Party: Matt, Quagger and I
Photos: Me 🙂
We knew exactly where we were going today. So after breaking camp, we moved the cars and got ready for some caving. Tygra and Karston would be spending the day around the entrance which was super pretty. The large entrance was set amongst the old growth and there were some nice flat spots that would make some good camping sites. (Toilet Talk – to bury or not bury?)
Judging by the survey, it looked like we should head down the sloping entrance and find a way into the large room (at over 100m long the chamber is considered the largest on the island). But we couldn’t find anything that went except for a couple of phreatic tubes that joined and led to a 3m climb that had a fixed rope in place. I think this part of the cave is called Slither Hither. Continuing down the tube there was a small down-climb followed by a decent size rappel of around 12m. There was a really nice rock bridge we could use as an anchor. Unfortunetly the Bolting Fairy has visited is cave and installed some removeable bolts. I feel that this is a good example where bolts where not nessacary give the bomber natural anchor about 1m away.
The rappel belled out and led down a wall next to some nice moonmilk. I think that we dropped down into the Octopus Room; the survey is pretty hard to read… We explored the room a little more. There was some really good moonmilk on the walls. Unfortunately there was quite a lot of noticeable damage as well as some mud figurines (it is considered bad practice to leave/create figurines in caves). We rapped down another pitch and went down the Canyon to Sheep’s Leap. The canyon was a fairly obvious feature and helped us locate where we were on the survey.
We found the holes that would drop you down into Tranquillity Base (Little Mexico??), and I even found a way back up into the Octopus room that meant we wouldn’t require the rope. But the goal was to get into the main chamber (Dream On) so we climbed/SRTd out and looking for a passage in the other direction to the Canyon crawled through Dig Dug Tube. I explored a side passage that I believe led me to Shattered Dreams. By the time I returned, the others had located Dream On. It was big. I had brought my small Gorrilapod and hoped that we had enough light to capture the size of the room. I got Quagger to stand out on the edge of a large boulder and Matt helped light. I also placed my Scurion and Zebralight to strategically light the room. It would have been nice to have a little more fore-lighting, but unfortunately Quagger forgot his battery. Still I think the photo came out quite well.
We crossed the room, passing some pretty cool mud formations. I went to have a look at the 11m pitch at the end of Sandman Crawl. I really wanted to rap down into Rude Awakening and check out the Chocolate Drops and Pinch Me Extension but it wasn’t to be.
Just past where we had come in was a well trogged climb. I went up to have a look and was surprised when I spotted our rope dangling down. This was a much easier way to go!
We SRTd up (good idea to have 2 pts of contact!) and were soon out of the cave. It was a pretty quick trip, and I’ll have to get back into the cave to explore it a bit more.
We detrogged, packed the cars and headed back down to the Hwy together before going our pace back home. (Failed Costco run).