Author Topic: Underground mishaps and other incidents...  (Read 17606 times)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2012, 08:25:15 am »
a lot of folks here dont like autolocking as they've had troubles with the autolocking not working (goes for any 'biner not just omni, standard here is to not use autolock)

The triact autolocking karabiners and triact autolocking Omni are not suited to muddy environments as it apparently does indeed cause problems with the functioning of the gate; however, the standard Omni "autolocks" in as far as it is a similar mechanism to a spring gate karabiner and hence closes automatically; the red "alert" collar shows that it requires manual fastening by turning the collar (again just like a screw gate karabiner); however, like karabiners generally, fastening the screw gate does not increase the load-bearing capacity of the Omni; it's as strong as it can be whether or not the collar is fastened (it's just less likely to be opened inadvertently if the collar is done up).

Hence my personal preference is for an Omni with a screw gate collar because (a) it closes automatically because it's got a spring loaded gate (b) it has a red alert collar colour reminding you to fasten the collar and (c) whether you turn the screw gate or not, it is as strong as its rated load-bearing tolerance (d) you don't need a spanner or five minutes of faffing to put/take your harness on/off with an Omni whereas the old style maillons occasionally made hopping out for a wee a mini-epic in their own right.

Put simply, you are not going to descend or ascend with your central D-maillon open and hence putting your life in jeopardy. Seems an excellent reason to purchase one, imo.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 08:38:02 am by cap 'n chris »

Offline Anon

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2012, 10:22:13 am »
Hence my personal preference is for an Omni with a screw gate collar because (a) it closes automatically because it's got a spring loaded gate (b) it has a red alert collar colour reminding you to fasten the collar and (c) whether you turn the screw gate or not, it is as strong as its rated load-bearing tolerance (d) you don't need a spanner or five minutes of faffing to put/take your harness on/off with an Omni whereas the old style maillons occasionally made hopping out for a wee a mini-epic in their own right.
I purchased a screwgate Omni a year or so back, having previously used D's for years, was a bit wary at first but now, not sure I'd go back to a D given the choice. Makes life easier, imo (definitely better when there's a need for taking gear off/putting on in some small snatchy little pothole) and as Chris says safer..

Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2012, 11:01:49 am »
Never realised you used one Dunc, I will pick one up in Inglesport next time I am in then. (I am sure they sold them) and try it out.

Anyway lets get back on topic, I may post yet another one of mine on here but can't at the moment.
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Offline Joel Corrigan

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2012, 11:54:39 am »
Hopefully incompetence isn't too contagious; this sort of thread is a particularly useful way to work out which individuals are best avoided in a cave & reckon we should all have passport-style photos next to our pseudonyms....!   

Online caving_fox

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2012, 12:27:25 pm »
Afew things to post that have happened over the years. But before that a bit about the croll:

Quote
Having the croll on your D ring is important for a number of reasons not just efficeancy it also insure the rope runs smoothly through the jammer, keeps you in closer to the rope making it easier to prusic and less likley you will end up topaling over. it should be more comfortable to have it atached directly onto your croll as on a another mailon its going to twist into your body you might as well use a normal jammer

I too attach my croll to the d-ring with a maillon. It doesnt' twist - although it does require you to thread your chest strap correctly (ie it can twist with the chest strap threaded wrongly). For those of use with proportionally longer bodies having the croll slightly higher helps keep your torso more upright. Yes it reduces the prussic 'stroke' but this is countereacted by a more comfortable position. Having the cheat strap properly tight means that you are still completely close to the rope. I've tried it both ways when setting up my gear, and this is definetly the right option for me.


Scares: prussicking up and catching my croll handle with the knot on the handjammer's saftey cord. Croll pops open. Argh. flick back on rope, resume breathing. NO idea how it happened, only the once, on the exact same rig I've been using for years.

