Last trip’s delights ending at the base of a draughting climb up, pushed expectations for this trip enticingly high.

Just me and Luke again, so we went straight for the end. assessed the best climbing approach. As this rift is very slanted, I suggested the lazy option of simply climbing up it quickly and frantically, just with a hauling rope attached to allow rigging a rope from the top once/if made. Luke was happy for me to do this. In retrospect this was an excellent choice as the danger of the loose material is made no worse by climbing it on rope, probably the opposite.

At the top the excitement waned quickly as the level each way quickly ended. Right (west) at a boulder/mud fill and left (east) at a solid wall after 7m. Just before the end is a ginged shaft down which looks blocked at the bottom. I rigged some stainless bolts and Luke came up and had a 10 minute dig at the choke, but it doesn’t look positive. Although we did notice that this level had been blasted from the other way, so it must go somewhere….

The perplexing thing is that neither of the ways off draughted, the air was very still up there. Admittedly the weather on the surface was not as extreme as last trip, but even today at the bottom of the climb was a noticeable draught. So it seems that this might be continuing straight on into a rubble collapse, and not heading up the climb as previously thought. The dig ahead looks loose and dodgy, but it’s certainly worth a quick go if indeed the draught is going that way….

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