CUCC Expo Logbook 2019

Here beginneth 2019...

It is raining and there is lots of snow !!

Many logbook entries this year were made in the other blogs. They have been edited in here. Most come from 2019 UK caving blog

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Philip Sargent, Andrew Atkinson, Tom Crossley, Corin Donne, Michael Holliday, Reuben Harding, Becka Lawson, Dickon Morris, Daniel Heins, Michael Sargent, Harry Kettle,
plateau - Discovery of Snow-filled Steinbruckhohle

Plentiful snow.
1st trip up on Sunday 7th spent ~8 hrs digging with the shovel and cleared only top level and made steps to get out at the front (~4m to climb out).
T/U: 0.0 hours

Reuben Harding, Corin Donne, Michael Holliday,
plateau - reflect the route from Fish Face to top camp

We walked from the car park (kind lift from Phil) via top camp intending to reflect the route from Fish Face to top camp and dump our kit near the entrance. On arrival, the entrance was under several metres of snow.

Assessment of old (2018) pictures of the entrance gave us a good idea of the exact loction.

By this point, Michael had dug in several places near the entrance in a desperate manner. He had been talking about FGS. for a year and we had coeheol (sp?) at the very promising survey and description the previous evening and gotten rather excited. Tom, Dickon from the Honeycomb team met us and it was rapidly decided to drop FGS. as an objective.

Reuben helped to carry to Homecoming whithe we pekal (sp?) about. We did some prospecting in the ear. We dropped a shaft on naturals which chocked (tag: CUCC-2019; RH-01) and fegged (sp?) it. Other nearby holes choked rapidly.
T/U: 1.0 hours

Tom Crossley,
plateau - Homecoming via stonebridge

Homecoming via stonebridge; returning to base .....
Tom (Driving)

Base ...

Top camp; staying up ...
Michael W.B.
Michael S.
Pete (Driver)
Sarah (Driver)
At 08:45 10/07/19 ... 75m rope taken up to plateau; Nat, Sarah, Harry taken ~15 tortellini, ~1 gnochi, bin bags (120 titre) up to top camp
Balkon ok and reflectored
Some bags over
Tomorrow others offers (sp?) and start rigging
Other trips later in the day?
Driking choc.(F+P); milk powder (we have none); museli (F+P); soup; pesto (buy on route); smash (S+N); charging block and USB (N)
1 solar panel up/just have one to charge
Tarp over back of animal hole; 2 + 2 + 8/9; upper part 1/2
Water system needs to work
They wull call just before 8pm
Bring charging block and USB leads

Things going to top 10/07/19 ... muesli; smash; 5x drinking choc; top camp survey gear drum; some hangers and maillons
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Andrew Atkinson, Ruairidh MacLeod,
Balkonhoehle - Rig entrance and push Myopia

Andrew and Ruairidh had ferried 2 tacklesacks to the entrance and reflected the route (with the bypass to the snow fields) yesterday and we took up 3 more tacklesacks in the morning.

Andrew and I shared the entrance rigging including a new deviation, then we headed to Honeycomb Pitch via the 2 traverses and short pitch which were all rigged to find... Honeycomb was also rigged... and now we had shed loads of extra rope (2 x 80m plus others for Honeycomb and Hangman's), none of which it turned out was needed.

I emailed Luke, George and Wookey who'd done the Balkon derig trip last year to check what they'd left riggd since there'd been no log book write up, but they couldn't remember but Luke though Honeycomb and Hangman's were derigged. So now we had ~200m of fat, useless 10mm rope that we didn't need. We also found 40m of lose rope dumped at the top of Hangman's and the pitch into Myopia and the Myopia traverse we al still rigged. So it was unclear to me whether the 'derig' last year actually removed any rope. At the traverse in Myopia we put in an extra bolt as it was a bit too exeiting (sp?) otherwise and then Andrew put in 4 bolts on the pushing front on the straight forward start (a bit of a ledge) to cslere (sp?) it got wetter and more verticle then we headed out.
T/U: 8.0 hours

Michael Holliday, Corin Donne, Reuben Harding,
plateau - tagging and surface bashing to Fishgesicht

Setting off bright and early from the stone bridge (11:00), we took tagging and surface bashing kit to Fishgesicht with a firm belief that we would find a second access to the snowed-in cave.

Whilst Reuben charitably carried some gear to Homecoming (needlessly as they'd taken one of our ropes), me and Corin GPS tagged some likely entrances about the area. We should have written some more information to know which would need rope to access.

Upon Reuben's return we tagged the cave dropped the previous day (tag: CUCC-2019; RH-01) and drew a survey of the little shaft.

Regretting not bringing more lunch, we set off to visit the ~8 sites previously identified - we looked at 3.

The first didn't go beyond the initial horizontal and was not tagged. The second became 'Reuben's Folly' (tag: CUCC-2019; RH-02): Reuben first climbed down a tricky entrance vertical with Corin following close behind, to discovered ~50m of descent passage. After being rescued from an overally ambicious climb, the surface was regained and the directly adjacent shafts investigated. Upon dropping the 3rd shaft, which broke into passage, Reuben commented on the remarkable similarity this 'parrallel rift' bore to the original! Corin, upon following Reuben down, immediately made a climb up to the surface: to emerge laughing from the orignal climb. In hindsight, the similarity seemed more than similar. Corin and I were tickled, Reuben was not.

In dilligent submission, Reuben 'happily' dropped into the small, very orginal (sp?) hole (tag: CUCC-2019; MH-01). Here he was encouraged to diligently survey said cave and not allowed out until properly high-standard surveys were produced.

Encouraged by our day, we left out kit near by to return the next day. Much was learnt by all.
T/U: 1.0 hours

Dickon Morris, Tom Crossley, Daniel Heins,
Fishgesicht - rigged

Cave was rigged to the horizontal level a few points as follows

•2nd pitch could do with a little rerigging due to the awkward take off, although much of this is due to glossy rock

•Traverse lines in the horizontal level all need to be rerigged
T/U: 0.0 hours

Reuben Harding, Corin Donne, Michael Holliday,
plateau - back to Fischgesicht for more prospecting

We set off back to Fischgesicht for more prospecting in the general area.

Andrew Atkinson joined us as far as Fischgesicht whereupon I escorted him to the path to Homecoming.

Closely following the cairns took us very close to the cave itself without the bunde-bashing of the previous day.

After arriving back at FGS., we had some lunch and started prospecting. Nothing of note was found.

