Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

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Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby bennettbike » Mar 14, 2014 9:57 pm

I can tolerate one safety post for the new cavers to read but I am trying to ask an actual question.

After learning of a person who solo rigged Ellisons, all the way to the incredible pit, dropped it, de-rigged it and went home I was curious as if that person may be the only caver who has even completed such a task?

Even if you know of someone who solo dropped a pit elsewhere do chime in.

Thanks.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Cheryl Jones » Mar 14, 2014 10:47 pm

I think you'll find that a good number of cavers have soloed a pit in a cave but were not alone in the cave. Even I have. I suspect there is also a fair number of cavers who have rigged and yo-yoed entrance pits solo.

Soloing a cave on a trip that includes dropping a pit will be less common, but I know cavers who have done this as well -- including (hiking up the mountain, rigging and) soloing Incredible.

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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 14, 2014 10:58 pm

After digging it open, I did the deepest pit in my county solo :big grin:
It were a 47-footer.

I think that more people should try solo caving, vertical and otherwise. It is a completely different experience than caving with company and while potentially more risky, it's extremely fulfilling.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 14, 2014 11:34 pm

Ive done it, for the simple necessity of speeding up a survey project. I was later joined, probably 45 minutes later, by someone who was running late. Depends on the cave I guess. I don't recommend it. Bad things happen when you avoid safety. Not sure i'd have the balls to do incredible solo, then again, i dont feel the need. That cave was mapped long ago ;)
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Caving Guru » Mar 15, 2014 4:36 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:After digging it open, I did the deepest pit in my county solo :big grin:
It were a 47-footer.

I think that more people should try solo caving, vertical and otherwise. It is a completely different experience than caving with company and while potentially more risky, it's extremely fulfilling.


From what you have said here, GroundquestMSA, it sounds like your style of caving is similar to Floyd Collins' who explored uncharted caves solo also. Let's hope you don't end up like him. Of course, I am sure you don't run as much of a risk as he did exploring caves that could potentially go for miles in Kentucky while you do most of your exploring in Ohio, I assume, where the caves are fairly small for the most part I would think.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby bennettbike » Mar 15, 2014 7:38 am

very cool. very cool. do be safe.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby trogman » Mar 15, 2014 8:01 am

I have soloed a few pits in my time. One was a new entrance to a known cave, that turned out to be 78' deep.

One time I was by myself surveying a new 67' pit, which had another ~20 climb-down offset pit below that. I was sketching and had my ascender attached to the rope, when all of a sudden I felt some tension on the rope. The next thing I knew, I was like a fish on the end of a line, with someone unseen at the other end trying to reel me in! I yelled up at the unkown person, "Hey! I'm down here! Please don't pull up my rope!" After a few more muffled exchanges of words, the person at the top apparently moved on, leaving me to finish my survey. After the scary experience, I was pretty eager to get out of there. When I arrived at the top, there was no sign of anything missing, for which I was thankful.

I can only assume that he or they were hunters, who just got curious at the sight of the rope tied to a tree and dangling down into the small hole. "Hey, Billy Bob, lookey here at this rope hangin' down in this here hole-reckon what's on the other end?" Billy Bob replies" "Heck, Bubba, pull it up and find out."

Whoever it was sounded a bit apologetic when they found out I was on the end of the rope. I'm just glad I had left my ascender attached, because otherwise they may have pulled it all the way up. Even if they had tried to lower it back down, they may not have been able to do so.


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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby graveleye » Mar 15, 2014 8:59 am

^ one of my biggest fears :yikes:
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 15, 2014 9:39 am

Greg Jones wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:After digging it open, I did the deepest pit in my county solo :big grin:
It were a 47-footer.

I think that more people should try solo caving, vertical and otherwise. It is a completely different experience than caving with company and while potentially more risky, it's extremely fulfilling.


From what you have said here, GroundquestMSA, it sounds like your style of caving is similar to Floyd Collins' who explored uncharted caves solo also. Let's hope you don't end up like him. Of course, I am sure you don't run as much of a risk as he did exploring caves that could potentially go for miles in Kentucky while you do most of your exploring in Ohio, I assume, where the caves are fairly small for the most part I would think.


