Caving: Dachstein, Austria (Jul-02)

Caving Logbook

Caving: Austria Caving (23-Jul-02)

  • Austria Caving Expedition

  • 00:00 hours
  • 1,060:15 cumulative hours

Throughout the two weeks I was in Austria a large part of my time was spent hanging around on cliff's looking for new cave entrances. Martin and I would spot caves in the cliff and then formulate a plan as to the best way of getting to them. Some long technical SRT routes were rigged to enable us to achieve our objectives. There were also some very hard traverse routes. All this was rigged with the petrol drill and a vast supply of through bolts. Our major finds on the cliffs were: approximately 300m of cave going through the mountain to the other side, a 20m impressive meandering passage leading to a boulder choke. All this cave exploration was done in shorts and t-shirts as that's what we were wearing on the cliff's - very painful when up against sharp Dachstein limestone.

Caving: G7 Lumpenkerl Schacht (24-Jul-02)

  • G7 - Lumpenkerl Schacht

  • 12:00 hours
  • 1,072:15 cumulative hours

My first trip on arrival to Austria turned out to be quite a long arduous trip. It started off by a long walk over to the 'G' area. The cave previously had been explored to a conclusion, apart from a parralel shaft series which had not been fully explored. The surveys weren't very conclusive as to whether this shaft series would interconnect with the one previously explored by the NCC. The first few pitches were rigged by other members of the expedition and then left to Martin and I to continue. With Martin covered in a bin bag to prevent him getting wet in 'Gimp Hall' we continued to the bottom of the known pitches then continued rigging and dropping more pitches. We sooned dropped into a big chamber which was amazing until we found a survey station and realised we had dropped into the same chamber as the other shaft series. It was now unfortuanately time to de-rig. We stuffed al the ropes, rigging gear, drills, ladders into tackle bags and headed for the surface. The large amount of gear (10 Items in total) proved fun in the constricted entrance series. Once back on the surface about 03:00 we were confronted with a very dense fog on a bitterly cold night. We tried to navigate back to the Wiesberghause using the cairns laid previously but as we could only just see each other, we soon gave up on this. Soaking wet we decided to bivi in the cave entrance until light. The lightweight cave survival bags worked to a certain extent but it would have been nice if the stove would have worked. At first light we headed back to the hut to defrost.

Caving: C29 Eiskluft (25-Jul-02)

  • C29 - Eiskluft

  • 03:00 hours
  • 1,075:15 cumulative hours

A bit of a shorter walk to the 'C' area basin. We had two main objectives: Firstly to test out the petrol drill and secondly to Hilti Cap a boulder. The climb down the entrance ladder onto a snow plug led to a rather cold SRT route down the side of the plug and evetually underneath it and into the cave. From here there was some more frozen SRT into a snow/ice covered chamber. In the far corner of this chamber was the boulder where we could see passage beyond. The petrol drill started to eat through the limestone, fortuanetly the draught was strong enough to disperse the fumes from the drill. It was no time to try our luck with the Hilti Caps. This all went well and soon the boulder was in pieces. After moving some more boulders, by hand, I was able to crawl into this passage, which after about 10m closed down in a boulder choke. There was however a small aven in the roof, which also didn't go anywhere. It was now time to de-rig and return to the surface.

Caving: Ice Cave Tier Garten (28-Jul-02)

  • Ice Cave at Tier Garten

  • 00:30 hours
  • 1,075:45 cumulative hours

After a day on the edge of cliff's we found a very large depression behind the mountain hut at the Tier Garten. This was descended by a impressive 40m? Abseil to a boulder floor. A number of caves were found in the side of the depression but were all shortly blocked by solid ice. One cave entrance had a cairn built by it. This cave consisted of a 10m abseil down a ice slope into a very impressive ice cave. There was a solid ice floor resembling a frozen river with a large number of icicles ice gnomes and other undescribeable formations. A number of pictures were taken before a return to the surface.

Caving: Hidden Hohle (01-Aug-02)

  • Hidden Hohle

  • 02:00 hours
  • 1,077:45 cumulative hours

A very unsuccessful trip with an aim to reach and push the end of the cave. A long time (1Hr) was spent in the entrance meanders shortly after the first pitch trying to get past one of the very acute bends. I tried first but whatever position I was in I could not get through. It wasn't particularly tight it was just a very acute double bend which my body (bones) just wouldn't fit round. After lots of swearing and trying we returned to the Wiesberghaus.

Caving: Ice Cave Tier Garten (03-Aug-02)

  • Ice Cave at Tier Garten

  • 00:30 hours
  • 1,078:15 cumulative hours

A return to this very impressive ice cave for Bea's only caving trip due to the unforuante need of revision. She was as equally impressed as Martin and I were earlier in the week, and we took more photos.

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