From my perspective, the worst cave was RH03 - short but narrow thrutchy (sp?) crawling in sharp rocks covered in guano (sp?).

Doing this in shorts and T-shirt, I got quite a few cuts. A promising horizontal entrance, but choked within 15m. 3 tagged caves (tags: CUCC-2019; CD-01; RH-03; MH-02) with a few more GPS tagged.

Shortly after arriving back at top camp, Fleur and Pete arrived and we walked down the hill together.
T/U: 1.0 hours

Tom Crossley, Andrew Atkinson, Corin Donne, Michael Holliday, Reuben Harding, Becka Lawson, Dickon Morris, Daniel Heins, Michael Sargent, Harry Kettle, Philip Sargent
base camp - CUCC Austria Expedition 2019 - Day 5
blog post At the time of writing, I am sat in the Tatty Hut at Base Camp in Bad Aussee. It is day five of expo and a lot has happened.

We discovered on Sunday (day one - 07/07/2019) that our Top Camp, Steinbrueken, was full of snow:


Philip Sargent standing in snow-filled Steinbrueken

Meanwhile, Base Camp preparations were well underway:


The Beer Tent being assembled at Base Camp

The beer tent was being hoisted (above) and the new rope (thanks to UK Caving and Spanset for the sponsorship!) was being soaked, coiled, and cut into usable lengths ready for caving.

The next few days consisted of Expo members undertaking multitudes of carrying trips up to top camp, and a few hardy folk doing their best to fettle the bivvy for habitability. Tuesday (09/07/2019) night saw the first people sleeping in Steinbrueken. Mostly, they described the experience as "chilly" but one person went as far as to claim he had been warmer there than at Base Camp.


People carrying equipment to Top Camp

Also on Tuesday (09/07/2019), a new route was devised and cairned directly from Heimkommen Hoehle to the tourist path on the coll. The idea being that Homecoming could be close enough to push from Base Camp rather than Steinbrueken. This came with the discovery that Fischgesicht Hoehle's entrance was under two to three metres of snow:


Michael Holliday and a broken shovel standing on top of the snow that covers the entrance to Fischgesicht Hoehle

On Wednesday (10/07/2019), Expo split into three groups. The majority went to Steinbrueken to commence the final push towards habitability while some went to investigate Balkonhoehle. Three of us (Dickon Morris, Daniel Heins, and myself) went to Heimkommen to rig to the pushing front (the decision to concentrate on Heimkommen and Balkon having been made for us by the plateau).


Daniel Heins and Dickon Morris on the rigging trip to Heimkommen

That's all for now,

Tom Crossley (11/07/2019)
T/U: 0.0 hours

Nat Dalton, Sarah Parker, Ruairidh MacLeod, Aileen Brown,
Balkonhoehle - Look at Myopia Traverse #2

Trip down to top of Hangmans to have a look at Myopia traverse number 2; Nat wimped out after one small skyhook popage, a sinking hilti and the way around the corner looking particularly wet (water dripping running down the wall, so Aileen took up the torch and put in 2 hiltis to get round the corner into the wet. Nat finished putting in a spit to Myopia traverse number 1 to improve it slightly and we then headed out, leaving a drill, hangers and rope at the top of hangmans. On the way out we also moved 80m of 10mm to the top of Honeycomb ready for rerigging it. There’s a few climbs at the bottom that have got greasy and would also do with a rope on.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Fleur Loveridge, Pete Talling, Harry Kettle, Becka Lawson,
Balkon - Acclimatisation Trip

Acclimatisation trip for Pete and Fleur to the base of Honeycomb pitch in Balcony. A chance to see the rigging on Honeycomb, and release our inner Ash. Harry did a very nice job on the tricky bit, and carried on to Myopia with Becka, where they had a grandstand view of Nat and Al (above) on their traverse. Pete and Fleur headed out, and then headed downhill to base.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Michael Brigham, Michael Sargent, Paul Fox,
Acclimatisation around top levels of Balcony - Balkon

Michael S. led Michael W. B. and Paul around the upper levels of Balcony. We intended to head to Ice Cork Aven to check out some of Michael S.’ leads, however we turned back a bit after Turtle-head to get to the bottom of the entrance pitch at the time we agreed with the others in Balcony. We overestimated how long it’s take for us to get back a tad.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Tom Crossley, Andrew Atkinson,
Homecoming - traverse improvements

[no idea who author is really]

Aim to rig, forgot HKDs, Drill holes for traverse improvements: Andrew/Dan go to end confusion? When to jon.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Harry Kettle, Reuben Harding, Nat Dalton, Daniel Heins, Becka Lawson, Dickon Morris, Michael Sargent, Michael Holliday, Michael Brigham, Corin Donne, Philip Sargent,
plateau - Finding Dickon

Call from Harry's phone at 15:10pm saying Harry and Reuben went to top camp to then go to homecoming while Dickon went straight from car park to Homecoming. Harry and Reuben at Homecoming and can not see sign of Dickon or his stuff – plan was to meet Dickon at entrance or just inside Homecoming.

Harry and Reuben cold and wet, inferred they called from Homecoming Dickon's location was known

Summary at around 15:50pm:

15:53 - Phil Sargent trying to ring Reuben and Harry every couple of mins. Rang Tom and Rhairidh to inform them and get them back. (Fleur, Pete and Aileen on a drive to see the area)

16:07 - Pete, Fleur, Aileen back, Phil sent Sam text by Phil

Plateu team took tea, layers, sandwiches, first aid estimated they left base camp at around 9:10am

16:15 - Becka calls base and cut off

16:18 Sarah calls base, others setting off.

16:32 - Reuben calls base (on Harry's phone) But gets out cave.

16:35 - Texts received from Harry. They are waling to carpark confident Dickon is not in cave.

16:40 - we text Nat, Becka and Dan to tell them Reuben and Harry are on way back to the carpark

16:42 - we text Harry - told them that Nat, Beca and Dan walking towards them; Ask to clarify why sure Dickon is not in cave.

16:43 - Text from Harry. Waling back and shouting for Dickon. No rucksack at/near cave hence confident Dickon was not in cave.

(GPS at Homecoming cave. Entrance P2018-DM-07. Lat 47.6943N. Long 013.8053E)

17:02 - Becka calls base. During Becka's call a text from Dickon also came in saying “I'm Ok”. Becka, Dan and Nat now continuing along track to homecoming to intercept Harry and Reuben on that path. Say less than 10m visibility.

