Author Topic: UkCaving free rope and crabs being put to good use.  (Read 259 times)

Offline Huge

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UkCaving free rope and crabs being put to good use.
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:57:30 am »
Minion, Trig Gledhill and I recently attempted to bolt climb to a possible passage, part way up a wall in a large chamber, in a cave somewhere in South Wales! Rope and crabs donated by UkCaving were used but on this occasion we were thwarted by a lack of time and poor rock.

There are actually two windows in the wall, one a few metres higher than the other but as the lower one is at the base of a steep slope and the higher one near the top of the slope, the height of the climb to either is similar. A tube, visible in the roof of the lower window, looked to be heading towards the upper window so it was decided to try to reach the upper one as there was no way of knowing if the tube was passable. Plus there was a ledge below the upper window which looked like it could be reached by free climbing to hopefully save time and bolts.

A bolt was placed for protection on the rising traverse to the ledge and Minion started the climb with Trig life-lining. Unfortunately, the rock above and around the ledge turned out to be so poor that it was almost funny! Minion came back down and we discussed options, whether to try for the lower window and hope there was a passable connection to the upper or to persevere where we were. It was decided to carry on above the first bolt, placed originally for protection, as the rock seemed to be more sound here. This might mean having to traverse across slightly, at a higher level though.

I took over climbing duties, with Trig again life-lining and placed a few more bolts, gaining a view into the window. Unfortunately it wasn't the start of a large passage going off but part of a small tube, which seems to be running diagonally down and parallel to the wall. The windows seem to be where the chamber has intersected the winding tube. There looked to be a part of the tube heading down towards the lower window and another part of it heading upwards. There are no windows visible higher up the wall so it needs checking out but unfortunately we had run out of time. I put a second stainless steel bolt in at the high point and rigged a length of the rope I'd kindly been given by UkCaving, directly to a couple of stainless ring hangers. Unfortunately we'd reached poor rock again so we'll have to think carefully on how to proceed from here.

Thanks again to Badlad and Pegasus at UkCaving and their generous benefactor for the rope and crabs. If we find something worthwhile, we'll leave the climb rigged with the rope, for a while at least. If there's nothing there (more likely!), everything will, of course, be removed and we'll move on to the next project.

Offline Huge

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Re: UkCaving free rope and crabs being put to good use.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 02:49:46 pm »
Nearly forgot to thank Tony Seddon for collecting the gear from Ingleton for me. Chears again Tony.