Author Topic: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only  (Read 2261 times)

Offline AlexR

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • BPC, TSG
Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:37:06 pm »
tl;dr: The ropes in Titan are for digging team use only. If you flout this and I find out, overall access to Titan will be reviewed.


Hi all,

I've been digging in different locations of Peak/ Speedwell since 2018; for most of this time I have kept Titan permanently rigged to speed up operations. Following an incident last year where we found our rope cored, these ropes are now strictly for digging team use only. A picture of the damaged section is attached, the damage was bad enough that it could have caused a fatality. I never managed to identify the cause, several parties had used the ropes in the interim and rock contact is categorically impossible.
Please understand that I'm not doing this because I'm a total bastard but because the above has me concerned for my life and those who give up their time and energy to drive the dig(s) forward.

I'm writing this now because a recent party has re-rigged my ropes in a fashion that makes descent impossible, meaning digging cannot take place until they correct their mistake.

Cheers,

Alex
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 08:46:00 pm by AlexR »

Offline 2xw

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • YUCPC, SUSS
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2021, 10:32:44 am »
Err, what do you mean by "overall access to titan will be reviewed"

You're threatening to remove titan access if your insitu ropes aren't left in pristine condition in your absence?

I'm sure it's very frustrating but that seems rather extreme

Offline MarkS

  • Global Moderator
  • junky
  • *****
  • Posts: 861
  • BBPC, YCC
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2021, 10:46:54 am »
A polite request for people not to use in situ ropes seems totally reasonable, but ultimately if you leave ropes somewhere then you risk other people using them and potentially damaging them. If safety is your primary concern then the only way of being sure is to remove the ropes between trips.  :shrug:

I say that as someone with in-situ ropes left in a few places.

Online Ian Ball

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2021, 11:14:58 am »
Not being slack with caring for others ropes is a bit much though, the people that knackered this section didn't knot it out or anything, just left it.

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2021, 01:17:39 pm »
This might read to some as just some grumble, but Alex showed me the rope that was semi-cut in the original event (probably a more accurate description than core-shot?) and I'm astonished anyone could have left it like that without knotting out that section and posting a warning to others, let alone any ethics about using someone else's rope. It is quite a few metres of rope (so not cheap) not just a short drop rigged somewhere.

Since you need to get a key for access, does Moose make people swear a sacred cub-scout oath that they won't mess with other people's ropes?? If not, maybe they should... because it seems some people can't play nicely
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline 2xw

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • YUCPC, SUSS
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2021, 02:40:58 pm »
Yeah, noone is surprised at the frustration re the rope. It's the threats to access (group punishment) that I take issue with, if that is what they are.

Offline badger

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 762
  • WSCC. WCC
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2021, 02:49:57 pm »
unless I spoke to whoever's rope is in situ, I would not use, mainly because I have no idea if its been there 1 day, 1 year, etc, and how do you know its safe to use. As can be seen by threads on this forum some people seem happy to use 20 year old rope, which is their privilege if they wish to do so, but only they would know how its been used looked after and so on.
Like Will, the threads threat of access being reviewed is more concerning.

Offline caving_fox

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 582
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2021, 05:08:13 pm »
Quote
I'm writing this now because a recent party has re-rigged my ropes in a fashion that makes descent impossible

Using other people's ropes is one thing. Messing about with their rigging is beyond the pale surely, esp if you don't leave it useable. Id' be much angrier about this. It seems highly unlikely that a few? people going up or down a rope could lead to damage. I don't know how long the ropes were there, how many people used them etc (cf ropes at Eurospeleo just about lasted the week on popular routes). But to me that looks like rub/rock strike rather than wear, esp if it's mid-hang.

I hope it was a cathartic post anyway!
If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2021, 05:20:14 pm »
Rope rub would be quite tricky to achieve on pitches 2 and 3 of Titan. Unless you had the foresight to take your own piece of rock with you and hang there rubbing for a while  ;D
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Online Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2337
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2021, 05:57:54 pm »
There is always risk associated with leaving ropes rigged for projects.  It's impossible to know what happens to them when unattended and damage may not be malicious or even noted by other groups.  It is entirely possible that the damage shown here was done while a group hauled up their own ropes which had perhaps got tangled around the rigged ropes.  You wouldn't really expect groups doing Titan to be incompetent and as you say they have to get a key as well.