17:15 - Michael set off to drive to car park to collect other cavers

17:26 - Becka called base. She has everyone Dickon, Harry, Reuben, Nat and Dan. They are half an hour approx. from car park. Request to call Sarah.

17:29 - base calls Sarah to inform her that Dickon and Phil a way back and Michal S on his way, but now not needed

17:48 - Michael S rings from carpark and is updated on above progress of rescue party

18:45 - All cars back from Plateau
T/U: 0.0 hours

Corin Donne, Michael Holliday, Reuben Harding,
plateau - Fishface and prospecting
blog post Blog Author: Peregrina, SUSS
For months leading up to the start of the expedition the assault on Fish Face had been discussed, carefully planned and plotted over drinks late into the evenings. The entrance being under several meters of snow has been an unfortunate setback. Michael H spent a part of Tuesday evening kneeling in the snow hopelessly attacking it with a shovel until the handle snapped in half. This wouldn't have been half so painful if we hadn't spent the previous evening with Becka getting excited over the survey from last year, with its numerous continuing passages and undropped pitches.

Photo from Michael H

As our cave was inaccessible we decided to find another one. Me, Michael H and Reuben spent the next two days tramping back and forward over the plateau looking hopefully down every crack in the limestone pavement waiting for an entrance that connects through to the caves below. We found lots of promising horizontal entrances leading a few meters to small, drafting holes or choked continuations. The snow plugs in every depression this year have unfortunately probably hidden some entrances. Our most promising cave was a shaft we climbed down on Wednesday which went horizontal, widened out into a reasonably large rift and continued on above a bold climb. Reuben's exploration fever carried him flailing up the overhanging climb with impressive determination. Sadly after another aven the cave ended in a pair of choked crawls. Reuben then got an introduction to solo surveying when I passed him up the tackle sack, as I had no intentioned of repeating his feat of strength to see these short crawls. In the end the cave was around 50 m in length. We dropped a nearby shaft, which led to a remarkably similar cave to the one we had just discovered, which was *definitely* not the same as the first one, according to the first explorer. Once someone else got down there, it was very clearly the cave we had just surveyed.

Reuben dropping the shaft and finding a 'new' cave:
Photo from Michael H

The forecast for the weekend is poor, and most of us are now back in base camp sheltering from the rain. Yesterday's pushing trip down Homecoming ended up being another slightly embarrassing excursion as the team drove up from base camp and walked across the plateau before realising they had not brought any bolts.

Photo from Michael H

Me and Michael H also found a pretty snake guarding a cave entrance:

Photo from Michael H

The weather is due to improve after the weekend, and pushing trips are planned into Homecoming, Balcony, and into Happy Butterfly which hasn't been touched since 2017. Happy Butterfly is likely to connect with Fish Face and allow us to bypass the new snowplug, and reclaim what was lost.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Dickon Morris,
plateau - walking

[From callout book. no idea who author is really]

Set off from top camp at 19:45 Callout 23:00 @ basecamp
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins,Tom C., Dickon, Andrew,
Homecoming - More Details on Homecoming

Blog Post - Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 01:16:07 pm

As Crossley stated [in previous UK Caving blog post], he, Dickon, and I rigged to the pushing front of Heimkommen on July 10th.

Dickon rigging the entrance series

On a second trip (July 12th), Andrew, Crossley, and I went down to investigate the leads and improve the rigging. The air blows strong, and many bolt holes were drilled, though a miscommunication left the actual bolts behind, to be placed another day.

Crossley concentrating intensely on drilling holes, dust blowing away by the power of the drafting cave.

The way onward continues along this long rift, to a section of beautifully decorated passage, and onward to another long (and slippery rift) in need of more rigging. The air blows strong, and a large chasm calls for dropping.

Andrew looking at a wonderfully decorated section of passage.

Weather has been a bit rough thusfar, but we are heading back up to top camp this evening (July 14th) and hoping for a return to good weather to push a number of exciting leads in Homecoming (along with a fair bit of rigging to add and tidy).

Dickon and Crossley returning to the col from Homecoming
[ Blog Author: Mr Dinwiddy 2019-07-14 ]
Am I the only one who can't see those images? I just get a small blue icon with a question mark within.
[ Blog Author: wookey 2019-07-14 ]
Nope. They are images on a googleusercontent page that says 'this is a priviliged page'. No use for posting on a forum like this. (I worry a lot about images referenced here getting lost over time unless they are carefully put somewhere that will last - like on the expo server which does a reasonable job of keeping things for 40 years.)
[ Editor (Philip S):
the images have now been rescued from a later post and put back here where they belong. They have been re-sized and brightness-corrected. And yes, they are now archived together with the rest of the digital logbook and so are good for another 40 years.
[ Dan: 2019-07-19: I fear that these show up a bit oversized if in line, but alas I have surveys to draw up so fixing that is on the backburner. ]

[ Blog Author: Mr Dinwiddy 2019-07-19 ]
Thanks Dan, I can see them now. The above ground shot is great and gives a real sense of where you are. Keep the reports coming- they are welcome.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Philip Sargent, Sarah Parker,
homecoming - Shopping trip

Dickon and Dan went up at ~6am to HC (Homecoming) pushing in 'SecondComing'. They may return to basecamp. Callout 22:00.

Sarah & Philip went shopping.

Sarah left 16:30 in her car to walk to top camp solo.

Michael S. the only person in top camp not caving today.

16:44 Basecamp phone has €10.28 credit.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Reuben Harding, Corin Donne, Michael Holliday,
Happy Butterfly - Rigging Happy Butterfly

We went to rig Happy Butterfly in search of a route into FG. The rigging was fairly easy, and the cave (as of now) is not too deep. We did not push the limits of the cave much, though Michael found and bolted a very wet pitch. After this, we made our way out of the cave as quickly as possible, since Michael and I were both very wet and cold.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Aileen Brown, Becka Lawson,
Balkon - Trip to Northern Powerhouse in Balcony

We went to check out two A leads at the end of Northern powerhouse. The side passage lead loops back into the now main lead. We bolted across and up the slope in the main A lead. We left it at the point it turned into an upwards bolt climb. I would classify it as a B lead now it shall need to be finished.

