2011 b Albania

In late 2011 a small core team returned to the Hill to continue pushing some of the existing leads and to search for more. Some good work was conducted in Vaso, but the main highlight of the trip was in a new cave, further down the hill. Description below from one of the team:

It’s an excellent, sporting, descending canyon passage which we surveyed down to about -120m via 8 pitches. At this point we were at the base of a shaft approx 50m high and 8m diameter. Leading off was a small rift which immediately opened out onto something rather interesting. We started to drop the pitch with the rope we had to hand. Unfortunately it was that blue knicker elastic stuff. At -40m and the end of the rope which was free-hanging in space, a pendulum was managed to gain a wall to get a bolt in. Returning the next day with more rope, we re-rigged with a 100m length of new 9mm. When this ran out, we continued with a further 35m length which got us down to a 2nd ledge – still in the same shaft remember. At this point we still could not see the bottom, so cobbled something together using that 40m length of blue crap. This reached another ledge, but not the bottom. We ran out of rope at this point. The shaft continues – draughting strongly. We must be looking at a possible (but stupid) free-hang of 450 – 500ft in an oval shaft of 6m x 10m which is now breaking into the side of a large rift. The cave entrance is lower than Vaso and we have now passed below the level of the valley floor. As it is evident that the cave does have the ability to become somewhat aqueous at times, the question is – where does it all go?

Needless to say, an excited team will hopefully be returning this summer to continue the good work.....