but its worth someone going down to check out as its an interesting position. Lots of entrances in the area but we only found one really promising one which was drafting out strongly from a small horizontal entrance. Only about 50m from 204D, down the hill + N.
Earl happily dragged out rocks until I could squeeze in. It went in ~5m horizontally then into hading rift. I climbed down ~5m to the head of a pitch + various possibilities. Back out. Earl in to rig pitch whilst Mick + I surface surveyed from 204D tag bolt to new cave + put in a tag bolt above its entrance. Mick + I then continued the survey down to Earl. Pitch went down, still hading, to large snow + ice plug ... with no ways on + we seemed to have lost the draft. Surveyed to far side of chamber then back out. Earl derigged + Mick + I went into passage at top of pitch which had two LHS small leads off, both of which drop into steeply descedning rift (the second one being too tight to go through). Mick dropped well down into the rift, which kept going, though without much draft, to a small way on which he reckoned would drop into the pitch. Its possible we did miss the way on in the cave as we seemed to have lost the draft down the pitch. Worth another look around probably.
[graphic to scan]
T/U 2½ hours
(Goes Nowhere Does Nothing Cave)
Currently temporarily tagged as 2001/05
2001-08-21 | 204 - 204D | Becka, Earl + Mick
Fettled the entrance to 204D (as well as cairning the route there from 204B). Put in 204D tag.
[sketch to scan]
Down 204D, up ladder + looked at QMs at the top of ladder. The hading rift on LHS went up q.a way as a freeclimb, drippy, some not too exciting ways on. To the right just looked boulder choked. The solution tube on the LHS above Suspended Solutions was boulder filled after ~5m. Down past Suspended Solutions + Earl put in a bolt on LHS wall above first section of boulder slope (~4m above the floor of Swings + Roundabouts main passage) + I belayed him as he traversed around the rock (after hammering off the worst choss, of which there was a lot). He ducked through under a boulder to get to a smallish aven, with a QM up a 3-4m climb + short slope on RHS leading to a solution tube leading steeply down, not drafting, would need rigging. Tube also went up but got small. Derigged the traverse + back to the entrance rope. Earl + Mick climbed up in the small chamber between the entrance rope chamber + the big main chamber with the ladder. Freeclimb led to large aven above + hole down into the big main chamber. Two dodgy climbs possible off this. I Squeezed past a boulder at floor level in [arrow points back to above-mentioned small chamber]. This same chamber which led to a crawl + then a body-sized tube off to the left which opened out into a small drippy aven. Obviously tempting fate to say so, but I think Earl + I have now looked at all the promising leads of the 12B series (Playground, Swings + Roundabouts, Suspended Solutions to the 204D entrance) except a bunch of pitches. The pitch off to the left of the chamber after Playground is very large, not especially deep + would be nice to rig, probably the best of the lot, with the next best being up the walking passage/phreatic off first right as you enter Swings + Roundabouts (by the small boulder slope). Out, then Mick + I hacked down the hill to have a look at some of the series of huge, collapsed shake-holes at the bottom of the plateau. Not v. much that looked too good - not surprising given everything is so shattered? Area around 204D seems more promising. On our way back up we found another cave, only about ~50m from yesterday's GNDN cave, continuing in ~same direction from 204D. In horizontal crawling entrance which drafted, down q. steeply sloping walking passage. Daylight from left + tube up on right filled with rocks. Dropped into chamber with loose boulder floor. Possible way on, squeezing over rocks. Definitely worth another look and, as at GNDN cave, we seem to have lost the draft somewhere.
T/U 4 hours?
2001-08-19 | Loser Plateau - Preparation for 161 tourist jolly | Phil U, Mark S, Mike C, Mike TA, Dunks
Mark & I wandered up to 204 to pick up our kits, & met up with Mike C, Mike TA, Dunks.
Stomped over the Hinter & went down to 161d, pausing to place a lovely blue polyprop handline off a very iffy bolt. The plan now was to stomp down to the Stogerweg & go back to the Bergrestaurant. However, we instead found a nice grassy traverse level, at ~1600m altitude. Met some random Austrian walkers & tried to follow them, hoping they knew a nice way off the hill. Unfortunately, it turned out they were hoping we knew a nice way off the hill. 3 hours bunde bashing later, we had found a nasty way off the hill. Part of this was on a heavily engineered route. Thilo claims responsibility for this.
2001-08-20 | 161 - 161D jolly + 9 Austrian cavers | Phil U, Mark S, Mike C, Mike TA, Dunks
Decided to go via Top Camp after all, as we thought our guests wouldn't be too impressed with us taking them on a 3-hour bunde-bashing tour of the VSK.
