TAG Photojournal 2

Techniques and equipment.

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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 22, 2011 5:37 pm

Marduke wrote: Using carbide in your own group is one thing, but TR is a very popular cave with a LOT of groups going through, of which there was no way for him to inform people of his use of carbide ahead of time. Using it in such a cave where you KNOW dozens of other people will be, knowing that a LOT of people are effected negatively by the byproducts, is inconsiderate AT BEST.


Interesting. I was not aware of the requirement to inform other people that might happen to be in the same cave as you as to your choice of light source. I also did not know that "a LOT of people are effected [sic] negatively by the byproducts" which you seem to assert as some sort of cavers' common knowledge. edit: (cross-posted with Luke and Marduke here)

I DO know that Tumbling Rock is a very large cave, and the idea that your group was not able to get away from the carbide caver by hanging back and waiting a while before entering, or by visiting another part of the cave is laughable AT BEST. (as you say)

It is unfortunate that Amy had a bad reaction to the carbide. It's no fun for someone to get sick, but you guys are throwing a lot of blame and hyperbole around here when perhaps you should look a little closer at your own actions and choices. Carbide is not prohibited in Tumbling Rock. Asking the caver to extinguish his flame would have allowed a large quantity of raw, unburned acetylene to leak into the air, which probably would have caused more than just one headache. I'm sorry that the carbide caver wasn't as considerate as you would have liked, but he was not intentionally harming anyone or doing anything illegal or dangerous. I'm sorry that you are sensitive to the smell of carbide, but we have all read the trip reports from Amy's previous trips to Tumbling Rock where she did experience debilitating migraines where there was absolutely no carbide involved.

Here is one thread that describes this: http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10923&hilit=sungura+migraine+tumbling+rock&start=15
Here is another: http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12586&hilit=sungura+migraine+tumbling+rock

I will flip your suggestion back around on you. If your group knows that it has a medical problem with carbide, then perhaps you should visit less-traveled caves where you are more sure that you will be the only cavers inside. Visiting "such a cave where you KNOW dozens of other people will be," with the possibility that some of those people might be using carbide, seems like quite a reckless thing to do if smelling carbide is in fact a life-threatening emergency for you.

I would further suggest that you forget about caving on mainland Europe, or in southern Mexico, where carbide is still a common source of light, especially for deep, cold, expeditions. Know and communicate your limits, but do not force them on other groups of cavers.

If I may, I would like to borrow your peanut analogy: If I am deathly allergic to peanuts and decide to get on an airplane or go to a baseball game where I know people will be eating peanuts, then I am the one assuming the risk. To stand up and scream at the other people on the plane or in the ballpark about your own medical problem is rude and ludicrous. What you are doing here is quite similar.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby NZcaver » Dec 22, 2011 5:43 pm

A good effort with many of those photos, Amy. :clap: The slave flash makes a difference - got that on your Christmas list this year? :pray:

The carbide issue is interesting. Have you had breathing/headache problems before with being around carbide lamps, or acetylene welding etc? In over 20 years of caving - about half with carbide and carbide cavers - I think this is the first time I've heard of this level of carbide sensitivity, especially with a lit lamp (burning relatively clean) versus an extinguished one venting raw acetylene. It's an unfortunate hypersensitivity for a caver, although it would have been more problematic 10 or 20 years ago when a majority or cavers in the US still used carbide.

On a different subject, that lit up Christmas tree formation :xmas tree: is a curious thing. Am I the only one who thinks gaudy colored lights would be more at home in cheesier show caves entertaining tourists than in a wild cave? Not to be bah humbug at Christmas time, but it's just a bit odd to me. I get that it's all done very carefully and inventively avoiding human contact with the formation, but I assume the lights and wiring are wrapped around the stal and left there for a month or so each year? I'm not crying vandalism or anything silly like that, but with all due respect to those responsible it seems like something a non-caver would come up with.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 22, 2011 5:51 pm

Nope. I agree. Cheesy and show caveish. Lol
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 22, 2011 5:53 pm

NZcaver wrote: ...I assume the lights and wiring are wrapped around the stal and left there for a month or so each year? I'm not crying vandalism or anything silly like that, but with all due respect to those responsible it seems like something a non-caver would come up with.


