bolting question

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bolting question

Postby hammmike » Dec 18, 2011 1:00 pm

We've located a really great pit inside of Vernal well, as of yet un mapped. The problem is the fact that theres no tie off spots, and the pit is about 70-100 feet in depth. Although familiar with the concept of bolting (we have the landowners permission to bolt the cave as we need) the walls near the drop are very chalky, and do not look strong enough to use. The formations are of course basic limestone. However (although no geologist) they look young, as they are very near to the roof of the cave, and quite possibly at one of the highest points inside. Alternatively, the nearest "normal" point to tie into is simply too far away to run our ropes, we don't have enough length, making on site bolting a nessecity. Experienced Bolters please advise, we're at a standstill until we can figure this out.
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Re: bolting question

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 18, 2011 3:04 pm

I think the only answer is to have someone that has done a lot of rigging to look at it, in person. All the advice in the world can't compare to seeing and touching the real thing. Where (state) is Vernal Well?
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Re: bolting question

Postby hammmike » Dec 18, 2011 3:13 pm

Vernal well is in Alabama. Great pics on the internet of it. Its actually a very large, albeit relatively unexplored, series of pit caves connected by small aquifers and creeks. Bill Torode did the origional survey many years ago, and made an excellent map, which I have. However, we have found (I think 3) different passages that are not on the survey, which makes sense because its a maze type cavern. We attempted to GPS locate all the different entrances or neighboring pits. We actually quit due to the high volume. We caved the area (about 2 miles squared) about 15 different times and havent been to more than 20 percent of them. Nearby is Equinox Pit, 50 cent pit, saturday cave, vinson cave, which we've pushed every lead (except vinson). The terrain is unbelievable...albiet difficult and remote. I wish i had the money to hire professional surveyors and equipment, spend a month mapping the whole complex....maybe someday.
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Re: bolting question

Postby hammmike » Dec 18, 2011 3:16 pm

we also found and surveyed a new cave which we named "little Hellhole" It never got above 4ft in height at any time. A half mile of hard crawling... :yikes:
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Re: bolting question

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Dec 18, 2011 3:55 pm

hammmike wrote:A half mile of hard crawling... :yikes:


NIICE! :kaver:
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Re: bolting question

Postby Stridergdm » Dec 18, 2011 11:27 pm

hammmike wrote:we also found and surveyed a new cave which we named "little Hellhole" It never got above 4ft in height at any time. A half mile of hard crawling... :yikes:


Heck, in NY that would be booming passage. :-)
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Re: bolting question

Postby Tim White » Dec 19, 2011 7:53 am

hammmike,
I just sent you a PM.
Be safe,
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Re: bolting question

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Dec 19, 2011 2:51 pm

There are a few cavers who actually live over there in Horse Cove where you are referring too that are also surveyors. Last year one of them dug open a pit and a crew of us from the Sewanee Mountain Grotto surveyed over 1/2 mile of virgin cave in 1 week...! I would suggest looking up some of those cavers who live in that area to help you with your project. They literally live within walking distance to the area you are referring too..
Last edited by UnderGroundEarth on Dec 19, 2011 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: bolting question

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Dec 19, 2011 2:56 pm

Vernal Well
Image


Equinox
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Re: bolting question

Postby SuckinOnSodaStraws » Dec 20, 2011 10:20 am

These caving areas out east look beautiful. Can't wait to visit upstate NY next year!
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Re: bolting question

Postby tncaver » Dec 20, 2011 12:33 pm

There is a way to safely bolt in soft or chalky rock so long as the rock beds are fairly thick and do not have cracks. If you have access to a quality battery powered hammer drill and your new pit is not extremely difficult to reach carrying the drill, a long half inch diameter expansion bolt (about 4 to 6 inches in length) will make a very sturdy anchor. This method also works well in soft sandstone. Ideally the rig point should put a downward pull at a right angle to the bolt (90 degrees) as opposed to pulling straight down (as in an overhead bolt). If possible use stainless steel 1/2 inch bolts that are strength rated. It is also advisable to have someone familiar with this method do it for you the first time so that you will be assured of a safe placement.
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Re: bolting question

Postby Stridergdm » Dec 20, 2011 4:34 pm

SuckinOnSodaStraws wrote:These caving areas out east look beautiful. Can't wait to visit upstate NY next year!


Note upstate NY caves rarely look like the two caves posted in the pictures above (which are in the TAG area).

But we can't wait to have you all visit upstate NY in 2013 for the NCRC Weeklong
(in the meantime if you're in the area before then, give me a holler!)
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