Passage Descriptions

40m QM

Neighbouring passages: Ladder Pull-Up Pitches, Canyonlands
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.18
Passage length: 288.2
Number of survey legs: 16
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Canyonlands this 2m wide, 5m high passage descends slowly with a small stream. After about 60m the passage splits, with the stream descending to the right, heading towards the Ladder Pull-Up Pitches . The passage continues ahead, gradually enlarging into well-decorated 8m wide phreas with a smooth floor. Soon another stream is encountered coming from a small inlet to the left and sinking down a deep pitch to the right. Beyond the stream the passage develops a trench in the floor which contains another deep pitch. Ascending a rubble pile leads to breakdown and a low, wide sandy-floored area. To the left reaches a third deep pit, but carrying along in the sandy area the ceiling rises to walking height and the passage swings left, gaining a floor trench with a stream which flows into a crawl under the floor of the main passage. Further on, the passage swings right and ends at a 4m climb up into a drafting 1mx1.5m hole (ladder required) [QM B].

72 Minute Streamway

Neighbouring passages: Benzine Loop
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.25
Passage length: 185.8
Number of survey legs: 64
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes), Rob Garrett (tape)

Description

From a drafting sandy crawl off Benzine Loop , a 5m pitch is rigged off a dodgy natural in the floor and a single thru bolt.with a tector on the lip. Descending past a wall of small cobble and sand infill, the pitch lands on a drippy ledge above a small pool fed by an inlet entering to the left of the pitch head. Traversing to the left gains a clamber up over more losely consolidated sediment to 20m of well decorated walking passage that ends at a calcite choke. It is presumed to relate to Square Root , which is of similar dimensions and is 30m away on the same trend and elevation. On the S wall of the shaft there is an inaccessible passage going off at the same height which appears to be a continuation of the walking passage.

From the ledge the base of the pitch, a climb down to the floor of small cobbles leads to an uninspiring gnarly rift which takes the stream. The streamway has a small phreatic roof tube and is generally tight and nasty. The walls are white, orange and pink limestone with a thin layer of chert. In places it is possible to squeeze water out of the walls (perhaps due to a layer of weathered rock?). The stream heads west, generally parallel and above Confabulator streamway. It descends 30m in 130m of climbs, squeezes, and constrictions. After 100m, the small trickle of a stream is lost and the passage continues with static pools. 72 Minutes ends at a calcite blockage which could be easily removed with a bolting hammer to gain the passage which can be seen continuing beyond in the same vein.

Numerous white cave crickets were seen throughout the passage.

Bad Medicine

Neighbouring passages: Speleotherapy, Dong Feng
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.7, 2006.03.15
Passage length: 198.0
Number of survey legs: 36
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (clino, compass), Mike Ficco (notes), Rob Garrett (notes, tape)

Description

From Speleotherapy , Bad Medicine goes down climbs through clean-washed boulders, following the obvious wet-weather water course, to a stoop into a hole on the right hand wall. Beyond the stoop it opens out and there are a number of ways on. Several phreatic tubes in the ceiling connect, with a hands-and-knees crawl going off [QM B], a chimney up [QM C], and a scramble over sediments to the N [QM C]. The way on is down a mud and cobble climb to a low space between mud and the ceiling. Following the draught leads to a maze of phreatic tubes going every which way, some of which connect into Dong Feng streamway.

Benzine Loop

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage, Monoxide Streamway, 72 Minute Streamway
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.25
Passage length: 171.6
Number of survey legs: 12
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (compass, notes, tape), Rob Garrett (notes, tape)

Description

From the right side of The Big Passage , Benzine Loop is a black popcorn-floored 5m wide passage that heads northeast, immediately splitting into three. Back to the left a slope down goes to the start of Monoxide Streamway , straight ahead goes to a pit in the floor, and ahead to the left is an oxbow which rejoins at the pit. Traversing around the pit leads to a short section of crawling to the top of the pitch down into 72 Minute Streamway .

Big Passage That Rob Missed

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage That Rob Missed, Little Pisser
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.12
Passage length: 0.0
Number of survey legs: 2
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

No Description

Bile Duct

Neighbouring passages: Speleotherapy
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.22
Passage length: 245.9
Number of survey legs: 36
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (clino, compass, tape), Mike Ficco (notes)

Description

No Description

Blackburn Lancashire

Neighbouring passages: Sea of Holes, Large Intestine
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.21
Passage length: 205.1
Number of survey legs: 17
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the Sea of Holes there are two ways on. However, one of these is at the top of a 4m cliff. The easier route follows an old draughting stream bed. This is initially scattered with small boulders but as you go along the boulders get smaller to be replaced by gravel and then disappearing completely. Throughout the entire area the floor is covered with mud. A small trickle of water is briefly present but this soon disappears as the passage meanders slowly and the roof lowers briefly to a crawl. Holes in the ceiling are occasionally passed and these are believed to connect to the higher level passage. Beyond the crawl the roof rises significantly as a chamber is entered and the sound of water is heard to the right. Following the sound of water a 1.6m overhanging climb (entertaining on the reverse) leads to a muddy ledge overlooking a 20m pitch into Large Intestine with an inlet high on the right. Back in the chamber a viewing gallery can be seen 7m up above the route down to the pitch. This may be accessed by proceeding straight ahead to the back of the chamber and crawling under some large boulders and after a further 5m another little chamber is gained, where a small pit remains unexplored. From here a steep mud ramp doubles back to a high level chamber which contains the viewing gallery. It is worth noting the presence of a 20m drop lurking somewhere under the poised boulders of this chamber.

From one corner of this chamber a small stream enters from an unexplored passage [QM B] and disappears through the boulders to the pitch below. Other routes out of the area may also exist although the most prominent is the high level branch of Blackburn Lancashire which heads straight back to the chamber beneath the Sea of Holes . Several short drops are believed to communicate back to the lower branch passage while a large side passage ascends to the north to an area fo breakdown, probably an extension of the Sea of Holes . This may be where the draught that exits from the Sea of Holes is heading.

Blackburn Way

Neighbouring passages: Stone Circle Junction, Feeling Groovy, Tiankeng Express, Lobster Pot, East Meets West
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2005.05.14
Passage length: 292.9
Number of survey legs: 16
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Stone Circle Junction , Blackburn Way descends in a 2m wide slightly stooping passage with a sandy floor. This enlarges slightly before emerging after about 40m in the side of a 10m sandy phreas. To the South is Feeling Groovy . To the North continues in fine style for a few hundred metres. After 100m a junction is reached where the main way on kinks to the left. Straight ahead a narrow rift continues unpromisingly over an undescended trench pitch. A sandy slope up to the right leads to a flat out crawl which comes out higher up in the same rift. To the left of the main passage Lobster Pot starts as a small crawl. Meanwhile the main passage continues north for a further 100m passing a small hole on the right with a slight draught, also believed to connect back to the afforementioned rift. The main passage now splits at a deceptively complicated junction. East Meets West branches off to the right and there are several higher level oxbows with some ways off of which only Loose Ends West has been explored. The main route to Blackburn Lancashire crosses a small stone slab bridge for a further 50m of similar passage ending at the climb down overlooking Blackburn Lancashire and the Tiankeng Express .

Cadbury Flake

Neighbouring passages: Carmel Squares, Feeling Hungry
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.11
Passage length: 165.6
Number of survey legs: 17
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

From Feeling Hungry , Cadbury Flake heads west as a stoop/crawl over mud with occasional mud formations, through a section of popcorn and finally to a connection with Carmel Squares .

Canyonlands

Neighbouring passages: Ladder Pull-Up Pitches, 40m QM, Gorge Entrance, Kings' Canyon, Freak Lime
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.18, 2004.05.19
Passage length: 297.8
Number of survey legs: 16
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the Gorge Entrance Canyonlands goes for about 80m along (usually) dry river passage which clearly takes a sizeable stream in wet weather, to where the river course goes to the right down Kings' Canyon . Continuing up, a boulder slope with patches of old rat droppings ascends steeply for about 40m before descending gently. To the left a small unexplored passage ducks under the wall into blank space heading back towards the Gorge [QM C]. Straight ahead goes to 40m QM , while a climb up leads to Freak Lime , and a small stream in the floor of the passage descends down to the right towards the Ladder Pull-Up Pitches .

Carmel Squares

Neighbouring passages: Jammy Crawl, Peanut Brittle, Cadbury Flake, Feeling Hungry, Confabulator
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.28, 2006.03.06
Passage length: 430.4
Number of survey legs: 32
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes, tape), Claire McElwain (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes), Julia Bradshaw (clino, compass)

Description

In the chamber at the end of Jammy Crawl , the Peanut Brittle stream rises from an impenetrable slot and flows to the southeast, while Carmel Squares goes to the northwest for 40m, and then turns northeast. The passage has a rounded phreatic ceiling, and shows signs of once having been a sump for much of its length, with thick mud now dried into dinnerplate-sized mud cracks. After 280m of muddy passage trending to the northeast, a junction is reached. To the right a crawl goes to Cadbury Flake , while to the left Carmel Squares continues boulder-floored with a floor trench before narrowing and finally connecting to Feeling Hungry . Near the southern end of Carmel Squares there are several muddy crawling/stooping leads on the left [QM B].

