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Geology Aven - 14/6/2018

Written by RobEavis on .

I shared the last trip's details with Moose whilst he was offshore and his enthusiasm for chasing draughts got the better of him. So after last caving together in Mulu over a year ago it was a change to be poking about in the filth of Lower Giants.

The two of us headed straight for the rift and assessed the best route up. Even though we had lots of bolt climbing gear, we found a safe route to the roof via Moose digging under some large perched boulders followed by a short section where he became both a hand hold and foot hold for me. Once up i belayed him up the last bit and we chose a target each.

I followed the main rift up a short calcite slope to a boulder blockage, very cemented with calcite. The draught coming through some of the small holes was obvious, but there is no easy way through it without lots of tools. 

Meanwhile Moose headed into a small side aven on the eastern side of the pitch head. This body sized, vertical tube is extremely calcited and would provide a marvellous route on in any cave! Moose reached a blockage after a body length, which i then just passed to a single boulder blocking the way. The draught here is even stronger, and no big open space around the boulder suggests it's being pushed through this restriction with great determination. 

With significant chemical persuasion being required to make any progress at either lead, we freeclimbed back down to the moderate safety of the perched boulder.

From here we spotted a narrow traverse to the south, along the rift, back over the pitches below. We carefully and ungracefully passed through to gain an unusual access to a very well decorated chamber, previously bolt climbed to from below by previous explorers.

This phreatic chamber is ~5m high, 6m long and 3m wide, with large flow scalloping and some nice calcite formations. No obvious way on exists, but Moose pointed out a sediment filled passage at roof height which was extremely well camouflaged by the calcite formations growing out of the overhanging face. At the top were some boulders with black space beyond, so a return trip would be worthwhile to inspect closer.