Austria CUCC exped
Friday, 25 July 2014 – Thursday, 21 August 2014
3 Idiots go to Austria
Arriving mainly mishap free (apart from a police search in Munich) at Bad Aussee station we realized that none of us really knew the way and we hadnt organized transport; ah wellIts probably up this way, up a random hill we go, bivvy on the path and discover that actually weve gone in the opposite direction (a reoccurring theme for some?).
The following morning after a pleasant walk through meadows and up hills we arrived at base camp (which we discover has a bread makerawesome). A quick swim in the lake and some Gosser saw us well settled in. After a few carries up the hill (boil in the bag curries look a lot lighter than they are) we arrived at top camp; an awesome bivvy underneath a stone bridge partially covered with tarps to keep the worst of the rain out.
On the 29th (July) I have my first trip underground with Becka and Katey heading to the bottom of String theory (a pleasant ~100m pitch) to push on past Pigeon Droppings. Katey drops a ~20m pitch (Flying Rats) and we hit horizontal passage (woo). After a bold step (which Katey and Becka had to follow me over as the survey point was on the other side) was a floor that seemed to consist of sand with boulders beneath it; perhaps a traverse would be nice.
After a days prospecting Becka and I returned to where we had left off and a traverse was rigged. We followed up from where wed left off thrutching round an awkward boulder (over a sand slope) and coming to the top of a crest where a short drop rigged excitingly off two threads in the floor (with definitely no rub at all) dropped into a large chamber (Trafalgar Square) with several ways on (and some rather nice mud columns). Surveying the less promising leads ended in sandy chokes whilst the A lead lead into large phreatic passage followed by an exciting boulder climb up where the passage closed down; with small tubes present in the roof (sad face). Ah well at least we’ve got these holes in the wall to followand do loop closures on. Derigged to the top of either Pigeons in Flights or Pigeon Droppings.
On the 30th Becka, Mike and Andrea Futrell and I went surface prospecting, finding and partially descending several promising drafting holes of which one was tagged (2005-05); a cave which Katey and I returned to
During our first visit there Becka placed one bolt and I placed another creating a y-hang; following this is a stone bridge ~10m down where another bolt creating a rebelay to take me down another the other side of the bridge where another ledge was visible. At this point we derigged and came back to camp, on 1st August Katey and I returned with the big bastard Bosch to carry on rigging. Dropping down the 2 ~10m pitches I came down to another ledge putting in a rebelay bolt I carried on towards the massive hole (EXCITEMENT) at this point I decided it would be sensible to do some gardening; thus I removed all of the large rocks and some of the medium rocks (however it was still pretty shitty) carrying on and over the edge there was a shaft (later measured at 34m) dropping rocks down it was immensely satisfyingshouting Katey down to come and have a look she tried to kill me by dislodging rocks (so I hid and nearly shat myself). We vowed to return and drop this pitch the following day
Returning the next day (with actual oversuits this time) I carried on bolting as Katey had fallen over and hurt her elbow; converting a single bolt rebelay into a y-hang I carried on to where Id got the previous dayI managed to drill about 1mm in about 3 minutesbollocksthe battery had died (not fulfilling its promised 20+ bolts) due to not having a hand bolting kit we sat in the sun for some time and returned to camp. The following day Katey bolted and we managed to descend the large pitch finding a drippy, chossy ledge at the bottom; after some discussion over bolt placement another ~13m pitch was descended dropping us into a massive fuck off chamber (Room with a View) after surveying 60m in artic conditions we decided to return to the surface as both of us were getting cold as we hadnt really expected it to be still going (wellI didnt anyway).
Later we managed to convince Noel to come with us; before the trip it had rained quite a lot meaning that moving the rope protector on the last pitch was disgustingly wet especially as the fucking thing wouldnt stay where it was supposed togrrr Getting down to the bottom soaked on the outside (but managing to avoid too much water inside) we started surveying managing to get in about 300m.
Following this I went on several pushing trips including a trip where Julian and I surveyed ~60m of cave before it all choked or became to tight and trip a with Holly to Pit Pot (a lead that was left unfinished due to other leads not involving shity, scary bouldersboulders everywhere) involved me crushing my nail varnish creating a bright red painted rock and a slightly painted oversuit. Balcony Hohle came to ~3.14km by the end of expedition with many leads going at the end of expedition.
Following this we sort of ran out of (some) food so carries to the carpark were in order. Katey and I set off and made reasonably swift progress across the plateau; unfortunately it wasnt quick enough with a poo stop being necessary along the way; what we didnt realize was that we were still on the path; resulting in me being caught wiping my bum by Chris. However at least we didnt manage to get lost in a similar fashion to Rob; who was wondering along the plateau shouting Becka, as none of us were Becka we left him to it with Holly and Callum eventually braving the elements and bring him back.