Chicken Run

Neighbouring passages: Pyramid Passage
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.22
Passage length: 577.8
Number of survey legs: 35
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Chicken Run is long and wide with a very fine sandy floor, often two toned in colour, which makes for very easy going. It was once a major thoroughfare used by locals to access a large nitrate pit at its far end although it appears to have been deserted for many years (except for Mr. Footprints). After 100m or so there is a dog-leg in the passage and a junction is encountered, notable for the presence of a single old plant fibre Jesus boot. A step down leads to a short blind passage on the left and a descending sandy crawl ahead with burn marks on the ceiling and weird scratch marks. This eventually closes down after about 25m.

The main passage continues in fine form for a further 200m to the large nitrate pit. Curious three clawed footprints were seeen in the deep soft sand about 1m apart which we suspect are actually the marks left by jumping cave crickets. 50m beyond the nitrate pit some stal are encountered and the roof lowers. The final 10m are crawling in deep white dust to the inevitable choke.

Confabulator

Neighbouring passages: Discombobulator, Carmel Squares
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.14, 2006.03.06
Passage length: 238.7
Number of survey legs: 32
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (tape), Julia Bradshaw (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Confabulator starts at a 15m diameter pit in Discombobulator . A 2mx2m horizontal continuation can be seen on the far side of the pit, (bolt traverse needed). The 16m pitch down is rigged off a large thread some way back from the pitch head, with a tector on the lip. Halfway down the pitch lands on a large ledge where there is an exposed climb up to a lead (probably same as lead above). Below the ledge, the pitch becomes vertical and lands in a small streamway.

Upstream goes immediately to a rift with two leads which probably connect [QM C]. Downstream the passage descends at roughly 20°, with a small water-washed stream course, occasional mud false floors, and sediment banks on both sides. After 40m a crawling height side passage enters on the right [QM B]. After a further 40m there is a ramp up on the right which goes to a 10m+ aven with black space above [QM B]. Shortly thereafter there is another qm on the right [QM B]. In total, the horizontal passage goes for 170m SE until the stream disappears down a hole to the left (unclear whether it is passable, but it is very small [QM C]). A scramble over a mud bank to the right here leads to a letterbox which connects to Carmel Squares . There is the possibility of a connection to the pitch off the passage leading to Monoxide Streamway .

Crazy Painter

Neighbouring passages: East Meets West, Tea Set, Loose Ends East, Water Works, Crazy Painter Crawl, Pissing in the Wind
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.15, 2005.05.18
Passage length: 495.2
Number of survey legs: 55
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (notes, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (clino, compass), Julian Todd (tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

At the start of Crazy Painter , an easy climb up on the right leads to the short, easy walking passage Tea Set . The main Crazy Painter route leads on in large passage to the first, large nitrate pit with a man-made pool of water above it passing the low south trending entrance to Loose Ends West on the way . At the first nitrate pit, man-made steps cut in mud lead upwards into Water Works . The Crazy Painter route continues beyond the pit, narrows, then opens out again into a chamber with a second, large nitrate pit. Climbing up on the right here, into what initially appears to be a blind alcove, is a small passage which loops back into the chamber in Water Works which the steps just described above lead to. No large routes lead off from this chamber. To the north of the chamber, a small passage leads off and soon drops down to a small stream. A tight and awkward route may lead upstream [QM C] and a low crawl leads off opposite [QM C]. A route initially heads downstream but soon loses the water below and leads to tight crawling with minor junctions. A flat out crawl on the right ends after some bones. The main route continues somewhat larger and loops around to re-enter the chamber described above with the second nitrate pit from the south.

Crazy Painter Crawl

Neighbouring passages: East Meets West, Crazy Painter
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.18
Passage length: 122.0
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the climb down to the stone circle in East Meets West there is a choice of route. The unappealing looking route on the West of the passage turns out to be relatively pleasant in the beginning. It ascend gently in popcorn coated walking/stooping passage which splits intermittently into double decker passage. An intermittent draught is somewhat confusing. The passage shrinks briefly to a crawl before gradually enlarging until a junction is reached. To the right is unexplored but a short climb to the left leads to more crawling which soon broadens and lowers slightly. Bearing left a small hole soon emerges near the far end of Crazy Painter passage.

Delicate Sound of Thunder

Neighbouring passages: Trapdoor
Dates of exploration: 2002.7.22
Passage length: 765.7
Number of survey legs: 42
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (notes), Matt Ryan (clino, compass, tape)

Description

From the end of Trapdoor , downslope goes to the Delicate Sound of Thunder .

Discombobulator

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage, Confabulator
Dates of exploration: 2002.7.15
Passage length: 105.7
Number of survey legs: 5
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes), Matt Ryan (tape)

Description

From the northern-end of the The Big Passage , Discombobulator is to the west. It immediately splits. To the left slope up leads to 10m wide mud and calcite floored passage which heads southwest, forming a loop with Underpass . The more interesting route is to the right, where passing between a number of sizeable black popcorn-encrusted stal leads to the well-decorated head of the pitch down into Confabulator

Dong Feng

Neighbouring passages: Qingkou Way, Bad Medicine, Squelchings and Belchings
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.4, 2006.03.5, 2006.03.15
Passage length: 833.6
Number of survey legs: 84
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (clino, compass), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Starts as 20m pitch, rigged from naturals through a slot on the right. At the bottom, the water disappears down an uninviting slot [QM C]. The way on proceeds over the slot in stooping height passage with a strong draught. The passage enters a small chamber, where another similar sized passage enters from the right [QM C]. In the chamber, there is also a small aven with a high level passage visible [QM C].

The way on from the chamber is to the left in small passage which degenerates to a flat out crawl. This reaches a T-junction with a walking sized passage. Right loops back round to the chamber through a small crawl. Left is the main way on. The passage is a fossil canyon, with occasional awkward sections, which gradually enlarges. Two junctions are passed on the left. The first takes some of the draught [QM B]; the second has very little draught and is a hands and knees crawl [QM B].

After about 100m, a 10m pitch is reached, which is rigged from naturals from a hole on the right. At the bottom, an inlet enters from a passage on the left [QM B]. The passage continues for 25m to the head of a further 10m pitch, which can be rigged from naturals.

A stream is met at the base of the pitch, which enters from a stooping height passage to the north [QM B]. To the east beyond a boulder pile is a 5m wide walking size passage, which gradually becomes filled with mud and ends in a possible dig after 50m. Two small inlet passages are passed on the left [both QM C]. The main way on is downstream to the south in 15-20m wide passage gently descending at about 10deg. An inlet enters from the west after 25m [QM C]. After a further 40m, the passages swings left and there is a choked inlet on the right (possible dig). 30m downstream on oxbow on the right is passed, and 40m further on an impassable inlet enters from the left. The continuing passage is smaller (3m wide) and has a slippery bedrock floor. At this point, a passage on the left is thought to be an oxbow back to the streamway [QM C]. A number of blind white fish were observed in this section of streamway. 70m after the streamway narrows, a pair of passages in the right hand wall are thought to connect to the same inlet passage [QM B] [FIXME: are these the Speleotherapy connections?]

A further 50m after the inlet, a muddy climb on the left gains access to a dry, mud floored passage. The continuing streamway becomes smaller [QM B]. The draught comes from the dry passage. After 20m of crawling a hole down is encountered on the right with the sound of water, presumed to be the stream just left [QM C], and a smaller crawl heads right [QM C]. The dry passage continues as a crawl to the left to a T-junction with a crawl on the left [QM B] and a continuing stooping height passage to the right for 40m until a hole in the floor is encountered. Traversing round the hole on mud banks to the right there is a tiny passage to the right [QM C] and a possible continuation of the high level passage accessed via a slimy traverse (unclear whether it is passable or full of mud [QM C]). The main way on is to descend the hole in the floor, which reaches a stream.

There is less water than in the stream followed earlier, so it is assumed to be different. Upstream becomes small QM B]. Downstream is comfortable walking sized passage until another climb up to the left into a dry passage is encountered after 30m. Again, the draught comes from the dry passage, so this was followed. The continuing streamway gets smaller [QM B].

The short passage leads after a short way to a mud bank. The top can be gained by climbing up the left hand wall and traversing across a sloping mud bank at the top. The continuing passage is stooping height with cracked mud floors, and leads after 40m to a T-junction with a 10m wide passage trending NE-SW, which appears to be large but mostly full of mud. The main draught comes from the NE and splits at the junction between the passage by which access was gained and the continuing large passage to the SW. Flood debris is visible on the roof.

Heading SW, a sump pool is encountered after 100m (there is a draught suggesting a small airspace). NE is Squelchings and Belchings .

