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OFD fixed aids updates


Well-known member
Current issues with fixed aids in OFD (including 'unofficial' fixed aids):

The Maypole Chain in OFD 1 (nothing to do with Maypole Inlet in OFD 2) has been reported as heavily worn. A replacement stainless chain has been purchased and will be installed in the next few weeks (probably early December).

There was a fixed rope on the Skyhook pitch rather than the previous pull-up system; this was reported to have a cored section which was isolated out by a knot. This is not an 'official SWCC fixed aid'. This is on a list of jobs to consider re-anchoring but nothing is likely to happen imminently, and SWCC do not generally install fixed SRT ropes.

The fixed deviation carabiner on the third Nave pitch deviation is apparently stuck open, but I hope everyone brings spare slings/deviation carabiners for deviations anyway (and there's no fixed carabiner on the topo)... Top tip, if you have a nasty jammed up fixed deviation carabiner you can't open, just clip your carabiner into it (if the deviation is not critical, which generally they aren't or they wouldn't be a singly-anchored snapgate deviation).

There are a number of fixed aids which were previously 'official fixed aids' but have been delisted; however, I have not yet taken the tags off them. These are the Midnight Passage P30 bolt (rawlbolt, I think); Maypole Inlet bolt (rawlbolt on a ledge); Arete climb bolts (rawlbolts - the ones on the scary-looking climb above the Corkscrew).

Finally, there are 'official fixed aids' which are now very old e.g. rawlbolts and due for replacement. As with anything in caving, you are responsible for your own decisions.

"Fixed Aids should always be carefully inspected before use. The user is entirely responsible for assessing whether they are happy to use any fixed aid in the caves, whether official or otherwise. The use of additional safety measures such as lifelines or cow’s tails is strongly recommended wherever possible."

For more info (at least on the 'official' fixed aids):


Well-known member
I like rusted chains (but not worn ones). The grip is far better than shiny stainless steel ones.
Very true :p

unfortunately in this case I strongly suspect rusting is accelerating erosion of the chain, and it's also rusting all over the cave wall...