29 November 2004

Thank Petzl for the Pantin

Chelidorea, then. Cave entrance is up at about 1,000m and facing the gulf of Corinth, with the most amazing views of it and across the water to the other side. The way down to the cave is very steep from the road and if you haven’t been before, it’s easy to get lost. The entrance is about 1m in diameter with a nice amount of damp air coming out - the first time I have felt air breathing through the entrance to a cave.

A small descent of about 2-3m brings you to the first pitch - a completely vertical drop of about 50m, which is followed immediately by another smaller drop of about 20 odd. Next, though a small hole, and more drops down to about -140 or -160, where there are some horizontal sections (on the rope, with large drops below), followed by the 80m pitch.

I stopped before the horizontal section and let the others continue. The boys sat it out at the top of the final pitch, while Eri went on down to check for rubbish and bring up the rope. We then started the way up and came out not too knackered about eight to hours after going in, with five sacks full of rope, some of it wet and heavier than it would be otherwise.

The pot itself is not too interesting, being basically almost totally straight down and requiring that we were on the ropes for most of it.

There were some good invertebrates in there - one I had not seen before and dammit, I just realized I could have figured out what it was had I taken more time to study the things. I’ve managed to learn a lot of the questions off an invertebrate dichotomous key, but this was totally not on my mind when I found myself opposite the critter in question. The other thing of note was what I assume is meant by cave coral - these little blobby guys made of stalactite material.

All in all a fun and successful day’s outing.

25 November 2004

Chelidorea / Helidorea

Well, it's going to be a tough weekend. Helidorea is up at 1,000m mark, with a very nice view across the gulf of Corinth to Delphi, etc. It has two 50m pitches in quick succession with some little pitches here and there too, followed by a horizontal section (on rope) and an 80m pitch.

At least there is no water, and not much mud.

23 November 2004

De-Rigging Chelidorea (Helidorea)

So they called and asked whether or not I am free on Friday to do de-rig the pot they had used for the cave rescue excercise.

Chuffed to be asked to go help out, I checked what the weeked plans are and will tell the gang tonight that I am in, but not to expect too much of me for obvious reasons.

So we can all look forward to more stories next week of pulled and sore muscles and what have you. I don't know - as long as there's some sort of fatty meat soup at the end of it, I'm game for almost anything.

Here's a random image of OA's prop jet which does the IST-ATH flight in the evening - don't take too much carry on!