One bloke (Swiss, 70, half-naked) decided to drop out, as he thought it would be crap climbing back again in the rain. And he hadn't even seen the bunde traverse.
Got to the cave with a minimal amount of wibbling.
Nice trip to Zombie Slime, and then up to Trifurcation & Minoan Surprise. Exitted with a short detour down Alternative Universe. Walked back to the Bergrestaurant, and it only rained for the last 15 minutes.
T U 3 hours
2001-08-22 | 204 - 204 |Duncan, Hilary
Went to look at a qm recommended by Earl, to the left of the passage from Bonsai Crawl to 204d entrance. Just beyond the roped climb down, shin down some well dodgy BIG boulders and along about 10m to head of pitch. We were under the impression that the pitch was very wide, but the bottom was a great distance away, so we had only brought along a selection of fairly short bits of string. In fact the pitch is rather deep, possibly more than 40m. We tied the bits of string together, looped one end round a flake, and Hilary started bolting (we had planned on using my drill, but it had been 'borrowed'). Two abortive spits later, a total rout occurred, and we buggered off out via 204D entrance.
2001-08-23 | 204 - 204 | Duncan, Hilary
QM that doesn't exist just before ?99-19c (2nd hole in floor marked after passage to Millennium Dome)
~4m climb down, followed by another similar climb immediately. Descending tube choked with rocks (two of which I had inadvertantly booted down there earlier) which had to be excavated with feet and stacked in limited space at foot of 2nd climb. Way on was blocked by large flake, which succumbed to a few wellie-blows. Squeezed past the fallen flake feet first, and passage continued round r-hand bend. Sudden acetylene leak, plus concerns about reversing squeeze past mobile rock, caused a rout. Hilary had a go next, and was able to turn around just before the squeeze. Crawling in the conventional head-first direction, she progressed to a small aven, and called for me to follow with survey gear.
After this point, the passage continued, and enlarged slightly, passing over a hole in the floor and enlarging to stooping height. Caught up with Hilary on a ledge overlooking a large chamber. The passage appears to continue on the other side, and doesn't look too hard to reach. There is a big ledge ~6m down, and then blackness, perhaps 40m deep. The chamber is called '7-11 chamber', as those were the rope lengths we had available, and the crawl is called "Merry Fucking Christmas". Surveyed out, which was not as grim as I expected.
2001-08-24 | Base Camp - 6 am | Hilary
Is it against the rules to write friendly little notes in the logbook? Oh well.
Thanx for letting me gatecrash - it's been a top week! Top caves, top beer, let me see what else, oh yeah, the people were alright too. Hope the rest of expo goes stormingly!
I realise I owe you lots of money. Send me the bill (won't be able to pay it till October, in China :-))
Hope to see most of ya @ BCRA!
2001-08-08 | 40 - Eishöhle | Tony, Letty, Olly
Rigging trip. I descended while Tony and Letty fettled crampons. Used 40E (Eistunnel / Elephant's Arsehole) entrance, since it's open this year. Rope up Mission Impossible climb frozen into ice at the bottom, but came out with a bit of tugging. However rope above rebelay is approx ½m below ice. Tried to rig up original bolts, but they've not been greased and are too rusty. Return to entrance to find Tony and Letty just about to descend. Return to climb and ascend using ice screws, and rig new rope from rebelay. Rig as far as the duck, then exit and return to base (bivvy not yet set up). T/U Tony, Letty 4 hours; Olly 5 hours
2001-08-13 | 40 - Eishöhle | Tony, Letty, Olly
Finally return with a working drill. Plan is that I rig in to the lead and start to bolt traverse; meanwhile Letty can put in her first hand-drilled spit, for a deviation on the big ice pitch.
I'm just about to start bolting when Tony and Letty catch up. Tony is very cold from sitting in the draught while Letty bolted, so we exit instead.
T/U: 5 hours
2001-08-15 | 204 - 204C (Hopefully) | Mike TA + Mike C
Went up to rig the entrance in the gulley found by Martin/Becka/Earl a day or two earlier. Clambered down to pitch head wearing dry grots, knocking down a fair quantity of crap, and put in bolts for a Y hang, then back to the surface, knocking down a further fair quantity of crap in the process. Geared up & went down again, knocking down another fair quantity of crap (get the idea??) I rigged and abseiled down through the pitch head, endeavouring not to knock down an extra quantity of crap, but with limited success. Put in rebelay about 5m down below lots of hanging death, then an easy 30mish down to another rebelay in big shaft about 6-7m diameter. While putting this in, Brian & Mick passed below - this is Cave Tree Chamber - so entrance is 204C indeed. Landed at the bottom of pitch and retired for safety to other side, and shouted for Mike C to come down. Ant & Dunk arrived while he did, and sheltered in passage while some crap came down the pitch. Mike C then bolted the drop at the bottom of Cave Tree. 100% shit bolt but it still got the MikeTA *Seal Of Approval* so he got to go down on it :) and so did I. At the bottom there is a rift to a perhaps 6m shaft with a puddle in the floor so probably blind. Prussicked back to Cave Tree then out one at a time.
