Caving Knife

Discuss caving lights, packs, helmets, clothing, etc.
For rope and vertical equipment, go to the On Rope! forum.
Cave electronics enthusiasts can also visit the Communications and Electronics Section forum.

Moderator: Moderators

Postby Cheryl Jones » Dec 10, 2006 10:13 pm

[quote="kver33"]In the first post of this thread, Scott wrote:

[quote]Speaking of just in case... This new Wenger Swiss Army Knife called the “Giant Knife Version 1.0.â€
User avatar
Cheryl Jones
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Sep 2, 2005 11:53 pm
Location: Virginia
Name: Cheryl Jones
NSS #: 14479 FE OS
Primary Grotto Affiliation: BATS
  

Postby adleedy » Dec 12, 2006 10:56 pm

i always thought the gerber river runner knife would be well suited for caving
User avatar
adleedy
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Dec 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: charleston, west virginia
Name: alan dwayne leedy
NSS #: 56663
Primary Grotto Affiliation: charleston grotto + ERVKET
  

Re: Caving Knife

Postby coferj » Dec 13, 2006 4:01 pm

[quote="Scott McCrea"]Do you carry a cutting instrument while caving? What do you carry?

I carry a cheapo, knock-off Leatherman type tool. I rarely use it, but it's there just in case.

Speaking of just in case... This new Wenger Swiss Army Knife called the “Giant Knife Version 1.0.â€
<a href="http://www.myspace.com/bigdaddybama">coferj's space</a>
coferj
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 7:47 am
Location: Millbrook, AL
Name: Brett
NSS #: 54912
  

Postby barcelonacvr » Dec 14, 2006 8:30 am

When it includes a biodiesel-powered winch, count me in. (No more frogging for me... just power it up and let it crank... :-) )[/quote]




It's not biodeisel but they are getting there :laughing:

http://www.quointech.com/Video/PQ%202-04_0001.WMV Embedded WMV
barcelonacvr
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Oct 26, 2005 5:23 pm
  

Postby Bobatnathrop » Dec 14, 2006 2:26 pm

adleedy wrote:i always thought the gerber river runner knife would be well suited for caving


I have one of their knives, but I have never taken it caving. I would be scared too since they are about $50.
$4 True Value knife FTW.
Bobatnathrop
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 9:10 am
Location: Nathrop, CO
  

Postby adleedy » Dec 14, 2006 6:55 pm

so is the giant knife version 1.0 an actuall knife that is going to be produced?
User avatar
adleedy
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Dec 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: charleston, west virginia
Name: alan dwayne leedy
NSS #: 56663
Primary Grotto Affiliation: charleston grotto + ERVKET
  

Postby paoconnell » Dec 24, 2006 9:00 pm

adleedy wrote:so is the giant knife version 1.0 an actual knife that is going to be produced?


Strangely enough, it's actually in production, and is for sale on ThinkGeek and some outdoor gear retailers.

As far as tools for caving are concerned, I've carried a Swiss Army knife a lot, usually a moderate sized one. At least one caver I know carries a medium sized Leatherman with a pliers head. I have the Gerber "Legend" multitool, but it weighs 8 ounces, and seems like overkill for caving. The Gerber does travel in my truck's glove box, though.
Take nothing but pictures
Leave nothing but footprints
Kill nothing but vandals
User avatar
paoconnell
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Nov 7, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Albuquerque NM
NSS #: 13878RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Sandia Grotto
  

Knives for Caving

Postby ireedz » Jan 3, 2007 9:30 pm

I either carry a Leatherman Surge or a Spyderco Rescue in orange so I'm a little less likely to lose it. I need all the help I can get.
ireedz
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 3, 2007 8:56 pm
  

Re: WWYD? rebelay failure when too high passing a knot

Postby paul » Mar 5, 2008 7:50 am

Cutting rope is indeed a very serious business and extreme care should be taken. However, there are instances where the solution to a serious problem involves cutting the rope. So, in case you have to cope with any of these, then it is better to be equipped to cut the rope if there is no alternative.

A quick couple of examples off the top of my head: a friend of mine was at the top of a technically-challenging SRT pitch with multiple rebelays. A fellow caver had somehow got hung-up at a rebelay below her and was unable to get off the rope as he couldn't release his chest jammer. After a fairly long time he complained of loss of feeling in his legs and she decided she had better try and help. She abseiled down to give assistance and unfortunately the knot of her legloop got securely jammed in a crack above her as she abseiled past pulling here top jammer with it so that she was suspended by the safety link from her central maillon to her top jammer, which was now out of reach on a tight safety link/footloop cord. She couldn't easily or safely undo her central maillon and release the safety link and time was of the essence so, as she always carries a knife, she was able to cut the safety link and contnue down and render asistance. To add to the fun, her main light now chose to fail! Luckily she had a good back-up light ready on her helmet and was able to release the other caver and continue to abseil to the bottom of the pitch with him.

I also know of a friend who got into a position at the top of a 200 foot pitch at a rebelay after the bottom of the rope had got trapped by wrapping itself around a boulder so that when he tried to get past the awkward rebelay to the next 200 foot section, without suficient slack in the rope, he was unable to get past an intervening lip of rock, nor descend unless he down-prusiked the whole 200 feet and release the foot of the rope. Luckily a fellow caver was at the rebelay and was able to clip his cowstail for him to the anchor and then carefully cut the rope beneath him so that he could continue upwards. They tied a knot in the end of the cut rope and returned the following day to retrieve the rest from the foot fo the pitch.
paul
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 513
Joined: Dec 9, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Peak District, UK
Name: Paul Lydon
  

Re: WWYD? rebelay failure when too high passing a knot

Postby David_Campen » Mar 5, 2008 3:45 pm

However, there are instances where the solution to a serious problem involves cutting the rope.

