ちょうちん穴ケイビング(2010/11/20)

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農大探検部と合同で行った山岳救助訓練の前日、奥多摩、川乗谷のちょうちん穴に行ってきた。

ちょうちん穴は、関東でも小ぶりの穴で、総延長300m弱。立って歩ける通路も少ない。第一洞・第二洞の連結部が狭いうえに屈曲しており、体格がよかったり、身体が固いと通り抜けが難しい。今回は狭洞部の通過に慣れるため、このケイビング活動を計画した。

参加メンバーは、佐野(CL)、白沢(SL)、永吉。
佐野は三度目のちょうちん穴で、白沢・永吉は初めて。

7:20ごろ、奥多摩駅に集合し、東日原行きのバスで川乗橋に向かう。
ちょうちん穴はアプローチが非常によく、川乗橋から歩いて30分ほどで着くのだが、今回は1年ぶりで川乗谷に下りる作業道を間違えてしまった。そのため、川乗橋→ちょうちん穴洞口の徒歩が1時間近くかかってしまった。

計画としては、第一洞より入洞し、連結部を通過する。その後、第二洞の最奥部にたどり着いたあと、出洞のつもりであった。

9:00、間違えて第二洞より入洞。白沢・永吉にルートファインディングをさせて、最奥部までたどり着き、いったん出洞。白沢、匍匐前進でしか進めない狭洞部で身動きがとれなくなり、発狂。なんとか身体をねじって通過。
10:30、第一洞より入洞。白沢・永吉に連結部を探させるも、見つからず、佐野が先導。
佐野、白沢、永吉の順で連結部を通過する。佐野・永吉は難なく通り抜けられたが、またも白沢が挟まって抜けられなくなる。15分ほど逆さ吊り状態だったが、永吉が上から押したりして、なんとか通過する。
その後はすぐに出洞。

13:00バスで東日原に向かい、救助訓練のベースキャンプである鷹の巣谷出合いでほかのメンバーと合流。

【反省】
白沢・永吉は国内でも6~7月に毎週洞窟で訓練を行い、8月にはインドネシア遠征に参加して、ケイビング技術は上達していたはずであった。
しかし、今まで比較的大きい洞窟にしか入っていなかったため、狭洞部突破に慣れていなかった。特に白沢は何度か狭洞部で挟まっており、これでは狭い洞窟ではスムーズな行動ができない。もちろん、体格差や身体の柔軟性から得手不得手はあるが、最低でもちょうちん穴の狭洞部をスムーズに抜けられるよう、もう少し狭洞部に慣れる必要がある。

また、今回は白沢・永吉にルートファインディングをさせたが、全然ダメダメだった。まずは、頻繁に後ろを振り返り、退路の地形を確認しておくという基本的なことを身につけること。国内でも大きい洞窟では、洞内で道に迷い、数日間出洞できなかった事例がある。
海外で大きな洞窟を探検するためには、まずは現在地の把握が重要である。自分がリーダーでケイビングをやることも想定して、先輩についていくだけでなく、洞内でももっと主体性をもって行動しよう。

以上、今回入洞したちょうちん穴は初心者向けの横穴であるが、今後の課題もいくつか見つかった。面白くはなかったが、それなりに収穫のある活動だった。

記入:佐野
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