Author Topic: Was considering caving at some point - daft question  (Read 967 times)

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 156
Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« on: May 25, 2021, 04:37:53 pm »
Yes I know this is going to be (quite sensibly) met with robust suggestions to be chaperoned by people already indoctrinated in the dark arts of caving - understood and I consider myself duly warned. But I have a potentially silly question about caving rigging guides. Often there is a number...

Having looked at some random examples Is that the drop, is it the rope required for drop and rigging and why are sometimes there 2 numbers. There doesn't seem to be consistency.

Just for example I looked at one for Meregill Hole. NO, I am not planning on driving up there this weekend so everyone step away the CAPS lock on your keyboards it's a random example (and looks a fun jaunt). Anyhow, in the middle section is "55", is that the vertical drop of the pitch so far, the rope length required to get there or what, and why a second number (is it suggesting using 2 ropes, in which case it is rope length not drop size?). What do these mysterious numeric symbols mean used by cavers? Just when I think it means one thing, I see another example that looks more like another possibility.

I agree that if you have to ask, you shouldn't be going, and if you don't have enough rope don't do it (or jug back up in shame) but humour me please...   Some of you must at least socialise with these caving folks, right?
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline nearlywhite

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 391
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2021, 05:13:50 pm »
The two numbers is usually one of them being the pitch length (i.e. how long the drop is) and the second one being the recommended rope length. The cpcc guides normally circle at the end of a rope and double line at the end of a route for total length. The uncircled numbers are pitch lengths but be warned they may vary from guide to guide.

I hope you don't ever see the surveys that are vertically Imperial and horizontally metric  :lol:

Offline MarkS

  • Global Moderator
  • junky
  • *****
  • Posts: 836
  • BBPC, YCC
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2021, 05:20:27 pm »
"55", is that the vertical drop of the pitch so far, the rope length required to get there or what, and why a second number (is it suggesting using 2 ropes, in which case it is rope length not drop size?).

Rigging guides are almost always rope lengths. Sometimes they are split (as per the Meregill example) because people are potentially more likely to own a 55 m rope and a 30 m rope than an 85 m (which you could also use in this case)

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 156
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2021, 05:36:11 pm »
Here's a specific example  https://cncc.org.uk/caving/topos/download-single.php?id=41

To be more specific about my random example.  Mostly I see one number, well on this CNCC one anyway. And it's not clear if that is the drop or a suggested length.

Sure it doesn't make a huge difference, I mean people probably wont go somewhere with a 41 metre rope (and no longer on principle) because it had specified 41 on the guide ;)   but if in some example there was 55m on the guide and you have a 60m rope, but there is a bunch of traverse at the top, would you potentially end up jugging back up in shame

Agree that some unit jumbling could be fun. before you can say "Mars Climate Orbiter"  I propose that vertical drops are stated in fathoms (keep mine explorers happy), horizontal distances in metres and all other measurements in multiple or fraction of a 28" waist (as few people still have a 28" waist it's bound to annoy mostly everyone, no I don't before you ask)

EDIT:   Thank you MarkS just seen your reply as I posted the above
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Fjell

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2021, 10:03:44 pm »
Purely out of interest, what is stopping you driving to Meregill this weekend? Weather currently looks a go.

It's warmer than earlier this year I can assure you.


Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4670
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2021, 10:25:29 pm »
Some older rigging guides were very economical on the rope, so if you tied big knots you wouldn't reach the floor - they're a bit more standardized nowadays.

Offline wellyjen

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 126
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2021, 08:02:06 am »
There are no standards for rigging topos. Generally speaking, a group that are publishing topos will be reasonably consistent within their own work, but between groups and areas they differ. There should be a key, or explanation somewhere and on the CNCC topos you get a page of blurb when you download one. In amongst the warnings and disclaimers, this says that the numbers are rope lengths. The numbers are the rope length to that point, or from the previous rope to that point. They don't give the pitch length.
In the Peak District there are two sets of guides. The DCA publish topos for the pitches that they have placed anchors on. They seem to use a square outline around the rope length. Crewe CPC publish a more comprehensive set of guides with non DCA anchored routes as well. We use a round circle around the rope length and will give pitch heights and distances between deviations and rebelays sometimes as well, where it can be useful.
A rigging topo is trying to represent a complex three dimensional void in to a two dimensional sheet of A4. The aim is to make the place familiar to the rigger as they descend and to help them find the features they need to rig. They won't necessarily be to scale. Traverse lines and pitch heads will be expanded. Drops likely foreshortened. Different people come up with different ways of accomplishing this, depending on their graphic design skills.
Jen
Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.
CCPC

Offline SamT

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6448
    • The Eldon Pothole Club
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2021, 08:41:38 am »
Here's a specific example  https://cncc.org.uk/caving/topos/download-single.php?id=41

To be more specific about my random example.  Mostly I see one number, well on this CNCC one anyway. And it's not clear if that is the drop or a suggested length.



Have you read the blurb on the front page of the rigging topo which specifically states "The rope lengths stated in the rigging topos are considered the minimum length required based on average rigging"

I think RTFM is the common interweb parlance for these situations  ;)

Offline wellyjen

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 126
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2021, 08:48:13 am »
Here's a specific example  https://cncc.org.uk/caving/topos/download-single.php?id=41

To be more specific about my random example.  Mostly I see one number, well on this CNCC one anyway. And it's not clear if that is the drop or a suggested length.



Have you read the blurb on the front page of the rigging topo which specifically states "The rope lengths stated in the rigging topos are considered the minimum length required based on average rigging"

I think RTFM is the common interweb parlance for these situations  ;)

Most of the blurb on the first page is warnings and disclaimers saying you are definitely going to die, it isn't our fault and you have downloaded the topo for the express purpose of suffering serious injury, or death  ;D. Hardly anyone reads down far enough to get to the useful information!
Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.
CCPC

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 156
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2021, 08:56:29 am »
Have you read the blurb on the front page of the rigging topo which specifically states "The rope lengths stated in the rigging topos are considered the minimum length required based on average rigging"

I think RTFM is the common interweb parlance for these situations  ;)
I did RTFM and I even came a second pass to look for that before asking here. My problem was a close relative of RTFM which is "should've gone to specsavers"   :read:  :-\   :unsure:

Purely out of interest, what is stopping you driving to Meregill this weekend? Weather currently looks a go...
Unfortunately my wife is long term ill and we have young(ish) kids so any trips are difficult to get or even for me to be reliable about. I nearly went to N Wales for a solo trip a couple of weekends ago but I had to bail out shortly before (I have a growing list of things that really "need" my attention). I'd only chosen it randomly from the rigging guide list - but Meregill Hole does look like a cracker, from YouTube videos etc, definitely looks fun, possibly somewhat damp
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 09:31:14 am by Cantclimbtom »
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Fjell

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2021, 09:02:57 am »
I like these ones.

Although I have to say that the new Northern Caves just giving rope lengths and number of belays is a 99% solution to be honest - but it doesn't specify which bolts are CNCC bolts which is a core objective for CNCC. I would use the pair if you are unfamiliar with the cave. Once Volume 2 appears, most of the more vertical caves will be covered.




Offline aardgoose

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 157
  • DCA DCRO
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2021, 10:37:07 am »
Quote
The DCA publish topos for the pitches that they have placed anchors on. They seem to use a square outline around the rope length.

The DCA topos also include section lengths shown in circles with arrows indicating the end point, where it is convenient to break a set a pitches into multiple rope lengths, although this depends on the original drafter of the topo. Pitch depths can be found in the cave descriptions.

Offline GarDouth

  • Gary Douthwaite
  • Administrator
  • menacing presence
  • *****
  • Posts: 244
  • YCC & NPC
    • York Caving Club
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2021, 11:00:15 am »
I create the CNCC topos based on what information installers provide. In recent years they have all undergone a makeover but have kept a consistent style to the old paper rigging guides. Recently it occurred to me that they contain no legend and of course not everyone (particularly people fairly new to caving) will know what everything means. Future updates will now include a legend, the first of which is a new version for Diccan Pot which is now on the CNCC website. Now included is "DT" to indicate a drilled thread which aren't always easy to spot if you don't know you're looking for it. Anchor numbers started to be included a while back - the point of which is as a reference for people to report problem anchors and also helps with the number of crabs required.

I would like to include pitch lengths too as I think it is quite helpful to know how far down a re-belay or deviation is but unfortunately the information is not always available. Feel free to go and measure lengths and let me know  ;D

You also might not know that you can turn off the wall, title and anchor number layers in the PDF if you want to make it simpler  :smartass:

I'm always keen to hear suggestions to make topos better.

