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Caving booking etiquette

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Hi all, asking a caving related question in the mining forum because I don't want to ask a question revealing my total ignorance in main forums and people might conclude I will definitely die and dissuade me etc (dying is possible but not a certainty EDIT: on this trip)

Anyway, supposing someone uses the CNCC booking system and reserves GG dihedral. They'd like to do direct in the (unlikely) possibility that it'd been sustained hot weather. If you book one presumably doing another is bad, booking both is just rude and antisocial. Sharing is caring etc.

Is there any way to book both but agree to share with another group or book one but have an agreement with another party. I understand the purpose of booking is crowd control to help the landowner so don't know if sharing is acceptable. But I don't want to book two and do one, nor do I want to book one and do another, etc etc etc.

Is there an established etiquette? Or is it just book one and stop complicating things. How does this work?
 

Fjell

Member
The chances on any given day of Dihedral and Direct being rigged by separate groups is nil. Book both. If you book it during the week you may well have the only booking for the whole Dales, which is often the case for us.

When I booked something yesterday there was one booking in the Dales for today, a bone dry Saturday.

I have a suspicion everyone has snuck off to France.
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Thanks for the advice. What I'd neglected to mention was this is about Sat 28th Aug (bank holiday) so I'd guess in normal circumstances that'd be a high traffic day. Not sure if that changes the answer

I'll assume not and keep both booked. Thanks again!

(If it is exceptionally dry end Aug and anyone wants to direct message me about this, happy to discuss)
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
I'd book both but maybe put a note on here a week or so beforehand mentioning the possibility that you could negotiate with another group if they desperately want to do either of those routes into GG. You might even be able to agree the arrangement of a "through trip" (i.e. up one, down t'other - or vice versa).

Mind you, it'll probably chuck it down anyway . . .  ;)
 

Paul Marvin

New member
Cantclimbtom said:
Thanks for the advice. What I'd neglected to mention was this is about Sat 28th Aug (bank holiday) so I'd guess in normal circumstances that'd be a high traffic day. Not sure if that changes the answer

I'll assume not and keep both booked. Thanks again!

(If it is exceptionally dry end Aug and anyone wants to direct message me about this, happy to discuss)

Bank Holiday either peeing down or roads blocked with tourists
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
If the weather's good, I hope to be one of those tourists. I'll make a point of driving extra slowly on lanes, stalling the car at traffic lights until they change again and all sorts of annoying things to cause upset. I'm not prepared to do all the obligatory tourist stuff like buying quince jam in past times shop or walking infuriatingly slowly down the high street with 2 walking poles so nobody can get past. I still have a few standards left
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Pitlamp said:
I'd book both but maybe put a note on here a week or so beforehand mentioning the possibility that you could negotiate with another group if they desperately want to do either of those routes into GG. You might even be able to agree the arrangement of a "through trip" (i.e. up one, down t'other - or vice versa).

Mind you, it'll probably chuck it down anyway . . .  ;)
Great Idea
That'd be great if it worked out as down one up another, as long as the other party were happy with passing a  knot (I don't have a 90m rope)

Yes, last year Aug had storm Francis and storm Ellen. Not optimal
 

Paul Marvin

New member
Cantclimbtom said:
If the weather's good, I hope to be one of those tourists. I'll make a point of driving extra slowly on lanes, stalling the car at traffic lights until they change again and all sorts of annoying things to cause upset. I'm not prepared to do all the obligatory tourist stuff like buying quince jam in past times shop or walking infuriatingly slowly down the high street with 2 walking poles so nobody can get past. I still have a few standards left

Dont forget the red socks and if you take a bike to be all over the road chatting away and not giving a toss  :LOL:
 

AlexR

Member
Thought I'd chip in with some info from my misadventures, way before I became a BPC member and got to know GG quite well.
There used to be a trip report on the NUCC website, but that seems to have disappeared, so here is a heavily abridged version:

My first time going into GG full stop was Dihedral, conditions seemed superficially dry and there was barely any water going down Jib Tunnel. As I descended from there I met the the various inlets en route, and things went from being relatively dry to very much not dry. There was so much water around me that I missed the ledge - in part because I missed all but the 1st deviation, if you don't know where they are they won't necessarily be obvious.
Down was pretty much the only option at this point. I reached the bottom completely drenched, communication with people above you is impossible unless you have a radio (of course I didn't).*
The others followed, getting equally drenched. Going back up would have been somewhere in between impossible to quite dangerous. If no other entrance is rigged and the water above you too strong to get out, you're shit out of luck. Main Chamber is a very draughty place, hanging around here will get you very cold.