It's an Alabama thing. You wouldn't understand! :laughing:
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby mgmills » Dec 22, 2011 5:56 pm

NZcaver wrote:On a different subject, that lit up Christmas tree formation :xmas tree: is a curious thing. Am I the only one who thinks gaudy colored lights would be more at home in cheesier show caves entertaining tourists than in a wild cave? Not to be bah humbug at Christmas time, but it's just a bit odd to me. I get that it's all done very carefully and inventively avoiding human contact with the formation, but I assume the lights and wiring are wrapped around the stal and left there for a month or so each year? I'm not crying vandalism or anything silly like that, but with all due respect to those responsible it seems like something a non-caver would come up with.


NZ - Tumbling Rock for years was a "pay the owner" almost commercial cave (just lacked the lighted trails). It was/is a very popular beginner cave. The stalag in the picture has been non-growing for years. Some sections of the cave are fairly "trashed" while other sections (less visited ones) are very nice.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby self-deleted_user » Dec 22, 2011 5:57 pm

Ive never been around carbide or welding/machine shops/etc before, this was my first experience with it. I had no clue of my reaction to it. Not just the migraine inducing of it but the immediate scary bit personally is my airway closed up whenever they got close - I literally could not breathe.

As to the prior issues with migraines in TR, those were in relation to the asphalt ooze, which is a trigger (I have to stay away from when they pave roads too), but there is apparently ways around this, and we were not going back that far in this trip.

As to us not trying things...we tried staying ahead, they were smaller faster group and didn't want this so we let them cave through. We then tried to stay far behind, but they came back and poked their carbid lamp in the clean air area we were waiting. I was dosing up on the caffine to stave off a migraine, which worked (usually does if I have enough warning). I also pulled my bandana from my head, moistened it with water, and wore it around my mouth and nose - a common mask technique when no other chemical masks are handy. In the end, what we did, did allow me to continue which is good.

Heh. Should have know better than to post the christmas tree photo. I thought it was common knowledge it occurs as it has been tradition three years now, managed by good cavers. No reason we cant have good clean fun. Photos of this are all over...it's not some secret occurance. Good thing I didn't post the one of me with a santa hat on! lol
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 22, 2011 6:09 pm

post deleted, as I can hear Marduke's panties bunching up from here
Last edited by Jeff Bartlett on Dec 22, 2011 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 22, 2011 6:45 pm

I am going to say something totally radical here, and hopefully people don't just write this off as "oh, Jeff just doesn't like Amy." Hear me out, OK?

If you suffer from migraines that badly -- and it sounds like this is a recurring thing -- with such rapid onset, you should probably spend some time honestly assessing whether or not caving is the most appropriate sport for you. I mean, "blindfolded with no equilibrium" is a serious, serious problem in almost any in-cave environment, where light is at a premium and solid footing is hardly guaranteed; if those are truly symptoms that you suffer from with any frequency, it's only a matter of time before you get a migraine on the kind of trip where it creates a rescue situation.

This doesn't necessarily mean you need to quit caving, but I do believe you need to think long and hard about your physical limitations, and your ability (or inability) to prevent or mitigate those limitations. If your migraines represent a dangerous situation, it's not a carbide caver causing that situation, or an asphalt ooze, or whatever triggers a migraine... it's you who is causing the dangerous situation by making the choice to enter the cave.

PS - these photos are much better than the last batch.