A trip down the hill resulted in Gosser being consumed; Neil and Mike F showed us their excellent dance moves with Neil delivering a pizza in his own tent; dance around the world was played and fun times were had. A walk up the hill after Neil and Becka had got back from caving with the Austrians meant Neil and I got to watch Julian jump of the leming ramp before enjoying an excellent meal and drawing up some surveys.
Towards the end of expedition Chris (Densham) and Andy (Chapman) went on a pushing to deep Tunnocks. When Chris left some fools (Noel, Holly, Rob and I) volunteered to go and have a look at it whilst derigging Number of the Beast, Procrastination and String theory (at least 210m+ of pitch length). Setting off at a leisurely time we arrived at the bottom of Number of the Beast (after some bizarre rigging; think 5m long deviations) where an exposed traverse over a (scarily) big hole was completed with use of a sling, Noel went down to have a look and didnt seem so happy; Holly and Rob sat at the top in a boothy whilst I descended into 2 ~10m pitches of utterly loose shite. Arriving at a ledge I found Noel sheltering underneath an overhang from here we could see a large boulder that wed been told about however there were also several other large unpleasant bouldersright Noel and I descended one by one to a boulder bridge where I stayed whilst Noel went onto Chriss (very impressive) athletic traverse; putting a few bolts in and descending ~40m where he saw several possible A leads but time was pressing and the cave was scary so he came back up after doing a quick sketch survey.
After a quick wee and sheltering from the avalanche I started derigging; Noel and I headed up Procrastination (where my Pantin strap repair bodge broke) and waited at the bottom of string theory inside a group shelter. Whilst sat talking we began to hear sounds. Sounds like cock and fuck being muttered loudly. After a lot of giggling (from Noel and I) Rob emerged looking quite grumpy. Holly then emerged also a bit grumpy (after being showered with stuff) after derigging the pitch.
This done everyone but me set off the pitch with the intention of ferrying bags to near Caramel Catharsis. Whilst this was being done I proceeded to derig, grease and place reflector bolts for String Theory; a task that took me just under two hours. Fun. Following this we set off out (leaving 2 bags at Carmel Catharsis) up the (literally) ball breaking entrance series; managing to get out at 5amalmost in time for sunrise.
On a similar vein to the last trip this was a half derigging/half pushing trip down Champagne on Ice stuff that Noel and Julian had left. Going down the entrance series (after Rob managed to wet himself 50m in) we (Becka, Neil, Rob and I) went a different way from the way Id gone before (instead of heading reasonably horizontal we headed up to reach champagne on Ice) heading down this pitch series (awkward in places if you persist in wearing your bag on your back) we arrived at the bottom where Neil and Becka went off to examine a lead that lead North whilst we put warm stuff on. Following this we headed to No Choice At All an excellent drafting passage with a pitch down as well as a climb up.
Rob proceeded to bolt the pitch down whilst me and Becka surveyed. Descending the pitch the draft seemed to be lost so it was decided that the hole on the other side of the climb was possibly the best lead to follow; leaving that for another day we headed out with Neil derigging Champagne on Ice. Me derigging Caramel catharsis and Becka derigging the entrance series with me staying behind to take rope off her (Rob and Neil went out with bags). Whilst waiting for Becka I fell asleep and was rudely woken up by are you clipped in. Thus awoken I took a fuck off big tacklesack full of rope; as well as several others and proceeded out. Managed to get to bed for 3am.
Heading down the hill the next day (after packing most of the stuff away) saw bizarre shinanigans fueled by Gosser, air guitars… The next morning Julian discovered a yellow liquid in the tent that Rob had been borrowing (Rob claims this was condensation) Noels comment being condensation from his cock. The journey home consisted of several pissed off bus drivers (one asking me to change my trousers), a reasonable amount of boredom and lots of funny looks. Arriving in London I managed to stink Nathans room out. Thanks to all (especially CUCC for inviting us) for enabling such a good time; it was excellent.
It’s worth noting that I’ve only written up things I was involved in a full expedition will probably be forthcoming but to summarise: SMK system extended to second largest in Austria, KH-107 link achieved (by accident), Tunnocks added to (at depth), New cave (Balcony Hohle) found, Much beer drunk
Monday, 06 October 2014
The Bosch (+heroic pose)
Posted by: Nathanael Dalton
Width: 450 pixels
Height: 600 pixels
Posted: 05 October 2014
The Plateau (Noel’s Photo)
Posted by: Nathanael Dalton
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 05 October 2014