Author Topic: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested  (Read 2011 times)

Offline Ian P

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2019, 07:42:50 pm »
Thanks for all the information so far, really appreciate it.

A specific question about water for drinking during the trip.

Puri tabs ?
Boil ?
Neither ?

How much to carry etc...

Thanks again

Ian

Offline psychocrawler

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2019, 08:21:00 pm »
Smallest stove you can find and boil. You don’t have to use water from the river as there is plenty of percolation/small inlet water available.

Agree about the big light (it’s a cave worth seeing rather looking at you toes all the time), don’t bother camping (get fit instead and less crap to carry) and the boat at Lake Cadoux (just in case, and don’t let anyone else mess with it, as it is quite a big swim with a bag if it comes up).

The bottom section from Hurricane is outstanding.


Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2019, 09:37:07 pm »
From my 2017 post-trip write up...

Water
Earlier trip reports stress the importance of adequate hydration, with the 2006 report suggesting that 3 litres was only enough to get you to the bottom and that puritabs, boiling, or a water pump would be required to provide further drinking water. The report also suggested drinking large amounts of water prior to entering the cave to hyperhydrate and thus delay dehydration. We tried this to some extent, but forcing ourselves to drink water made us feel a bit sick.

On the deep trip we each carried in 3l of water. We stashed another 1.5l bottle of water at the foot of Garby’s for dehydrated cavers to use on the way out. Another extra 1.5l bottle was left at Camp 1. We carried puritabs to purify any water that we refilled from the stream.

Surprisingly, we drank less than a litre on the way to the bottom, and didn’t finish off the remaining two litres on the way back up. The water left at Camp 1 and Garby’s was not required and was simply poured onto the floor to save weight. We were probably a little bit dehydrated on exiting the cave, but this was no big deal.
Born Salzburg 1691. B.Phil. University of 's-Hertogenbosch 1718. Personal assistant to King Frederick of Liechtenstein, 1803-1857. Speaker of 35th Upper Silesian Parliament (fl. 1904-5). Owner/operator, Bridgend Underwear Factory, 1973-present.

Offline skippy

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2019, 11:04:52 am »
Ian,

Nev's best tip was to stash water in the Meanders...You'll be gagging for a drink on the way out.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2019, 11:26:36 am »
If you do it as a bounce trip, it's a good idea to have a tent, sleeping bags, water and at least some snacks at the entrance so you can have a snooze and a rehydrate there before walking back to the car, which is mostly uphill. I got out at about 3am and resting until 7 or so was pleasant; we got back to Autrans in good time for a nice breakfast.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2019, 11:42:53 am »
psychocrawler:
Quote
The bottom section from Hurricane is outstanding.

Agreed; in fact I thought that this was the best part of the cave, for its sheer grandeur of underground scenery – very atmospheric.

I also agree with David Rose's post just above – I got out after a 19-hour trip at about 1 a.m., and must have been a bit disorientated, as after walking 'back to the camp' I found myself standiing on some cliffs looking out over Grenoble.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2019, 12:35:43 pm »
On nearly all of my recent bottomming trips I've camped both on the way in and out. Its a fantastic experience and well worth the extra hardship of carrying more gear. If you are taking all the other bivi gear anyway then a few extra meal packs won't cause too much discomfort. Most of the extras you take in are only heavy on the way in. A decent lightweight sleeping bag is only bulky.

A good meal and head off to the Molliere from Autrans around 8pm. You can be tucked up in bed at Camp 1 by midnight.

The good night's sleep ends when it ends and after breakfast you can head off to the bottom. So long as you have confirmed by radio that the weather is suitable before you set off there should be no possibility of any flooding issues further into the cave.

You've then got all day to have a steady trip to the bottom, or wherever you fancy and back to Camp 1. You should be out by early/mid afternoon on the 3rd day and straight down to Autrans for a pint or two.

I agree the lower part of the cave is spectacular, particularly below Hurricane. The French are currently exploring some interesting new leads above Hurricane.

I think the whole place is spectacular so make sure you have a good lamp and have a good look round.

Mark

Offline yrammy

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2019, 09:21:32 am »
Also  - we camped and it was an interesting experience for a first time underground camper. Three of us caved together and agreed that if any one of us had had enough we would all go back. We did not bottom the cave as the least experienced person  became uncomfortable.  So, know your limits. Bottoming it is not essential!  Getting out in one piece  is.

