Sunset Hole-Upper series

Getwet

New member
At the base of the first pitch in Sunset hole there is a fixed rope with loops tied in to assist access to the upper series.

While I was trying to figure out a safe way to climb this an meber of the group free climbed the rope, with some difficulty and what seemed rather unsafely. We then laddered the climb for the rest to gain access to the upper series.

Has anyone advice on the best way to climb such an aid safely. I was trying to figure out if cows tails could be used ?

Thanks

Bob
 

dunc

New member
Has anyone advice on the best way to climb such an aid safely. I was trying to figure out if cows tails could be used ?
The best advice is don't use it (unless you know it when it was placed etc).. Insitu tat is very handy but theres no saying how long it has been there or what previous abuse it has suffered, the same goes for what it hangs off..

In theory cows tails could be clipped to the loops in the rope but a fall on to rope (possibly static?) of unknown vintage wouldn't be a good thing.

The best action would be to climb it without using the insitu tat and place in any relevant protection yourself, slower and more hassle, but safer. (Ye I know, it doesn't often happen and most of us do trust insitu gear to an extent!!)
 

SamT

Moderator
general technique is to just haul youself up em.

Although I agree with dunc that you should never trust fixed aids such as knotted ropes, it rarely happens. If its and easy climb then it might be better to climb it, with the odd tug on the rope.

As for using cows tails etc. Your just prolonging your exposure to risk. if you use srt kit then your committing yourself entirely to that rope, probably putting a lot more weight through it and spending a lot more time on it.

if you just scramble up quickly, your less likely to be completely reliant on the rope, maybe you'll have your hand on a hand hold or a foot on a ledge.

Just thoughts.

[official line] Never trust fixed aids [/official line]

[common sense] use your judgement [/common sense]
 

underground

Member
Also remember this- if the fixed rope is a semi-static, taking a fall onto cow's tails would be rather unpleasant generating a nasty fall factor and probably hurting badly. For that matter, particularly on short lengths, dynamic rope may not actually be very 'dynamic' in practice.

In fact, any fall onto a cow's tail is to be seriously avoided. Correct use of SRT techniques should mitigate against this....

On a fixed aid there's an immedaite risk of a short fall onto a cow's tail, if clipped into a closed loop :injured:
 

JJ

Member
Could always use the Sunset 50ft pitch bypass and come out at the top of the handline. :p

Long time since I have done it though, doub't that I would still fit!!
 

SamT

Moderator
didnt realise the pitch was 50 foot high !

sounds like a good place to install a pull through system. :p
 

dunc

New member
Could always use the Sunset 50ft pitch bypass and come out at the top of the handline
Never tried that but I've heard that it's 'really' tight... How bad is it? :?
 
T

tubby two

Guest
Have to agree with a pull through system as the best idea. Bit technical for yorkshire though! I used one for the first time to get up to pilgrims way between oxlow/giants this summer- pretty slick if you put a bit of gaffer tape round!

tt.
 

Getwet

New member
Thanks for the response.

On this particular line there was not enough space to get the SRT gear on for all the knots.I note the dangers of old line of unknown condition and falling on cows tails, possibly still seems safer than trying to climb the thing ! ?

As you say, bypassing the pitch is an option here, but much less fun.

I would agree the Sunset pitch is about 50ft judging from the spare rope I had at the base, however Northern caves 2 suggests its only 15m.

Iam new to this sport, what is a Pull Through System?

Thanks

Bob
 

JJ

Member
Lots of confusion here. The main Sunset pitch is about 50ft and until a lower entrance is found is usually approached from the top - so a pull through system is inappropriate. A pull through system at its simplest is a circular loop of rope or wire which allows you to install your own rope from the bottom of the pitch. The Lyle Caverns pitch in Lost John's is probably the most used in the Dales.

The 50ft Sunset bypass starts off as a bedding on the right before the last climb down before the pitch and turns into a rift which is only passable in the top most section. It is intimidating and awkward rather than impossibly tight from memory. You then climb down to the top of the fixed knotted rope that started this post.
 

JJ

Member
Getwet

Suspect that you are younger than me. 15m and 50ft are very nearly the same thing!

:D

JJ
 

Getwet

New member
Well spotted JJ, my deliberate mistake just to see who was awake !, and for the record dont count on being older than me, most are not nowa days.

What I meant to say about the Sunset pitch is that I though it was bigger than it say in the book judging by how little spare rope I ended up with at the base, but perhaps I had use a lot to rig it, but didnt think so.
 
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