This pitch is crap. You do not want anyone below the first rebelay while someone does the top!!! The enrtrance could maybe be stabilised!!
[sketch] T/U 4 hours
2001-08-19 | Loser Plateau - Surface stuff + looking at horizontal hole nr. 204C | Anthony, Julia
Went off to 204C to place a tag. While Julia bashed in a bolt, I went for a wander down the adjacent gully, which is littered with shafts and also a 1m square horizontal entrance. This was interesting, so we investigated further. Entrance passage slopes downhill for ~ 5m and meets a cross passage which is choked left and a body-sized grovel right. This leads to a 3m deep pit with the roof-tube carrying on beyond. This didn't look massively promising, and was definitely oversuit country, but the cave was definitely worth a tag and and underground survey.
The tube was trending uphill parallel to the gully, so the thought occurred that maybe it popped out of the hill higher up. Found a pile of boulders a little higher up which appeared to conceal a black space. Shifted a couple of rocks out of the way and an entrance appeared, so while I put a tag bolt in at the first entrance, Julia investigated. She found a descending tube heading towards the first entrance, via a couple of bouldery squeezes, with a black space apparent beyond. Rocks dislodged in the general direction of this black space went rumble, boom, bang, etc. etc., so she ran away quickly.
Did surface survey from first entrance to 204c, then adjourned to the Stone Bridge for a protracted brew. Returned armed with an oversuit and survey gear. Sure enough, the continuation of the body sized hole beyond the 3m deep pit ends in a pitch thus ensuring a return...
2001-08-20 | Loser Plateau - Rigging horizontal entrance | Julia + Anthony
Having been a bit slack the previous day and jacked a bit early, I volunteered to put the back-up bolt in for the pitch we'd found Anthony had told me that this would be shit, but I can't have been listening too closely. *NOTE TO SELF - DON'T volunteer to bolt something you haven't seen before*...
Didn't get off to a very good start. My options for getting to the pitch head were to attempt a tricky looking climb out of the pit, or crawling through a tube over the pit. I chose the latter, but didn't fancy the short section of free space (over a 3m drop) between one crawl and the next. Unfortunately, to get down to the climb I needed to reverse out of the tube and traverse backwards over the pit. I didn't fancy this without someone telling me where to put my feet, not being able to turn round (or see through the back of my head). So I called back to Anthony, who grumbled a fair bit 'cos he was getting changed in a leisurely fashion and didn't want to rush. Sat all cosy in my little tube for 20 mins, then Dour turned up and assisted me in traversing backwards. Climbed up inot the crawl to the pitch, and took a while before being able to find a position that was bearable to be in whilst placing a bolt. It was shit, in no uncertain terms, and placing the backup bolt took a long time, due to the cramped position I was in.
After that I sat and watched Anthony bolt. It was possible to turn round at the pitch head, but being a bit of a fuckwit, I opted to remain with my feet heading back into the crawl. I was consequently extremely uncomfortable as well as cold, so we jacked after Anthony had placed a hang bolt and a rebelay bolt ~6 metres down. Not the most productive of days.
TU 6 hours
2001-08-21 | 204 - Rigging down 204E Entrance - Germknödel's Revenge | Julia + Anthony
All too soon we were back in that scrotty hole. As it turned out, we didn't need any more bolts. Got down, via a rebelay and two deviations, down a pleasant 25m shaft and pretty soon discovered we were in 204, due to a PM on the wall. Misread the compass and stomped off down dip, then back and had a quick poke around looking for Treeumphant Passage. Turns out we'd dropped into Crowning Glory. Surveyed the pitch on the way up (except for the plumb to the bottom of the pitch, which we did on the way down, ahem). It was a little crap doing a couple of bloody steep legs followed by muddy scrotty surveying thru the crawl at the top. 204 Entrance is to be called "Germknödel's Revenge".
Finished the survey, went back to the Stone Bridge to cancel our first call out, then went back again, Anthony to derig, and me to establish a verbal connection with 204f and the pitch. Sure enough, Anthony shone a light thru to me. We'd found another entrance. So I put a tag on it. 204f is unrigged, it would be a shorter way to the pitch, but not very pleasant, and pretty hard to rig.