Falling - Cuallam 2 (I think) in Claire. bimble down with a few friends. Free climb the 10 m waterfall to the sump. It's an easy climb in low water, done it before, no bother. Climb back up. I'm last and just as I get my head over the lip I slip. No idea whether it was hands or foot, but just whump. Gone. (this is 10 m up remember) Fortunatelty for me the grab somethign reflex kicks in well. I've fallen maybe a foot or two and am wedged in a crack catching my breath. Frieds are really quite concerned, lot of shouting. It takes me a minute or two to reassure them that I'm fine and I'll climb that last metre in a bit. No injuries at all.

Dropping things - Diccon Pot, Friend is rigging I'm lying in the crawl. chatting to mates. Nothing special .... BANG .... silence. We start shouting! finally "Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck" starts echoing back up the shaft. Phew. Friend is OK. He'd swung out for the deviation grabbed the wall, and had part of it (" a on tonne flake") just peel away in his hand, which dropped some distance, quite noisally. Luckily no-one else was at the bottom. We retreated, Haven't been back, although I do want to at some stage. Friend doesn't.

Getting Lost - OFD. And this is really  :-[ I was leading, we'd had a good trip round Top, can't remember where, but had gone smoothly. Wasn't really concentrating on the exit, got to the main passage by Big Chamber, and decided this was Gnome instead (there are a few similar ish stals, honest) turned around and headed back into the cave. repeat. More than once. Finally I got myself sorted out. But spent at least 30mins no more than 100m from the easy exit, unable to find it.

Flooding - Otter. I'm sure this in a trip report on here somewhere. Over the tides trip, long and tiring. Got back to the sump to find instead of low tide ankle deep water it was nearly full and rising - 2" of airspace (ie well over 6 foot of water) as the first (guide) person arrived 0" by the time the last one got there! Fortunately we had time to climb through the Eyehole (maybe another two foot higher) and escape, damp but safe - it was still rising, and close to the bottom of the eyehole by the time I was through. It had started raining almost as soon as we went unground. Sump didn't re-open for another 3 weeks! Which would have been a long time to wait.

You live and learn. No Harm, no foul.


Makes you think though. I don't freeclimb so 'freely' anymore.
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Offline ogof addict

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2012, 04:34:27 pm »
Another advantage of the omni type centre maillon is that you don't need dirty old men fiddling at your groin for 5 minutes trying to screw you up

Offline Amata

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2012, 04:39:30 pm »
a lot of folks here dont like autolocking as they've had troubles with the autolocking not working (goes for any 'biner not just omni, standard here is to not use autolock)

The triact autolocking karabiners and triact autolocking Omni are not suited to muddy environments as it apparently does indeed cause problems with the functioning of the gate; however, the standard Omni "autolocks" in as far as it is a similar mechanism to a spring gate karabiner and hence closes automatically; the red "alert" collar shows that it requires manual fastening by turning the collar (again just like a screw gate karabiner); however, like karabiners generally, fastening the screw gate does not increase the load-bearing capacity of the Omni; it's as strong as it can be whether or not the collar is fastened (it's just less likely to be opened inadvertently if the collar is done up).

Hence my personal preference is for an Omni with a screw gate collar because (a) it closes automatically because it's got a spring loaded gate (b) it has a red alert collar colour reminding you to fasten the collar and (c) whether you turn the screw gate or not, it is as strong as its rated load-bearing tolerance (d) you don't need a spanner or five minutes of faffing to put/take your harness on/off with an Omni whereas the old style maillons occasionally made hopping out for a wee a mini-epic in their own right.

Put simply, you are not going to descend or ascend with your central D-maillon open and hence putting your life in jeopardy. Seems an excellent reason to purchase one, imo.
Ahhh okay you are using autolocking in a different term then. We call those screw gate collars simply "locking biners" and the ones that automatically lock it for you "autolock biners" the latter is what cavers here stay away from for the reasons you mention.

Another advantage of the omni type centre maillon is that you don't need dirty old men fiddling at your groin for 5 minutes trying to screw you up
'tis why I pick a hot caverguy to check my gear over :-[  :ang:
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Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2012, 04:43:39 pm »
Another advantage of the omni type centre maillon is that you don't need dirty old men fiddling at your groin for 5 minutes trying to screw you up

There's quite a few dirty old men out there that don't see that as an advantage...  :doubt:
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Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2012, 04:49:48 pm »

Getting Lost - OFD. And this is really  :-[ I was leading, we'd had a good trip round Top, can't remember where, but had gone smoothly. Wasn't really concentrating on the exit, got to the main passage by Big Chamber, and decided this was Gnome instead (there are a few similar ish stals, honest) turned around and headed back into the cave. repeat. More than once. Finally I got myself sorted out. But spent at least 30mins no more than 100m from the easy exit, unable to find it.



