Saturday saw Mark, Brendan and I heading up to OFD Top Entrance with camera gear, SRT kits and rope. We planned to visit a little-visited part of the cave called Splash Inlet, which involves 3 pitches and some route finding, with the promise of quite a bit of passage to be found.
We made good time to the Skyhook pitch, pulled the rope up after us, and from the top we made our way past the formations to the top of the first pitch down towards Splash Inlet. Struggling through tight, rifty traverses and along crawls with all the tackle quickly lost its appeal, and we wished we had a few more friends along to share the load.
Once down the pitch we rigged the second pitch from natural anchors and were soon at the start of Splash Inlet. Following the inlet itself was less than inviting as it involved a squeeze in water, so we decided to explore the other passages.
Heading right led us to some interesting passages, but it was when we explored the passage on the left that we really found some treasures. Brendan and I found some beautiful crystal formations up a tight rifty passage, but when we went to get Mark to show him, he had disappeared up some knarly horrible passage. When he came back, he was full of enthusiasm for what he had found, and insisted we follow him.
The passage turned out to be not as bad as it seemed, and after a few twists and turns we came upon the cause of Mark’s excitement – we were standing above the main stream way, at Marble Showers! Not only that, but as the stream was in flood conditions, the water looked absolutely amazing, pouring down from all directions.
Excitedly, the boys started planning camera angles, but as time was running away from us and they had left their camera boxes a few junctions back, we decided that we would leave all the tackle and camera gear where it was, and return the next day for a decent photoshoot, hopefully with more people to help carry the kit!
|Aven Near Mutiny Junction (Photo Mark Burkey)|
|Aven Near Mutiny Junction (Photo Brendan Marris)|
Trip Report Jess