The pumpdown had stalled because of some ancient vacuum interlock code that prevented opening the valve V1 between the turbo pump and the main volume.
This interlock  compares the channels C1:Vac-P1_pressure and C1:Vac-PTP1_pressure, neither of which is functioning at the moment. The P1 channel apparently stopped reading sometime during the vent, and contained a value of ~700 torr, while the PTP1 channel contained 0. So the interlock code saw this huge apparent pressure difference and refused to move the valve.
To bypass this check, we used caput to enter a pressure of 0 for P1.