UK Caving

NEWS, NOTICES & THE FORUM => Caving Chat => Topic started by: Cap'n Chris on July 17, 2003, 09:25:59 pm

Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: Cap'n Chris on July 17, 2003, 09:25:59 pm
Ever realised, just as you're about to lean out over an awe-chasm that you've forgotten to fasten your fig-8 (or whatever) to the harness maillon?; or the time when the Petzl Stop was on new, wet 9mm rope and it all got a bit "whizzy"?; or perhaps you decided to quickly pop, head first, down an interesting rift for a quick shuftie only to suddenly think "Oops!" and flail around like a poleaxed umbrella until your mate(s) dragged you out! Free sump diving the wrong bit? Boldly stepping where you never should've? Tell all! I'm keen to hear about the horror even if no-one else is? - a good scare-the-crap-out-of-the-family-members story is worth it's weight in bullsh*t; especially as every story has a modicum of truth behind it, after all....

How many people out there are still alive, despite every effort to the contrary? It's not big and it's not clever but it's definitely worth hearing about.  :shock:  :!:
Title: Re: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: bubba on July 18, 2003, 07:47:39 am
Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
until your mate(s) dragged you out

I'm pretty paranoid about my srt rig most of the time so have never had those off-belay horror moments you describe - so far! I have been dragged out of squeezes a number of times by slimmer companions mind  :wink:
The closest I came to rift horror was nearly falling headfirst into the rather awkward rift in the passage on the way back from Moss Chamber in Peak Cavern - I was saved by a rather strange wiggling slimy armbar technique (amazing what you can do when you're desperate) that enabled me to somehow fight gravity until my legs were once again in the same part of the cave as the rest of me.

Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
Free sump diving the wrong bit?

Johnny's recent "adventures" in Swildon's sump 3 have made me even more scared of free-diving than I was previously  :D

Of course there's those lovely tense moments in old mine-shafts when rocks are tinkling down around your head and you're hanging on the rope trying to mentally project cement into that hundred year old ginging - sweet!
Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: Stuart Anderson on July 18, 2003, 11:35:11 am
short legs and biggish chest saw me having to wriggle through a rift with no contact on the floor. rift exited in a small chamber which i just slithered/climbed/jumped down. hmm nice chamber i thought but going nowhere. turns around to be faced with a 2.5m high blank wall. that was just to reach the bottom of the rift which i needed to be able to climb up a little higher than to be of any use!! managed to contrive a rising traverse on nothing!! to gain the rift. wasnt on my own so had lots of moral support (piss taking!!) but i always always always check before jumping!

"never get out of the boat man"!!
Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: SamT on July 18, 2003, 01:02:14 pm
Erm - probably following jon into sump 3 in swildons. not knowing how long it was (or anything about the sump) or weather jon was a floating corpse 50 m into it. Bit foolish really but went for it. got was must have been 5-7 meters in and bottled it. turned round and pulled like crazy. was not happy when I got out  :shock:  :shock:
Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: eyecave on July 19, 2003, 07:23:11 am
the tightest smooth muscle moment i've ever had was in the exploration of solution rift's deepest pit.....a hypothermic companion had dropped their pack and was unable to cross a knot and was sitting hugging the rope in a pounding waterfall.....i had a 104 foot rope that i rigged and descended to rescue the person......i came up wayyy short........the stranded person was confused and couldn't communicate...i ascended the pit rerigging the rope to a small stalakmite that was located at the very edge of the pit...........i still came up a foot short and had to talk her up that first foot, we got i stepped overthe edge for that second descent things were a bit focused......            ..............once  i watched a carbide light  flicker out slowely in an unfamiliar section of a cave i had gone into solo,  while i sat cavepackless.... ..
Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: bubba on July 23, 2003, 11:07:00 pm
Quote from: "eyecave"
unable to cross a knot and was sitting hugging the rope in a pounding waterfall

Nightmare scenario - I dread that happening to me - just being too tired to move and hanging in the water. Well scary!

Quote from: "eyecave"
once  i watched a carbide light  flicker out slowely in an unfamiliar section of a cave i had gone into solo,  while i sat cavepackless.... ..

Mmmmm.....nice - I've only been left without a light once, luckily near enough to the entrance to feel my way out with a bit of luck thrown in.

Solo caving - I like the idea, but have always stopped myself - this article on the subject is quite entertaining:

I read that Dave Yeandle was killed in a paragliding accident last year
Title: solo caving......
Post by: eyecave on July 24, 2003, 06:57:39 am
solo caving is dangerous for the unprepared OR THOSE WHOSE NUMBER IZ UP!!!.............if you tell someone responsible where you are going and when you will be calling them and when they should launch the rescue if you don't call them, then you are ok UNLESS you find yourself needing a more immediate rescue....i have learned thatm when life turns dangerous, if ones number iz up you are dead, and if it isn't you will be very lucky.....     during the act of solo caving i know of no better way to confrount ones personal fears.....i actually nearly experienced hallucinations during my early solo trips......ones secret fears was a good experience.....i learned that all my quiet unspoken undefinable fears were entirely imaginary!!                                                                                      Of course unexpected things can happen, andwhen the unexpected is accompanied by the careless factor one can find oneself requiring rescue, as i did on that particular trip...........i have an embarassing record that i have always managed to extract myself from without rescue except for that occasion.......            solo caving iz a very fast type of caving........passage passes faster......    your senses are better...the cave is louder or is friendlier or more menacing......        solo caving iz also a terribly selfish activity.....the closure of fantastic caves has occurred over rescues.....            however, don't tell me ones companions are endangered by having to rescue you.....25 years of cave rescue experience leads me to the understanding that cave rescue teams LOVE being called out!!.........well, honey is barking at the door and the turtle on my lap has finally stopped trying to escape......i better feed the dogs and take the turtle back outside.....
Title: What's your scariest near-miss, 9th life escapade?
Post by: Johnny on August 15, 2003, 02:56:16 pm
Getting to the top of Right Unconquerable, Stanage, and finding my fig of 8 undone wasn't pleasant. :shock:
Hartledale Bottom, see Mendip/Belfry Hospitality, nearly boned by a piece of ginging. :shock:
Choked Off in Mexico when a pack of boulders dissapeared from under me and rattled into a streamway 5m below leaving me bridged precariously in the top of a rift. :shock:
There are more but I am happier not remembering.
Title: nearly killed by a walking staff........
Post by: eyecave on September 02, 2003, 05:29:45 am
i gotta tell you guys this tale......the scene was an exploration trip to explore a 100 foot plus deep pit, didn't know what went on after that................the fellow who was taking us to it was not one of the "regulars"  he had found the pit ridgewalking the weekend before..........i remember briefly watching him as he chopped out a pole and sharpened the small end of it........the first guy down the pit was the fellow who found it and he excitedly yelled up that a short pit of about 25 feet followed.......the second guy down and i measured the pit to be in the high 80's, 87 feet i think......not sure, can't remember the name of it now........anyway,...i was the third down and found myself in a small pit bottom area with barely space to get out of rockfall danger......i plucked off the last bar on my rack and yelled out off rope......the plan was for the last guy up top to descend after it had been determined to be safe so i was somewhat surprised to hear what i thought was perhaps his announcing that he was on rope.....the next thing i knew i was introduced to an absolutely crippling blow to the place where my right side of my neck runs into the top part of my shoulder....i didn't realize what it was because i was lying flat on my back on the bottom of the pit unable to move and thinking that the ass---- up top had kicked rock in on me without yelling a warning!!! friends standing over me anxiously inquired if i was alright to which i replied that i wasn't sure soon as it was apparent to me that i wasn't going to lose conciousness i began to curse my friend who was still outside the cave......i don't think he has as yet forgiven me.........then one of my friends on the bottom of the cave found a five foot long wooden pole that had landed on my shoulder........what had happened  is that the newcomer discoverer had rammed the walking pole into the ground uphill of the cave entrance, unnoticed by myself and the others........i probably saw him do it and didn't see the potential danger...the pole had shifted and fell and slid into the pit, unluckily this occurred after my arrival on the bottom and before the last man's hapless friend on the surface had seen the pole fall and slide into the entrance without being able to stop it and what i had heard was a man yelling a warning from 15 feet away from the entrance......the pit's discoverer and maker of the pole had dulled the end that was the largest, rounding it off with a hatchet and sharpening the smaller end.....the pole fell and slide in large end first and maintained that flight straight down to the most vulnerable part of my right upper neural area, the brachial plexus, this effectively paralyzed my right arm for 24 hours and weakened it for about a week.....the moral of that story?....the american aborigine believed it ill-advised to walk with things in ones hands......and, sharpen the small end, dull the large end....... :D