That's a thoroughly comical comparison, and I'm not sure how it's intended. It would be a great compliment to be thought of as an explorer with Collins' fearlessness, which I certainly am not. Floyd's name comes up mostly in cautionary settings these days though, and I guess that's what you were driving at. This is fallacious. The fact that Collins did a lot of things now (and probably then) considered reckless, does not make his death a lesson for future cavers. His entrapment had absolutely nothing to do with his caving methods, with his being alone, or his carrying what we would now deem to be to be inadequate equipment. It was a freak occurence that was probably mismanaged by and overwhelming to the rescue mob. Indeed, let's hope I don't end up like him. You're right, the caves of Ohio are very small. My most enjoyable solo caving has been in KY, in Carter and Rockcastle counties. The distance traveled and the obstacles overcome definitely add to the profound solitude that is, I think, the most uniquely unsettling and appealing aspect of solo caving. That's why I think that doing a cave like Ellisons solo would be a genuinely moving experience.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Caving Guru » Mar 15, 2014 11:23 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
Greg Jones wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:After digging it open, I did the deepest pit in my county solo :big grin:
It were a 47-footer.

I think that more people should try solo caving, vertical and otherwise. It is a completely different experience than caving with company and while potentially more risky, it's extremely fulfilling.


From what you have said here, GroundquestMSA, it sounds like your style of caving is similar to Floyd Collins' who explored uncharted caves solo also. Let's hope you don't end up like him. Of course, I am sure you don't run as much of a risk as he did exploring caves that could potentially go for miles in Kentucky while you do most of your exploring in Ohio, I assume, where the caves are fairly small for the most part I would think.


That's a thoroughly comical comparison, and I'm not sure how it's intended. It would be a great compliment to be thought of as an explorer with Collins' fearlessness, which I certainly am not. Floyd's name comes up mostly in cautionary settings these days though, and I guess that's what you were driving at. This is fallacious. The fact that Collins did a lot of things now (and probably then) considered reckless, does not make his death a lesson for future cavers. His entrapment had absolutely nothing to do with his caving methods, with his being alone, or his carrying what we would now deem to be to be inadequate equipment. It was a freak occurence that was probably mismanaged by and overwhelming to the rescue mob. Indeed, let's hope I don't end up like him. You're right, the caves of Ohio are very small. My most enjoyable solo caving has been in KY, in Carter and Rockcastle counties. The distance traveled and the obstacles overcome definitely add to the profound solitude that is, I think, the most uniquely unsettling and appealing aspect of solo caving. That's why I think that doing a cave like Ellisons solo would be a genuinely moving experience.


Well I was just thinking that Floyd Collins could have gotten himself trapped deep inside a cave while exploring and nobody would know where he was if he was the only one that had explored the cave and he might never have been found. If Floyd Collins had been with someone else they could possibly have gone for help if they were in front of him and he may not have had to have waited for a day to be found. It could have possibly made the difference of being rescued. But who knows. I know you could call it a freak accident but still. I just don't know if surveying alone is such a great idea. I've heard other stories of people surveying alone where they got in trouble. Solo caving where you are in a cave that has already been explored sounds a little safer to me because if someone else knows their way around in the cave they are more likely to find you. But I'm sure you can disprove pretty much anything I say if you wanted to.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby caverdan » Mar 16, 2014 8:54 am

Over the years.....I have found......any time you mention solo caving in front of a bunch of cavers.....expect ridicule.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby bennettbike » Mar 16, 2014 12:31 pm

Trogman, that was a crazy little story! My buddy and I have talked about that happening but so far luckily it has not. I went into the stair step side of Ellisons Friday, I almost went up those hanging ropes but I just can't trust the rigging I can't see and probably never will.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby msm0711 » Mar 16, 2014 2:29 pm

This whole conversation brings to mind the time I was dropping into the Warm Up Pit at Ellison's and saw a sign in a ziplock bag tacked to the wall about 40 feet down that read "Don't pull the rope, I'm still down here. Walt". It shook up a friend of mine who only noticed it on the way out. It would truly suck to have your rope pulled after descending. If the note was a gag, it was a crappy thing to do in itself.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Lava » Mar 17, 2014 2:37 pm

I have been solo caving both vertically and horizontally a handful of times, even did an open-air 260' pit. It's definitely an incredible experience, but one I wouldn't recommend be done with regularity. I found my senses were heightened and I was re-checking everything even more than I usually do on a trip with others. I was also totally risk averse in that I was unwilling to try any sketchy climbs or obstacles. Outside of that, I have been solo caving many times in the same cave where others were present, albeit at times as much as an hour away in the cave. That includes lots of vertical.
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Re: Solo Vertical Trips (Ellisons)

Postby Cheryl Jones » Mar 18, 2014 7:56 pm

caverdan wrote:Over the years.....I have found......any time you mention solo caving in front of a bunch of cavers.....expect ridicule.

:yeah that:
:argue:
:popcorn:
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