[callout book says 'Pitsop leads', callout @ 08:00 on 16th]
T/U: 12.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Dickon Morris,
Homecoming - start of the Second Coming

Blog Post - Reply #5 on: July 18, 2019, 03:33:10 pm An update on the past few days of exploration at Homecoming!
[ Editor: this blog post has been split up into separate logbook entries for each trip. ]

Monday Jul 15:

Dickon and I went down Homecoming to the start of the Second Coming (after the airy Gromit pitch) and did a 2 bolt climb into a small lead that turned out to be a bit of phreatic passage heading generally east. ~200m of survey (including a short 15m pitch and a bit of clambering about) has resulted in a new area of the cave (dubbed 'Propane Nightmares') breaking away from the main passages. Most of this section was straightforward and linear, though an area centered around a surprise sump has a maze of cutarounds. Onward we have left one notable lead in one passage climbing upward, and another pair of leads at the end of another leg, with a good lead continuing on top at phreatic passage, and another lead dropping down a rift.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Corin Donne, Reuben Harding, Michael Holliday,
Happy Butterfly - Happy Butterfly

As Fish Face was under several meters of snow our plans for the week were in tatters. We set off to make the long-suspected connection between Happy Butterfly and Fish Face to secure a back way in if the snow plugs return in future years. The rock shelter around the natural entrance to Happy Butterfly was blocked by a substantial snow plug, but while prospecting we found a climb down into a hole that leads to the same place.

We headed straight for the leads in the far east of the system. Rigging of the p12 and p50 went smoothy enough. We rigged the p50 differently than in the rigging guide that we'd found and didn't need a rope protector in this way.

After a few hours we were near the pushing front. Reuben rigged the ‘p25' (actually ~12m) in Couldashouldawoulda and we investigated the A lead marked along the rift. This is almost immediately closed down to a chimney up to a tight rift. While we were poking around the rift Michael notices a hole below us down which rocks fell a long way. He bolted down to the hole and it clearly opened up, so we dropped it.

By the time me and Reuben had surveyed through into the shaft Michael had dropped the very drippy shaft. Supposedly he was already a bit wet and cold so he decided he might as well go for it. He emerged soaking wet and we quickly left. Reuben also got wet while attempting to measure the depth of the shaft, he did not succeed and broke the tape, leaving the casing at the foot of the shaft (our loser disto ran out of juice in two shots)
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Dickon Morris,
Homecoming - Propane Night

2 bolt climb 200m of survey. Propane Night
T/U: 0.0 hours

Nat Dalton, Pete Talling, Michael Brigham,
Balkon - re-rigging Honeycomb

then down to Myopia

[from callout book]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Ruairidh MacLeod, Paul Fox,
Balkon - upper level

leads near A 23A and Mendips

[from callout book]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Fleur Loveridge, Harry Kettle, Tom Crossley,
Homecoming - rigging entrance and 3 pitches

We re-cairned and reflected the path from FG to HC. Then did some work on rigging entrance and first 3 pitches.

Drawing of new entrance and two new pitches

Second pitch rigging continued to third pitch. Searched for a natural deviation in vain. Crossley put a bolt in subsequently
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Tom Crossley, Harry Kettle,
Homecoming - additional rigging on the entrance series

Tuesday Jul 16:

Crossley, Harry, and I went and added some additional rigging on the entrance series.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Philip Sargent, Radost Waszkiewicz,
CUCC-PS-01 - B lead at best

Radost & Philip drove to the carpark and walked to CUCC-PS-01 which Radost declared a "B lead at best" after we had got out.

Cave descripotion:
rock-filled rift ~1m high and wide goes 260 degrees magnetic into hillside (descending approx. 15 degrees). Hole in floor near ent. is a climbdown, then a 22cm squeeze (Radost did it) to where it continues - tight. No draft.

Going over the hole in the floor the more obvious route leads after 14m from a 2m climb down and a drafting flat-out hole leading to a vertical (upwards) solution (?) shaft filled with rocks. [Since the hillside is very steep here, this may be ~20m or more to the surface.] Could be dug, but ideally not from the bottom where Radost was.
Whole cave drafts cold air out slightly - less than last year possibly due to snow choke elsewhere. No snow visible anywhere near it.

The roof of the rift is flat and slopes to the south, about 30 degrees from vertical. This is very similar to rifts in Schnellzughohle and Stellerweghohle nearby, but in this cave there are no flow scallops.

Tag CUCC-PS-01 2018 left inside entrance on thh right - tied to a thread in jammed rocks with blue string.

Walked back to be collected at the car park by Michael and Sam in the Sargent Meriva.

All visted the Tuesday afternoon trachtmarkt in Altausee on the way back. Nobody bought any Austrian hats or lederhosen.

And so to the tatty hut and a fridge full of beer. [Note added July 2020: we (Philip, Wookey, AERW) now declare that this is kataster 114 Verlorenschacht' i.e. Lost Hole , found by at least two groups looking for 115, originally in 1980 by "John, Tony and Andy C" (logbook is missing). ]
T/U: 0.5 hours

Sarah Parker, Aileen Brown, Ruairidh MacLeod,
Balkon - Trip to Myopia to drop a small pitch

After a slightly delayed start in the morning we set off to Balkon. The trip down to Myopia went smoothly, and we rerigged a nicer rope onto the little pitch (p10) after Leeds Bypass, as the rope there was very glazed and muddy making it an excitingly rapid descent. At the head of Hangman's we rescued my bac up light (I dropped it down a hole a few days earlier…). Arriving at Myopia, Aileen began bolting to drop the small pitch (around 8m). Ruairidh derigged Andrew Atkinson/ Aileen's/ Nat Dalton's wet traverse that was aiming to reach some passage beyond a big hole, Ruairidh and I began surveying the passage, which last year was surveyed up to the start of the traverse.

In the meantime, Aileen had dropped the pitch to find it went nowhere, and derigged it. I identified the big hole, and wet traverse around to a passage as ‘B' leads in my survey, as they looed promising, but are wet!

We headed out, derigging the traverse and Myopia pitch, having some rope out of Balkon, reaching the surface just as the sun was beginning to set.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Pete Talling, Nat Dalton, Becka Lawson,
plateau - Prospecting near Garlic Cave

This started as a trip to the bivvy site at Garlic Cave, to retrieve bivvy gear stashed there last year. We went via Fish Geschicht to Homecoming cave, which had some fun scrambling. If you go only 50m beyond Homecoming you reach the spray painted hunters trail that heads up hill to Garlic Cave. But the team cut up direct to the Garlic Cave GPS. Pete then lost his prized hat (that one had his toe bone in it) down a crevice above a big hole. Then he abseiled into the hole, which is just above the Garlic Cave bivvy, and retrieved the hat. The leads were also checked and none went.

Then the team headed downhill along the hunter's path, towards homecoming. About halfway to Homecoming Becka found an old Mark Shinwell GPS, while Nat dropped to see no way on.

