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Equipment / Re: Pantin Technique
« Last post by Mike Hopley on Today at 11:34:28 am »
Quote
If your safety cord (be it a separate one or a cowstail) is to the left of your chest ascender, and you put your right foot in the foot loop the  safety cord - hand ascender - foot loop combination makes a closed loop around the rope you are climbing, hence the (slight) added complication passing rebelays. This is very noticeable if you use a chicken/snoopy loop to keep your footloop attached to your foot.

Yes, that's what I thought the issue was -- but every time I try to imagine it in my head, it seems you are fine providing you pass the rebelay rope into your chest jammer from "underneath" the hand jammer/cowstails. Because it's not actually a closed loop, is it? To make a closed loop, you'd have to connect the end of your footloop to the cowstail attachment knot. ;)

I think I might just be failing to imagine it correctly, hence the need to try it out and see.
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The Dales / Re: Brantsghyll Head
« Last post by Pitlamp on Today at 11:00:57 am »
Both sites have been looked at fairly well over the years - as Braveduck says, access is currently not good.

As far as Brants Gill Head is concerned, draining it out is probably a non starter. There are two sumps not far inside the entrance. The active sump to the left is low and immature. The origin of the water emerging from it is the "static" sump pool over to the right (which actually isn't static but has a small underwater bedding just below water level over to the left feeding the active sump, such that the "static" sump only overflows the gravel bank at the end nearest the cave entrance in high discharge). The point is that the levels of the two sumps are almost certainly the same; the active sump is floored by solid bedrock and it's likely that any excavation of the gravel mound which you pass over to reach the static sump would hit bedrock at the same level.

The "static" sump is the main way on and it leads down to a boulder choke at -6 m. You can see the way on down through the boulders, deeper still. This choke has been dug by cave divers in the past but it's a major project and there were better prospects elsewhere. In order to drop the water enough to dig this choke in the dry (then explore whatever is beyond) it would be necessary to lower the water level by up to 9 metres. But any such channel would need to be made through bedrock for tens of metres . . .

For some detail about the topography in the cave, both above and below water, see a report from 15 years ago in CDG Newsletter 148 pages 2-4 which includes a survey plan.

There is a story of this choke having been passed to a short length of streamway and a second sump (in the 1970s I think). The story goes that the route through the choke was so unstable there was a risk of it collapsing with people beyond. An ammo box of supplies was taken through to the streamway so any unplanned delay could be sat out whilst a new route through the choke was being excavated. Most CDG members of the day were sceptical of this story but, if anyone ever gets through the choke  and surfaces, it would be interesting to look around for the rusty remains of the ammo box. I always thought it would be really nice if this ammo box were to be found one day, silencing all the doubters! (The person associated with this story sadly passed away a number of years ago, so it's not possible to ask for further detail.)

However, should the above story prove true, the existence of even a short section of streamway would mean that altering the water level inside Brants Gill Head would have no effect on the downstream sumps in the various feeder caves.

Douk Gill Cave has also been pushed quite hard over the years by a number of cavers. The left hand of the two entrances does actually draught but becomes too low after a low, wet area. My understanding is that the farmer there particularly does not want caver visits currently (but Braveduck will be more clued up than me on the present access situation at this particular site). There is one thing I've always wanted to look at there myself but I've stayed away for many years, in respect of the farmer's wishes. (After all, there's no shortage of other projects to pursue meanwhile.) It's on the list though, in case the access situation alters in future.

Hope that helps.

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Equipment / Re: Pantin Technique
« Last post by MarkS on Today at 10:57:32 am »
Weirdly, Petzl used to advise against using a left-footed Pantin if you were right-handed, as it could make passing rebelays more difficult, though I still struggle to see how. Their explanation of the 'problem' was baffling, but I thought maybe it lost a little in the translation.

The theory is that your footloop and safety cord should be "on the same side" -- so if your safety cord is to the left of your chest jammer, your footloop should go on your left leg.

The "standard" French setup puts cowstails on the left, and uses the long cowstail as the safety cord. If the footloop is then on the right foot, they say the footloop "crosses the rope" at rebelays. Their recommendation is then to use two separate cowstails, with the long cowstail on the right (and threaded through the harness closure, to keep it away from the chest jammer).

I have to confess I have never quite understood this. I find it very hard to visualise the problem. Maybe I should just try it and see.

I think what they're getting at is that you should be able to pass rebelays without removing your foot from the footloop, and without removing your safety cord from the jammer. But it seems to me you can do this anyway. :shrug:

If your safety cord (be it a separate one or a cowstail) is to the left of your chest ascender, and you put your right foot in the foot loop the  safety cord - hand ascender - foot loop combination makes a closed loop around the rope you are climbing, hence the (slight) added complication passing rebelays. This is very noticeable if you use a chicken/snoopy loop to keep your footloop attached to your foot.

In a nutshell, things are less likely to get tangled if your safety cord is on the opposite side to your Pantin.
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Idle Chat / Re: Best Saxophone Song Ever
« Last post by David Rose on Today at 10:55:01 am »
Candy Dulfer? Pink Floyd?

Here are just a few of the great jazz saxophonists whose music is simply on another level. Charlie Parker. John Coltrane. Cannonball Adderley. Booker Ervin. Sonny Stitt. Stan Getz.

And a contemporary heir to their incredible legacy: Kamasi Washington, seen here at Glastonbury in 2016:



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Idle Chat / Re: Best Saxophone Song Ever
« Last post by droid on Today at 10:53:42 am »
Still bloody excellent. Make your own minds up.  ;D

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Idle Chat / Re: Best Saxophone Song Ever
« Last post by Mark Wright on Today at 10:30:46 am »
I was lucky enough to be stood right in front of Wesley McGoogan when he played the sax solo on Will You at the Phoenix Building (later Nelson Mandella building) in Sheffield in 1980. Very memorable.

I've seen her since then but most of her more recent tours have been her complaining about how badly the music industry treated her over the Breaking Glass tour.

Another classic is 'Lily Was Here' by Dave Stuart and Candy Dulfer.



Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond' is another classic.



Mark
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Equipment / Re: Pantin Technique
« Last post by Pitlamp on Today at 10:09:44 am »
You must read and understand all the instructions for use, and get specific instruction in its use, before using it. So say Petzl; it's on the technical sheet, first page, can't miss it.

When the Pantin first came out this is exactly what I did. I've never tried such a numb technique in my life. I sold on the (little used) right foot Pantin then bought a left foot Pantin. I chucked the instructions in the recycling bin and worked it out for myself. Never had any bother since.

(Note - the Pantin is not a safety critical item; I'd not necessarily advocate the above approach with other components of my SRT rig.)
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Idle Chat / Re: Best Saxophone Song Ever
« Last post by prahja on Today at 09:56:52 am »
Yeah - it’s an amazing song and the one I’d have suggested first! Instead, I’ll suggest almost anthing by X-Ray Spex.....
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Equipment / Re: Pantin Technique
« Last post by Mark Wright on Today at 09:26:25 am »
Hi, Chocolate fireguard, I noticed that you mentioned tandemming on here (in passing). I wonder how many cavers do, in fact, tandem pitches in Britain (I believe that it's not uncommon in the USA)?

(Maybe this should be a new thread.)
I don't think there are many pitches big enough to make it worthwhile.
I have done it a couple of times on the top half of Titan and once on the entrance pitch, but both times it was really so 2 people could warm up a bit!
Once on a Whalfe trip we had somebody who insisted on going out up the engine shaft, although she wasn't really up to it (feet swinging wildly out at each step, making only a few inches progress each time, it took ages for her even to get into the shaft proper) so I went up and arranged her footloop between her and the pitch rope with one foot each side of the rope, and then the tensioned rope kept her feet in the right position. Getting off at the top was the hard bit.

I was told that when they do it in the USA only one person climbs while the other rests.

Rowter Hole entrance shaft is plenty big enough to justify having two people on the rope at the same time. Its got plenty of re-belays now so no real need but back in the 80's I regularly climbed the pitch with TWO other people. 1st and 3rd climbing while the 2nd rests and vice versa.

Mark
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Equipment / Re: Pantin Technique
« Last post by Chocolate fireguard on Today at 09:01:51 am »
Hi, Chocolate fireguard, I noticed that you mentioned tandemming on here (in passing). I wonder how many cavers do, in fact, tandem pitches in Britain (I believe that it's not uncommon in the USA)?

(Maybe this should be a new thread.)
I don't think there are many pitches big enough to make it worthwhile.
I have done it a couple of times on the top half of Titan and once on the entrance pitch, but both times it was really so 2 people could warm up a bit!
Once on a Whalfe trip we had somebody who insisted on going out up the engine shaft, although she wasn't really up to it (feet swinging wildly out at each step, making only a few inches progress each time, it took ages for her even to get into the shaft proper) so I went up and arranged her footloop between her and the pitch rope with one foot each side of the rope, and then the tensioned rope kept her feet in the right position. Getting off at the top was the hard bit.

I was told that when they do it in the USA only one person climbs while the other rests.
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