East Meets West

Neighbouring passages: Loose Ends West, Blackburn Way, Crazy Painter Crawl, Loose Ends, Crazy Painter, Tea Set
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.14
Passage length: 594.8
Number of survey legs: 37
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Where Blackburn Way crosses a stone slab bridge, a large passage heads off to the right. The initially steep slope up has a small, man-made stone bridge on it. A passage ascending on the left is Loose Ends West . Following the main East Meets West route, a right passage just shortcuts back to Tiankeng Express . Follow the footpath in large, easy passage to a small climb down then up again into 6m wide sandy-floored passage. This continues as easy going until the roof lowers right down. Fortunately the miners had dug a trench to make this into an easy crawl. Just before the crawl, an unobvious climb on the left leads to Loose Ends . The roof rises again, the route passes a small passage on the left, Crazy Painter Crawl , and shortly after there is a large nitrate pit in the centre of the passage. From here, the obvious left junction reaches Crazy Painter after around 40m whilst ahead the main passage continues more rift-like, past Pissing in the Wind low on the right and ends at a balcony overlooking Qingkou Tiankeng .

Feelin Groovy

Neighbouring passages: Ignored, Feeling Groovy, Sleeping Bat
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.6
Passage length: 59.6
Number of survey legs: 18
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

No Description

Feeling Cheated

Neighbouring passages: Feeling Groovy
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.07
Passage length: 239.4
Number of survey legs: 38
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (notes), Julian Todd (clino, compass, tape)

Description

Cobble-floored passage leads to short climb down to circular chamber with a climb high to the right [QM B] and a slope down to a hole leading to a pitch to a muddy soak-away [QM C]. Continuing over the top of the hole comes immediately to a T-junction. Left doubles back to the bottom of the hole. The way on is up steeply to the right. At the top of the slope a high lead goes back to the west, while the keyhole-shaped passage carries on to the northwest with several climbs up, eventually coming to a chamber with three ways off: west (easiest), north, and high to the northeast. All reunite at the base of a 10m wide, 35m long, 30m+ high aven.

Feeling Groovy

Neighbouring passages: Stone Circle Junction, Blackburn Way, Feelin Groovy, Feeling Cheated, Feeling Hungry
Dates of exploration: 2002.7.16, 2005.05.11, 2005.05.14
Passage length: 1062.7
Number of survey legs: 111
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes), Matt Ryan (clino, compass, tape)

Description

From Stone Circle Junction a short phreatic tube descends for about 25m to the southeast before appearing in the side of 15m wide sandy floored phreas. The usual route here is to the left along Blackburn Way which heads northeast for about 200m to a climb down which provides access to the Tiankeng Express and also to the Sea of Holes . To the right is Feeling Groovy

60m of sandy floored walking passage ends in a junction. To the right is unexplored. To the left slopes up to 80m of 6m wide sandy passage ending in a pitch which leads to Sleeping Bat series. The main way on is straight ahead, which comes immediately to another junction: a climb down to the right, a drop down straight ahead, and a climb down to the left. The best way is to the left, but all routes reconnect at the head of a 4m climb down. A traverse at the level of the top of the climb [QM B] and a smalls streamway to the south [QM B] have both not been pushed.

Below the climb Feeling Groovy continues as 2-5m wide, gently descending dry canyon passage. In several places there are stone steps to assist with the climbs. After 30m there is an undescended pitch on the right [QM B]. A further 50m comes to the head of a 3m climb down with the remains of a wooden ladder at the bottom and a high rift to the left [QM C]. A 2m climb follows, again with wooden ladder bits at the bottom. Here the passage splits,with a climb up into a high level oxbow and narrow passage below. The two reunite at a junction with a third passage which climbs to the north, ending in a pitch down to Feeling Cheated . After a further 15m the floor changes from dusty mud to gravel and Feeling Cheated enters from the left. 50m later the passage turns sharply to the south. Here a roof tube is gained [QM C]. The passage widens, with bedrock shelves to either side of a trench. On the right a crawl over mud goes for 20m to a choke. Continuing along Feeling Groovy pops out in 10m wide trunk passage with a small oxbow on the left. A climb down leads to a flat mud floor followed by a slot between high shelves. Beyond the ceiling lowers for a short section of crawling, emerging in dry stream passage floored with small rocks. A T-junction is reached with the remains of a stone circle in the center. To the right is Feeling Hungry / To the left Feeling Groovy continues as 5m+ wide passage, descending over a number of short climbs down. A muddy shelf high on the left splits from the main passage after 40m, going 20m as a crawl which degenerates to flat-out over sticky mud [QM C]. The dry streamway continues over cobbles, reducing to a crawl before popping out at a wet aven. The water from the aven flows down a narrow streamway [QM B], while a mud crawl continues to the southeast, terminating at a 4m climb into a phreatic tube which wiggles for 60m to a drippy aven with a wet mud crawl going off [QM C].

Feeling Hungry

Neighbouring passages: Feeling Groovy, Cadbury Flake, Feeling Optimistic, Carmel Squares
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.11
Passage length: 310.8
Number of survey legs: 32
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

A wide sandy crawl goes to windy junction. Straight ahead is Cadbury Flake while Feeling Hungry continues to the right in T-shaped passage which goes up a climb and on to the base of an aven. From the aven a crawl goes to the north [QM C] but the way on is to the west, following the draught to a T-junction. To the right goes to Feeling Optimistic . A climb down to the left gains the floor of a dry stream passage, which descends over several old mill pools, finally levelling off with a cobble and rock floor and connecting to Carmel Squares .

Feeling Optimistic

Neighbouring passages: Feeling Hungry, Sleeping Bat
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.14
Passage length: 84.0
Number of survey legs: 14
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

From Feeling Hungry , Feeling Optimistic heads north, climbing up several old mill pools to a slot where a stream enters and falls down a pitch [QM B] and stream passage continues beyond into Sleeping Bat series. 15m before the pitch, a crawl high on the left goes for 60m of increasingly small, dusty passage. A low side-crawl remains unexplored [QM]. Several lice were seen on the mud.

Freak Lime

Neighbouring passages: Canyonlands
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.19
Passage length: 136.2
Number of survey legs: 13
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Canyonlands , Freak Lime goes up a necky 8m climb (overhang to slimy bridging via the only good hold on the wall - combined tactics/ladder essential) to dry canyon passage ascending over reasonably solid mud formations. A short horizontal section arrives at a canyon pitch down to the stream passage heading towards Ladder Pull-Up Pitches . An exposed scramble up to the left, partially protected by squeezing behind a stal, leads to a small landing overlooking a chamber accessed by a 4m climb down. To the right a short section of sandy 5m high, 3m wide passage leads to a continuation of the canyon pitch passage. Ahead in the chamber a steep 6m climb over popcorny flowstone gains a small chamber followed by an easier 4m climb and then a 2m climb to a muddy section of passage which ends at a cliff descending towards a large chamber with the sound of water below. Throughout this upper section the roof is very high with higher traverse levels visible and there are many old formations, often partially eroded.

Gorge Entrance

Neighbouring passages: Canyonlands
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24
Passage length: 51.8
Number of survey legs: 2
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Er Wang Dong Village head out across the fields along the valley towards San Wang Dong. Continuing along the valley reaches a deep gorge accessible via a slippery path on its left hand side. Goats are kept in this valley so it is often "gated" by a collection of thorney branches which should be replaced after passing. About 40m down the gorge the main path traverses but the route to the cave, which is often overgrown, descends through the undergrowth crossing to the right side of the descending gorge (care! may be impassable in wet). At the lowest point of the gorge (which ascends up a usually dry, wet weather stream bed ahead) a ~50m high imposing entrance is reached. The cave begins with a 4m pitch down (which some people pass with a handline) rigged around a large boulder, landing at the edge of a deep pool. Traverse around the pool to banks of gravel and a large clean-scoured passage which immediately turns left into Canyonlands .

Ignored

Neighbouring passages: Main Drag, Feelin Groovy
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.6
Passage length: 167.7
Number of survey legs: 17
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

No Description

Jammy Crawl

Neighbouring passages: Monoxide Streamway, Peanut Brittle, Carmel Squares
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.22
Passage length: 30.4
Number of survey legs: 1
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

From the Monoxide Streamway bridge, a climb up on the right side, crossing the bridge to the left leads to Jammy Crawl , which connects Monoxide Streamway to Carmel Squares and Peanut Brittle . The crawl is 30m long and contains cave lice.

Kings' Canyon

Neighbouring passages: Canyonlands, Kings' Canyon South
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.18, 2004.05.19
Passage length: 388.7
Number of survey legs: 28
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

40m high, 10m wide scoured stream passage heads SE from Canyonlands . After 35m the passage kinks to the right and comes to a 2m overhung climb down (entertaining on the return). The passage continues for 50m to where a large boulder fills much of the passage. A small opening on the left is just an oxbow. Here the passage enlarges for the next 50m with a network of phreatic tubes on the left at the level of a dry mud ledge. A little further on a 9m pitch is rigged off a boulder wedged in the floor. From a pool at the bottom the passage ascends briefly before sloping down to a 19m pitch rigged from a thread. The pitch descends past nice banding to a 4m deep mill pool (dry at time of exploration) with a 4m overhanging climb up (combined tactics + tall cavers required) to gain a small ledge with some naturals suitable for rigging the next pitch. From the head of the pitch two avens/passages can be seen coming in high on the RHS, with at least one containing a small stream. The pitch lands with a swing off to avoid a 14m diameter pool. 30m of horizontal passage leads to a climb down to a mill pool with very rounded cobbles and the head of the Big Pitch which requires bolts for proper rigging. The Big Pitch lands in a sizeable horizontal passage which continues to the north and south.

