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Berger Rigging: Change of “style”

Fjell

Well-known member
You could probably carry all of that in 1 tackle sack! I love that magic string!
It doesn’t weigh less than using hangers. Most of the belays have krabs on. It weighs a lot more than using bollard type hangers. You have to spend £700 on string you prob have little other use for - ie the cost of nearly 100 hangers and maillons. If I was rigging it now I would prob take some cord on the assumption there are hopefully some better placements than before. I count 16 belays on Gontards compared to about 6 before, has this pitch been designated for SRT practice or something?
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
You have to spend £700 on string you prob have little other use for - ie the cost of nearly 100 hangers and maillons.

Scialet 50 has an article by Thierry Guérin on the re-equipping of the Berger. In it, he says that bolts were discounted on the grounds of the abuse they receive, and resin anchors on the grounds of cost, effort and irreversibility: "Il restait la broche inox à coller, mais cela faisait un chantier énorme, très coûteux et pas vraiment réversible ...".

I imagine that the Dyneema anchors are intended to be semi-permanent, and that a visiting party replaces any that are in dubious condition, necessitating investment in a relatively short length.
 

Ian P

Administrator
Staff member
Scialet 50 has an article by Thierry Guérin on the re-equipping of the Berger. In it, he says that bolts were discounted on the grounds of the abuse they receive, and resin anchors on the grounds of cost, effort and irreversibility: "Il restait la broche inox à coller, mais cela faisait un chantier énorme, très coûteux et pas vraiment réversible ...".

I imagine that the Dyneema anchors are intended to be semi-permanent, and that a visiting party replaces any that are in dubious condition, necessitating investment in a relatively short length.

I expect this is the case, if for nothing else I think you would really struggle to find just the hole without anything marking it.
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
Horses for courses, I'm sure, but I really do think the use of dyneema in this sort of context is incredibly convenient.

It doesn’t weigh less than using hangers.

I can't speak for the Berger, because it was a long trip and I was enjoying it too much to do a thorough survey of the rigging, but for my personal use it's significantly lighter and less bulky than traditional bolts/hangers. It weighs 15.5g and costs ~£4 per m, and I use ~1.5m per anchor, and 2 anchors per y-hang, so that's ~50g and ~£12 per y-hang (about the cost/weight of a single locking crab). I don't use crabs/maillons with it. And it replaces the cost and weight of 2 bolts, 2 hangars, and 2 crabs/maillons.

You have to spend £700 on string you prob have little other use for

I have a lot more use for it than I do for bolts/hangers which I can only use as bolts/hangers, whereas I can use my dyneema lengths as a footloop, deviation cord, bag tether, or dog lead.
 

Fjell

Well-known member
I can use a bit, but 225m in 1m lengths? And you can see that almost all belays in the Berger had a krab on. I would be very dubious about 300 people bouncing on a cord-rope connection, so I am not surprised. Basically this is a one-off approach for a particular situation. If they intend to leave all the cord in that would be a win for other people, at least you can see them then. Have they done that?

The Lizard bollards I have weigh 22g. The old Petzl rings were lighter than the newer stainless ones and easier to place, and thus the old rings plus bollard approach was very lightweight and you only needed a few extra plates and krabs.
 

HeathJ

New member
I've recently been organising a trip to the Berger this summer, so feel I can probably add some of my research.

The 225 on the equipment list (I've got the full document from the organisers of the clean-up trip) is the number of dyneema loops, not the total length of cord, that number is roughly 400m (this can be found in the 2023 report of the "clean-up trip"). I've had it recommended to me by the organisers of that trip that it is best to cut the cord to length in the cave.

As far as I'm aware the cords are expected to be placed and removed by each group (when

The 2023 report mentioned above seems to suggest they use Petzl PURline.

Hopefully this helps! I'll try and remember to post an update on here after the trip regarding the reality...
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
The 225 on the equipment list (I've got the full document from the organisers of the clean-up trip) is the number of dyneema loops, not the total length of cord, that number is roughly 400m

Having had a closer look at the rigging guide, that makes absolute sense.
 

Fjell

Well-known member
Wow. You could pretty much buy all the rope for the cave for that much money.

You could also completely rebolt the whole cave with 10mm stainless Petzl Coeur hangers which would last many decades - for the price of one set of string - and it would have been quicker and easier to install. If you overdrilled the holes you could make them vanish when you replaced them.

It’s an interesting thought process.
 

Fjell

Well-known member
If you have ten or more people I would suggest you should use a fairly hard sheathed 10 or 10.5mm down to camp 1. Prob 10.5 as you can get it cheap in bulk. The soft 9mm they were using got hammered and was apparently down to core fairly often. Not very exciting.

Two of us packed camp 1 and derigged to surface on 10mm, this “saving weight” thing can be overdone.
 

Fjell

Well-known member
My top tip is to bring a pontonierre and use it from the start of the Canals to the bottom and back if you are rigging or derigging. Makes things easier and warmer. You can very easily induce the guy derigging to borrow it and bring it out for you. Turns an AV suit into something suitable for cold wet caving.
 
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