IB1: Revelation Cave.
Party: Ric Tunney, Ken Hosking, Janine McKinnon.
This was a trip to complete the survey we started on our previous trip a few weeks ago. We had left the top half of the cave rigged, thus we got down and were surveying within half an hour of the first person (me) starting in.
We surveyed all side passages, and I had a go at climbing a narrow rift off a small side passage. I couldn’t move enough to get up and then Ken had a go by building a pile of rocks. After some time struggling, he managed to climb about 5 m up and determined that the passage closed off. This was a pity as we were high enough up the cave that we thought it might be another entrance, although there was no draft.
We surveyed up the passage to the old entrance, and it was here that Ken had a nasty fall off a ledge, 2m to the floor. The ledge was very slippery and he was contorted in an odd position to get a disto shot, when his boot suddenly slipped off. He fell hard onto the rocks in the passage and was very lucky not to have done serious damage. As it was he badly bruised an elbow and jarred his neck.
Valiant trooper that he is, once we had determined that he was going to live, we continued on with the surveying.
When we reached the rift that Ric and Petr looked up last trip, Ken had a go at climbing up. He got a short way up, could see daylight, but didn’t think the way was climbable. He thought it fitted Amy’s description of the old route in she had taken before the landslip. I had gone in that route once too, many years ago and before the landslip but (typically some might say) didn’t recognize the rift. We did a couple of shots part way in and then retreated out of the cave.
I was first out and so I went around to the old entrance tag and climbed down as far as I was game. I was looking down a rift that looked a dare-devil climbing job to me. Maybe bridgeable but you would have to be desperate.
When Ken came out he went to inspect the view of the rift from the top and was certain it was the one he had been looking up. So we have determined that is the old way in and we have surveyed to the correct spot. We are a couple of legs short of tying the two together though.
On closer inspection we think that the old entrance was a walk down slope (which is what I remember) near the tag which has been filled in by the landslide, leaving the vertical rift at the end the only opening.
We have completed the survey. Forward and back bearings were taken and a disto used.