Kings' Canyon North

Neighbouring passages: Kings' Canyon South, Large Intestine
Dates of exploration: 2006.3.21
Passage length: 804.2
Number of survey legs: 50
Surveying teams: Mike Ficco (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

No Description

Kings' Canyon South

Neighbouring passages: Kings' Canyon North, Kings' Canyon
Dates of exploration: 2006.3.20
Passage length: 725.0
Number of survey legs: 34
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (tape), Mike Ficco (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Where the two passages away from Stone Circle Junction cross Pyramid Passage another short sandy passage, about 10m in width, heads north. After 20m this enters the Ladder Chamber. The main path through here towards the Gorge Entrance heads right for about 20m before bending to the north and picking its way across the boulder field to a rising ridge with a noisy inlet disappearing into a pit on the left and a short drop to more boulders on the right. From here ladders (now rotten) mark the route up towards the Canyonlands and the Gorge Entrance . (Note that this is probably unscalable unless it has been previously rigged from above or you are carrying a rigid ladder or equivalent).

From where you enter the Ladder Chamber it is possible to head leftwards around and down to a nitrate pit behind which a 2m wide ascending passage has not been investigated. Nearby the pit which takes the noisy water inlet can also be accessed.

Instead of heading leftwards from where you enter the Ladder Chamber it is possible to head to the right. After about 60m you reach the area overlooked by the balcony which is accessed by heading north from the Stone Circle Junction . Here the chamber descends beneath the balcony, past a dry stone wall, leaving the bouldery breakdown behind. From here a couple of open leads head off, the most promising being a descending ramp heading northeast.

Continuing around the wall of the chamber the eastern branch ends after a further 40m. Continuing around the wall until you are near the midnorth of the chamber another sizeable passage heads off, This is a steeply descending ramp about 15m which has only been followed for 30m to a chamber with several possible ways on. This is located near to but above Blackburn Lancashire which is currently accessed by a very diferent route.

Kung Fu Fighting

Neighbouring passages: Squelchings and Belchings, Ninja Master
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.18
Passage length: 274.4
Number of survey legs: 21
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes), Duncan Collis (tape), Mike Ficco (clino, compass)

Description

Descending the pitch at the end of Squelchings and Belchings arrives in a 4m wide rift trending NW-SE. To the SE a wall is met after 10m. Heading NW, a dry stream is met after 40m. The downstream continuation is to the left, and meets an undescended pitch/climb after 15m [QM A]. The passage appears to continue at the foot of the pitch, and there was a noticable breeze blowing downstream on 2006-03-18. The top of the pitch is around 20m above resurgence level.

Upstream, awkward progress is made clambering over boulders. At floor level an awkward climb up is reached after 80m. However, further progress can be made by backtracking 50m and climbing up boulders near the righthand wall onto jammed boulders at 3/4 height. At roof level, the passage is wider (about 15m), though it is not thought that this represents an old phreatic tube. After 80m of teetering over muddy boulders with large drops between them (which is A Little Bit Frightening) the floor is regained. By this time the passage has shrunk to about 5m wide and 10m tall. The continuing upstream passage is a clean washed, winding vadose canyon with many deep pools that must be traversed to avoid a drenching, leading to Ninjia Master .

Ladder Chamber

Neighbouring passages: Pyramid Passage, Ladder Pull-Up Pitches
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.22
Passage length: 248.5
Number of survey legs: 22
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

No Description

Ladder Pull-Up Pitches

Neighbouring passages: Ladder Chamber, 40m QM, Canyonlands
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24
Passage length: 107.8
Number of survey legs: 7
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Heading north from Canyonlands and following the small stream takes you into 40m QM but the stream soon turns off to the right down a narrow calcite-floored passage with a roof trench above connecting to the higher levels of Canyonlands . The stream goes down a pitch to the right to reappear near the base of the ladder pitches in the Ladder Chamber . Meanwhile, the main way on to the left ducks under boulders (or alternatively you can climb over them) to a short section of passage that leads to the top of the ladder pitches, overlooking Ladder Chamber .

At the top of the stream pitches a small inlet enters from the roof and disappears down a small hole in the floor. There is also a possible continuation ascending over the top of the ladder pitches. Without a fixed ladder the pitches are probable unclimbable from below. From above, the first pitch descends about 8m to a ramp followed by a shorter 4m descent to Ladder Chamber . The bottom pitch at least has a fixed ladder in place although it is completely rotten and unusable.

Large Intestine

Neighbouring passages: Succus Entericus, Speleotherapy, Kings' Canyon North, Small Intestine, Blackburn Lancashire
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.07, 2006.03.15
Passage length: 605.3
Number of survey legs: 62
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (clino, compass, notes, tape), Duncan Collis (notes), Julia Bradshaw (clino, compass, tape)

Description

The western branch of Speleotherapy leads, after 100m, to a T-junction with a stream passage. Upstream (right) has not been followed [QM A]. Downstream is the start of Large Intestine .

Downstream is a 15m wide walking/stooping phreatic passage with flood debris on the roof. Initially a gravelly streambed winds between mud banks, but after a while mud covers the entire width of the floor. After 150m, a widening is reached where the main passage bends to the left. There are two inlets on this corner: the first is a 15m wide, dry mud-floored passage with a draught which goes to Kings' Canyon ; the second is narrower and carries a small stream [QM B].

Continuing downstream, an aven is soon reached, which contains another inlet stream. The combined water sinks into the floor immediately on exiting the aven. The continuing passage is narrower but taller (approx. 3m wide x 5m tall), probably phreatic, and is mostly gravel floored. After 50m, a climb up to the left gains access to a crawl [QM C]. After a further 25m, a climb on the left leads to a roof tube which quickly rejoins the main passage. After a further 40m, a junction is reached.

At the junction, a clean washed 3m round phreatic tube heads north. This continues for about 100m before going through a short section of crawling over gravel to a connection with Speleotherapy between the pitch and the junction with the Large Intestine streamway. The crawling section forms a u-bend, which rapidly fills with water when water enters from the Tiankeng. To the northeast, a muddy slope leads to a high level passage with a draught [QM B]. The main way on is to the southeast.

The roof lowers, and the passage is almost filled with rocks. A small crawl to the right has not been followed [QM C]. To the left, twin holes between the boulders drop into a clean washed phreatic passage, the continuation of the northbound passage from the junction. The gradient is markedly steeper than in the previously. It is speculated that the constriction causes water to back up and deposit the finer sediments, whilst water flow through the phreatic tube is more energetic. The passage continues at walking/stooping height. After 40m, the passage splits into two similar sized tubes. The tube to the right has not been followed [QM B]. The lefthand tube continues in a similar fashion, the gradient gradually reducing and gaining a gravelly floor. 50m further on, an inlet crawl to the left is passed [QM C]. Shortly afterwards a stream rises from the gravel. The continuing passage is a 5m wide, crawling height bedding plane. After 30m, a hole on the left gives an escape route from the crawl, and emerges into a 1.5m round phreatic tube 5m above the level of the stream. This tube continues in two directions - north (upstream) has not been followed [QM C], whilst to the south, a climb down regains the stream after 15m. The stream rises from an impenetrable slot, and almost immediately sinks into the gravel under the left hand wall. However, a short flat out crawl over gravel arrives at the bottom of an unstable slope of rounded cobbles. Great care is required when ascending this slope to avoid starting an avalanche of cobbles that could block the narrow entry point at the bottom. At the top of the cobble slope, a draughting dry phreatic passage continues [QM B].

Little Pisser

Neighbouring passages: Big Passage That Rob Missed
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.12
Passage length: 74.7
Number of survey legs: 17
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Lobster Pot

Neighbouring passages: Blackburn Way
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.14
Passage length: 80.2
Number of survey legs: 8
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Passage goes for 15m to an unlikely looking lobster pot from where a small hole in the 1.5m high ceiling leads awkwardly to a further 80m of walking passage before ending abruptly.

Loose Ends

Neighbouring passages: East Meets West, Water Works
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.23
Passage length: 339.0
Number of survey legs: 45
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Loose Ends starts with an easy climb and continues in narrow, winding passage up two awkward climbs. The passage degenerates into a crawl but finally emerges into low, wide passage. To the left soon closes down ending at an interesting draughting dig [QMC+] but to the right the roof soon rises to gives easy walking passage that almost immediately reaches a series of three holes. Only one miner had explored this far though there was lots of bamboo earlier in the passage. The first one almost certainly connects to Crazy Painter near the large nitrate pit. The second doesn't seem to connect to known passage [QM B], The third hole emerges above the chamber in Water Works . The shortest drop down is around 5m and was descended using awkward combined tactics.

Loose Ends East

Neighbouring passages: Crazy Painter
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.23
Passage length: 68.3
Number of survey legs: 7
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Loose Ends West starts as a stooping sandy passage descending steadily. The floor soon becomes calcite covered and the after about 60m of 1m phreas the passage finally degeneraltes to nothing just short of the main East Meets West passage.

