Dropping a rope into a cave

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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Downundercaver » Jun 22, 2012 2:48 am

best of both worlds just the video, throw a quater of the rope, then hand feed the rest. but even when you hand feed if the rope rubs on a sharp rock your screwed any way. At the end of the day it can be a dangerous sport we love and as there are no RULES on throwing or lowering the rope then its up to the person who is doing the rigging.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Marlatt » Jun 22, 2012 8:45 am

NZcaver wrote:
Marlatt wrote:After dropping the pit, we discovered that the core was blown out through the side of the mantle a foot or so from the end of the rope!

Cool! Good thing it was only the last foot of the rope. I suspect the rope impacted something sharp-ish at high speed, then? Anybody take photos of the rope?


Sorry - i don't think anyone took a picture of it, unfortunately. But I'm pretty sure the rope didn't hit anything sharp. The drop at Guaguas is completely free after the first ~10ft, and the landing is pretty soft (mostly dirt and wild rhododendrons, I think). Its been some years, though.

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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby KENTO » Jun 28, 2012 2:01 pm

So there I was on my third pitbouncing trip ever to Kerns Pit Indiana. My nearly new 165 foot Bluewater II rope and a little bit older than that Kento and one other, equally ingenue Cave Explorer had succesfully met the challenge of the 95' entrance drop plus the 2nd drop of 35ish feet. We were not very accomplished yet experience wise, rather tired from Texasing out with 2knots and the one mechanical Ascender I could afford to date...a CMI shorty bought at Speleofest 1980. We
untied the rope from the rigging tree began to pull it up briskly after it cleared the floor/lip of the 2nd drop in fact I noticed kind of a bouncing sensation in my hands then suddenly the rope stretched slightly but refused to exit from the pit by barely a handful... My partner said " You forgot to Untie the bottom knot! " accusingly. " Did not , I swear! " We wasted the remaining charge of Carbide left in our lamps as it got really dark in the woods.
The next day my older friend John Barnhart of the BIG who had another hunk of rope went with me to retrieve it. He teased me relentlessly because I had called him as soon as I got back to Bloomington begging him to go do Kerns to rescue my rope, (" How's about a Midnite to 4am Vertical Cave trip" ," Please, I can't afford to buy another rope! ") Beep, Wrong question, he was married and in Graduate school, it was Thursday evening , I recall. So he rigged his rope a 300 footer he wisely kept stuffed in a bag and tethered beneath him as he descended. An hour later he began the ascent after I heard him first cuss me a few times then giggle then cuss me some more.
We had given up after trying to pull it 2:1 advantage the night it was stuck with my only piece of Rescue equipment I could afford a cheapo mini pulley. He found the bottom end of my rope had just looped over and under a solution sharpened rockhorn, when we tossed it down from the entrance it flew around , down and managed to wrap itself around several more projections all the way to near the bottom of the second drop. He finally got to the top and said I was lucky he didn't just cut it into a bunch of pieces and leave it in the bottom and spread it all over Indiana how Kent Wilson had trashed Kerns Pitcave with a bunch of ruined Old Bluewater.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jul 5, 2012 6:14 pm

KENTO wrote:tl;dr

What does this story have to do with anything? It was entertaining, but now I'm just confused. :big grin:
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby KENTO » Jul 5, 2012 6:47 pm

Tee hee hee, it means this caver will never EVER do more than just drop say, a small hank of rope or handline or webbing down more than mebbe a 20 foot nuisance drop.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Jul 8, 2012 6:19 pm

Well, we're not in caves but we deploy our ropes by tossing the bag down the shaft or winze almost all the time. The exception is when there are many visible obstructions and we're worried about the rope going the wrong way or being snagged if we have to pull it back up without descending all the way down.

Here's 100M of PMI 11mm Pit Rope heading down the hole...

Image

We haven't had any issues or noticeable rope damage yet. YMMV.

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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Stridergdm » Jul 8, 2012 8:09 pm

OpenTrackRacer wrote:Well, we're not in caves but we deploy our ropes by tossing the bag down the shaft or winze almost all the time. The exception is when there are many visible obstructions and we're worried about the rope going the wrong way or being snagged if we have to pull it back up without descending all the way down.

Here's 100M of PMI 11mm Pit Rope heading down the hole...

<image deleted to save bandwidth, scroll back for great picture>

We haven't had any issues or noticeable rope damage yet. YMMV.

Mike


OMG, YOU'RE GOING TO DIE! I READ THAT SOMEWHERE ON-LINE!
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby NZcaver » Jul 8, 2012 9:50 pm

Stridergdm wrote:OMG, YOU'RE GOING TO DIE! I READ THAT SOMEWHERE ON-LINE!

:rofl: You're such a troll, Greg!

Stay out! Stay alive! Stay home! :big grin:
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby shibumi » Jul 9, 2012 10:44 am

I hesitate wading into this discussion because of the egos involved, but what the hell, apparently my ego is huge too.

I will occasionally throw a rope down a pit. Usually short pits (50' or less give or take) and usually where I can see the rope going down as it's falling. I also usually throw the first 20-30' of the rope down most pits I'm rigging to get enough weight to readily lower the rest, and in both instances I am holding the rest of the rope so I can get a feel for what it's doing. Lowering gives me a good feel for what's going on with the rope as it's deploying, and I've occasionally avoided problems because of this method.