Pete then went 30m further downhill to a second inclined hole, which was probably also a Mark Shinwell GPS entry (1626.p2018.ms03). This was eventually given a Katraster Tag (CUCC-2019-PT) A squeeze blocks at base of dolime, is soon followed by easy 3m climb down into catchy rift. That soon reaches a 5m pitch down, and a body sized tube heading up on left.


Pete first dropped the pitch from a single bolt at the very top of rift. It rubs a little, but OK. The pitch lands in small chamber, with a very narrow and immature rift below. With SRT ? off, Pete forced ? for 6m, but gets narrower, and no draft. This is not a great lead.

From the top of pitch down, Pete then squirmed up the body sized tube, which has a strong draft. This eventually reaches a small bolder blockage, after 30-40m. It is feasible to move small boulder with a short rope and crow bar. The draft is very strong. But Pete's best guess is this is near the surface, and this a recirculating draft. After 1.5 hours Pete got back out to see Nat and Becka sunbathing.

They went home on hunters path to near Homecoming and then via Fishgeschicht to Top Camp. You could get back to the drafting tube, to move small boulder, and see where draft is going. But probably recirculating from a surface entrance.

T/U: 0.0 hours

Harry Kettle, Tom Crossley, Daniel Heins, Michael Sargent,
Homecoming - Rigging in Homecoming

[author unknown, put in Harry to make parsing work]

Down to bottom to collect bolting gear. Rigged traverse. ?? bolt rebelays on some pitches [from Callout book]: re-rig trade-route, Michael returned early. [definitely Dan on this trip not 'Dom']
T/U: 0.0 hours

Michael Sargent,
plateau - walk back

[callout book] Michael S walking back to top camp callout @1pm
T/U: 0
Dickon, Corin, Michael Holliday
plateau - Cairning to FSH and walking to HC

[callout book] callout @6pm
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Tom Crossley, Sarah Parker, Harry Kettle, Michael Holliday,
Homecoming - more rigging

Wednesday Jul 17:

Crossley, Sarah, Michael, Harry, and I went down to Propane Nightmares to rig some climbs/a more user friendly cut around to the leads. Crossley did some further rigging on the entrance series as well. I showed the others the leads Dickon and I had found to spread the knowledge for future pushing trips. Cold temperatures and misplaced nail varnish limited surveying to one of the cutarounds.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Fleur Loveridge, Becka Lawson, Reuben Harding,
Balkon - Safe and comfortable trip to lipstick Dipstick (pitstop Balkon)

It was a big day for me. The day I was finally putting the last pieces of me back together. Having got to the base of Honeycomb before, I was happy until then. Hangman's followed and felt like a big space. Then the crazy traverse and climb up to the hole towards Mofel Rally. I cannot believe that George freeclimbed that. To begin with Mofel Rally is great - small, short pitches, doesn't feel like a huge shaft. But the last 2 or 3 begin to rally up the exposure, before you swing in to a very much needed pit stop.

After regrouping we headed for the far right hand lead in safe and comfortable (opposite direction to Northern Power House). At the end there was a T junction - both A leads on the surface, we had chosen the right, which we were surprised to find rigged with a rope. Tempers were about to fray, but we descended and discovered that there had been no pushing beyond the end of the tope. Some further fettling showed a steeply descending rift to a small climb. Reuben rigged this and the subsequent descending traverse under my “supervision” while Becka sole surveyed beyond us. She asked me for a sharpie, but I had nothing to mark it with. “I've got some lipstick” called Reuben from down the rift, Becka and I exchanged glances. It turned out to be nail polish, but you now, all women's make-up is the same right?

Coupled with a bizarre incedent where the drill battery fell off the drill to the base of the rift, never to be seen again “Lipstick dipstick passage” was born.

At the base of the descending traverse the passage turned left and levelled out. It meandered to a junction. The draft came from the right hand branch, with the air splitting between where we had come from and the new left hand lead. Following the same as the draft we next came to a pair of pitches (likely the same) with a 3s drop when the stone was well aligned. Over the pitches a descending ramp went up. Just before a divide into a tube way along a lead. We left there and the left hand passage branch for Nat and Pete and went for quick check of other option.


On the way out I noticed a draft between lipstick dipstick and the rest of safe and comfortable. Then a small matter of pushing out. I left pitstop at 6.15 pm and was out by 10.30 pm. The first 3 ? up were awful and I was racked with anxiety. But soon settled into the sway of things and just got on with it. By the time of the upper levels I felt like I was home. Five months after coming back to caving I had made it deep(ish) and finally felt like my sense of self was complete again, Hurrah! Very grateful for the support of the others there.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Harry Kettle, Tom Crossley, Daniel Heins, Michael Brigham, Sarah Parker, Aileen Brown,
Homecoming - crossley rerigged a pitch

[author unknown, put in Harry to make parsing work] [Aileen written as Aidan!?] [ Dan written as Dom?]

Aidan? sprained ankle on walk he returned to top camp with crossley. Everyone else went down to pucking?? ?? crossley rerigged a pitch to avoid rubbing, then went to pushing front. Dan, Sarah rigged a pitch at pushing front. Harry and Crossley surveryed small passage. All returned together to surface.

[Callout book: Minor re-rig of upper series mainly pushing from bottom of Bromit pitch (the 2nd coming) callout @08:00 the next day]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Radost Waszkiewicz, Ruairidh MacLeod,
Balkon, Honeycomb, Nature Cells

[author unknown, put in Radost to make parsing work]

-Retrieved Ruairidh lost descender -Climbed some avens to see they connct -Scouted a good wet climb -- Where were these things

[callout book: to push B lead at bottom of Honeycomb]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Michael Holliday, Dickon Morris, Corin Donne,
happy Butterfly - trip

[callout book]

returned 1:00, callout @ 8am 18/07
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins,
base camp - Jon has arrived

Thursday Jul 18:

Back down the hill to basecamp. Jon has arrived suddenly to Expo, and discussing his efforts last year at Homecoming with Dickon and myself has only increased our confusion about the large drafty leads deep in the Second Coming. Another trip shall resolve this.