Loose Ends West

Neighbouring passages: East Meets West
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.23
Passage length: 166.3
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Where Blackburn Way crosses a stone slab bridge, a large passage heads off to the right. The initially steep slope up has a small, man-made stone bridge on it. A passage on the left just by this initial slope is at first large passing an oxbow on the left. It then slopes up and soon narrows to a small chamber. Left here leads to a series of holes which are in the roof of the large passage in Tiankeng Express . Right leads to a crawl which ends. Some other unpromising options have not bee pursued [QMC].

Main Drag

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage, Square Root, Stone Circle Junction, The Wrong Trousers, Ignored
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.22, 2006.03.6
Passage length: 602.5
Number of survey legs: 36
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Heading north from The Big Passage , after a brief kink to the right the passage reduces size significantly, with stooping occasionally required. The passage here is typically circular, sandy or popcorn floored, and about 8m across, The next point of interest is a short dogleg right (east) just as a flowstone can be seen in the lefthand corner. After about 30m the passage bends back to the northeast. A handline climb to the right here is the beginning of Square Root . Continuing to the northeast it is easy going with a slight ascent for about 200m or so. On the right there is a large pit (which drops down a 20m pitch into a maze of phreas which connects to Feeling Groovy ). Traversing around the pit, it is followed by a much smaller one on the left [QM B]. Progress now is typically along a 1m wide sandy trench in the floor of the passage which ascends briefly before descending. From here a further ascent to the right is the beginning of The Wrong Trousers . Meanwhile, straight ahead ascends another 10m and then descends to arrive at Stone Circle Junction .

Main Entrance

Neighbouring passages: Skylight Chamber
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24
Passage length: 0.0
Number of survey legs: 1
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

The main entrance to Er Wang Dong is located right next to Er Wang Dong Village, just behind Mr. Wang's house. A low wide entrance has a slippery path descending on the left past a pool of water. Two small inlets enter high on the left and one is used by the locals as a clean water source. The entrance chamber is also used for dry storage of sticks and hay etc.

Monoxide Streamway

Neighbouring passages: Benzine Loop, Jammy Crawl
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.21, 2002.1.22
Passage length: 304.2
Number of survey legs: 33
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

From Benzine Loop a body-sized crawl leads to 50m of sandy-floored walking passage which intersects Monoxide Streamway , a small draughting streamway characterized by an abundance of popcorn and wet mud. Upstream has not been pushed [QM B]. Downstream descends over numerous climbs, passing several small leads on each side [QM C]. After 150m the passage is crossed by a popcorn bridge. To the left of the bridge is Jammy Crawl . Continuing downstream goes to a low wet crawl [QM B].

Ninja Master

Neighbouring passages: Puke Passage, Kung Fu Fighting
Dates of exploration: 2006.08.04, 2006.08.06
Passage length: 969.5
Number of survey legs: 78
Surveying teams: Anja Matthalm (clino, compass), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Thomas Matthalm (clino, compass, tape), Yvo Weidmann (notes)

Description

At the bottom of the Niubizi Tiangkeng a clean-washed streambed leads directly into the Niubizi Entrance of Er Wang Dong. The entrance is 20m wide by 60m high and heads SE. The passage keeps this dimension for 200m. The floor is covered with clean polished boulders. In the SW-wall of the entrance passage there is a lead 15m above the floor which could be accessed by aid climbing [QM B]. After 300m the passage size decreases to 6m by 4m and the passage turns to the N. This is followed immediately by a turn to the E which leads to the top of an 8m pitch best rigged from the the north wall of the passage. Here the character of the passage changes to a keyhole meander leading almost immediately to the head of the second pitch p25. which lands in a 70m x 40m boulder chamber. From the chamber there are 3 ways on: climbs up sediments to the N and E lead to Puke Passage , a 10m wide fossil passage with a miners' path and nitrate pits heading N. To the south clean-washed streamway goes 40m to a climb down followed by a pool. A second climb down to a deep pool follows immediately, with a crawl on the right below the climb and a 3m pitch bypassing the pool. Just beyond the pool a 5m wide passage enters from above on the left [QM B]. 20m beyond there is another climb down, below which a small passage enters from the right [QM B]. 60m beyond this the fourth pitch, p8 is reached. A high level passage [QM B] enters directly above the passage just traversed. A traverse around the left hand side of the pitch leads to a stooping-height passage [QM B]. From the bottom of the pitch a pool is followed by the fifth pitch.

From the top of the fifth pitch a traverse around to the right leads to 50m sandy, mud floored passage which descnds gently to the head of a pitch [QM B] with possible continuation reached by a traverse around the top of the pitch [QM A] . This lead has a strong outward draught which seems warmer than the main passage, and there is a distinct smell of guano. At the base of the fifth pitch a short section of cobbled-floored passage leads to the top of the sixth pitch where high-level continuation has a number of holes down to the same chamber. The sixth pitch lands in aa 25m-diameter chamber with a large pool and an inlet entering from a large passage to the west [QM A]. Downstream 15m wide cobble-floored passage passes a high lead on the left [QM C] followed by a rift on the right [QM B]. The floor briefly dips in a section which is presumably a canal during wet weather. Beyond there are two high leads on the left [QM B] followed by the head of the seventh pitch. At the top there is an oxbow to the left which leads to the head of another pitch. Descending the seventh pitch leads to a deep pool followed by a traverse around on the left and a connection to Kung Fu Fighting .

Peanut Brittle

Neighbouring passages: Jammy Crawl, Carmel Squares
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.22
Passage length: 149.8
Number of survey legs: 19
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

To the northeast Jammy Crawl ends in a chamber. Down a slope the small Peanut Brittle streamway rises from an impenetrable hole, flowing to the southeast, while Carmel Squares heads off to the northwest.

Peanut Brittle is similar in character to Monoxide Streamway , and the two run parallel for much of their length. Peanut Brittle begins as 6m wide passge, but soon narrows to 2-3m. The floor is mostly bedrock with numerous mill-pools. After 80m the passage turns to the northeast and the ceiling lowers. The stream ends at a gravel choked sump. A few meters back from the sump there is a muddy crawl [QM B]. There are several smaller leads off the passage [QM C].

Pissing in the Wind

Neighbouring passages: Crazy Painter
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.18
Passage length: 214.2
Number of survey legs: 52
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Not far before the East Meets West balcony overlooking Qingkou Tiankeng , a crawl heads west, notable for a collection of condensation around its entrance. This begins as a pleasant, descending, sandy-floored, stooping passage but soon degenrates. First small pools are encountered. Later the roof lowers and deep glutinous mud appears while poor, chossy rock hampers efforts to stay clean and dry. After about 100m a series of free climbs, on better rock, lead to a slightly drier section with a cracked, but still sticky, mud floor. Following this arrives at an awkward, sharp draughting hole which continues straight ahead while, marginally better, another couple of climbs down. An unobvious route then continues with the draught to where smaller passage and mud terminated exploration although the way on is still open...[QM C]

Preston

Neighbouring passages: Sea of Holes, Tiankeng Express
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.13
Passage length: 123.1
Number of survey legs: 8
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Tiankeng Express an easy 10m climb down through boulders gains a flat floored canyon 15m high and 4m wide. Straight ahead continues for about 50m to a blind chamber. About halfway along a low passage 10m wide, 2m high heads to the right, southwards. This runs parallel to the Tiankeng Express for about 60m but at a slightly lower level until it pops out in the side of Sea of Holes .

Puke Passage

Neighbouring passages: Ninja Master
Dates of exploration: 2006.08.06, 2006.08.10
Passage length: 475.2
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Andrew Atkinson (tape), Anja Matthalm (clino, compass, tape), Duncan Collis (tape), Thomas Matthalm (notes), Yvo Weidmann (notes)

Description

Puke passage starts as a up to 10m wide, 7m high, sandy walking passage with an 6m diameter nitrate pit. After 160m a sandy crawl [QM B] leads to the NE. The tunnel continues in sizeable dimensions until a muddy slope indicates a second lead [QM B] to the NE again. 40m further N the big passage ends in a T-junction. To the W, a nice active streaway continues [QM A], to the NE the upstream part of the streamway takes the shape of a canyon. There is a strong wind and a miner's path that might connect into Niubizi Dong [QM A]. A possible third leads starts above the first climb down into the downstream part of the streamway [QM C].

Pyramid Passage

Neighbouring passages: Stone Circle Junction, Ladder Chamber, Chicken Run, Underworld
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.22, 2005.05.05
Passage length: 258.5
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, notes, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Stone Circle Junction follow the main route towards the Gorge Entrance until you reach the bridge over the trench in the floor. From here a large passage heading southwest (left) may be followed on either side of the trench which disappears intermittently as it crosses diagonally accross the sandy passage. These holes are all deep, maybe 30m, and sound as if they are sand-floored. After about 100m of easy going the passage splits briefly with the right branch ending at a deep pitch with the sound a very small stream inlet. To the left there is a mazey little section populated by deep pots. It is either possible to traverse around the edge of these or to head further left through a small oxbow that soon regains the main continuation.

In the main continuation the draught present so far has reversed direction suggesting that it all funnels off down the pitch. The passage now heads southeast for 50m to a T-junction with two nitrate pits. To the left ascends steeply to a large hollow stal with a 10m pitch down practically inside it next to an inlet. Proceeding around the right side of this a draughting passage continues ascending to the north briefly before splitting. The left branch follows a winding 3m phreas for about 60m, past a solitary stal named Josef, to a dead end. To the right has the draft which appears to come out of an aven after about 20m. This may be scalable although some means of protecting the climb would be advisable [QM B].

Back at the T-junction a small alcove straight ahead goes nowhere but the branch to the right heads southwest into Chicken Run .

Qingkou Streamway

Neighbouring passages: Tiankeng Express, Speleotherapy
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.4, 2006.03.5
Passage length: 287.2
Number of survey legs: 19
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (clino, compass, tape), Mike Ficco (notes)

Description

From Tiankeng Express" the Qingkou Streamway goes down a series of pitches to Speleotherapy .

The first pitch lands in a gravel soak-away which dries up occaisionally. From the base of the pitch 3-5m wide, large-cobble floored passage goes W, with several small phreatic tubes [QM C] and a couple of high leads which may be flood-overflow routes [QM B]. After 100m a 13m pitch is reached which could be free-climbed in a pinch. Over the top of the pitch there are several leads [QM B]. The pitch lands on a floor of gravel and the passage is immediately spilit by a rock arch. Beyond the arch there is a small chamber with a climb up to an oxbow on the left and a slope down on the right. Where the oxbow re-enters the passage, there is a 2m-diameter tube going off to the SE [QM A]. Going down a slimy bedrock chute leads to the top of a 4m pitch/climb with high leads on the right [QM B]. The pitch gains the floor of a clean-washed chamber with several pools. To the left a bouldery-slope up is a lead [QM A], while the the right is the final pitch. Across the top of the pitch is an interesting walking-sized passage which will require about 4-bolts to access [QM A]. The 15m pitch drops past a small ledge to a more significant ledge, overlooking a 5m-diametre pot. The best route is to traverse around the pot to the right and go down a slope on the far side, thus gaining Speleotherapy .

Qingkou Tiankeng

Neighbouring passages: Tiankeng Express, Qingkou Way
Dates of exploration: 2002.7.23
Passage length: 127.4
Number of survey legs: 5
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes), Matt Ryan (tape)

Description

Qingkou Tiankeng is a large vertical-walled tiankeng (great doline). In addition to the large Tiankeng Express passage which heads south from the base tiankeng, a much smaller passage heads north and there are about half a dozen smaller passages which intersect the tiankeng higher up [QM A]. Most are inaccessible from the base of the tiankeng. Two sizeable streams flow into the top of the tiankeng, combining to form the stream that flows south along Tiankeng Express . In wet weather this stream can rise rapidly.

Qingkou Way

Neighbouring passages: Qingkou Tiankeng, Dong Feng
Dates of exploration: 2002.7.23, 2006.03.04
Passage length: 663.8
Number of survey legs: 51
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (notes), Julia Bradshaw (clino, compass, tape), Matt Ryan (tape)

Description

On the northernwestern side of Qingkou Tiankeng there are two entrances at stream level. To the left, 80m of 10m wide, old mud-filled phreas ends at a choke. The main way on is the entrance to the right, which leads to cobble floored passage. After 60m there is a crawl high on the right [QM B], and the passage turns to the right, coming to a junction. Straight ahead the cobble floored passage continues 150m, gradually decreasing in height, ending at a draughting crawl over dry mud which has been surveyed for 60m and is ongoing [QM B]. From the junction a climb up high on the right gains stooping/crawling passage with a good draught which ends at the top of a steep slope down (handline needed) into a chamber where a trickle of water enters from the north. To the south a short section of rift leads to the top of a draughting 20m pitch down to the sound of water [QM A].

Sea of Holes

Neighbouring passages: Blackburn Lancashire, Preston, Tiankeng Express
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.21
Passage length: 155.9
Number of survey legs: 17
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the short climb down from Blackburn Way to the Tiankeng Express an area of breakdown is encountered to the left. The far side of the passage descends steeply to what appears to be a blank wall. The roof here, however, has a trench up next to the wall which is clearly related to some of the pitches down from the 40m QM . Following the near wall instead it is possible to climb down over large boulders with several holes between them. About 10m down a sort of plateau is found from where several longer drops look like they are going to require rigging. However, a sneaky route back against the wall under a solid overhang drops down 2m next to a rat's nest to a slightly lower level. Following the left hand wall gains a small balcony and retreating slightly a crawl on the right loops around a large boulder to gain a steeply descending slab and thus the lower continuation.

A short section of the remains of an ancient stream passage, now dry, follows, albeit still peppered with breakdown which could conceal alternative routes on. After 30m this arrives at a 10m pitch the firstpart of which may be free climbed with care. From here a veritable maze of interconnecting passages may be accessed where it is not always possible to distinguish solid walls from huge breakdown. Several routes have been looked at but the area has not been conclusively examined. The current way on involves looping down and around to another balcony overlooking the bottom 5m of the pitch. A few metres back from here on the right (as you look out) is an unlikely looking crawl between boulders. After 2m this appears blind but a small awkward chute down to the left soon enlarges and lands on a sloping shelf from which the base of the pitch may be accessed.

At the base of the pitch a 10m diameter chamber has two passages heading off and this is the beginning of Blackburn Lancashire .

Shuang Keng

Neighbouring passages: Strideways
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.06, 2005.05.11
Passage length: 146.0
Number of survey legs: 18
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (notes), Julian Todd (clino, compass, tape), Rebecca Lawson (clino, compass, tape)

Description

The first pit is descended using the tree as a backup and a spit in the rock above the hole to descend 10m with a deviation at the top (14m rope). This lands in a small chamber with a possible small way off on the right. The draft comes from ahead. Climb down past a small pool. This should be possible to walk around on the left but can be traversed over (with difficulty) on the right. A short crawl (past an old rats nest on the left covered with white fungus and grim looking insects) soon reaches an easy 4m climb down into a chamber with light entering from the second entrance above. The way on is a climb down through boulders and a short climb down to the head of the second pitch, a 20m free-hang. The pitch lands on an island of solid rock surrounded by drops. A free-climb down into a 15m wide chamber with two ways on: an unexplored crawl which takes the water, and a hole through immediately into Er Wang Dong's Slideways

In wet weather a surface stream flows into the entrance and the pitches will become impassable.

At the base of the Qingkou Streamway pitches, Speleotherapy runs roughly E-W in 2-3m high, 15m wide cobble and sediment-filled old phreas. To the W it goes 60m to Large Intestine . To the E it goes 90m to a right-hand bend where a walking-sized lead which takes most of the draught enters from the left [QM A]. A further 70m along a walking-lead enters from the right [QM A], and shortly thereafter the passage size increases, with a clean-washed stream course on the right and a muddy bank on the left. This slopes down into a sizeable junction. The stream course turns sharply to the right, ending in a cobble-choke (without any fine sediments) where the passage splits into upper ([QM A], roof-bolting needed) and lower parts ([QM B], small tube). The way on is to the left, up a 20m-wide inlet passage with a small trickle and large mudbanks. The inlet goes up-dip at an angle of about 12 degrees, and after 100m the water enters from a high-level passage, maypole required [QM B]. A further 40m along, a climb down clean-washed boulders to the right leads to Bad Medicine , while 30m beyond that the main inlet passage ends as the sediment fill reaches the ceiling, and there is a small stream passage on the left [QM B].

Skylight Chamber

Neighbouring passages: Main Entrance, Slimeways, Slideways
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24
Passage length: 517.2
Number of survey legs: 19
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the base of the main entrance chamber a flat mud-floored passage goes off passing through a dry-stone wall with a small empty doorway. After about 100m a skylight lets blades of sunlight dagger down into a large mud floored chamber crossed with a small braided stream. The chamber occasionally has hanging clouds of mist. The way on is up an extensive boulder slope to an obscure climb down through boulders on the left hand side (this can draught impressively) to Slideways .

It is also possible to ascend the boulder pile to almost its highest point. From here a small strongly draughting muddy hole has been dug open to gain access to a bouldery maze inside a huge boulder choke. Wandering around and trending generally downwards following the draft has been followed to a short awkward climb which lands in bigger passage. This is, in fact, trivially connected to the route down to Slideways suggesting that that descent route may in fact be considerably more extensive in places than it first appears.

