WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions > The Dales

Sunset Hole-Upper series

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At the base of the first pitch in Sunset hole there is a fixed rope with loops tied in to assist access to the upper series.

While I was trying to figure out a safe way to climb this an meber of the group free climbed the rope, with some difficulty and what seemed rather unsafely. We then laddered the climb for the rest to gain access to the upper series.

Has anyone advice on the best way to climb such an aid safely. I was trying to figure out if cows tails could be used ?




--- Quote ---Has anyone advice on the best way to climb such an aid safely. I was trying to figure out if cows tails could be used ?
--- End quote ---

The best advice is don't use it (unless you know it when it was placed etc).. Insitu tat is very handy but theres no saying how long it has been there or what previous abuse it has suffered, the same goes for what it hangs off..

In theory cows tails could be clipped to the loops in the rope but a fall on to rope (possibly static?) of unknown vintage wouldn't be a good thing.

The best action would be to climb it without using the insitu tat and place in any relevant protection yourself, slower and more hassle, but safer. (Ye I know, it doesn't often happen and most of us do trust insitu gear to an extent!!)

general technique is to just haul youself up em.

Although I agree with dunc that you should never trust fixed aids such as knotted ropes, it rarely happens. If its and easy climb then it might be better to climb it, with the odd tug on the rope.

As for using cows tails etc. Your just prolonging your exposure to risk. if you use srt kit  then your committing yourself entirely to that rope, probably putting a lot more weight through it and spending a lot more time on it.

if you just scramble up quickly, your less likely to be completely reliant on the rope, maybe you'll have your hand on a hand hold or a foot on a ledge.

Just thoughts.

[official line] Never trust fixed aids [/official line]

[common sense] use your judgement [/common sense]

Also remember this- if the fixed rope is a semi-static, taking a fall onto cow's tails would be rather unpleasant generating a nasty fall factor and probably hurting badly. For that matter, particularly on short lengths, dynamic rope may not actually be very 'dynamic' in practice.

In fact, any fall onto a cow's tail is to be seriously avoided. Correct use of SRT techniques should mitigate against this....

On a fixed aid there's an immedaite risk of a short fall onto a cow's tail, if clipped into a closed loop  :injured:

Could always use the Sunset 50ft pitch bypass and come out at the top of the handline.  :P

Long time since I have done it though, doub't that I would still fit!!


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