[sketch] TU Julia 5 Anthony 6
2001-08-18 | 204 - 204B | Mike TA + Mike C
Went down to look @ that passage opposite the thread pitch rebelay. Decided to be optimistic & took 50m rope 'cos we were sure to get to KH :-) But it fills with soil after about 70m, so surveyed anyway & buggered orf aht.
TU 2 hours
2001-08-22 | Loser Plateau - Surface survey to "Olly's sucking hole | Anthony & Julia
Surface surveyed from 204a to what is thought to be the "sucking hole" found by Olly & Thilo in 2000. There appear to be two entrances, a very large (6mx3m) loose entrance, and a much friendlier looking ~5m drop which would be much easier to rig. The larger entrance is tagged 2001/04.
2001-08-25 | 40 - Eishöhle - More quality, but even less quantity | Martin, Olly
Back to Eishöhle with a new recruit for the uphill caving club. Today's plan is to try to get to the top of the rift and see if there's a phreatic tube there.
First time on crampons for Martin, but he copes well. His carbide causes more problems though (later he discovers a hole where the tube attaches to the generator).
At the top of the ramp we try climbing up, Martin bolting. We soon discover a phreatic tube ascending at the top of the rift. After 3 bolts from Martin and a couple from me we call it a day and exit. We seem to have reached the rift above the inlet chamber.
T/U 8 hours
2001-08-27 | 40 - Eishöhle - Reaching for the sky... | Martin, Olly
I head in first and tweak the rigging on the way. Get to the pushing front before Martin and get most of a bolt in before he arrives. A second bolt gets us across the chamber and another gives a traverse to a level which emerges in the side of what I think is the final aven chamber I reached with Hilary. We need to keep at the top of the rift, I think. We also need more rope, so retreat back down the rift, surveying as we go. I stick in 2 more spits to improve the rigging at the end of the traverse while Martin derigs the top of the rift. Then I travel along the bottom and stick in a spit to tie the end of the rope to while Martin rerigs the rope down the inlet chamber. A 26m rope just fits the bill nicely. I ascend and stick in 2 extra spits. One more would get us back to the top of the rift, but we decide to head out so we can get down the hill and recharge the drill battery. Stick in more spits on the way out - one for a rebelay on the junction chamber pitch, one on each side of the pendule, two on the Modern Way traverse to take a higher route and two on "Good Afternoon Mr. Phelps" - one to stop the traverse line freezing into the ice and a deviation to keep the hang rope clear of the ice. Also a spit to replace the ice screw - a higher belay should improve the riggin on both sides. The drill battery has now done 21 spits in 2 trips (including one for a tag on 40s) using a "cross-tipped" bit, and I'm getting good at judging the depth for the HKD spits. Still no nearer to KH though.
T/U : 8 hours
2001-08-28 | 204 - "Merry Fucking Christmas" | Dunks, Earl
Early start from bivi at Stone Bridge but despite having packed gear the previous evening didn't get underground until 12:40. Spent some time shifting rocks from the previous trip's spoil heap to make more room, and then Earl set about the boulder squeeze with a lump hammer until it was possible for us to remove the somewhat diminished remains. Then tedium getting ourselves and tackle through the crawl.
Once at 7-11 chamber, 3 spits and 11m rope got us down to the ledge, and a further 3 spits and 19m rope was more than enough to reach the other side and the foot of the climb. Climb was only about 3 or 4 m, and easy. Placed a bolt for protection towards the top, largely because I could. Disappointingly, there was no passage leading off on the far side, just a 6m pitch with a small stream entering from above. At the foot of the pitch, a very tight nasty streamway (Infidelic Pagan Scum) led off almost due S, so took off string gear and thrutched down it. It goes round a very awkward bend to the right after ~4m and then one has to thrutch in a widening ~1m above the stream. After about a body length, could see the passage turn right again, and it got echoey - lobbed a rock down to confirm presence of a big pitch, almost certainly that in the floor of 7-11 chamber. Retreated back to the end of MFC overlooking the chamber, where Earl set off rigging a lunatic traverse 'Dancing with Boulders', using skyhooks, virtual naturals and probably a fair amount of divine intervention to reach ~15m of small passage which again led to the same big pitch. After Earl had made a rather exciting return journey across his traverse, we decide to call it a day. So did my light, and getting everything back through the small stuff was crap. Borrowed a light off Earl, and we were both out by 11:20 pm
2001-08-30 | Base Camp - Duncan's Tasty Dish Pot. Ht. | Duncan
Written down by popular request
Very yummy indeed. Mark S
2001-08-30 | 204 - 99-01C | Earl
Brian and I had rigged the traverse at the top of Jim'll Fix it (on the right) back in 2000 off some quite dodgy naturals. Brian was stopped by a pool of icy water over ice, so I returned with some siphoning tube to drain it. Rigged the traverse with an 8m rope (only just long enough), 1 [???] hanger. 2 twists, 2 slings + 2 maillons. The pool of water had gone, replaced by 4" deep mud followed by a bank of earth/mud, which chokes the passage. The alternative way on, a small slot near near the traverse, was thought to be too committing, given that I was on my own.