Sleeping Bat

Neighbouring passages: Feeling Optimistic, Feelin Groovy
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.11
Passage length: 358.6
Number of survey legs: 47
Surveying teams: Mike Ficco (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From Feeling Groovy a short climb down leads to a sandy ledge. From here a pitch of a further 10m gains a narrow rift running north-south. To the South a short chimney climb back up to level with the top of the pitch gains a passage that seems to be a continuation of that ledge. Indeed it is very similar in character to the upper reaches of Feeling Groovy being 10-20mm wide, 5m high and sandy, with a good draught (to the South, away from the pitch, in Winter). An old stream bed is cut down into the left hand side of the passage with some static water. After about 50m an active stream is encountered, entering from the right. This too flows in a cut down trench. Upstream soon arrives at a pit with the water entering from the far side of 5m aven. It briefly flows under the floor of the passage before appearing in a trench. Downstream the passage changes character completely becoming a clean washed but old feeling vadose canyon about 2-3m wide and about 5m high. It continues like this meandering southwards (passing a sleeping bat en route) with a good draught for about 100m until the stream drops down a short pitch into a cross rift [QMB]. A dry continuation over the top is Feeling Optimistic

Back at the base of the pitch the rift also heads north. The obvious continuation soon closes down but a slither down a low sandy slope draughts well (away from the pitch in Winter). From the base of this two small holes down drop into a narrow draughting rift 1m wide, 3m high with evidence of old footprints. This continues draughting in two directions [QMB, QMB]. Sleeping Bat , however, has swung to the West and climbs slightly to gain a higher level rift passage 1-2m wide, 2-3m high. A ramp to the right is unexplored [QMC] and the passage now swings to the southwest continuing as a draughting sandy meander past some unpromising side leads [QMC] until it gains a ledge overlooking Feeling Groovy . A continuation ahead closes down after 30m. 20m back into em class="passage">Sleeping Bat a draughting crawl on the South side of Sleeping Bat goes for 20m to another ledge overlooking Feeling Groovy but this time the continuation over the top continues. The passage here is a very sooty tube and it ends after 30m at a pitch down which does not appear to correspond to any known passage [QMB].

Slideways

Neighbouring passages: Skylight Chamber, The Big Passage
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24
Passage length: 221.8
Number of survey legs: 22
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From a climb down in Skylight Chamber , Slideways descends steadily for about 100m, losing 40m in altitude before popping out on the upper side of the The Big Passage . In places there are several possible routes through the Slideways choke, and it is probably considerably larger and more complex than currently depicted on the survey.

Slimeways

Neighbouring passages: Skylight Chamber
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.22
Passage length: 120.9
Number of survey legs: 29
Surveying teams: Erin Lynch (notes), Julia Bradshaw (clino, compass, tape)

Description

From the dig at the northern end of Skylight Chamber , Slimeways descends over a series of loose, muddy climbs (long handline needed for the last) to a series of spaces in the boulder choke to the north of the miner's path in Slideways , finally connecting to Slideways about 3 minutes from its top end. There are several leads of varying quality [QM C] throughout the choke. The most interesting are a water-worn space above the last climb [QM B] and heading north, and a water course heading east from D72 at the lower end of Slimeways [QM B].

Small Intestine

Neighbouring passages: Large Intestine
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.22
Passage length: 273.3
Number of survey legs: 37
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape)

Description

No Description

Speleotherapy

Neighbouring passages: Qingkou Streamway, Bile Duct, Large Intestine, Bad Medicine
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.5, 2006.03.07, 2006.03.7
Passage length: 774.1
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (clino, compass, tape), Duncan Collis (notes), Erin Lynch (clino, compass, tape), Mike Ficco (notes), Rob Garrett (tape)

Description

No Description

Square Root

Neighbouring passages: Main Drag, Wonderland
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.20
Passage length: 495.7
Number of survey legs: 42
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From around the middle of the Main Drag , just after a brief dog-leg, a short drop heads back to the south on the right hand side. This is rather chossy and is best passed with the aid of a 10m handline rigged off a stal boss a short distance up the passage. On the left a short climb up leads to a blind recess. Beneath the climb down a small pit on the right accesses a walking size rift which may be followed for 10m to an awkward stal obstruction with unexplored space beyond. The main way on descends gently in 8m wide passage with a sandy floor. After 35m a short dog-leg occurs. Spurring off from this a dry mud slope climbs to a small alcove which could dug to gain access to a small chamber beyond. Continuing downwards, however, continues for 30m to a junction. On the left a minor passage heads north forking immediately. Continuing north for about 15m degenerates into a blind crawl. However, the right branch draughts well and continues past an echoey blind hole on the left to a 10m chamber with a sunken floor and raised ceiling. The draft seems to disappear up an aven while a traverse around the left hand wall gains a low crawl which has been followed for 20m and is ongoing.

Back at the main junction the main route heads south. However, after 25m this also forks. The lesser left hand branch again heads northwards and again immediately reaches another fork. Once again the left branch rapidly closes down while the right branch goes to Wonderland .

Back at the main junction once again the main route to the right descends gently to the south. The going is easy in a large trench on the left hand side of the passage with sand on one side and smallrocks on the other. Up to the right a calcited popcorny wall rises steeply to the ceiling about 10m above. After about 50m a small crawl on the right is blind. The passage narrows briefly as it passes some stal before resuming its former dimensions for the remaining 100m to where it ends abruptly. A chossy climb on the right gains an extra 10m of crawling ahead and a low oxbow back. A short distance back on the right an unlikely looking hole drops down to an unpromising tortuous network of body sized rifts and small "chambers" which hasn't been fully explored [QM C].

Squelchings and Belchings

Neighbouring passages: Dong Feng, Kung Fu Fighting
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.15
Passage length: 639.4
Number of survey legs: 24
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

The passage proceeds gently uphill, initially crawling over sticky mud, gradually becoming taller and narrower allowing easier progress. After 550m, the passsage opens out at the head of a 15m pitch into a cross rift. It is speculated that the sump at the SW end of this passage backs up and flows towards the NE and down this pitch. Descending the pitch gains access to Kung Fu Fighting .

Stone Circle Junction

Neighbouring passages: Main Drag, Blackburn Way, Feeling Groovy, Pyramid Passage
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.22
Passage length: 102.6
Number of survey legs: 7
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Stone Circle Junction is one of the major route finding locations in the system. It is where the routes connecting the Main Entrance , the Qingkou Tiankeng and the Gorge Entrance all converge. The approach from the south follows the Main Drag route past the entrance to The Wrong Trousers up a sandy ramp in a trench to a plateau from where a ledge overlooks the junction and two sandy ramps down on either side both converge at the stone circle (in reality a nitate pit). From here a sharp hairpin to the right (southeast) descends a 2m diametre sandy tube and this is the way to Feeling Groovy and Qingkou Tiankeng . Straight ahead to the north a 15m wide passage ascends over breakdown with a worn path on the right. After 20m the sound of water may be heard coming from the right. In this direction a 10m cliff overlooks a large black space, the eastern arm of the Ladder Chamber . Continuing on the passage heads left and the path descends to follow a narrow space between huge breakdown and the right hand wall. A viable alternative is to continue over the top of the breakdown. Both routes unite in a large sandy area where a passage to the right is the main route into the Ladder Chamber and straight ahead is the beginning of Pyramid Passage . Meanwhile, a deep narrow trench in the floor to the left may be crossed with the assistance of a stone bridge to gain the final route back to Stone Circle Junction . This is in fact the main route from Stone Circle Junction to the Gorge Entrance . Heading back towards the junction you pass through a small door sized sandy opening to a 4m wide passage, overlooked by breakdown to the left. Ahead it widens sloping down before ascending to a short crawl which brings you back to the Stone Circle.

Strideways

Neighbouring passages: Shuang Keng, The Big Passage That Rob Missed
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.12
Passage length: 63.7
Number of survey legs: 5
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Succus Entericus

Neighbouring passages: Large Intestine
Dates of exploration: 2006.03.22
Passage length: 156.5
Number of survey legs: 14
Surveying teams: Anthony Day (notes), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape)

Description

No Description

Tea Set

Neighbouring passages: East Meets West, Crazy Painter
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.23
Passage length: 154.1
Number of survey legs: 11
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

The Tea Set is a ledge above the main East Meets West passage just before that passage reaches the balcony overlooking Qingkou Tiankeng (daylight is visible from this ledge). An entire tea set is laid out on the ledge - two round, lidded metal pots, a metal kettle, an attractively patterned ceramic teapot, two ceramic bowls, a pair of tongs, a ladle, the remains of a fire and two larger pieces of wood (perhaps for a tripod?) plus a pair of shoes. Presumably provisions for people working in Water Works and Crazy Painter could be pulled up from the passage 4m below and then, for some reason, the tea set was left and forgotten. From here a 5m sandy phreas heads southwest connecting to Crazy Painter after 100m or so via a short climb down. Continuing over the climb down quickly reaches a 4m aven [QMC].

The Big Passage

Neighbouring passages: Slideways, Benzine Loop, Main Drag, Discombobulator, Underpass, The Big Passage That Rob Missed
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2002.1.25, 2002.1.27
Passage length: 319.6
Number of survey legs: 19
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (clino, compass, notes, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

The descent out of Slideways arrives at the upper side of the The Big Passage , 30m wide fossil phreas running north-south with a slope on the west side. To the right the The Big Passage That Rob Missed heads off towards the Trapdoor series. Meanwhile to the left proceeds north over a well worn path, passing Benzine Loop on the right. Shortly a popcorn coated traverse is reached. The base of the traverse goes to Underpass , while the main way on is along the traverse to a well decorated junction. To the left is Discombobulator which is separated from the main route by a gathering of popcorn coated stal. Access to the northern half of the cave is straight ahead via the Main Drag . The draft here tends to flow slowly northwards in the mornings and strongly south in the afternoons. Several side leads and pits have not been fully investigated. [QM B]

The Big Passage That Rob Missed

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage, Trapdoor, Big Passage That Rob Missed, Strideways
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.27, 2002.1.28, 2002.7.14
Passage length: 712.6
Number of survey legs: 42
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (clino, compass, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (clino, compass, notes, tape), Matt Ryan (tape)

Description

Heading south from the end of Slideways ...