I know someone who leaves caves rigged for projects with the shitty'est ropes he can find.  Apparently whilst he is happy to use them others are very much put off.  Threats don't really help and can backfire.

I also have left loads of caves rigged to enable projects so speak with some experience.  Had them all nicked once, damaged, rerigged you name it.

Offline nobrotson

  • Wob Rotson, ULSA
  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
  • This not bono. Why the plastic fruit?
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2021, 06:05:38 pm »
I know someone who leaves caves rigged for projects with the shitty'est ropes he can find.  Apparently whilst he is happy to use them others are very much put off.  Threats don't really help and can backfire.

Pretty sure I know who you're referring to here and can confirm the condition of the ropes is often poor by most standards. Also agree that these threats of removing access are completely ridiculous. There's more than a whiff of 'holier than thou' regarding them being 'digging ropes' and not just any old ropes...
the man is mentally ill. I have seen him eat a plastic pie.

Offline alastairgott

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2131
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2021, 07:52:11 pm »
I think it is just cathartic annoyance coming out that a day of 'digging' was lost due to something which could have been avoided. Excess rain, an ill digging friend etc. Are all unavoidable. But it seems from his annoyance that he believes this could have been avoided.

I have helped Alexr with digging, surveying and also procuring the rope. I'm confident he won't be asking for anyone to be denied permission to enter titan.

I have known of one or two teams to self rescue down titan in the past, so am aware that this could be the reason why someone has decided to move the rope out of the way, and if they've come from somewhere else in Britain and did Titan on a Sunday. Then there's little chance of them being able to "put it right".

AlexR could you bag your rope up at the top of the pitches? We've got a few 'chutney' barrels lying around, you could put one at the bottom of the entrance pitch for the 2nd rope (rather than tacklebag which could be easily mistaken for group rope)? Bag up the 3rd rope and leave on the event horizon with a laminated sign on and take the entrance rope home?

Offline Mark Wright

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
  • NCC, NOT INSURED
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2021, 08:19:49 pm »
We left Rowter Hole and Eldon Hole rigged for a good while when we were digging regularly and I have to agree with Badlad that the most likely cause of the rope wearing through to the core in such a manner is another party pulling their ropes up over the 'digging' ropes which were in the way.

That rope does look pretty bad though and probably should have been replaced a good while before.

Let me know if you need some replacement rope, I've got plenty of hardly used 11mm spare.


Mark

Offline Moose

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2021, 09:40:10 pm »
It's not within my remit to withdraw access to Titan as an individual. It's part of the peak speedwell system.

Yes, the opportunity to use someone else's ropes is always there but if nothing else this thread has highlighted Alex''s request to not do so.

If I were to make a direct request to everyone it would be to considerate, communicate with the people involved, report any issues arising after trips and respect other people's wishes in regard to gear left rigged in any underground scenario.

It's not rocket surgery.

Offline adep

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2021, 07:48:47 pm »
It could be said its selfish to monopolise a cave by leaving your ropes in the way of others, never easy to rig around other peoples ropes, so i would pull them up and bag them at the top of the pitch leaving them rigged but out of the way, get some laminated notices explaining the situation, i think leaving the ropes in place and then not being happy that someone else uses them is asking a lot tbh, if that damage has occured mid rope away from an edge which i imagine it was as it would be very hard to get rope rub in there, then as previously stated and from the look of it, it looks like damage from one rope being dragged across it to me.
How can an individual threaten the rest of the caving community with banning access to a cave?, its just not right 

Offline alastairgott

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2131
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2021, 09:27:00 pm »
I believe this is being fixed tomorrow by the group concerned. So you’ll be alright to go down again Alex. Understand why you may not want to reverse prussic 75-80m though.

Online Oceanrower

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2021, 09:48:24 pm »
Isn’t a reverse prusik an abseil?

