Is there grading of caves?

Caves and caving, beginning caving, joining the NSS, etc.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Sep 2, 2014 3:12 pm

Tlaloc wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:...Tlaloc, the Engganon goddess...


My Oxford American Dictionary has no definition of the the word "Engganon" and shouldn't the 'E' be lower case?


Sounds like you need to get a proper English dictionary :big grin:
The E is one of them there big uns because it's a homemade proper adjective, derived from the name of an island roughly antipodal to central Mexico. It's a joke.

JSDunham wrote:Whole lotta hyperbole in there... The one point you brought up to discuss was that the the cave description does things pretty well; I think you're right on there, but it doesn't do everything.


Hyperbole is my first, second, third, and last name. And my nickname. No ratings system can do more than a description. If detailed information must be gathered for a rating, it could be better expressed in a description.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby Caving Guru » Sep 2, 2014 4:27 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
Tlaloc wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:...Tlaloc, the Engganon goddess...


My Oxford American Dictionary has no definition of the the word "Engganon" and shouldn't the 'E' be lower case?


Sounds like you need to get a proper English dictionary :big grin:
The E is one of them there big uns because it's a homemade proper adjective, derived from the name of an island roughly antipodal to central Mexico. It's a joke.

JSDunham wrote:Whole lotta hyperbole in there... The one point you brought up to discuss was that the the cave description does things pretty well; I think you're right on there, but it doesn't do everything.


Hyperbole is my first, second, third, and last name. And my nickname. No ratings system can do more than a description. If detailed information must be gathered for a rating, it could be better expressed in a description.


I don't believe that there is an island called Engganon but there is an island in Indonesia called Enggano. Maybe this is what is being referred to.
Caving Guru
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 350
Joined: Jun 21, 2012 2:57 pm
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby caver.adam » Sep 2, 2014 8:45 pm

Agreed. It's like going to a ski resort. Different runs are different skill levels. For instance, the Big Bat Formation room trip would be a 4, but the Big Bat Sump Survey would be a 4FW.

trogman wrote:
caver.adam wrote:We could totally set up a ratings system. Although descriptions are probably a better way to go. Numerics to describe the passage difficulty, and letters to describe specific skills required on the trip.

Example:
1. Walking tour cave with lights and railings. No equipment required.
2. Walking cave. Basic safety equipment and lights required.
3. Cave with obstacles, boulders, and crawling. Safety equipment required.
4. Cave with occasional squeezes, belly crawls, or climb-ups. Safety...
5. Cave with frequent squeezes, belly crawls, or climb-ups.

F. Freeclimbing required.
V. Vertical equipment and technique required.
S. Size of caver limited through choke point.
W. Wetsuit required.
O. Overnight equipment required.

Etc.


Nice rating system ideas. Part of what you run into is that in most caves, the rating would depend on how far you wanted to go, or which side passages you wanted to push. For example, a cave like Tumbling Rock could be rated a 3S; however, if one decided to only go to the Christmas Tree room, then you could leave off the S. If, however, some of the less-traveled side passages were explored, you might have to add a V or a W. I guess you could limit your rating system to only the most oft-traveled routes in the cave.

Trogman :helmet:
User avatar
caver.adam
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby caver.adam » Sep 2, 2014 8:46 pm

Sweet. I"m going to look this up. Sounds very interesting.

Leclused wrote:
JSDunham wrote:I like that; simple but pretty comprehensive.

I think it is important to note here that what we are talking about is really rating cave trips, not entire caves. Of course, this is the more reasonable analogy to other rating systems; skiers and hikers do not rate entire mountains and climbers do not rate entire cliffs. Instead, of course, what one rates is a route. It seems like most of the systems mentioned so far do that implicitly, and I like this one for its elegance and user-friendliness. Your key would help those unfamiliar with a cave easily discern at a glance what is required for a given trip; even if not for general use, I'm going to consider including a version of this in any future guidebooks I compile.


That exists also. In Belgium we have the "Chawresse-Veronika" system. This is very complex system were you can do several trips going from easy to extreme. Paul de Bie wrote a book about this system. In this book there are 10 trips described.

An example can be found on the following pag ( in french)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/106 ... le1-FR.pdf

The full info about the book

http://speleoubs.be/index.php/457-le-sy ... e-veronika

This is perhaps a good approach for frequently done caves. But somebody needs to take the time to make them.

Dagobert
User avatar
caver.adam
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Sep 2, 2014 9:43 pm

The above book excerpt illustrates the relative inadequacy of an alphanumeric ratings system. There is a difficulty rating, but the meticulous description of the route is the really nice thing. Probably a rating system could help cavers at a convention or in an unfamiliar area to quickly rule out trips that were beyond their ability. A little chart (like that shown in the book) describing various obstacles and restrictions, equipment needed, etc. would be very nice. This information is already included at the head of cave descriptions in many guidebooks.

My original comments were based on the concept of widespread ratings for many/most/every possible cave. That's still an idea that I'll treat with hand-waving dismissal.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby Leclused » Sep 3, 2014 2:49 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:Probably a rating system could help cavers at a convention or in an unfamiliar area to quickly rule out trips that were beyond their ability.


For that the list on our website is made ( see my first post and further explanation a few posts later).

Caving is complex but that doen't mean that we can't make tools to help fellow cavers to determine the diffelculties for a cave or a trip in a specific cave. Nevertheless it takes a lot of work to make such information and it is always a source for discussion.

Dagobert
User avatar
Leclused
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Oct 4, 2007 9:02 am
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby Chads93GT » Sep 3, 2014 8:29 pm

Who cares about a difficulty list. Take a tape, instruments and a sketch book along and increase the difficulty 10 fold. ;)
User avatar
Chads93GT
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Jun 24, 2008 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
  

Re: Is there grading of caves?

Postby arizonaowl » Sep 15, 2014 6:20 pm

NO; With my colleagues, we spent several days of discussions, trying to establish a grading system, but finally gave up. Regards, Al Copley 20845
arizonaowl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 15, 2014 12:51 pm
NSS #: 20845
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NAG
  

Previous

Return to Caving General Discussion and Questions Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot]