Rigging midnight traverses

Standard Unit of Tom

Active member
I've been to and across about half the midnight traverses before having to turn around and noticed on my way out there are bolts. Would it be possible to rig the traverses just for a little safety and does anyone know how much rope it would require?

(No "get better at traversing" is not an option)
I believe the bolts were installed to aid in putting in the brigadier's ladder, more so than for protection when just visiting the cave. From memory they're quite far apart so would be a very long run out for the first person - maybe get someone over 6ft haha. Or you could skip the traverses by going into upper oxbow?


Well-known member
I've told that some bolts were put in for the ladder, and then persons unknown immediately chopped some of them after the ladder was installed...

Some of the bolts are probably older than I am. I have recently removed the 'Midnight traverses P30 bolt' from the 'official fixed aids' list since I refuse to declare it 'inspected' (given that I think it's either an old rawlbolt or eyebolt) and I don't want to replace a single anchor on a naturally more risky route. The traverses can, as pointed out, be avoided by using the Skyhook and Great Oxbow (depending on where you are trying to get to).

There's 60km of cave in OFD; I've no desire to do a bit of traversing over a big drop for no real reason, personally :p


Well-known member
I believe the Skyhook currently has a fixed rope on it which was only put on there a month or so ago. None of it is an official SWCC fixed aid, and even if it was you still take full responsibility for inspecting and using it etc. :)

I don't believe the p8 and p20 currently have ropes on; you may need some spits and/or hangers (there are some 8mm through bolts on it now) and I don't know what size ropes you need for it (the only time I did it I didn't rig it). Also try and take care on the route down to the Great Oxbow from the top of the Skyhook as I think quite a bit of the crawl has nice formations along it.