The weather is still really poor, the rest have gone caving... I thought I'd give you a ring.
We are camping near the carpark for Hardwood hole, a cave with an impressive 200 m entrance pitch about 40 minutes walk away, a very popular tourist spot as it is a huge open pitch. So loads of hikers turn up in battered vehicles. The carpark has drop toilets and taps for water (though we purify it).
We are pushing leads in Ed's Cellar in Takaka hill, a highly vertical (SRT) cave. Last surveyed 1962, we've got a going lead at the bottom of some tight pitches with flowstone blocking a rift. So Rhys, Chris and Tanguy have gone to push it today. With James, Cecilia and Alex resurveying behind them as the 1962 survey left no PSS to branch off. Kiwis favour naturals and terrifying free climbs but we bolted some stuff. One lovely 30 m pitch free hang, then some tighter ones over loose rock faces. The new pitch is 20 m.
Tanguy and I drew up the survey by hand last night, we had surveyed 160m of passage to a depth of 80m. Beautiful dark marble with calcite infilled fractures, very loose rock. And razor sharp!
Glorious sunshine yesterday dried everything out and we have three tarps to make a great bivi. Thick mist today, but not heavy rain. We have spotted a break in the weather early next week and are consulting with Kieran as to whether we can fly up Mt Owen then. If not, we'll probably stay in the present vicinity, there's loads of new exploration potential.
Right, we should get back to camp to make sure everything goes smoothly. If you can turn any of this into an update for the website that'd be swell.
Jack Hare, misquoted by Jarvist Moore Frost
( This was transcribed by JMF at 23:40 BST, so 10:40 NZ time tomorrow 2015-04-11, from a fairly broken GSM phone call around the world (which soon got dropped), and then a Google chat from Jack's Android phone! Any errors or omissions are almostly certainly lost in circumnavigation. )