Offline wellyjen

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2019, 02:51:40 pm »
Is the Berger still rigged on spits? Anyone know of any plans to change that in the next year or two?

Jen

Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.

Offline Alex

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2019, 05:07:03 pm »
A job for the CNCC :) Keep em out of trouble for a while hehe.

I can't recall what the anchors where, I have an inkling they might be resin anchors but I really don't remember I went down on the clean up trips so had not rigged anything.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline MarkS

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2019, 05:11:00 pm »
Is the Berger still rigged on spits? Anyone know of any plans to change that in the next year or two?

It was still largely on spits last summer. There are a few resin anchors in some very bizarre locations, but essentially all spits.

Offline wellyjen

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2019, 08:43:21 pm »
Is the Berger still rigged on spits? Anyone know of any plans to change that in the next year or two?

It was still largely on spits last summer. There are a few resin anchors in some very bizarre locations, but essentially all spits.

Thanks. Need to start collecting old fashioned hangers then!
Jen
Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2019, 09:19:09 pm »
The Berger book project has a stash of about 90'ish hangers and 7mm long maillons that future trips are more than welcome to borrow. Simply replace anything you break or lose.

PM me or MarkS to get hold of them. I think MarkS has them in his garage.

Mark 

Offline wellyjen

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2019, 09:32:09 pm »
The Berger book project has a stash of about 90'ish hangers and 7mm long maillons that future trips are more than welcome to borrow. Simply replace anything you break or lose.

PM me or MarkS to get hold of them. I think MarkS has them in his garage.

Mark
Hi Mark,
That is good to know. We are talking about a club trip in 2020, which will be 25 years after our last club visit. Will get in touch when things are a little firmer.
Jen
Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.

Offline Ian P

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2019, 11:16:34 pm »
The Berger book project has a stash of about 90'ish hangers and 7mm long maillons that future trips are more than welcome to borrow. Simply replace anything you break or lose.

PM me or MarkS to get hold of them. I think MarkS has them in his garage.

Mark

Mark

This is a very generous offer, which I am sure our trip will be taking you up on.

Thanks for all your contributions. The two nights camping is something I am very keen to consider.

Thanks again    :bow:

Ian

Offline Ian P

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Re: Berger Trip. Personal top tips requested
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2019, 01:41:53 pm »
After a very successful inter club trip to the Berger, I have just listed some of my personal thoughts and tips to add to the previous wealth of really useful ideas, hopefully this thread will prove useful to people in the future.

A big thanks to all who provided tips they were extremely useful. A special thanks to Mark Wright for the loan of 20 tackle sacks.

My Berger personal top tips.

1. Don’t under estimate the trip. Technically there is nothing too difficult BUT it is big and requires a positive mind set.
2. Build up your stamina. (Lots of walking up hills with a heavy pack)
3. Rigging takes longer than expected
4. Make sure your harness is comfy. (Especially if rigging)
5. Use anti chafing cream (cycle “butt cream”)
6. Have adjustable tethers on kit bags, this helps greatly on the meanders.
7. Take plenty of food and snacks
8. Canyon boots (bestard canyon guide) were amazing to use and really helped on the canals etc and were supportive for the many walking sections.
9. A Petzl “adjust” cowstail made progress on the canals significantly easier.
10. In low water it is easier to wade and free climb some of the canals and cascades missing out some strenuous rope work.
11. Bivouac 1 has sleeping mats  in place , no need to carry your own.
12. A courdura oversuit with a cheap “pac a mac” to put over when required was a good combination.
13. Leave an exit beer at the bottom of the (cold) first pitch, it tastes amazing !
14. Use a tackle bag that is comfy to carry, one with padded straps would be good.
15. Plan proper rest days between trips, it is tiring on the body !
16. For a big trip day, take your kit to the entrance the day before and have it sorted ready for an efficient departure.
17. Use plastic bags to collect and purify water at Bivouac 1 on way down, you then have plenty of water when you return there.
18. Have a set of dry clothes at Bivouac 1 including socks. Put plastic bags over them and then put your wellies back on to walk around.
19. A couple of long burn night light candles make a pleasant light  during the “night” at the Bivouac for any awake periods whilst sleeping.
20. Keep teams to small numbers (3-4 people)
21. Enjoy !!

Thanks again for everyone’s input  :beer2: