Alternate Names: GA22

Includes:T91 Lower White House Mine -RCA6 - Boulderosa - T105 Italianos - T144 Rosario - FT39 Pozo del Compromisso - FT40


CO-ORDINATES: 30 T - 0360872, 4786012



The lake is flanked to the south by a steep, flat-topped slope of spoil. From the top of the spoil slope, a steep, snow-blocked gully leads straight up the side of the impending ridge.  From the northern side of the valley this gulley can be seen to be a major fault line continuing beyond the mine workings on the ridge-top, and over the next ridge. Where the fault-gulley meets the spoil slope lies an elongate, steep sided doline blocked by a snow—plug (even in mid-July). A traverse around the north-eastern wall of the snow-plug ends at a mine entrance 1.5 metres square and part-blocked by rock falls from the gulley above.

Picture: Location




Inside, 15 metres of horizontal mine passage leads to a hole in the timber and rubble false floor. Two bolt belays allow descent of this first 6 metre pitch. A short passage leads to a second pitch impressively decorated with a rickety snow slope suspended from the snow plug of the entrance doline. Pitch 2 begins with a 2 metre drop onto a flat ice flow supported on gravel and boulders, and bisected by a water channel. The ice flow bends into a curtain leading, after a further 2 metre drop, to a rotten snow platform. The pitch continues for 12 metres past a very loose boulder slope, and ends in a snow pit. The mined rift passage continues across a frozen pool to the head of a pitch. Across the pitch is an impressive eroded ice formation, the Ice Palace. Pitch 3 begins with a loose boulder-slope which soon gives way to a fine 20m free hang which can be climbed for the first 6 metres. Below, a short boulder slope leads to a 2 metre drop into a draughty mine passage.  

To the south-east, a series of progressively more interesting ‘aerial walkways’ lead to a collapsed section which may be crossed on a dubious timber ‘tightrope’ above an unpleasantly large drop (approx. 40m). This passage follows the fault line, passing an impressive 18 metre natural shaft (undescended) and terminates in a partially explored vertical maze of ladders, walkways and passages. The maze would well repay careful exploration, as several small natural passages are intersected. 

Moving north—west from the bottom of pitch 3, a short traverse around a 13 metre pitch leads to a downward sloping passage filled with the roar of water. 2 short climbs, followed by a duck under a waterfall lands back into the fault rift. A short fourth pitch (4m) leads to a wet, tight rift pitch. Fortunately a traverse can be made to a rickety miner’s platform from which a pleasantly dry free—hanging 22 metre pitch is descended. A rush back through the spray leads into another mine passage which, by following the water and/or draught leads to the impressive natural Spiral Staircase aven.  This aven is about 38 metres high and developed largely in white-veined black marble. The floor is littered with miner's debris – rusting rail trucks, pipes, timbers and spoil. The Spiral Staircase connects at the top to the T91 Lower White House Mine level. 

To the north the aven closes down to a narrow rift widened by mining, which eventually becomes too tight. Halfway along the rift, a short climb on the east side leads to a second impressive natural aven. Unfortunately, this too is choked with spoil .