I never throw the entire rope down larger pits, and I don't care to be the first person on the rope when someone has. I also teach my students to lower ropes down drops. I sort of look at throwing the entire rope as one of those Hollywood things, it makes for a great visual but really serves very little purpose. Yes, there's rapid deployment of the rope, but I will counter that with the potential for spending more time dealing with tangled rope and the distant possibility of rope damage. I won't claim that damage is something I worry about, but I can't also claim it doesn't happen as I've seen it too.

I've also occasionally rappelled on the rope coming out of the bag, but I've now been on two rescues because of this technique, one from someone short roping the pit without a stopper knot, and once because a mouse had made a nest in the bag and chewed through the rope (in many places). About the only time I will rappel out of the bag is if I had stuffed it recently.

So y'all do what you want because you will anyway :clap:
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Phil Winkler » Jul 9, 2012 12:52 pm

Throw the rope
Down the Shaft
As we ply our caving craft..

Crystal canyon,
[something, something..]
Take me down,
Caving roads.....


I think those were words from the song Caving Roads (to the tune Country Roads by John Denver) done by Cricket Haygood back in the early 80s. I recall hearing her sing it around a campfire at Cumberland State Park during the HG annual outing there.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby driggs » Jul 9, 2012 1:30 pm

shibumi wrote:So y'all do what you want because you will anyway :clap:


This should be automatic first reply for every question asked on CaveChat.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby tncaver » Jul 9, 2012 8:25 pm

These are the most common sense ideas I've read on this thread so far. :cavingrocks:

shibumi wrote:I hesitate wading into this discussion because of the egos involved, but what the hell, apparently my ego is huge too.

I will occasionally throw a rope down a pit. Usually short pits (50' or less give or take) and usually where I can see the rope going down as it's falling. I also usually throw the first 20-30' of the rope down most pits I'm rigging to get enough weight to readily lower the rest, and in both instances I am holding the rest of the rope so I can get a feel for what it's doing. Lowering gives me a good feel for what's going on with the rope as it's deploying, and I've occasionally avoided problems because of this method.

I never throw the entire rope down larger pits, and I don't care to be the first person on the rope when someone has. I also teach my students to lower ropes down drops. I sort of look at throwing the entire rope as one of those Hollywood things, it makes for a great visual but really serves very little purpose. Yes, there's rapid deployment of the rope, but I will counter that with the potential for spending more time dealing with tangled rope and the distant possibility of rope damage. I won't claim that damage is something I worry about, but I can't also claim it doesn't happen as I've seen it too.

I've also occasionally rappelled on the rope coming out of the bag, but I've now been on two rescues because of this technique, one from someone short roping the pit without a stopper knot, and once because a mouse had made a nest in the bag and chewed through the rope (in many places). About the only time I will rappel out of the bag is if I had stuffed it recently.

So y'all do what you want because you will anyway :clap:
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Jul 11, 2012 12:39 pm

Caving Roads. Classic!

http://www.caves.org/committee/salons/ballads/Music/1973/Caving_Roads.mp3

Mike

Phil Winkler wrote:
Throw the rope
Down the Shaft
As we ply our caving craft..

Crystal canyon,
[something, something..]
Take me down,
Caving roads.....


I think those were words from the song Caving Roads (to the tune Country Roads by John Denver) done by Cricket Haygood back in the early 80s. I recall hearing her sing it around a campfire at Cumberland State Park during the HG annual outing there.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Crockett » Jul 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Marlatt wrote:
NZcaver wrote:
Marlatt wrote:After dropping the pit, we discovered that the core was blown out through the side of the mantle a foot or so from the end of the rope!

Cool! Good thing it was only the last foot of the rope. I suspect the rope impacted something sharp-ish at high speed, then? Anybody take photos of the rope?


Sorry - i don't think anyone took a picture of it, unfortunately. But I'm pretty sure the rope didn't hit anything sharp. The drop at Guaguas is completely free after the first ~10ft, and the landing is pretty soft (mostly dirt and wild rhododendrons, I think). Its been some years, though.

swm


I was in that pit when this happened or when the exact same thing happened (maybe it happens a lot?). The rope made a disturbing zipping noise as nylon rubbed nylon all the way down. The bottom end of the rope rubbed for 700 feet. I don't remember the year but a photo was taken that week that made the cover of the Members Manual. I think Gordon Birkheimer took the photo.

The friction of a rope rubbing against itself from that height/speed is something to consider.

My vertical ego is relatively small so take it easy on me. I am the safe yellow school bus when traveling the nylon highway. Some of you are Formula 1 racers.
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Re: Dropping a rope into a cave

Postby Marlatt » Jul 12, 2012 8:55 am

Crockett wrote:
Marlatt wrote:After dropping the pit, we discovered that the core was blown out through the side of the mantle a foot or so from the end of the rope!
[...]
Sorry - i don't think anyone took a picture of it, unfortunately. But I'm pretty sure the rope didn't hit anything sharp. The drop at Guaguas is completely free after the first ~10ft, and the landing is pretty soft (mostly dirt and wild rhododendrons, I think). Its been some years, though.
swm


I was in that pit when this happened or when the exact same thing happened (maybe it happens a lot?). The rope made a disturbing zipping noise as nylon rubbed nylon all the way down. The bottom end of the rope rubbed for 700 feet. I don't remember the year but a photo was taken that week that made the cover of the Members Manual. I think Gordon Birkheimer took the photo.


Well, the event I was describing took place in December 1986, and I think we were the only group at Guaguas that day. Interesting that there have been other similar cases, however. I don't recall hearing the rope rub on the way down, though.

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