OFD2 – to Straw Gallery
Saturday, 25 January 2014
Probably my 5th or 6th trip into OFD2, yet still got lost between the entrance and the corkscew, fortunately Tom was there with a better sense of direction.
To bi-pass the pitch in The Chasm we popped down the corkscrew and headed upstream, then about 20minutes later… we appeared back at the bottom of the Corkscrew having gone in a circle, ooops.
So back upstream we went, this time bearing to the right. Now on course we passed beneath Arete Chamber, and a large stal coated aven up to the right (this lead up to a flat floored moon milk walking passage). Going straight we bombed along the The Cravass (?), pretty much to it’s termination, then a passage down and off to the right lead into a narrow meander passage with surprisingly well preserved helictites about face height on the right hand wall. This popped out at Timo’s Table (a large boulder with a flat top). Going right from here intersected the north end of the Chasm. We followed this south (passing the passage off to the left to Straw Gallery) down a roped climb, hoping to reach the base of the pitch we’d bipassed, but decided to turn back at a very muddy climb up.
Heading back northwards, we took the turning (now on the right) to Straw Gallery. This lead to the Poached Egg traverse and climb, here 2 slings came in very handy as hand-lines, and just beyond this another climb was helped with another sling.
Popping out in a large bouldery chamber, with a passage on the right and two parallel passages on the left, the righter-most of the parallel left passages was taken, along which a crawl through to left popped out into Straw Gallery.
Despite not being as big as i was expecting the Straw Gallery exhibited some very fine Straws with Helectites shooting off from them. Well worth visiting. And as they’re best viewed lying on your back looking up it’s a nice excuse for a bit of a rest after a heavy night partying.
Rest time over and we headed back out, returning to the surface in about an hour. (much easier when you know where you’re going).