What sort of incompetent idiot can possibly get lost so close to Top Entrance? 

Over to you, Mr Williams......
Andy Sparrow



Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2012, 04:59:09 pm »

What sort of incompetent idiot can possibly get lost so close to Top Entrance? 

Over to you, Mr Williams......

And Top Sink...

Believe it or not I was actually not going to mention your moments of being directionally challenged...   :bow:
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Offline JasonC

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2012, 07:24:28 pm »
Hopefully incompetence isn't too contagious; this sort of thread is a particularly useful way to work out which individuals are best avoided in a cave ....

Which ones ?  Those who own up to their mistakes and have learned from them, or those that think they never make any ?   ;)

Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2012, 07:28:57 pm »
Definately a good point Jason.

On a related note here is a water related misshap we had on Joels expedition. We were properly equippted for this particular misshap but still you don't expect it to happen to you.

http://www.brcc.org.uk/reports/pdf-misc/Dachstien.pdf

I found afterwards after checking my footage I was actually filming at the time but mud obscured the lense so I only linked the audio file of the event on the trip report. I also found out I talk to my self alot hehe.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:38:50 pm by Alex »
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2012, 07:45:04 pm »
Those who own up to their mistakes and have learned from them, or those that think they never make any?

Somewhat disingenuous, suggesting there's only two categories. What about:

Those who make mistakes over and over, even though they learn from the previous ones?
Those who make mistakes over and over, and never learn from them?
Those who infrequently make mistakes but which have no epicness to them?
Those who infrequently make mistakes but which are epic-factories?
Those who own up to their mistakes but don't learn from them?
Those who don't own up to their mistakes, but learn from them?
Those who don't own up to their mistakes, but do learn from them?
Those who think they never make any, but actually do?
Those who think they never make any, and actually don't?

er,.... there's probably a load more, too....

My best guess is that Joel was observing that there are people in the world who have one foot on a banana skin and the other over an abyss, occasionally not clipped in with their cowstails, with a flickering dull lamp and a history of disaster on their infamous CV and that such people might be best left to their own devices rather than inviting them on anything too committing.

Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2012, 07:50:17 pm »
Quote
Those who think they never make any, and actually don't?

I don't think anyone does not a make a mistake from time to time, so that catagory can be removed.
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Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2012, 07:59:40 pm »
Quote
Those who think they never make any, and actually don't?

I don't think anyone does not a make a mistake from time to time,

 :ang:
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Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2012, 08:08:31 pm »
I know it seems like I am on the aforementioned banana skin, unclipped in a disaster zone. But please understand that only the D-ring incident was my fault well  :beer2: 's fault. Everything else has been a matter of luck and considering I have been caving almost every weekend since late 2007. The amount of incidents can be expected due to pure chance.
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Offline Elaine

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2012, 09:36:35 pm »
'tis why I pick a hot caverguy to check my gear over :-[  :ang:

Ok, next question .............  where are they? (Hugh being an exception of course)

I expect they are all running away when they see me look up expectantly with my SRT stuff all in a tangle!
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Offline Amata

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2012, 10:26:49 pm »
'tis why I pick a hot caverguy to check my gear over :-[  :ang:

Ok, next question .............  where are they? (Hugh being an exception of course)

I expect they are all running away when they see me look up expectantly with my SRT stuff all in a tangle!
Uh you had hot caverguys there in the UK...I know...I saw them :P
As for here, well I'm the only female who consistently does vertical and most the guys are older/married but not all. So I have free pickings of the rest...well and ok it helps my bf is always with me  :kiss2: always there to double check each other's gear  ;) Is it just me or do guys look even sexier in seat harnesses?  ;D
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Offline Elaine

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2012, 08:51:20 am »
It's just you Amy! lol   ;D
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Offline Rhys

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2012, 12:23:23 pm »
I suppose my most serious incident happened in the Picos de Europa back in 1997; I still get the piss taken about it even now... It was written up here: http://www.oucc.org.uk/expeditions/expedition1997/Medical_incident.html and in SWCC newsletter 120.

