POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

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WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST FEARS WHILE VERTICAL CAVING? Choose 1 or 2 items.

Poll ended at Nov 22, 2012 5:34 pm

Line breaking while ascending/descending.
18
28%
When off line, someone stealing/cutting my rope (leaving me stranded).
8
13%
Equipment failure (other than line).
8
13%
A rock, bag or tool falling from above.
15
23%
Coming to end of the line and finding it too short (misjudged line length to depth of pit).
1
2%
Having to do a changeover while ascending or descending.
0
No votes
Making it over an extreme lip while ascending.
6
9%
Headlamp going dead.
0
No votes
Encountering stranded animal or snake in pit.
3
5%
I HAVE NO FEARS WHEN VERTICAL CAVING!
5
8%
 
Total votes : 64

POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby BrianFrank » Nov 8, 2012 5:34 pm

Do you break out in a cold sweat when vertical caving? Or are you fearless and nothing bothers you? I will admit that being a little large my fear is getting up over a lip that has a severe undercut....it's difficult for me. WHAT IS YOUR FEAR?
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby NZcaver » Nov 8, 2012 5:58 pm

If we're talking gut fear (not necessarily rational fear), I would go with rope or equipment breakage. Most of the other options just seem like an inconvenience.

(PS, I moved your topic into the On Rope forum.)
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 8, 2012 8:09 pm

I am most scared of user error. Equipment failure is so rare it's not worth worrying about.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby NZcaver » Nov 8, 2012 9:13 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:I am most scared of user error. Equipment failure is so rare it's not worth worrying about.

:yeah that:
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 8, 2012 9:29 pm

no real fear, but my mind wanders.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Nov 8, 2012 10:33 pm

I'm afraid I'll make a stupid mistake. I rigged into my micro-rack a while back when practicing changeovers, but didn't attatch it to my harness. Maybe that'll be the dumbest thing I ever do on rope.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby snoboy » Nov 8, 2012 10:58 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:I am most scared of user error. Equipment failure is so rare it's not worth worrying about.


Yup, that.

Some of those options make me wonder... If someone is scared that they might have to do a changeover, then should they even be on rope in the first place?
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby agosnell » Nov 9, 2012 12:59 am

I am always scared I did something wrong on while putting on my equipment.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby Martin Sluka » Nov 9, 2012 4:37 am

I used the 3 m long only rest of rope instead of full length for descending. No end knot made on it (not my mistake). But I had a new descender so I descended very slow and recognized the end of rope. With my old descender... :bat sticker:
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby graveleye » Nov 9, 2012 9:02 am

I worry a bit about someone pulling up my rope. I recall a friend of mine telling me about being at a cave that we all know with a short 40' entrance drop. They went in, explored the cave and when they were getting ready to climb back out they noticed the rope going up the hole. One of them grabbed the rope and held on tight, and pulled it back down. He held on to it until someone could get their gear on and start climbing. When they got up top, no one was there.

Another friend of mine will not use carabiners on his rig, asides from obvious redirects etc... He says that shiny things attract the locals and he doesn't want them messing with his rope.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby trogman » Nov 9, 2012 9:49 am

graveleye wrote:I worry a bit about someone pulling up my rope. I recall a friend of mine telling me about being at a cave that we all know with a short 40' entrance drop. They went in, explored the cave and when they were getting ready to climb back out they noticed the rope going up the hole. One of them grabbed the rope and held on tight, and pulled it back down. He held on to it until someone could get their gear on and start climbing. When they got up top, no one was there.

Another friend of mine will not use carabiners on his rig, asides from obvious redirects etc... He says that shiny things attract the locals and he doesn't want them messing with his rope.


Sounds like an experience I had once. I was solo caving (yea, I know that's not a good practice either), and was at the bottom of a 67' virgin pit sketching in my survey book. All of a sudden, the rope started going up! I was still attached to it with my ascender, and I immediately hollered "Hey, there is someone down here!" Whoever it was stopped pulling, and when I exited there was no one there. All of my gear at the top was untouched. I can only assume it was some hunters who walked by, and saw the rope and got curious.

As far as fears, my biggest worry is sharp edges that are not properly padded. My wife had a very close call once in Flowing Stone pit in GA once. The rope was almost sawed in two on the ledge about 15' down, and fortunately we had enough to re-rig it and pad the lip so she could exit.

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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby Tlaloc » Nov 9, 2012 11:20 am

NZcaver wrote:...Most of the other options just seem like an inconvenience...


Tied for first is "A rock, bag or tool falling from above". Having been hit by rocks while on rope, I can assure you that it's a lot more than an inconvenience. This is why I think that climbing up re-belayed rigging with someone above you is a bad idea. I'm surprised that this is not part of the debate about French vs American rigging.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby BrianFrank » Nov 9, 2012 12:43 pm

graveleye wrote:I worry a bit about someone pulling up my rope. I recall a friend of mine telling me about being at a cave that we all know with a short 40' entrance drop. They went in, explored the cave and when they were getting ready to climb back out they noticed the rope going up the hole. One of them grabbed the rope and held on tight, and pulled it back down. He held on to it until someone could get their gear on and start climbing. When they got up top, no one was there.

Another friend of mine will not use carabiners on his rig, asides from obvious redirects etc... He says that shiny things attract the locals and he doesn't want them messing with his rope.


Kevin and Stephen:
Should it become standard practice then to rig the rope at the bottom to a fixed point so no one can pull the rope out? That is when you are in a pit all alone or if everyone in your group is down in the pit at the same time.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby tncaver » Nov 9, 2012 12:52 pm

That is always a good idea unless there is nothing to tie the rope to (sometimes there isn't). :waving:

BrianFrank wrote:Kevin and Stephen:
Should it become standard practice then to rig the rope at the bottom to a fixed point so no one can pull the rope out? That is when you are in a pit all alone or if everyone in your group is down in the pit at the same time.
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Re: POLL - Biggest fears while vertical caving?

Postby graveleye » Nov 9, 2012 1:53 pm

If I am feeling uneasy, I'll at least tie a big rock to the rope.
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