My phone is bricked, so unfortunately I have no more photos to contribute.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 03:45:00 pm by DanH »
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Nat Dalton, Ruairidh MacLeod, Pete Talling,
Organhöhle- Collecting Organhöhle Camp gear

[author unknown, put in Becka to make parsing work]

Cairned path still pretty good to the right area where we retired? We didn’t have a GPS fix fan? The actual bivy sito?. After finding organhochle we stomped around for a while tring to find the bivy and it was all looking life a wasted trip, argh?, until Nat found the email from Claire listing what was in the camp and that it was in the start of organhöhle. We got it all loaded up and headed back to top camp then down the hill for dinner. So the organhockle bivy stuff has now all been rescued.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Jon Toft,
Homecoming - long slippery rift in need of rigging

Fri Jul 19

I went into Homecoming with Jon, who on a whim returned to the expedition, to sort out some confusion at the far pushing front where Andrew and I had gone. As it turns out, he and Haydon had in fact pushed, surveyed, and rigged the 'long slippery rift in need of rigging' I had mentioned, but at ceiling level rather than where Andrew and I had gone. Misunderstandings had led us to believe that this traverse was left in place when it was in fact de-rigged last expo, and so Jon and I set out rigging the traverse on the existing bolts. We had just enough rope and I was able to stretch the hangars/maillons just enough to reach the end of the traverse, where another pitch down will access this pushing front. This whole area was named the Lizard King, and we eagerly await the data from last year to better illuminate this front.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dickon Morris, Reuben Harding, Aileen Brown,
Homecoming - Propane Nightmares

[Written by Dan.] Dickon went down Homecoming with Reuben and Aileen to push Propane Nightmares. They went on the upper level phreatic lead, which continued horizontally and then dropped into downward pitches of phreatic passage, in need of more rope to continue pushing. [Dan]

[callout book]: Dickon returning to top camp alone.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Paul Fox, Ruairidh MacLeod,
Balkon - Investigating potential pitches leading off pitpot in upper series

[author unknown, put in Ruairidh to make parsing work]

From room with a view (entrance pitch) turned right, right left to get to pitput. 50m (27ap??) pitch. (A lead) at end of pitpot. (1623. 264 pitpot) was very wet with it looking like a heavy rain by the light of Ruairidhs scurion. This was deamed to be to ?? over 40m by Ruairidh judgment and also unsafe to drop owing to being wet. Traversed back to pitch 25a p20 and dropped it but I immeditly found a survey station, so not a going lead. Paul went back up, wth Ruairidh free climbing a series of steps that appear to be 26a P25 , Which is not a lead as - [Some black crayon like illegible sprawl] – Went back to 50 pitch and again decided not to drop it. Down 25a p25 again and followed the slope down to a cir?? 10m pitch in what appear to amalgamation. This rubbed Significantly and so paul had to hold a tacklesack for Ruairidh. Ruairidh initially descended straight down this pitch to a pit which had a survey station at the bottom then ascended and pushed on top a ledge on the other side of the pitch Paul followed. After concluding that this was all already surveyed Ruiriadh exited followed by Paul. After derigging c? Bolt it the bottom of the pitch. Paul ???? c Pedulum swung into the wall behind? The mail hand of the pitch, Winded but seemingly not broken. Exited with Ruairidh carrying both tackle sacks. Ruairidh had to cut the sling on one tackle sack after it got stuck very to Balkan entrance at the top of the pitch trapping him. The entrance to pitpot is *very* muddy. So wellies and rope were caked in mud.

It appears the 25a p20 has a survey log and so should be removed as a lead. 26a p25 is actually a series of free climable ledge with no survey log, but is not really a lead either.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Nat Dalton,
264 - Pitstop & Northern Powerhouse

[callout book] callout @ 12:00 ON 20/7
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tom Crossley, Radost Waszkiewicz
264 - QM below Honeycomb

[callout book] below 6m pitch there. Callout @8am ON 20/7

[Editor: This content moved from Tom's blog post on the 25th describing this trip.]

We went to explore a lead that Rad had assured me was going to be spectacular. The lead was an aven reaching up from a cavern just off the side of the trade-route away and out of sight above us. Water dripped down one wall and down through an impassible hole in the floor.

We adopted the tactic of Rad climbing up a short distance, attached to one end of a rope. Then we would pass the bags up one by one on the rope before Rad made an anchor for me to prussick up too. We repeated this twice before Rad decided that he would like a bolt in for the next bit of the climb.

So up went the rigging equipment, bit by bit. Only when Rad shouted down "Crossley, do we usually have to hammer the Hiltis in?" did I suspect we might have made a mistake... As it turned out, we were now 15m off the ground with an 8mm drill bit and 10mm HKDs. Oops.

We decided to call it a day from there - but on our return to the ground thought it might be entertaining to try to fit through a constriction in the right hand wall. I went first, pendulumming around to the squeeze and wriggling through. It went! We had emerged into another aven, larger than the last. On the left hand side was a sloping wall with lots of holds that must surely lead up to above the drippy pitch we had previously been ascending. We brought the rope through the squeeze, leaving one end tied to the anchor that we had just been abseiling off, and Rad began to climb again.

This time, we had no bags with us so the going was easier. We regrouped on a shelf just above yet another big hole in the floor and from there, Rad traversed along and up until he came to a boulder choke. Through the boulder choke, he set up an anchor and belayed me up the climb (my climbing ability and confidence being much less than his). The chamber we were in showed no signs of crapping out - indeed it only got bigger as you went up.

Finally, we were both through the boulder choke and directly above our initial aven. We had a brief poke around at the leads: phreatic continuations in both directions, holes in the floor of the meander, and two intersecting streamways. We decided to call the chamber and general area "\" in an attempt to upset the sensibilities of our surveying software (it did, a little too much. We had to rename it "the_backslash" to avoid melting the system).

Now for the last challenge: to retrieve and sensibly rig the rope. Rad rigged the rope off some handy naturals and I abseiled down it until I was level with our original anchor. From there, I undid the anchor and swung over to the squeeze to pull the rope though that. Once the dead end of the rope was in the big chamber, Rad pulled it up through the boulder choke and to the top of the pitch, where he re-did his natural rigging and abseiled down to level with me, tied a rebelay, and went down to the ground. I grabbed the bags from where we had left them tied to a handy spike and abseiled down to join him.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Daniel Heins, Jon Toft,
plateau - Prospecting beyond Homecoming

Sat Jul 20

As I had not done any prospecting this expo and Jon wanted to feel warmth again, we decided to head west to prospect on the plateau beyond Homecoming. Much bunder bashing and karst scrambling was done, and many chocked holes and snow plugs were clambered down into. Amongst all of this though, we found two quite promising prospects in need of dropping. Jon has photos and a more clear understanding of location (as he logged them on the GPS), but as he is still up the plateau I will describe them in brief.