In the examples you gave, other solutions are possible. In the first scenario I think it would have been better to use her Petzl Basic or prussic loop to upclimb and recover her ascender and foot loop and if she didn't have either a spare Basic or prussic then I have to question her priorities in thinking that carrying a knife was more important.
David_Campen
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Sep 9, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: SoCal
  

Re: WWYD? rebelay failure when too high passing a knot

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 5, 2008 6:39 pm

I also carry a knife. Normally for non verty issues or rescue, BUT while there are *usually* other options, they may be technically difficult for some or take too much time. I also suspect that if you caved yourself into a situation where you think you need a knife then you might not be capable of caving yourself out of it without one :big grin:

Consider an instance where 2 ropes were rigged near each other (yes a bad idea) get tangled, and a caver rappelling down from above the tangle can't or won't changeover and/or is in water spray. Certainly there are things to consider and precautions to take, but I think it might be easier and ultimately safer, to cut the spare (not in use!) rope and let it fall away (assuming no rebelays as is normal in much U.S. caving) than have them try to untangle the rope or do a changeover they aren't comfortable with while getting drenched on rope.

Another situation that caused me to nearly use my knife in a vert situation: I was ascending up a pit and there was a very narrow constriction near the entrance. I had enough *insulation* :big grin: that I really had to fight my up the slot..mostly inchworming with friction rather than actually ascending. my footloop had slipped off (I dont use chicken loops) and eventually snagged a flute. I couldn't get down to it to free it, and I couldn't fit past my handled ascender, or undo the screwlink attaching the loop to the ascender by hand. (too tight). I *could* reach my knife, and could have cut my loop free, then ascended using my croll and pantain for the remaining 8' of pit with my handled ascender/cowstail pushed ahead of me. What ended up happening was I got the loop free by brute force (I might have actually broke the flute?) I could also have had another caver climb up below me. But I very nearly used my knife then...and yes I wasn't about to cut towards me OR the mainline.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

Re: WWYD? rebelay failure when too high passing a knot

Postby DrPrusik » Mar 5, 2008 8:24 pm

David_Campen wrote:In the examples you gave, other solutions are possible. In the first scenario I think it would have been better to use her Petzl Basic or prussic loop to upclimb and recover her ascender and foot loop and if she didn't have either a spare Basic or prussic then I have to question her priorities in thinking that carrying a knife was more important.


There is no prussic - there is only Prusik. Prusik should be capitalized for it is the very good name of a person (Dr. Karl Prusik). It has a little 'k' at the end and a big 'P' at the beginning. It has no 'c' and only one 's'

It is the Prusik to spell right, to use nicely, and to say with grace. Hello?
User avatar
DrPrusik
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 5, 2008 4:58 pm
Location: Prusikville
Name: Sonny Liverwurst Prusik
  

Re: Caving Knife

Postby Scott McCrea » Mar 5, 2008 8:32 pm

I have to agree with Dave's comments about Paul's scenarios. Cutting certainly got the caver out, but was probably not the safest way to do it. An extra ascender or Prusik may have helped in #1 and down-climbing 200' is a better option than cutting rope, in my mind.

Wyandotte, don't forget to consider the mental state of the stuck caver. He is probably irrational, scared, jumpy, frustrated, cold, angry, etc. Not the best time to be whipping out a blade.

I have a hard time figuring out which twisted rope is which on my couch much less hanging in a waterfall. Cutting one would be similar to MacGyver trying to decide whether to cut the ticking bomb's red or green wire.

I think that sometimes cavers that have easily accessible knives, see them as easy ways out. Which they can be, just ask Goob. He got out of it real quick.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/127913/get_the_rope/
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

carrying knives to cut ropes and vertical stuff.

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 5, 2008 8:53 pm

wyandottecaver wrote: I also suspect that if you caved yourself into a situation where you think you need a knife then you might not be capable of caving yourself out of it without one :big grin:

I don't totally agree with this comment, because if a caver was unable to solve the problem without a knife I'd be afraid of what they might do with a knife. I think knives (on your harness for possibly cutting ropes, obviously there are other reasons to carry a knife, like lunch :laughing: ) should only be carried by those cavers in the group who are extremely competent and then should only be used in the worst of situations. The way I see it cutting the rope doesn't give you any second chances you want to be absolutely certain you know what your doing. For the rest of the group I'd argue that they might be better off not carrying a knife?

Also cutting gear is destructive and you just might need that gear later, sort of like the the cure might be worse than the disease? :shrug: I'd rather keep my gear and full capability intact.
User avatar
fuzzy-hair-man
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 955
Joined: Apr 6, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra, Australia
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NUCC
  

Re: Caving Knife

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 5, 2008 8:55 pm

LOL well I was getting frustrated in that crack for sure. not enough to cut the wrong thing though :) as for tangled ropes..we always use different colors for that exact reason. nothing like having two pit ropes rigged up top and trying to tell which was the mainline and which only went 20' down for pictures :rofl:

NZ, my point was that there may be cases where a knife provides *a* solution for someone without the skill, training,time, or mental aptitude to effect a better solution. Of course murphy's law says the guy least competent to use the knife will have 3 :big grin:

In my case, I could easily have NOT gotten the foot loop free, in which case I'd probably have cut it rather than try to backslither while thumbing the cams and getting even more tired before the 2nd try or risk a caver on-rope below me getting hit by loose rock. I always carry prussiks so I'd still have enough gear if additional climbing was needed.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

PreviousNext

Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]

cron