Luckily for us, we were part of a total of 17 people going into the system. So once the others arrived and I explained what had happened, we simply went out Bar to derig Dihedral from the surface.

I would worry a lot more about the above than the etiquette of booking.  ;)

*Because of the weight of the rope it might not be immediately apparent to those waiting whether you got off the rope or not, and even once they figure it out they won't know if you're sorting stuff out on the ledge or are at the bottom. You won't know whether the complete free hang is feasible until you're a good way down. A whistle with prearranged calls is advisable (usually in the form of old ladder calls: Stop-Up-Down, 1, 2, and 3 blows respectively)
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Thanks Alex, exactly the info I needed. The rigging guide has no deviations marked on Dihedral, I've seen a YouTube video that shows one at the very top to try to avoid some of jib tunnel water. There's what looks like another in the first enclosed section and a cryptic mention of one in the forums of one now snapped off (something about it was awkward round an overhang) so I'm expecting 2 or zero deviations  :-\

I'm hoping not to miss the ledge. I've 2 x 60m ropes so providing I don't pass the knot I'd know I'd missed the ledge which I'm expecting 40 to 50m down and perhaps jug up for another look... if conditions allow. What does intrigue me is how far the ledge is to the side of rigging straight down and are you in free space at that point or able to pendulum, not sure lassoing attempts will work under falling water.

I'm expecting it to be wet even if the Gill has dried up, I'm also expecting it to be pretty bloomin wet if any water is in the tunnel but your account is, erm.. concerning!

Wasn't sure if layers of pile and water proofs (to slow water movement, not keep dry) is enough or whether it needs an actual neoprene jacket etc, if there is any water on jib tunnel. Sounds more neoprene than favourite jumper...  :-\
 

AlexR

Member
The attire will be a question of personal preference, I'd rather ascend in a dressing gown than neoprene  ;)

I would just bank on getting wet, this isn't the end of the world. You'll walk yourself dry (or at least warm) checking out Mud Hall and the other sights, I'm sure. My advice is to go for a standard caving outfit, but have extra layers in a dry bag. A cheapo, packaway oversized waterproof jacket works wonders (something like this). You will be very glad you brought it when settling in for the wait as others ascend - unless it's a fast small party, of course.

In terms of rigging: There is one very obvious deviation only a couple of meters below the take-off, once you're into open space there are further deviations. Look for them in the chimney-like feature you're descending along. From memory there are two, possibly three. The more you get, the easier you'll find it to get onto the ledge. Ignore an old traverse line leading off if you see it, this has nothing to do with your route.

Please don't see this as me being a condescending wanker, I'm sure you're always very careful with rope, but I would definitely pack the ropes myself and make 100% sure there are two knots in the end of the rope. Dihedral starts out very cozy and protected feeling and gets very exposed very quickly, it definitely gives an extra piece of mind to know for absolute certain that there is a knot in the end of that rope.

It'll be great, and almost certainly better than my first experience  ;)
 

Fulk

Well-known member
Hi Cantclimbtom, I was gob-smacked by your remark that there are no deviations shown on the CNCC rigging guide for Dihedral, so I had a look at it . . . you?re right!

In fact, there are (as AlexR says) 3 or 4, which will give you a ?reasonable? descent.