The Wrong Trousers

Neighbouring passages: Main Drag
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.22
Passage length: 147.7
Number of survey legs: 8
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

On the Main Drag shortly before the Stone Circle Junction a small pit is passed followed by a sandy slope upwards. However, a second slightly steeper snady slope also ascends to the right. This is the way into the The Wrong Trousers . From the top of the slope a 10m sandy floored phreas is encountered, quite typical of many of the passages in the area. Initially it appears well troden and it continues in fine style for 60m before degenerating into a crawl. Just as it appears that the passage may end in a choke the roof rises abruptly and a decorated chamber is reached, 10m wide and 20m long. Alas, all ways on are blocked except, possibly, an aven some 10m overhead.

Tiankeng Express

Neighbouring passages: Blackburn Way, Qingkou Streamway, Qingkou Tiankeng, Sea of Holes, Preston
Dates of exploration: 2001.6.24, 2004.05.21
Passage length: 557.6
Number of survey legs: 31
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

From the climb down that marks the divide between Blackburn Way and Tiankeng Express, the latter goes right (NE), briefly climbing up over boulders to a level area with drip marks and a pit/passage on the right [QM A]. Continuing ahead, the best miners' path is along the flat to the left, while the right hand side of the passage is full of boulders that slope down and then up. The old miners' path then cuts across to the right, and up obvious steps to a section with mud/gravel banks on the right and water entering from above on the left. The small trickle flows towards the tiankeng, and the way on is along the gravel banks and then down through a short crawl with the trickle. Where the sediment bank ends and the passage opens out, the path goes steeply down the side of the sediment bank to the right, ending at a stone circle.

Here a large streamway from Qingkou Tiankeng has washed away all of the sediment, leaving a clean-washed streambed with large cobbles. In the winter the Qingkou stream is dry, but in the summer it occasionally swells to several cumecs. Directly across from the stone circle, the Qingkou stream exits Tiankeng Express down the Qingkou Streamway pitches.

Continuing upstream toward Qingkou Tiankeng , there are several stream crossings which can become impassable in wet weather. The passage is generally 15m wide with a floor of large cobbles, until it bells out where it intersects Qingkou Tiankeng .

Trapdoor

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage That Rob Missed, Delicate Sound of Thunder
Dates of exploration: 2002.5.26
Passage length: 222.0
Number of survey legs: 31
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass), Erin Lynch (tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Underpass

Neighbouring passages: The Big Passage
Dates of exploration: 2002.1.25
Passage length: 151.6
Number of survey legs: 11
Surveying teams: Claire McElwain (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes)

Description

From the southern end of the popcorn traverse in The Big Passage , the Underpass goes down a slope to a T-junction where there are two ways to leave The Big Passage . To the right is a 40m-long mud-floored crawl. To the left the Underpass goes under the popcorn traverse to a slope up to a climb into a small chamber. To the right another climb up connects to Discombobulator , while to the left is a maze of stal grilles which has not been fully explored.

Underworld

Neighbouring passages: Pyramid Passage
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.05, 2005.05.07
Passage length: 768.4
Number of survey legs: 63
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (clino, compass, notes, tape), Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Erin Lynch (notes), Julian Todd (dog)

Description

Descend the pitch using a sling around a natural backup and a second sling around a natural at the pitch head with a deviation onto a small flake (36m rope). This 28m pitch lands on a sandy ledge. On the far side of the ledge is a window to the passage below. The second pitch immediately follows the first and needs to be backed up to the rope above (20m? rope). The second pitch starts with a single bolt and shortly below a sling to a rebelay around a natural then a bolted rebelay to the floor. Both bolts are spits.

From this point at the base of the second pitch there are two main ways on and a third minor route.

First, with your back to the pitch wall, the left route goes down walking size passage and soon reaches a junction. To the left is roomy passage but this soon ends with a soakaway in the floor and a small chamber the far side of it with no good leads (a crawl with a weak draft would need digging [QM C]). The main way on at this junction is ahead to the right, past a low alcove on the left and two nitrate pits to a short but awkward climb over a large boulder. This is best done with a handline threaded around a block on the left, and climbed on the left side. The climb down the boulders the far side is easy and lands you in a wet, cobbled area with a small stream coming from above. The passage continues as very high, straight rift to the southeast. After around 80m of this a climb up into an alcove on the right may lead to more passage [QM A] and around 30m further there is a possible route down under a large boulder [QM B] and also at this point a possible passage up on the left wall that should be freeclimable up to (this may link to the pitch described next) [QM B]. Soon after this point the main rift turns sharply to the left. Ahead may continue as rift [QM B] whilst to the left there is a large pitch (20m? Hard to tell as can't overlook it) [QM A].

Second, from the bottom of the two pitches, the right route passes an alcove on the left with some very fine Chinese writing on the wall and two nitrate pits and opens out into the main chamber. On the left side of the main chamber are two retaining walls and a rope item that we couldn't identify by an undercut. Dropping down on the left by the retaining wall leads to a small chamber with a 1m diameter hole in the floor. Descending this for 2m leads to a ledge above the passage that leads to the sump pool described below. There may also be a way on level with this point on the far side of this passage [QM C] but neither this or the passage below can be reached from this point. Back at the retaining wall in the main chamber, there is a route up between the boulders past two more retaining walls into the main boulder choke above. However from this point there were signs of recent rock movement so the survey ends here [QM B]. Back at the main chamber, at the far side (so opposite to the pitch and at the same height) the chamber is low and wide but soon closes down. The main way on is to descend to the lower, right half of the chamber, with an easy climb down 3m from where you enter from the pitch. This large boulder and mud-filled area has two nitrate pits in it. Immediately on the left of the bottom of this climb is a small, low passage which soon closes down. However further along the cliff on the left is a second low passage which soon becomes taller. This continues as easy walking passage. There are two points where you can climb up on the right through loosely packed boulders to high above the main passage [both QM B]. Continuing down quickly reaches a short climb down to a chamber with a waterfall entering then draining away to a small, gravelly sump pool. Climbing up on the left of the small waterfall (best with a handline) the water can be followed up to the left where it emerges from a tight crack in the roof. More interesting is the passage up to the right which passes boulders to a ledge overlooking a pitch (20m?) with water flowing in the passage below [QM A]. This may be a bypass to the sump described below.

Third, from the bottom of the two pitches, the final route is ahead and to the left (if you have your back to the pitch wall). There are two nitrate pits and more Chinese writing here, with a small passage off to the left. There is a continuation on to the right which leads to an area of loosely packed boulders with the sound of water below but this may just link to the water draining into the sump pool described above.

Water Works

Neighbouring passages: Crazy Painter, Loose Ends
Dates of exploration: 2005.05.18
Passage length: 530.0
Number of survey legs: 58
Surveying teams: Becka Lawson (notes), Erin Lynch (clino, compass), Julian Todd (tape)

Description

Up the steep mud steps from the first nitrate pit in Crazy Painter , a narrow passage climbs steeply to a small chamber. Left from here leads to the second nitrate pit in the larger chamber in Crazy Painter . The two holes in the roof lead to Loose Ends ,though the climb up is around 5m and may not be possible from below (combined tactics were used to descend). The main route from the chamber is right, up a roomy rift and a tricky 4m handline climb past more man-made pools of water, two nitrate pits and some strange yellow substance presumably connected to the miners. Just beyond the nitrate pits, an easy climb leads up on the left to a large ledge which briefly oxbows then returns to overlook the main passage. Continuing up the main passage there is a further large pool of water and shortly after three more manmade pools, two smaller ones still with water and a larger, dry one. The water source for these pools is just below this final, dry pool, entering as a trickle up an easy 4m climb. Beyond this climb, the miners have made a small mud aqueduct. This still carries water and is around 10cm deep in the trench and around 30cm across. It runs for about 50m up the passage, ending in a small pool of water. The passage continues upwards but after around 40m enters a confused area of rock pillars with many small, interconnecting crawlways off. Most soon close down or loop back. The tiny stream can be followed up on the right to a flat-out crawl with a draft coming out of it [QM C]. The main crawl on the left loops back to a balcony overlooking the end of the mud aqueduct. Back at the bottom of this inlet, by the dry pool, the main passage continues upwards, initially large but the roof soon drops down (though the passage continues to be wide) and eventually the passage fully fills with mud and no draft.

Wonderland

Neighbouring passages: Square Root
Dates of exploration: 2004.05.20
Passage length: 248.0
Number of survey legs: 37
Surveying teams: Duncan Collis (clino, compass, tape), Rob Garrett (notes)

Description

Typically 1-2m wide and about 2-3m high, the passage descends gently to the south. It meanders south for about 200m appearing to enlarge slightly before shrinking again to a small crawl with a small but noticeable draught. Briefly the passage enlarges to comfortable dimensions and a very small stream is encountered. However, around the next corner the stream disappears down a body sized awkward wet crawl that is probably impassable. The draft may disappear up an awkwardly accessible aven [QM C].