The Banana Hole is a deep pit in a large expanse of sloping limestone pavement up a hill. The bottom is beyond what can be seen with a caving light in day time, but dropping rocks gives roughly 4 seconds of free fall, before ricocheting further down and unknown amount.

The Boop-Boo-Da-Boop-Da-Boop [exact spelling pending confirmation] complex is an area of multiple very large holes surrounding a small flat expanse of karst, half surrounded by cliffs. Two of the entrances are extremely appealing, with one a few meters wide and unknown depth (again, the rocks take long to go down, a disto would've been helpful), and another similarly wide and quite deep and clearly going diagonally into the hillside, reducing likelihood of being choked.

Both of these leads really require photos to better explain (and someone with more awareness to convey their geography) but represent very exciting prospects in a fairly untouched region of the plateau.

[Not on Blog - where does htis text fragment come from?]
A brief foray into Happy Butterfly found a Y-hang with a dangling hangar, and we could not locate the hilti to screw it back into, and so we turned back around to avoid descenting a one-bolt-wonder.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Pete Talling, Michael Holliday, Fleur Loveridge,
Balkon - A* lead heading west from Safe and Comfortable etc

The team headed down to Pitstop, on Pete's only pushing trip of his 3 week expo (bitter, wot?) But a great trip + lead.

We went to Safe and Comfortable, and then to Lipstick Dipstick traverse/pitch line. There were 3 leads. The final one is A*

1.Where's the milk: The lead is short distance down Lipstick Dipstick and comprises steeply upward trending phreatic tube. Mike put on a short handline. This led up to a cross junction. Left was eventually found to connect to Drunk drivers. Rightwards is a short climb upwards that needs a few ( less than 5) bolts but no draft.

2.Drunk drivers: This is an upward phreatic ramp that starts just before Lipstick Dipstick's first rope. A steep upward ramp leads to a climb over some dodgy perched boulders, and into a chamber with cross rifts. Left is a 10-12m bolt climb up a wall to a 3m phreatic tube (QMC). Right is a traverse into a large rift that ascends. The traverse will need at least 4-5 bolts, but interesting (QMC)

3.Custard Cavalry (Michael's Climb): This is the A* lead that is open, climb rigged and heading west. Very drafty.

The start is an ascending and then descending phreatic tube, located in Safe and Comfortable, further back towards Pit Stop.

This phreatic tube goes up, across a watershed, and then downwards to a 8m pitch. The pitch was rigged off two threads and a single bolt.

This leads to a chamber below a drippy aven which has a very small stream. The stream goes down a descending rift beyond chamber, with a couple of 5m pitches (QMB - good but wet)

But Michael climbed ~8m up into the continuation of the phreatic tube. This up-pitch is now left rigged off 2 bolts. The phreatic tube is large, drafty and reaches a junction. It is very drafty and left ongoing westwards - A* lead.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Tom Crossley, Radost Waszkiewicz,
Balony - Farside

[callout book] derig Happy Butterfly on way back. If there are 2 rucksacs outside HB we are inside cave. callout @ 10pm on 20/7

[Editor: This content moved from Tom's blog post on the 25th describing this trip.]

The next day, we returned to the lead (with a 10mm drill bit) and I set to work rerigging the pitch to avoid the worst of the rope rub and spare the rope being tied directly around any rocks (opting for slings instead).

After warming Rad back up with some noodles, we started to survey our way up the pitch. We tandem-prussicked, with Rad on Book and Instruments and me as the Dog - handing precariously on my sky hooks to paint survey stations on handy rock points.

Once at the top, we took some splays of the chamber and decided to follow one of the streamways up. This involved yet more of Rad lead climbing and then anchoring me up. At last, we came to a section to steep and drippy for Radost to comfortably climb and we resorted to bolt climbing, discovering (as have many before us) that setting Hiltis one handed while standing in a sling through a sky hook is no mean feat.

After two bolts, we made it over the lip of the climb and into yet another aven. The streamway showed no signs of constricting as it went up but we were both ratther cold, damp, and tired. We decided there to head out and back to camp.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Jon Toft, Daniel Heins,
plateau - Prospecting around homecoming and Garlic cave and farther away

[callout book] lead 83X '8m pitch' and '\' . Callout @ 8am on 21/7
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Dickon Morris,
264 - Derig below Littleboy camp to Pitstop

Fri Jul 21

Last years left-at-camp list looked manageable for a team of two so we headed off with 4 tacklesacks (but I had a horrible suspicion that we would find more rope abandoned given what I had found elsewhere) and, sure enough, the bastards hadn't bothered derigging Rubberman so we ended up having to go down to -550m to get that out.

I cut the rope at the up climb as otherwise it would have been too scary + taken too much time so there's a few hangers and rope left in, possibly from approx rubberman (8 «squiggle».) The rigging was horrific - single bolt hangs over sharp edges, worse than I'd remembered, likely as we now had big bags.

Back at Little Boy camp we tried our damndest to eat everything there - 2x curries, 2x noodles, 2x soups, then derigged to the bottom of Mongo Rally, by then we had 4 heavy [incomplete scan - taken from /expofiles/writeups/2019/stuff-left-at-topcamp.pdf]
T/U: 13.0 hours

Paul Fox,
plateau - Balkon entrance to collect tent

[callout book] not underground
T/U: 0.0 hours

Nat Dalton, Harry Kettle, Sarah Parker,
Balkon - Pushing Beyond Madusa's Maze

Fri Jul 21

Starting down Balkan at mid-morning, we steadily made our way down the entrance series, Honeycomb, Hangmans and Mongol Rally. I arrived at Pitstop to find a very cold Nat, who had gone ahead, but had left his warm things with Harry.

After refuelling on flapjack, we started through pitstop, along lots of very pleasant walking passage to Northern Powerhouse. Here, a small pitch was ascended up a loose slope, rigged during previous trips by an (assumingly?) scared Aileen and Nat. Further away, Nat pointed out all the A and B leads that he and Becka had found on their previous trip here, but hadn't explored or surveyed. At the start of Becka and Nat's last survey station, we layered up, refuelled some more on peanut M&M's and began surveying. Nat was Disto-X-ing, Harry was on nail polish and LRUDs and I (rather rustily after 4 years of no surveying) was on book.

