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There goes the Crux!

NigR

New member
MJenkinson said:
If I was digging then the hole will be bigger than if someone like Maxf was digging.  But I would only make it as big as was required for me and equipment. 

But would you object if someone bigger than you came along afterwards (either to visit the new passage you ultimately found or to restart the dig at the end after you had given up) and made it all big enough for themselves?
 
Well it depends. I mean I am fairly big for a caver in my experience (36" waist, 44" chest, 100kg) so most people should be able to get through what I can.

However if it was dug passage through infill or a choke I wouldn't mind I don't think.

But then I am asking myself, if I came to a rift that I couldn't fit through, but I knew others could..would I blast it?  or would I walk away and call the thin boys? 

As I have said previously, it all seems very complicated to me.  I like nice black and white rules, and there isn't one I don't think for this. Other than a requirement for cavers to understand that they need to cause as little damage as possible when modifying passage.

With regards the question about Quaking etc, I think it's important that there are test pieces and caves suited to the brave and the lean.  Not sure there are many caver smy size pushing anything reallt hard.  Of course this is all subjective as I have helped at like 3 digs?

Someone like Badlad, or the TOR, or nay of the Green Men are much better placed to discuss the politics of digging!
 

Simon Wilson

New member
MJenkinson said:
...  My point was more aimed at those who are so anti to the idea of enlarging passage, but will happily move sediment, drill holes, drag sand bags and plastic piping and sheeting into a cave to remove sumps.

In a big and well publicised project involving a lot of people we took a mountain of pipes, bags, sheeting and other stuff into Ireby. We built two temporary dams, diverted the stream, pumped out the main sump, installed a pipe to drain the main dam then had several trips beyond the sump. When the projects were finished, we restored the natural hydrology and removed every last bit of gear. There was no damage done by the actual draining of the sump. There was nothing to show anything had been done, not even one single drilled hole or anything.

I think it was a very conservation-minded bit of cave exploration. Do you have some objection?
 
To that Simon, No.

I was merely pointing out that there are other ways in which people affect caves for exploration purposes that are sometimes forgotten when discussing enlarging passage.

Forgive me, but the tone of your response seems a touch aggro to me.  Do you have an issue with my points?
 

Simon Wilson

New member
MJenkinson said:
To that Simon, No.

I was merely pointing out that there are other ways in which people affect caves for exploration purposes that are sometimes forgotten when discussing enlarging passage.

Forgive me, but the tone of your response seems a touch aggro to me.  Do you have an issue with my points?

It did appear to be aimed at me. I have been quite outspoken against some passage widening and I was at the centre of possibly the most well known example of sump draining in recent years. We anounced that we were going to drain the Ireby sump before we did it and some people got quite upset about it at the time. I don't know what they imagined we were going to do.

But moving on - it is difficult to generalise and each case has it's own unique circumstances. However, to make a rough generalisation, removal of sediment is, on the whole, less damaging than removal of bedrock and draining of a sump is almost always totally benign.

Would you like to give examples of where removal of sediment or draining a sump has caused an unnaceptable amount of damage?
 
Simon

It wasn't aimed at you. I don't know you from Adam.  I understand what you do for caving and your conservation ethic; I have no idea what projects you are involved in. 

No, I cannot give an example where draining a sump caused long lasting damage. I suspect there are traces of the process required ina few caves though with the aesthetic impact on a cave of siphon tubes, dams and the likes.

Perhaps my point is more closely aligned with the sporting ethic; why remove a sump (now I agree that temporarily is a different issue) which is a sporting obstacle in the same way that a tight section of cave is?

The following is hypothetical (I am not an explorer / digger):

If I was exploring and did work on a calcite dam to allow a sump to drain, physically affecting the cave and removing a challenge, I doubt anyone would care.  I widen some passage to fit through and there would be concerns raised. Perhaps even some high quality outrage.

I read on here sometime ago someone suggesting that a hole be drilled through the "bad air" sumps in Langstroth Pot to get rid of the bad air.  No-one seemed overly bothered by this whilst I thought it was a bad idea; just learn to use a bottle if you are that bothered about bad air.

I guess my rambling thought process is that be careful about taking a position regarding amending the challenges of a cave, or changing passage unless you apply that to all aspects. My 2p.
 

Simon Wilson

New member
MJenkinson said:
No, I cannot give an example where draining a sump caused long lasting damage. I suspect there are traces of the process required ina few caves though with the aesthetic impact on a cave of siphon tubes, dams and the likes.

Perhaps my point is more closely aligned with the sporting ethic; why remove a sump (now I agree that temporarily is a different issue) which is a sporting obstacle in the same way that a tight section of cave is?

Can you give an example of a sump being removed? I can't think of one in the Dales.
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Simon Wilson said:
Can you give an example of a sump being removed? I can't think of one in the Dales.

Disappointment Pot, January 1944?

I did think that the duck in Simpson Pot was originally a sump before it got blasted out, but apparently there was a chink through which the draught blew.
 

Simon Wilson

New member
langcliffe said:
Simon Wilson said:
Can you give an example of a sump being removed? I can't think of one in the Dales.

Disappointment Pot, January 1944?

I did think that the duck in Simpson Pot was originally a sump before it got blasted out, but apparently there was a chink through which the draught blew.

Neither of those are sumps - just small ducks. In Disappointment it was only lowered by moving a sediment bank which builds up again naturally and has to be removed again occasionally - so no permanent damage at all.
 
There's a f*** off blasted passage bypassing the sump in Dismall Hill. No one bats an eye lid at that as a piece of cave modification.  There's a perfectly good sump to dive there.

 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Simon Wilson said:
langcliffe said:
Simon Wilson said:
Can you give an example of a sump being removed? I can't think of one in the Dales.

Disappointment Pot, January 1944?

I did think that the duck in Simpson Pot was originally a sump before it got blasted out, but apparently there was a chink through which the draught blew.

Neither of those are sumps - just small ducks. In Disappointment it was only lowered by moving a sediment bank which builds up again naturally and has to be removed again occasionally - so no permanent damage at all.

I didn't actually say that the Simpson Pot duck was ever a sump, if you read my posting. As for Disappointment Pot, firstly, I guess that it depends on your definition of a sump (and there doesn't seem to be much point in getting involved in such semantics); and secondly, I didn't explicitly or implicitly indicate that there had been any permanent damage caused. I was simply answering the question you posed.

There was an attempt to blow the roof off the first sump in Ireby Fell Cavern in the late 1960s, but despite the fact that the earth moved for those at the entrance, it had no effect on the sump, although the damage can still be seen. It was on a CRO practice meet during which the "patient" was hospitalised in Duke Street.
 

Simon Beck

Member
MJenkinson said:
There's a f*** off blasted passage bypassing the sump in Dismall Hill. No one bats an eye lid at that as a piece of cave modification.  There's a perfectly good sump to dive there.

An unmistakably awful bit of passage! The dive is very very good though!



I was also averse to the ridiculous Langstroth sumps air hole suggestion at the time. This type of thing perfectly sums up what I mean't by the overall attitude. If cavers aren't willing to accept the risks then what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do by making alterations. 
 
Simon (Beck)

I don't want you to think that I am against your points in your original message - all good points and interesting questions.

I have trouble getting across what I mean usually, but it does seem to me that people get quite irate about some types of cave modification or specific examples and not others. If you are gonna be annoyed at someone making something larger in some cave in Wales, then you should be as annoyed there is a blasted bypass in Dismall Hill.

I just assume that whilst you get assholes in all walks of life, most cavers (I hope - certainly the ones I know) are considerate to the environment, and respectful when digging for new stuff.

Would a new Quaking be left in it's original state these days...I doubt it.  Is that an issue. I don't know.
 