Offline Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4684
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2021, 11:42:07 pm »
So – please correct me if I have misunderstood this, and I apologise in advance if I’ve got it wrong, but as I infer it:

The OP has had problems with someone else using their rope in such a way as to damage it; or, according to Mark, using their own rope that has damaged the OP’s rope by being dragged up over it.

So – the OP’s pissed off because:

a) someone’s used his in-situ rope and damaged it
b) someone’s not used his in-situ rope but has nevertheless damaged it

Seems to me that the answer’s obvious – don’t leave ropes in situ.

(By the way, I have rigged Titan and helped to derig it, so I know what is involved and understand why one might want to leave it rigged if one were making repeat trips there. And I also acknowledge that re-rigging in-situ ropes is quite different to ‘merely’ using them, and I am intrigued by the remark ‘a recent party has re-rigged my ropes in a fashion that makes descent impossible’; what does that mean?)

Offline alastairgott

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2131
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2021, 12:34:14 am »
As per op when this problem is sorted everything is cool, it will be sorted tomorrow and ying and yang will be in equilibrium :thumbsup:

Offline 2xw

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • YUCPC, SUSS
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2021, 12:38:07 am »
Someone from SUSS apparently re rigged it, leaving it too tight to descend on an ascender (that isn't a rack) without down prussiking. It's been/being fixed this weekend

Anyways Alistair has been kind enough not to reveal who exactly did the botch job so I won't :lol: :ang:

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2021, 08:12:58 am »
Isn’t a reverse prusik an abseil?
No, it's down-climbing using your ascenders. I've done shortish sections in the very distant past, when some ropes had oil and denso tape goo all over them (not my fault). It reminds you just how aggressive and sheath catching those petzl teeth are. Down jumaring any more than the very shortest section is a horrible task.
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4684
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2021, 09:04:39 am »
Thanks 2xw for your explanation . . . down-prusiking Titan, the stuff of nightmares. Still, it's a useful skill when you do have to do it (for short distances).

Online pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3135
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2021, 11:15:47 am »
Down jumaring any more than the very shortest section is a horrible task.

I had to do it in an icing-sugar silo at Bassett's sweet factory, abseiling in through the loading hopper. The risk assessment hadn't taken sugar, friction and heat into consideration, and we found after only three metres that our descenders no longer worked - in either direction. Essentially we were glued to the ropes. The silo was 30 metres high, and the only way out was at the bottom, currently blocked with a drift of icing-sugar. So we had to reverse-prussik the entire thing, cleaning sugar off the walls with plastic brooms, and then dig our way out at the bottom, shoveling it through the outlet to a guy in a cherry-picker with a load of bin-bags. Hilarious.

Our misery was relieved when we found out we'd qualified for discount rates at the factory shop due to our heroic performance (they thought us insane), and after a quick shower, staggered out with a giant crate of almost-free chocolate, Liquorice Allsorts and Jelly Babies.

So yes, learn to reverse-prussik whenever possible :)

Offline al

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2021, 11:24:15 am »
Isn’t a reverse prusik an abseil?
No, it's down-climbing using your ascenders. I've done shortish sections in the very distant past, when some ropes had oil and denso tape goo all over them (not my fault). It reminds you just how aggressive and sheath catching those petzl teeth are. Down jumaring any more than the very shortest section is a horrible task.

This method certainly works on a loaded rope with the old style stop descender - probably best to practise somewhere safe before using it  in Titan!
Old ... but not old enough to know any better

Online Ian Ball

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2021, 12:21:26 pm »
That is for the brave but actually very informative.

I have always regarded downward motion on ascender as a necessary part of being able to use ascenders, the loaded rope being one reason.


Online pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3135
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
Re: Titan access: Ropes for digging team only
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2021, 12:32:13 pm »
Indeed - especially if a knot-pass is involved. I once got 10m down the bottom pitch in Leviathan, following the rigger, to find a big knot, with a 20m rope tied in down to the floor, and the rigger lying on his back pissing himself at my surprise - it was entirely deliberate, and he'd taken the other rope hidden in the bag so we wouldn't notice until it was too late. Some of you in the Peak District will probably guess who the rigger was, as it's entirely typical behaviour ;)

 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal