Author Topic: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)  (Read 12466 times)

Offline BradW

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2019, 04:09:29 pm »
A curious thing I've noticed about this thread. Many of the people criticising the installation of these steps are also people who in the past have voiced support for CROW access to caves, whereas some of their defenders have taken the opposite view. Is there a point here? Well, maybe - it's that CROW supporters do care about conservation.
Maybe it demonstrates that people who want freer access to caves draw the line when it comes to someone else exerting a freedom to freely add a feature of their own. Freedom is a complex beast.

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2019, 04:13:19 pm »
Quote
There are many caves with metal steps already, so perhaps the only precedent being set is one wherein the steps are really badly installed, such that they look highly likely to snap someone's leg if they fell backwards and it slipped inside the rung as they did so.

The guide that Raumer issue say the maximum gap should be 150mm for their stemples. These look to protrude more than that.

See https://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=%F816_mm-270x300_stemple_rung_-_raumer-classic-_model-ribbed_bar&qi=0-21-378&qinav=0-21-c

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2019, 04:42:31 pm »
But this also brings up the question as to why these stemples are so much worse than the knotted ropes all over the place in that system?

For me I'd rather have a rope than stemples simply because the impact associated with installation is less significant; a couple of holes in total for bolts for the rope, but a couple of holes per stemple if you're going with them. Ropes are also much more easily tucked out of the way for photos or if you don't want to use them, and easily removable, so feel more temporary, whereas stemples are a much more permanent feature. But I don't know the bit of cave in question, so don't feel like I can chip in much, other than hoping that in future these discussions will happen in a public forum pre-installation.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2019, 06:23:25 pm »
Maybe it demonstrates that people who want freer access to caves
Maybe it's that there's a consensus that these things are a bad idea. Just as there's a consensus that access needs to be more open, despite a vocal minority.
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Offline caving_fox

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2019, 10:07:05 pm »
caving_fox: I get the impression that the climb you mention in your favourite cave is only accessible from the bottom, and if you want to gain access to the passage at the top then someone has to climb it somehow.
The situation with these new stemples in Easegill is quite different (assuming that they’re where I think they are) in that the top of the pitch is easily accessible from the other direction, and the stemples seem to have been placed in order to facilitate a through trip from one of the other entrances to County Pot.

There are bolts at the top of this pitch; it strike me that if someone is so keen on making life easy for themselves (and their instructed parties?????), then the best thing to have done would have been to rig a rope and keep an eye on it (it’s only a short pitch and renewing the rope every few months wouldn’t actually cost much).

True that does make a difference.
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Offline JoW

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2019, 07:23:54 am »
caving_fox: I get the impression that the climb you mention in your favourite cave is only accessible from the bottom, and if you want to gain access to the passage at the top then someone has to climb it somehow.
The situation with these new stemples in Easegill is quite different (assuming that they’re where I think they are) in that the top of the pitch is easily accessible from the other direction, and the stemples seem to have been placed in order to facilitate a through trip from one of the other entrances to County Pot.

There are bolts at the top of this pitch; it strike me that if someone is so keen on making life easy for themselves (and their instructed parties?????), then the best thing to have done would have been to rig a rope and keep an eye on it (it’s only a short pitch and renewing the rope every few months wouldn’t actually cost much).

Unless I am mistaken and things have changed I believe instructed groups are not allowed in Easegill, with the exception of CIC training or similar.

Offline droid

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2019, 02:08:42 pm »
There are bolts at the top of this pitch; it strike me that if someone is so keen on making life easy for themselves (and their instructed parties?????), then the best thing to have done would have been to rig a rope and keep an eye on it (it’s only a short pitch and renewing the rope every few months wouldn’t actually cost much).


Good point, but ignores the fact that ropes can 'disappear' whereas the stemples probably won't.


What's the problem with a fixed chain? I know of a couple of VERY popular caves that have these in situ for awkward little climbs, and no-one seems to object.....
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Offline marysboy

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2019, 03:30:27 pm »
I do not intend to gather opinion on paying groups, access control gates or historical installations of fixed equipment elsewhere. And its not about scaffold or elitism.

I started this thread to gather people's views on the metal steps recently installed in the Dales. Thanks to those that responded so far.

It seems the online caving community active here is generally of the opinion that unsolicited via ferrata style step installation in the Dales is undesirable. Consensus by those who know this site also seems to be that installation of steps here was unnecessary.

To add context to those unfamiliar with the site, the climb can be easily reached from above via the Trident Series. This allows a rope or ladder to be rigged from above, using the new IC anchors.

When approaching from below, the lowest IC anchor is reachable BEFORE starting the climb, as shown by the yellow-suited caver in the photo. so a protecting rope or steps could be put in i think

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2019, 11:36:50 am »
I do not intend to gather opinion on paying groups, access control gates or historical installations of fixed equipment elsewhere. And its not about scaffold or elitism.

I started this thread to gather people's views on the metal steps recently installed in the Dales. Thanks to those that responded so far.

It seems the online caving community active here is generally of the opinion that unsolicited via ferrata style step installation in the Dales is undesirable. Consensus by those who know this site also seems to be that installation of steps here was unnecessary.

To add context to those unfamiliar with the site, the climb can be easily reached from above via the Trident Series. This allows a rope or ladder to be rigged from above, using the new IC anchors.

When approaching from below, the lowest IC anchor is reachable BEFORE starting the climb, as shown by the yellow-suited caver in the photo. so a protecting rope or steps could be put in i think

You have explained what you think about them and I think many people would agree with you.

At the start you said that you have spoken to the installer.


The installer, when i mentioned this to him, felt that they provide convenience of an upward through trip without needing to pre-rig or rely on a fixed rope.


Can you explain in more detail why they were installed? Is the installer aware of the objections to the similar installations in KMC? Are the two cases connected and if so in what way?

Offline marysboy

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2019, 12:18:16 pm »
Can you explain in more detail why they were installed? Is the installer aware of the objections to the similar installations in KMC? Are the two cases connected and if so in what way?

I don't have more details at present. I only spoke briefly with him and summarised as best i could what i remember of that conversation in my first post. I felt it reasonable to present his reasoning so far as it provided context for this discussion.

I don't wish to speculate further on the motivations or act as go-between for the installer. I feel it is up to them to get involved in discussion with the caving community at large. I do not think he is a member of this forum but will make him aware of this thread.

I am not aware of a connection with the KMC steps, other than:
(1) via ferrata steps installed in Dales cave where none was before
(2) arguably unneccesary location for the previous and anticipated users
(3) installed by an individual seemingly without wider prior approval.

Offline WallE

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2019, 02:44:27 am »
Just to update everyone. Having gone through on Sat 23rd Feb the steps appear to have been cut off now. Sadly there's now a load of two inch steel spikes left sticking out of the wall ready to shred the gear of, or at worst, impale the unwary. A bit more tidying to do still...

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2019, 07:34:52 am »
Just to update everyone. Having gone through on Sat 23rd Feb the steps appear to have been cut off now. Sadly there's now a load of two inch steel spikes left sticking out of the wall ready to shred the gear of, or at worst, impale the unwary. A bit more tidying to do still...

How to take a situation from bad to worse...

Taking unilateral action is never the answer. They shouldn't have been put in without consensus but an incompetent dangerous hack job at removing them which someone competent will have to go and sort out just makes it worse.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2019, 09:11:42 am »
Oh dear 

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2019, 09:32:17 am »
Oh dear

Oh dear indeed.

There is a CNCC meeting soon and I think there's a chance that this matter migh be mentioned. It would be good if we had better information about this so that we can have an informed discussion. If anyone is planning to go there could you please take a camera and get some snaps. It would help if there is something in images to give scale.

Offline Canary

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2019, 05:56:27 pm »
Perhaps UKC isn't the best place to discuss errant bolting as it just turns into judgement by the mob. This is mainly due to the absence of people who want to leave it to the CNCC, or don't think they have a significant impact.

The CNCC meetings should have been the first port of call   :wall:

Offline malcolm smith

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2019, 06:24:08 pm »
Sounds like caltrops have been added to make the cave more of a challenge 😀

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2019, 06:58:51 pm »
Perhaps UKC isn't the best place to discuss errant bolting as it just turns into judgement by the mob.

The CNCC meetings should have been the first port of call   :wall:

Ignoring the inflammatory language, whilst I agree that the CNCC should be informed, I really don't see why the cavers whom the CNCC represent shouldn't have an opportunity to express their opinion. With one notable exception, I have been pretty impressed by the quality of the discussion. It certainly doesn't merit your use of the word 'mob'.

Offline Canary

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2019, 08:56:43 pm »

"I really don't see why the cavers whom the CNCC represent shouldn't have an opportunity to express their opinion."


They do have the opportunity to express their opinion, at the CNCC meetings and/or via the club reps.  It's pretty disingenuous of you to suggest they dont. :spank:

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2019, 09:00:34 pm »
Perhaps UKC isn't the best place to discuss errant bolting as it just turns into judgement by the mob.

Perhaps is arguably unnecessary.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2019, 09:14:31 pm »

"I really don't see why the cavers whom the CNCC represent shouldn't have an opportunity to express their opinion."


They do have the opportunity to express their opinion, at the CNCC meetings and/or via the club reps.  It's pretty disingenuous of you to suggest they dont. :spank:

I expressed myself badly, and I didn't mean to imply that - many apologies. But I guess that we have to differ in that I do believe that there is nothing wrong with a discussion on this forum as well, and that I don't believe that those who have expressed an opinion have behaved like a mob.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2019, 09:44:10 pm »
I don't think UkC is just to state your opinion, I imagine some, like me, form their opinion from the discussion had, then contact the CNCC to add their vote to one side of a debate or the other.  I wouldn't get involved if it were a different region mind.

Offline thomasr

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2019, 09:58:58 pm »
I understood immediately what Lancliffe  meant. That cavers  had a right to express their opinion on this forum.  He did Not suggest they had not a right of audience at cncc metings

Offline Badlad

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2019, 10:00:11 pm »
Many of us at CNCC read this forum, certainly the officers.  It is very useful, I think, to read the opinions of other cavers about such issues ahead of any meetings we have - The more the better.  At our meetings more opinions will be expressed no doubt and most likely a consensus formed.

Whoever is installing these stirrups, or cutting them off, or chipping holds please stop and think before doing any more.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2019, 11:44:56 pm »
Canary: Maybe it's pretty disingenuous of you to suggest that cavers shouldn't express an opinion on an open forum, rather than wait of the next CNCC meeting; isn't that what the forum's for (among other things)?.

Offline CNCC

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Re: Metal steps in Trident Series (County Pot / Ease Gill)
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2019, 07:55:13 am »
Agree totally with Badlad (our Access Officer). Our Secretary, Chair and Conservation Officer are also UKCaving users and contributors.

It is good to see the variety of opinions expressed here. Matters such as this are difficult for the CNCC. We are not the 'cave police' and we have no rights to allow or disallow, condone or condemn the kinds of work people are doing. Incidentally, we have also been made aware of some recent efforts by persons unknown to 'modify the rock' of the Wretched Rabbit entrance climbs; to what end we're not sure, but perhaps to provide footholds. Whether the two incidents are related we cannot be sure.

We do seek however to provide a friendly venue (via our meetings) for such modifications to caves to be discussed before the work is undertaken, and perhaps even for a less damaging alternative to be considered.

The CNCC acted to remove the metal steps in Kingsdale Master Cave (work undertaken last month) as they were not Stainless Steel and thus not corrosion resistant. In time they may have left rust streaks down the wall of the cave. The steps in the Upper Trident climb were stainless steel, so there was no conservation remit for the CNCC to take action against these (it wasn't us who cut them off). It is interesting to see the opinions here and what people think the CNCC should, or should not be doing in such situations.

Remember, our meetings are open, friendly and welcoming, and if you have a project that involves such extensive modifications to a popular cave that you'd like to discuss via a democratic forum, then we are happy to provide that opportunity. Just turn up, or if you would like it specifically putting on the agenda then let our Secretary know.

What this incident has shown is the strength of feeling both for and against such installations; so much so that someone has undertaken the work in the first place, and someone else has taken action to remove them, leaving protruding metal and of course a number of unsightly holes in the rock. Nobody has 'won' or gained anything from this incident. For this reason we'd urge the installer of such metal fixtures to think very carefully and to consult the CNCC before taking any further action that could reduce enjoyment of our cave systems for others.
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