PS, the penultimate item is not a ball gagg  :lol:
CNCC webmaster
Hidden Earth lecture secretary & webmaster
York Caving Club secretary

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 156
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2021, 11:35:28 am »
... they contain no legend... Future updates will now include a legend...
You sir are a legend (pun intended :) but not intended to dilute the gratitude)

Edit: You didn't include the dashed rope see 2nd drop of Meregill (but probably clear without legend, as an optional/alternative rig for a drop?)
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline GarDouth

  • Gary Douthwaite
  • Administrator
  • menacing presence
  • *****
  • Posts: 244
  • YCC & NPC
    • York Caving Club
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2021, 11:56:33 am »
You didn't include the dashed rope see 2nd drop of Meregill (but probably clear without legend, as an optional/alternative rig for a drop?)

Ah yes, however they are quite rare on topos and as you say, reasonably self explanatory. It's usually for some alternative, in the case of Meregill it's a drier option but it's also used for optional pull-through routs for example. I'd probably add that on if it appeared on a particular one.

At some point non-approved resin bonded anchors may be included, with a warning and different symbol but this is yet to be approved by committee as there are some liability concerns. Non-resin anchors are unlikely to ever be included and should be avoided.
CNCC webmaster
Hidden Earth lecture secretary & webmaster
York Caving Club secretary

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2021, 04:51:35 pm »
At some point non-approved resin bonded anchors may be included, with a warning and different symbol but this is yet to be approved by committee as there are some liability concerns. Non-resin anchors are unlikely to ever be included and should be avoided.

This bit has always been baffling to me...

If I was overly paranoid and wanted to avoid liability concerns, the very last thing I would have is an 'approved anchor' scheme where I clearly delineated 'my' anchors as it could be argued (incorrectly) that you had accepted some duty of care over those anchors (beyond the duty of care that any anchor installer owes which is not to do something outrageously stupid like fail to glue in the anchors at all). It has been very clearly established in climbing that anchors/bolts (which are generally put in by randoms, even the resins, albeit generally very competent randoms) are for use _at your own risk_ and no duty of care is implied. In any event, any BCA member who places any anchor is insured under the BCA policy should they do so in a thoroughly negligent fashion leading to an injury/damage to a third party and a claim.

Simply reporting the existence of anchors in a guidebook, with a clear statement that you are not endorsing those anchors, would be far lower down the list of 'things to avoid doing to avoid liability concerns'.
There are decades of climbing book publishing where any and every totally crap old bolt/peg/bit of wood stuck in a crack is listed for information...

I like the anchor scheme because I think it is a very good thing that quality anchors are supplied and installed using BCA funds by trained installers. After that, personal responsibility should take over :)

And thanks for the topos :)

Offline wellyjen

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 126
Re: Was considering caving at some point - daft question
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2021, 08:33:35 pm »
I create the CNCC topos based on what information installers provide. In recent years they have all undergone a makeover but have kept a consistent style to the old paper rigging guides. Recently it occurred to me that they contain no legend and of course not everyone (particularly people fairly new to caving) will know what everything means. Future updates will now include a legend, the first of which is a new version for Diccan Pot which is now on the CNCC website. Now included is "DT" to indicate a drilled thread which aren't always easy to spot if you don't know you're looking for it. Anchor numbers started to be included a while back - the point of which is as a reference for people to report problem anchors and also helps with the number of crabs required.

I would like to include pitch lengths too as I think it is quite helpful to know how far down a re-belay or deviation is but unfortunately the information is not always available. Feel free to go and measure lengths and let me know  ;D

You also might not know that you can turn off the wall, title and anchor number layers in the PDF if you want to make it simpler  :smartass:

I'm always keen to hear suggestions to make topos better.

PS, the penultimate item is not a ball gagg  :lol:

For comparison, here is the CreweCPC Peak District topo key.

We distinguish between natural, stainless steel and non stainless artificial anchors. The stainless steel ones may be resin secured, or expansion. The resin ones may be installed as part of the DCA scheme, or by persons unknown. We merely report, not making any statement on their likely safety. You might assume that a resin anchor, put in by a trained installer is safer, but anyone who has seen the resin anchor, still firmly embedded in the lump of rock that fell off, that is now at the bottom of the second pitch of the Knotlow climbing shaft route will know this is no guarantee! We have symbols for rigging features that are more common in the Peak than they are in the Dales, like pull through rings, fixed ladders, surface stakes and scaffold bar belays. The same anchor symbols are used for the attachment point of deviations, so we can show a natural, an old spit, or a resin anchor. If it is a drilled thread, then this will likely be mentioned as they are tough to spot. We will also often put in the descent distance to a deviation and the height of the pitch. Our topos and the symbols have slowly evolved over the last 20 years the club has been publishing the rigging guide.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 09:19:27 pm by MarkS, Reason: image resized for clarity. »
Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.
CCPC

 

Main Menu

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