Take care with your rope lengths; I note that the CNCC guide shows that 55 m is adequate to get you to the ledge, but the first time I rigged Dihedral I took a 60 m rope to get me to the ledge, having been assured that it would be long enough; it wasn?t*, and I found myself dangling 3 m or so above the ledge, and 1 or 2 m off to the side. As luck would have it, I?d taken down the next rope so I spent an ?enthralling? few minutes tying the ropes together and getting past the knot before swinging onto the ledge; passing a knot is my least favourite SRT manoeuvre, but to do it there in such an exposed situation was quite an experience.

Still ? we (obviously) survived, but looking on the bright side, Dihedral is an amazing experince ? go for it and enjoy it.

By the way, the CPC are having a 'non-winch winch meet' from 14th 21st August, when the intention is to rig most of the popular entrance to GG; this will almost certainly include Dihedral, so if you can make it then you should find it pre-rigged, with folk on hand to offer advice.

*Of course, our rope might have shrunk a bit.
 

Fulk

Well-known member
Like AlexR, I've done 'Jib Tunnel Direct', on a warm summer's day many years ago; the free-fall 98 m descent was quite something, and as Alex says, it got a 'tad damp' ( :)) towards the bottom, but on that occasion it wasn't stupidly wet, and we all prusiked safely back out.

I was out first, and can still remember lying in the warm sun, waiting for the others to emerge.
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Thanks for sharing the adventures/misadventures. The rope too short made me chuckle (in a sympathetic way!). Perhaps it'd be wise for me to take a short length of rigging rope for all the bolts in the tunnel, then first drop Y hanged with a 60 to get absolute full length of that rope. I'd already planned to tie two 60m ropes together in a bag and ab with it hung below me "riding the pig" as I believe our American cousins call it. So I wouldn't be left ropeless but certainly it'd be "entertaining" to discover the rope running out before the ledge.

I dislike descending past knots, haven't done it in anger for a while, so I threw a rope over a tree branch this afternoon and remembered just how much I hate the croll catching/plucking strands of sheath as you down jumar that foot or two.

Maybe the rigging guide doesn't list untested anchors, which makes sense on one level... but it'd be very misleading for someone not familiar with the route (like me) who might think no deviations were there or needed. In my opinion they should mark untested anchors even if they used a small red skull and crossbones as the symbol for them (as clear disclaimer/warning).

As I read everyone's advice, direct route sounds less and less favourable unless a huge drought and jib tunnel sounds more and more favourable noting all your clear warning about water, deviations, lengths, etc :)

Fingers crossed for some dry weather or this'll be academic. Thanks also for explanation of non-winch meet. I can't make it then but that would've been great to try in one and out another
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Cantclimbtom said:
As I read everyone's advice, direct route sounds less and less favourable unless a huge drought and jib tunnel sounds more and more favourable noting all your clear warning about water, deviations, lengths, etc :)

I think that the replies may have confused you - the stories above apply to the direct Jib Tunnel route, where instead of swinging on to Wingfield Ledge you keep on going to the bottom with the Jib Tunnel waterfall keeping you company.

The other Direct route is actually the main shaft, where one hangs a rope from bolts on the true right, and when a few metres down traverse to a Y-hang in a bottomless rift. This hang takes you between the Jib Tunnel and Main Shaft waterfalls (although you get splashed a bit from both).
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Fulk said:
Hi Cantclimbtom, I was gob-smacked by your remark that there are no deviations shown on the CNCC rigging guide for Dihedral, so I had a look at it . . . you?re right!

Probably because the CNCC don't tend to acknowledge the existence of bolts which weren't put in by one of the authorised bolters. Although having said that, Wooding and I put a couple of them in when we were P-bolting Rat Hole. We used to access the bottom section of Rat Hole by traversing from Dihedral through Hamster Aven. Maybe we didn't tell the powers that be about them at the time.
 

Fjell

Member
Here is the original Pre-P topo which does at least give you an idea of the effect you are trying to achieve.

 

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Cantclimbtom

Active member
Wow, Thanks again! There are some differences there, that's for sure. I'll print that.
I can see the distinction between a 60m rope and a used to be 60m rope being very significant :) or even worse 2 ropes that are in the used to be 60m category and running short to make the final drop.

Thanks also to B for the message, have contacted them to check that
 
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