EDIT: as noted below by Lynn, apparently a self-rescue situation has already occurred due to one of your migraines. I was not aware of this when I posted originally.
Last edited by Jeff Bartlett on Dec 22, 2011 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 22, 2011 6:55 pm

I don't know Jeff, kinda sounds like you just don't like Amy. Don't be a grinch.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby onebat » Dec 22, 2011 6:57 pm

I just want to say that I have no beef with the Christmas lights. I've seen other pictures (somewhere) with them in it.
I was mainly just curious as to how they were able to light them as I knew the cave had no electric (or at least I was pretty sure it didn't).
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Extremeophile » Dec 22, 2011 7:28 pm

Very nice photos Amy. Getting a slave, and even two slaves, has really made a huge difference. Your photo quality is growing exponentially.

My reaction to the carbide sensitivity issue is a bit like NZ... I've been caving for a number of years with a lot of people and have never heard anyone mention a respiratory problem with carbide fumes. I've seen cap lamps burst into flame because of a faulty gasket, and I've seen packs explode from improperly packaged spent carbide, and those are reasons enough to go electric. The story sounds as though possibly several people in the same group had a respiratory reaction, which seems like quite a coincidence, or perhaps they were just being empathetic. For those of us who have been caving for quite a few years, it may seem absurd to expect all other cavers to be more considerate of second-hand carbide fumes. I suppose I can see how exposure to carbide in caving situations might be somewhat rare for relatively new cavers, and they might have an attitude or expectation that those using carbide, given how rare it is becoming, ask permission as one might before lighting up a cigarette in your house or car. I think the feedback on this forum is fairly representative of what you can expect from the majority of the caving community, i.e. carbide is a widely used primary light source and asking strangers to cease using it will be met with some skepticism and resistance.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby NZcaver » Dec 22, 2011 8:02 pm

Sungura wrote:Heh. Should have know better than to post the christmas tree photo. I thought it was common knowledge it occurs as it has been tradition three years now, managed by good cavers. No reason we cant have good clean fun. Photos of this are all over...it's not some secret occurance. Good thing I didn't post the one of me with a santa hat on! lol

No, you're fine having some good clean fun and posting the photo. It's a nice Christmas tree photo, and yes I've seen many photos of that formation lit-up before. It just seems odd. I dunno... guess it's an Alabama thang I wouldn't understand, just like Andy said. :big grin:

Again, bummer about the carbide sensitivity with the migraines and throat closures. As silly as it sounds, perhaps a respirator might be an option? I've worn them caving many times for other reasons, and they can be uncomfortable to say the least. But it might be better than the alternative.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Batgirl » Dec 22, 2011 8:38 pm

Sorry but I have to agree with Andy and Jeff on this. If you are having all these issues (which seem to occur frequently), then perhaps you should seriously consider your limitations and re-evaluate your caving abilities so as not to cause an unnecessary rescue. Caves are dangerous places and if you really have all these disabilities, then perhaps this is not he sport for you. Its absolutely ridiculous to ask another caver to not use their light source because you have issues with it. It's almost laughable. you should have turned around and exited the cave and waited outside until that person left if it really was an issue. I also seem to remember that you had Marduke rig a z-rig (in advance - just in case) to haul you out of war eagle because of a so called "migraine". Seriously, your inability to know your limitations is a rescue waiting to happen.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 22, 2011 8:47 pm

After a full blown rescue that occurred on a trip I was on earlier this month. A rescue is no shit. You dot want tO be on the receiving end. I will persnally whip the ass of anyone who puts me into that position Again before said rescue occurs. That was 100% hands down the worst day of my life.

Great photos. Listen to Jeff. This Poroblem with migraines needs to be addressed because it's the rescuers that have to deal with the bs.
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Re: TAG Photojournal 2

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 22, 2011 9:33 pm

Batgirl wrote:I also seem to remember that you had Marduke rig a z-rig (in advance - just in case) to haul you out of war eagle because of a so called "migraine".

!!! ...I didn't know about this near-incident when I posted my note, or I'd have made a reference to it.

Nevertheless, it's not hard to imagine how much worse that kind of situation would be if it didn't happen in caves as easy as Tumbling Rock and War Eagle. Again, I'm not trying to be mean, but Marduke shouldn't have to put HCRU on standby when he takes you caving. I don't want to see anything bad happen to anyone in the caving community.
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