No place to anchor

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No place to anchor

Postby itabot » Sep 30, 2005 8:12 pm

What do you use, when you come to a pit in a cave, and there is nothing to anchor to?
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Postby NZcaver » Sep 30, 2005 9:08 pm

Generally, little things called bolts... :wink:

First, make sure bolting is an acceptable ethic for the particular cave (or region) in question. Then make sure you have someone who knows how to set bolts properly, and which type to use. They are usually set in pairs, so the load can be shared or the second one can be used as a back-up. It's better to do this once, and do it right, than to turn the cave into a "bolt farm". These are caused by people setting new bolts each trip, because they don't know if they can trust the old ones, or because they are not positioned correctly in the first place.

Another alternative may be to try using climbing protection, or "pro". These are the nuts, chocks, hexes, cams, tri-cams, and so forth that climbers wedge into the rock when lead climbing. As long as you have good rock with nice stable cracks or fissures in it, you can anchor a fixed rope quite reliably. It's best to use multiple pieces of pro for your anchor(avoid using just one or two), and again make sure you have someone who is practiced in using it.

If you're really stuck, use a stemple or two. Cut some lengths of sturdy timber to prop across the passage near the top of the pit. Then wrap webbing or the rope around it at the optimum point. This is just like using pro, but on a much lager scale - and it's more of a hassle to drag through the cave.

Hope this helps :D
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Postby itabot » Sep 30, 2005 9:32 pm

I was thinking about a sturdy timber. I wouldnt want to use bolts in this cave. The only thing I would worry about would be someone messing with my rope while Im exploring the pit. The cave is frequently visited by boy scouts, church groups and so on. Someone could easily come along a shift something, not knowing. Who knows? I want to check it out. Its hidden, and not visited by the large groups.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 1, 2005 1:28 pm

itabot wrote:I was thinking about a sturdy timber. I wouldnt want to use bolts in this cave. The only thing I would worry about would be someone messing with my rope while Im exploring the pit. The cave is frequently visited by boy scouts, church groups and so on. Someone could easily come along a shift something, not knowing. Who knows? I want to check it out. Its hidden, and not visited by the large groups.
There's not a whole lot you can do about it except do what they've done in Mexico and post a guard. If one of your group has a gf/bf or husband/wife that doesn't cave or does but doesn't want to visit the lower regions, perhaps they can set up a chair and umbrella or whatever by the entrance, or a comfy spot by the pit's edge and guard it that way.
There are now "removable bolts" to be had out there, so you can drill the hole, place the bolt and then do your vert and then enroute out remove the bolt and thus no-one else can use it.
Other than that unless the cave is on private property/land you can't prevent others from coming in and using/messing with your stuff unless there's someone else watching it.
I've experienced some other rappelling into a cave on my rope and we were on our way out. I warned them that they shouldn't have done it and used their own because we-were-leaving. They had no alternative but to turn around and head back up. The nerve of some people huh? :roll:
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Postby itabot » Oct 1, 2005 10:16 pm

Ralph E. Powers wrote:I've experienced some other rappelling into a cave on my rope and we were on our way out. I warned them that they shouldn't have done it and used their own because we-were-leaving. They had no alternative but to turn around and head back up. The nerve of some people huh? :roll:



Thats Crazy! :shock:

I was there today and there is a big, old, rusty bolt already in the wall. I don't think I will use that. Others have used a natural handle that is at the opening but its only 2 or 3 inches thick. I guess I need a guard. Anybody want to go?
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 1, 2005 11:30 pm

itabot wrote:
Ralph E. Powers wrote:I've experienced some other rappelling into a cave on my rope and we were on our way out. I warned them that they shouldn't have done it and used their own because we-were-leaving. They had no alternative but to turn around and head back up. The nerve of some people huh? :roll:



Thats Crazy! :shock:

Crazy or not, that's common sense because I'm not going to be responsible for people who aren't on my trip and I'll be darned if they just arbitraily use my rope without asking, and I sure as heck won't wait around for them to get finished. They should've brought their own.
We were delayed for a good 45 minutes because of the extra people and the fact that they really didn't know what they were doing. I had to wait til the last person was out to ensure that they had proper equiptment and knowledge to use... turns out they didn't.
It really sucked.
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Postby itabot » Oct 2, 2005 9:23 am

Its crazy that someone would use your rope without asking, and to not be prepared, thats just stupid!
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 2, 2005 11:23 am

itabot wrote:Its crazy that someone would use your rope without asking, and to not be prepared, thats just stupid!

Ya, well that's why (we) call them Spelunkers :P
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Postby hank moon » Oct 3, 2005 12:51 pm

if you want to use a timber, you could take a large bag down the drop, fill with rocks and stuff, then hang from the rope. Be harder to mess with up above...also, leaving a clearly worded waterproof note on the timber might help. Something like..."someone's life depends on this rope - please do not touch". Or...could tension the rope from below w/prusiks and pulleys if an anchor exists on the bottom...

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Postby ian mckenzie » Oct 11, 2005 3:09 pm

Our club has a small supply of tags that can be left at pitch-heads that warn visitors against tampering with or even using our tackle, and includes our website address for further info on that particular exploration or any other questions about caving. We don't use them often because most of our explorations are remote, but caving is becoming more popular up here.
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Postby Grandpa Caver » Oct 11, 2005 6:42 pm

I've experienced having a rope stolen while in a pit cave in a popular area and I've read of remote places where the problem is rodents chewing on ones rope.

Very little can be fail safe but I gotta agree with Hank, if your really concered about it, leave an attendant with your rig. A lousy job but (sometimes) it's just the best thing to do.
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Postby ian mckenzie » Oct 12, 2005 10:35 am

Brian Leavell wrote:I've read of remote places where the problem is rodents chewing on ones rope... if your really concered about it, leave an attendant with your rig.
It's possible you're thinking of Close to The Edge here in Canada, where packrats chewed on the rope while it was being uncoiled. Bold little f***ers; I think they thought it'd make nice nesting material. This only seems to be a problem with brand-new ropes however, so most cavers should be safe :wink:
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