Author Topic: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?  (Read 1362 times)

Offline Mike Hopley

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Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:46:15 pm »
...then please send me a private message!

I allowed a party of three cavers to use our ropes. We saw them come down the last pitch very fast: two "free fall" abseils on Stops with no braking krabs.

Three of our ropes are now badly glazed and burnt. Following an inspection, the ropes must be cut: they are clearly in the "terminal" category according to Beal's guidelines. We will be left with some short lengths.

I was trying to be helpful, and it's cost me something like £150 -- 200. I won't make that mistake again. :(

The first photo shows an unaffected rope (top), and a burnt rope (bottom). You can see our ropes were in excellent condition until this.




Offline mudman

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 04:07:54 pm »
Scary to think what their own ropes may be like if they've done that a few times on them.
Were you able to 'educate them in anyway? If not, do you know who they are? It may be an idea for someone to explain to them what they have done and so hope to avoid a future rescue callout.

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 04:42:39 pm »
I thought this was a hiding to nothing, but the group leader has sent me a very nice message and even offered to replace the rope! Things like this really restore your faith in people. Thank you for being so upstanding. :)

So I think I will be letting other groups use my rope in future, although I'll ask them to abseil slowly (just in case). I did enjoy sharing our trip with another team.


Quote
Scary to think what their own ropes may be like if they've done that a few times on them.
Were you able to 'educate them in anyway? If not, do you know who they are? It may be an idea for someone to explain to them what they have done and so hope to avoid a future rescue callout.

I'm not going to name anyone. Everyone can make mistakes (I've made some awful ones!), no need to broadcast them in public.

I thought at the time, "that looks bloody fast". Then again I've done fast abseils myself -- although not that fast and not in the same "style". So I didn't actually expect to find the rope burned. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

In their defence, they did mention (in the PM) that they've been abseiling in this way and not had trouble before. In any case, I'm sure they are now aware of the potential for rope damage.

All's well that ends well. :)

Offline mudman

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 04:56:27 pm »
Sounds like the right conclusion to the tale.
Hopefully they've learnt a lesson.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 05:20:54 pm »
Perhaps they were in the SAS caving club ;D

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 06:38:16 pm »
Hopefully they've learnt a lesson.

In any case, I've learned a lesson, and not the one I thought I'd learned at first.

I've learned a lesson in optimism and expecting the best of people. :)


Offline Long Drop

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 10:44:15 pm »
Was in Pwll Dwfn yesterday and would be curious to know who found it necessary to remove all the in situ deviation tat from the 3rd and 4th pitches, which was all nicely at the right lengths and in the right places and doing nobody any harm.  Was glad I'd taken a few spare slings and krabs.

L

Online Pegasus

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 11:34:21 pm »
Hopefully they've learnt a lesson.

In any case, I've learned a lesson, and not the one I thought I'd learned at first.

I've learned a lesson in optimism and expecting the best of people. :)

Must ask Q again about that like button  :)

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 10:36:20 am »
Was in Pwll Dwfn yesterday and would be curious to know who found it necessary to remove all the in situ deviation tat from the 3rd and 4th pitches, which was all nicely at the right lengths and in the right places and doing nobody any harm.  Was glad I'd taken a few spare slings and krabs.

L

That was me. It was junk that should have been removed from the cave ages ago.

The tat on pitch 3 was a badly corroded krab with a sticking gate and some string. The tat on pitch 4 was similar, but also created problems when rigging the route as a rebelay (which provides a cleaner hang, right to the bottom). Due to the amount of crud left on that anchor, a rebelay carabiner was loading badly (carabiners can potentially break if loaded over an edge).

There is also a maillon left on that pitch 4 rebelay. I tried to remove that as well, but it was rusted through (just goes to show what can happen when you leave stuff too long).

Neither of those bits of tat needed to be in the cave. It's not like, say, the tat in Diccan that helps people reach a deviation that would otherwise be very difficult to rig (perhaps not the best example, as that deviation has been superseded by a pair of "unofficial" resins not marked on the topo).

If in doubt, take it out!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 10:45:13 am by Mike Hopley »

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 10:41:24 am »
Must ask Q again about that like button  :)

It's brilliant you have Q working on the site! If I ask nicely, can I get an exploding fountain pen? :)

Offline topcat

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 11:37:57 am »



 It's not like, say, the tat in Diccan that helps people reach a deviation that would otherwise be very difficult to rig (perhaps not the best example, as that deviation has been superseded by a pair of "unofficial" resins not marked on the topo).
[/quote]

Aye, all very confusing!  More bolts at the start than you can shake a stick at.


Offline topcat

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 11:42:26 am »


re the OP :  that rope looks like Beal Spelenium Gold ?  If so its 9.5mm and a fast rope even in 'good' hands.........I use a Handy when going down that stuff:)

Offline Long Drop

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 04:43:43 pm »

That was me. It was junk that should have been removed from the cave ages ago.

If in doubt, take it out!

Hi Mike,

It would have been nice if you had jumped on here as fast to tell us that you'd removed other people's fixed aids from the cave, as you did to complain about scorch marks on your ropes!    ;)

L

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Were you in Pwll Dwfn, Sunday 30 April?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2017, 07:46:11 pm »
We have this problem with our ropes on a semi-regular basis and have been trying hard to be able to pinpoint the cause. We believe that it's down to a combination of dry ropes and too-fast abseils.
If you wet ropes, it's basically impossible to melt them. But if they are dry, you have to be very careful.
Some simple physics calculations give you the large amounts of heat which has to be dissipated, and it's surprising it doesn't happen more often when you see the numbers......

Chris.
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