Area K Executive Guide

(Taken from 2005 Expo Writeup) Cross reference to the Many Photos

AREA K: The Executive Summary

Started naming caves in area K! Wandered round to Green Dome (peak along from kuk). Noted the \~30m shaft in the peak (I think bottomed, K3). Followed the ridge down from Green Dome towards Gardener's World. Checked all the bowls on the way down – nothing on the flank of Green Dome or along the ridge. Followed it to the end of the hanging valley before it drops down into the main valley. There was a strongly draughty boulder choke (cold, spider's webs kicking round) but cairned not GPS'ed. Not worth labeling, might be worth digging. Chris Rogers

K1 AKA “Goat Shelter”: Obvious entrance on flank of Kuk.

K2: From the ridge we could see an obvious triangular entrance which was too tempting to leave. Wandered over to find a 1mx1m entrance into a 3mx3mx3m chamber with a big draught and choked tube leading off into the mountain. Easy digging! Massive draught!

Was dug by Chris & Jarv for 2+hours each. Rik did a further half-day of digging. Much rock removed, slowly descending into the blocked rift. Also possible to start digging under the (solid rock) lip of the entrance, likely to rejoin the rift further down. Still ‘alive’ but progress very slow & rock friable.

K3: Shaft on top of Green Dome. Believed bottomed in the early 90s.

K4: Entrance towards the east of the north face of Kuk. Chris & Jo climbed down onto the scree & then up into the entrance. Was found to be merely a window, with light filtering in from above.

K5: Entrance on west-end of north Kuk cliff face. Abseiled down to by Chris with bolt placed just off path to Krn, backed up to VW-camper sized van nearby. Rebelay 20m on sloping ledge – dodgy half-inserted bolt! Chris arrived at entrance & explored – small horizontal development with light filtering in from windows above. Loose boulders bouncing down most of the way. Chris continued on abseil down to scree floor – had to free climb after end of 90m rope!

K6 AKA “Torn Scrotum”: On the way back to low door on Green Dome we saw a small tube going along the bedding plane. Jarv crawled along it for 6m to a widening with mud floor. Not much draught but still wide open. Needs elbow pads & kevlar underwear.

K7: Up on grassy plateau east of K2. Clamber 5m over boulders into obvious entrance to get to a boulder choke. Small draft. A dig. Dodgy clamber.

K8: West facing overhang, scree slope into boulder choked 3mx1m chamber.

K9: Obvious triangle hole topped shaft under a rock bridge. Bolted by Dave & Sandeep, with through-bolts forming a traverse from the left, to a Spit on the right then down via a deviation around the natural to a rebelay 2m below the lip of the shaft. Straight drop to minus 15m. Big window on pitch can be swung into, which is a smaller parallel shaft dropping into same chamber. From bottom of small chamber, tight rift that almost immediately dies leads off to the east. To the west is a larger chamber that forms the start of an extensive bolder choke. There is a floor level way through to the straight west, which enters further boulder choke ending at a drafting dig'able collection of rubble. Lots of hanging death above. Alternatively, one can walk up the large slope to the south of the chamber, and then traverse to the west to enter the boulder choke at a higher level. The chamber that you enter is a twin shaft that appears to go most of the way to the surface, but has no obvious entry. Above the west termination of the boulder choke is the bottom of a climbable pitch. However, the climb was rather exposed – and it was concluded that it was likely that it would shut down to sub-human sized inlets. However, Jarv occasionally wakes up wondering what was over that limestone lip…

K10 AKA “Torn Testicle”: 50x30cm wide vertical hole filled with vertical limestone razor blades. 3m deep, just enough room to swivel around in. Stones rattle when pushed to the north. Would be easy enough to de-razor with hammer. Would need to lift boulders out from bottom before attempting to crawl underneath. It was plumbed with an inserted leg. Probably a lot of effort.

K11: Fantastic looking scree climb into chamber in NE end of massive shakehole. Cold-draft. In right of chamber, boulder choke – serious digging possibilities.

K12 AKA 'Victoria Coach Station': Huge 5-10m across triangular entrance leads down over massive boulders and large snow slope into 15m across perfect-dome of a chamber. Choked at floor level, but draughty holes visible in sides of chamber at higher levels. Main push was in the North-East wall, where a bedding lane crawl led off at roof height. Choked with ice & boulders – enormous outward flowing freezing draft. Progress good, but unpleasant – best technique was to use crow-bar to scoop ice & boulders towards you down the slope before slithering out the slot & pulling them into the main chamber. A little unpleasant! Also a small chamber round (2m across) that can be stepped down into up on the NW end. Would be a serious dig.

K13 AKA 'Pedestrian Subway / Arrivals Hall': Rift in hill directly above + to the north of the K12 entrance hole. A grotty & loose sloping crawl which leads to a free-climb turning into a 4m pitch. This drops you into a small chamber (Length:Width:Height 5:3:8m), with many boulders. Possible dig at floor level to South East. Large gash in floor makes you realise that you are right up in the domed roof of K12! 3 Bolts Placed

  1. 1 at end of crawl, safety for free-climb + backup
  2. 2 4m pitch bolt, on west wall
  3. 3 Bolt at floor level of gash in floor. Possibly attached to a mere boulder – abseil with caution!

K14: Shallow rift \~20m south of K9 which goes into a small chamber, small lead going left – probably not worth pushing – break back onto the surface?

K15i (the Rik-Venn imaginary series): Big outward blowing very cold cave. Goes in 10m heading south and down, then a diggable choke, below a mini-cooper sized boulder with many cracks & no visible means of support. One hour digging gained one meter. Needs crowbar to clean boulder floor. Drips on roof like GW!

K-Moss: Near K15i. Small mossy-hole, could be dug with easy rock. Small draft. A little digging carried out.

K16: Highup below Peak 4.

K19 (Coach-Crash Dig):

Found entrance in pile of boulders in middle of boulder field - rift dropping down a few meters, then running down gravel pile into the hill, and seemingly opening out. Noted distinctive split boulder a little up-slope from entrance. Encouraged by sight of obvious bedrock rift walls under superficial layer of rocks.

After some initial digging, entrance rift was wide and clear enough to climb down, but collection of loose rocks around top made some gardening necessary. Was left with one final rock to move that was threatening to fall into the rift. Janet started taking pictures. Tried to move rock with tape, slightly concerned about larger rock was standing on with right foot - not entirely stable.

Heard a little tinkling of pebbles from behind me - strange, since I hadn't done any digging there.

Couldn't get rock clear - too heavy & nowhere stable to leave it near hole, so had to drop it down rift, even though it was going to jam. Slight movement of rock underfoot as it dropped…

Heard more tinkling of pebbles from behind, then all-too-familiar deeper rumble and varied screams. Sprung nimbly back to safer ground in time to see sizeable Henry settling noisily into new position.

Landed right where I was previously standing seconds before, and where I had been lying down a few minutes earlier whilst jinking boulders down the rift with a crowbar: Actually, if anything, the rock has stabilised the surface somewhat - the thing its left side is leaning on is now definitely going nowhere, and it's still possible to access the rift by going under it, but it was decided to leave an attempt at cracking the boulder wedged down the rift for another year. Probably rather better with caps, and the actual extent of bedrock under the surface cover isn't entirely clear. A 4ft rock bar (or even a longer piece of scaffolding) would be nice, if someone could be persuaded to carry one up there.

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