2001-08-27 | Cave - Olly's Sucking Hole | Phil U, Mark S
Went to investigate this draughting orifice. Initial entrance climb is fine, if you chimney down on the R side. At the bottom, there are three ways on. The first one goes back under the entrance, down a boulder slope, to emerge in a large chamber "Cheesy dip". There are a number of small leads off, all choked. In the roof is lots of daylight, coming from 2001-046. Left from the entrance went down a loose slope (blowing). Right (Sucking) went along a bit. We decided to do some surveying. Which required red paint. Which was at the bivvi site. So we went and had a cup of tea for a bit. Came back with surveying gear and surveyed the LH route to a ~5m deep pit.
TU ~ 6 hrs
2001-08-29 | 204 - Carry on up the rift | Martin, Olly
Cave 204? CHECK
[Webeditor's note: the call out books seem not to have a trip for this date, but one for 3rd September which seems to fit
A bit more rerigging on the way in, then we continue from where we left off, me on the dynamic rope bolting and Martin rerigging static behind. Higher up, just as I ran out of rope, there's a choice of routes. We regain the stream canyon off to the right, or there's a tube to the left which can be free-climbed to, and leads to another streamway. Martin catching up and bolts up the streamway to the side. The canyon becomes too tight at the head, though a tube up to the left looks like it bypasses this. We survey out and get back to the bivvy at about 2:30 am.
T/U 11 hours
2001-09-02 | Base Camp - Bierfest bei Altaussee | Dunks, Mick
Right now its tomorrow. Trumper is busy outside the spud hut hurling his beans. Just now we have cycled from Altaussee full of fizzy pop.
A good evening - persuasive argument for having expo this late. Apparently its the biggest bier festival in Austria. Lots of young women (NO MINGERS!!) Lots of bier.
A good evening. Bet you all wish you'd come along... Well - same again tomorrow night. We've been assured that tonight is the warm-up and that it gets even better.
A good evening.
2001-09-04 | 204 - 204c Derig | Duncan
After bierfest had streaming shits, probably due to dodgy roast chicken. Dr. Phil gave me a couple of immodium tablets, and that dried me up for the walk up on Monday evening.
Apparently Immodium usually wears off within 24 hours or so, so I wanted to have a crap before even thinking of going underground, to see if my guts were still pumping out dishwater. Didn't especially fancy getting caught short midway up a loose pitch - it would just be too ironic.
Eventually it got to about 7 pm & I thought "Sod it" & got out of my pit & put my gear on, just in time for the first of the derig team to emerge.
Strolled through the clag to the entrance, where a strange thundering sound could be heard.
Clambered down to the pitch head, where I could see that the pitch below was quite well watered. Considered jacking quite seriously for a while, but decided to suck it and see.
Although a considerable stream was falling down the course of the rope, it was quite well concentrated and possible to avoid (mostly by judicious fending off the wall). The 10 ft above the final rebelay was a bit crap because the rope was sharing a gully with the water.
Took out the rebelay, changed over & prussiked out derigging as I went.
At the pitch head I was beginning to think 204c wasn't so bad after all, and was sussing out what needed gardening & where extra bolts should be put. By the time I'd stuffed the rope into a bag I quite liked the place. Then as I was ascending one of the clambers up to the surface a large block fell out, and ended up resting against one of my knees.
Took a while to work out how to let the boulder drop without it hitting my other foot or me falling down the climb, but sorted it out. Job done.
This entrance is still well dicey. However, careful, considered kicking down of loose crap, combined with a more defensive rig may make it OK for regular use.
P.S. eventually managed to move bowels some 82 hours after taking medicine. Immodium is good shit.
2001-08-26 | Plateau - Surface exploration | Martin, Olly
This entry covers two (or three?) days - written as 2001-08-26/28
Found and GPSed 9 caves on a flattish bit of limestone uphill from the row of Eishöhle entrances. Coordinates and notes see Olly. Photos of entrances in Martin's and Olly's camera. 4 caves, 232, 233, 234, 235 were surveyed and have been drawn up.