After ~20m of passage, we met a 5 way junction, where the 2 right passages met, and choked up with mud and silt ~20m on. Nat popped up a loose climb back at the junction, assuming that it wouldn't go anywhere exciting, but after feeling the draft and seeing the ongoing passage, declared that we were going that way. The passage opened up into a large, impressive rift, ~30m high, slanted walls and filled with big boulders - tentative name: Hades rift (following the mythological theme of Medusa's Maze). Unfortunately, the rift choked (it would require a very scary climb), and following passage under the choke didn't seem promising.

Following passage at the beginning of the rift, we found lots of phreatic passage, heading roughly N, and down bedding.

After hours of enthusiastic surveying, and ~300m of passage surveyed, and several A and B leads found and left, we decided we had to head out (it was 8:30 and we had lots of prussiking to do)

At pitstop, we found ~150m of rope pulled from Camp and the last 50m of Mongol Rally, left by Becka and Dickon. Harry and Nat took the end of the paella to a roomy ledge ~80m up. I pulled the rope up. I stayed at Pitstop to make sure no rope snagged, then began derigging. Unfortunately, I couldn't undo George Breley's iron tight bolts with my little spanner, and eventually had to give up.

A slippery prussik out of Balkon, where our jammers kept slipping on the muddy rope, saw us get out of the cave by 6am, with an 18h underground trip completed.

Overall very exciting leads were left left, right and centre, going off into empty space!
T/U: 18.0 hours

Dickon Morris, Ruairidh MacLeod, Becka Lawson, Fleur Loveridge, Pete Talling, Corin Donne, Jon Toft, Mike Butcher, Alice Shackley, Radost Waszkiewicz, Michael Brigham, Nat Dalton, Sarah Parker,
Balkon - Great Balcony Derig

Wave 1: Dickon, Ruairidh, Becka (in 09:30!); Wave 2: Fleur, Pete, Corin, Jon; Wave 3: Mike Butcher, Alice, Radost, Michael Brigham; Custard Wave: Nat and Sarah

Wave 1 went into paella up Mongol Rally. Wave 2 arrived just in time to pule a paella from top Mongol Rally to start of crawl. Then third pull through the crawl and across the big wet hole to the top of Hangmans. Very impressive to watch! A fourth pull took us to the base of Honeycomb from were we heard wave 3. The ropes were bagged and caver dispatched to the entrance. Pete, Corin and I assisted Ruairidh to derig from base Honeycomb to the entrance, exiting ~10pm.

Only ropes left in were up pitches (i.e. start of Leeds Bypass). Delighted to be met by Nat and Sarah at the entrance with cake + custard. Then delighted by the crazy carry back to camp. De-reflectered as we went. All in all, a good job, well done. [callout book: confirms names.]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Dickon Morris, Becka Lawson, Harry Kettle,
Homecoming - PRN + Derry

With expo now certain to finish at the end of the week the rope needed to come out of Homecoming Hole. It was decided that this could be easily done in two days with the rope removed from this year's extensions ‘Propane Nightmares' on the first day and the entrance pitches to the base of Grommit derigged on the second day. This would still allow time to drop the pitch ‘Strained by Gravity'

We got an early start and were underground by 9:30 and arrived at the pushing front around 11:30. I began to rig down the pitch while Becka and Harry began surveying from where Becka and I had left off

Much of the rock on the pitch was quite poor but judicious use of deviations (3) and a traverse and double bolt rebelay saw me past two ledges and onto the floor ~50m below the previous limit.

The floor was strewn with very large boulders and there were two obvious ways on from the bottom of the pitch. The first was a small phreatic tube on the wall that would have required a short bolt climb to reach. The second was an archway close to floor level on the opposite side, Unfortunately this passage was guarded by a large waterfall that cascaded down from above. A quick duck through resulted in only a minor soaking and revealed a phreatic tube heading off with a spacious streamway below.

I rapidly decided that a traverse and pitch into the streamway would be required so ducked back through the waterfall to retrieve those. Once the pitch was rigged I thought it would be good for Harry to be the first to drop the pitch and ducked back through the waterfall and (now rather soaked) took stock.

There was a route down through the boulders to a more convincing floor and investigation of this route showed that it was possible to reach the ongoing streamway via a slightly drier route and without any rigging.

Feeling rather silly I scooted back to the bottom of the pitch and explained to the surveyors that there was an unnecessary pitch behind that waterfall that now needed to be derigged, Becka and Harry began to survey into the passage while I derigged the unnecessary pitch.

Over the next few hours we surveyed around 300m of lovely passage which began as a proper streamway with a tube in the roof. After a little the stream cut down into a narrow canyon but the tube continued above this canyon with some very impressive decoration in the roof. We eventually reached a junction at around 5pm with two horizontal A leads to the left and a large very dripy pitch to the right.

We dragged everything back to the Second Coming on the way out and arrived back on the surface around 11pm.
T/U: 0.0 hours

Alice Shackley, Mike Butcher, Jon Toft,
Happy Butterfly - exploring

[Callout book: bottom of much needed shower.]

[Ed. book just says 'Mike', presumably Mike Butcher. Callout book says 'John', presumably Jon.]
T/U: 0.0 hours

Becka Lawson, Manfred Wuits, Dickon Morris, Mike Butcher,
Homecoming - Derig

I'd phoned down to Base Camp for fresh troops last night but little enthusiasm and we gave Jon Toft a hard time (as the only one who'd been to Second Coming this year) but no joy. Fortunately Manfred had turned up and Mike was willing plus Corrin and Ruairidh volunteered to walk off the gear we'd got to the entrance last night. We all went to the traverse in the Second Coming to check for stuff to derig (in one bag) then derigged the entrance series fairly slickly (~4 bags). The hardest bit of the trip was the walk down to the car park with monstrous heavy bags in searing heat + zero water (I was eating snow). At the col we met Jon and drained his litre of water.
T/U: 5.5 hours

Tom Crossley, Radost Waszkiewicz, Reuben Harding,
Balkon - Second half of expo
The second half of Expo picked up a lot: the sun came out and most of us ventured up the hill to stay at top camp. See Reuben below in the bivvy:


I spent a deal of my time practicing my rigging skills in Homecoming but my last two trips were into Balkon with Radost.
[Editor: This blog post was published on the 25th The content has been moved to the trips on 19th and 20th which were identified by entries in the callout book.]
... And that was the end of my Expo this year, I hope to come back to this lead in 2020, and hopefully to push it to the top (and ideally to a new entrance to 1623/264-Balkonhoehle). I'm afraid I didn't have a camera with me on these pushing trips else I would have posted some pictures. Instead, here are some that Rad took on the surface:



All the best,

T/U: 0.0 hours