PeteHall

Moderator
Simon Wilson said:
Can you give an example of a sump being removed? I can't think of one in the Dales.
Swildon's sump 5 (not in the Dale's) was lowered and can now be done as a series of ducks. This is a great benefit to cavers in my opinion  (y)
 

thomasr

New member
Cavers of a certain age may still remember the crawls above the pitch in valley entrance . These soon disappeared unintentionally by the passage of cavers eroding the soft floor.  They may also remember the duck what happened to that I do not know  ::)  A search on google images clearly shows by green staining the old mean level of what is now  a wallow
 

Kenilworth

New member
Simon Beck said:
If cavers aren't willing to accept the risks then what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do by making alterations.

The opposite question is equally valid: Even if some cavers enjoy increased risks, what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do not by resisting alterations?

In fact, "rights" have nothing to do with this issue. It's about responsibilities.

When I am trying to open a new cave or passage, as regularly happens, I have to fulfill responsibilities to the land, to myself, and to other people. Depending on the relative values of the land, my personal investment, and general knowledge or communal experience, I may make different decisions concerning extent of digging/blasting, or disclosure of the discovery (and can provide many specific examples if anyone doesn't follow my meaning). I try to start with realistic consideration of the land, followed by generosity to other interested parties, and reserve my own wishes as a tie-breaker.

I would respect any caver who honestly and carefully considered his responsibilities (not rights) and made a conscientious choice, no matter what that choice was.

 

Simon Beck

Member
Kenilworth said:
Simon Beck said:
If cavers aren't willing to accept the risks then what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do by making alterations.

The opposite question is equally valid: Even if some cavers enjoy increased risks, what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do not by resisting alterations?

In fact, "rights" have nothing to do with this issue. It's about responsibilities.

I don't blame you for taking it the wrong way, though my comment was specific to that type of thing. Where a long established obstacle is altered to lower the risk.

I'd be interested to see the reaction on Ukclimbing if someone suggested placing a bolt on a long established hard and dangerous trad route. So they could enjoy it along with so many others who neither had the head nor the skills for it??
 

Kenilworth

New member
Simon Beck said:
Kenilworth said:
Simon Beck said:
If cavers aren't willing to accept the risks then what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do by making alterations.

The opposite question is equally valid: Even if some cavers enjoy increased risks, what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do not by resisting alterations?

In fact, "rights" have nothing to do with this issue. It's about responsibilities.

I don't blame you for taking it the wrong way, though my comment was specific to that type of thing. Where a long established obstacle is altered to lower the risk.

I'd be interested to see the reaction on Ukclimbing if someone suggested placing a bolt on a long established hard and dangerous trad route. So they could enjoy it along with so many others who neither had the head or the skills for it??

This, then, is one of the differences between you and I... I am uninterested in sport and I don't romanticize risk. My enjoyment of caving is in no way related to its difficulty, only its integrity. One might say that the preservation of one is the preservation of the other, which is sometimes true. Not always.

If a longstanding cultural landmark is removed to decrease "risk" that has been seen as acceptable by the majority, I cannot see how the responsibility to fellow man could have been fulfilled.

 

Simon Beck

Member
Kenilworth said:
Simon Beck said:
Kenilworth said:
Simon Beck said:
If cavers aren't willing to accept the risks then what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do by making alterations.

The opposite question is equally valid: Even if some cavers enjoy increased risks, what gives them the right to ruin it for those who do not by resisting alterations?

In fact, "rights" have nothing to do with this issue. It's about responsibilities.

I don't blame you for taking it the wrong way, though my comment was specific to that type of thing. Where a long established obstacle is altered to lower the risk.

I'd be interested to see the reaction on Ukclimbing if someone suggested placing a bolt on a long established hard and dangerous trad route. So they could enjoy it along with so many others who neither had the head or the skills for it??

This, then, is one of the differences between you and I... I am uninterested in sport and I don't romanticize risk. My enjoyment of caving is in no way related to its difficulty, only its integrity. One might say that the preservation of one is the preservation of the other, which is sometimes true. Not always.

If a longstanding cultural landmark is removed to decrease "risk" that has been seen as acceptable by the majority, I cannot see how the responsibility to fellow man could have been fulfilled.

You are far more adept with your responses than I.

Risk is purely the means to achieving certain goals.
 
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