Basically, it involved a dry pitch turning wet during a thunderstorm, a very tight rebelay, extinguished carbide flame, dead battery backup, hypothermia, jammers stuck against a knot, climbing onto a ledge, clipping onto the rope with spare gear, cutting the rope and exiting.

I learnt some lessons that night.

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Offline Tony_B

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2012, 03:45:16 pm »
Back on topic: I took two work colleagues – complete newbies – to SWCC for the weekend, and we went into OFD I. They negotiated the stream with no problem, and when we got to Lowe’s Chain I told them to wait while I climbed up and rigged a ladder and lifeline for them. As I turned round at the top, Colleague 1 (6ft 3in, built like brick outhouse, pretty fit), said ‘I reckon I can do that’. I told him to wait where he was but before I could even get the ladder out of the tackle bag he’s hauling himself over the lip.

Colleague 2 (5ft 8in, weedy, not very fit), clearly feeling the pressure, says ‘I can do that’. Knowing that he can’t, (and keen to spare his blushes) I tell him forcefully that I’m going to rig it for him and that he should wait, but he’s determined and, to be fair, he gets to the top before I can even unravel the ladder. Just as I reach out to haul him over the lip by his belay belt, he vanishes and there’s a sickening noise as he hits the deck. I peer over and he’s lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

I’m thinking: how am I going to initiate a call-out? What if he’s unconscious? What if he’s broken both legs? Or his spine? Or his neck? What if he’s paralysed? But after what seems like ages (but was probably no more than five seconds) he gets up, dusts himself down, and waits rather sheepishly while I rig the ladder and lifeline and get him up. He makes it round the rest of the trip, with no problem, but owns up later in the week that he has a bruise the size of a dinner plate on his backside, and couldn’t walk for two days. He’s nagged me since to take him again, too. 

I still break out into a cold sweat at the mental image of him in a heap on the floor, though.

Offline menacer

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2012, 04:10:17 pm »
. Just as I reach out to haul him over the lip by his belay belt, he vanishes and there’s a sickening noise as he hits the deck. I peer over and he’s lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

LOL Thats reminded of an "incident " 4 of us had at the same place about 20 odd years ago.
We were playing the "lets see if we can jump over the top game." Whilst most of us made it over, Duncan "miss footed" on take off, our hearts stopped a beat, the jump turned into a slow motion roadrunner styley comedy act and Duncan splatted against the opposite side, before he slid slowly back over the edge, arms and hands scrabbling frantically before plunging back into the streamway.
I remember the long pause before someone drew up the courage to say "Duncan?" as we all peared over the edge to see a red faced Duncan, miffed that he's failed the jump.
He gave up caving about a year later and climbs mountains now.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 04:44:21 pm by cap 'n chris »
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Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2012, 05:35:05 pm »
I learnt some lessons that night.

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Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2012, 07:06:12 pm »
I watched or more heard someone fall down a wet pitch on Swinsto just as I was clipping in ready to go down. Tthe impact was so loud that for some strange reason for a brief moment I thought I had fallen. After that millisecond passed I realised I had not moved an inch, I looked down to see one of mates in a heap at the bottom having fallen the last 10ft of the pitch. Luckly despite bruises he was okay, but that certainly was scarey for all concerned.

Glad he was not hurt more so as it was a pull through so not sure how rescue would work, we had two ropes so I guess we could have left one with the party up there while the rest of us went out to get help, but if the rope got stuck....? Either way it would have been a long wait
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Offline barrabus

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #74 on: February 22, 2012, 07:46:15 pm »
Either way it would have been a long wait

I am told by those that know that it takes about seven hours to get a stretcher out of Swinsto from the big pitch, either up from the top of the pitch or down from the bottom.
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