Author Topic: Underground mishaps and other incidents...  (Read 17737 times)

Offline ogof addict

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2012, 09:07:52 pm »
how does someone fall down the last 10ft of pitch? i must be missing something here.

Offline barrabus

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2012, 09:13:42 pm »
how does someone fall down the last 10ft of pitch? i must be missing something here.

Presumably either climb down the pitch and fall, or abseil down a rope that is too short and has no knot at the end...
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Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2012, 10:10:28 pm »
None of the above from what I can gather he just lost control on the slick wet rope and plummeted, he was the 3rd or 4th down.
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Offline ogof addict

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2012, 10:17:24 pm »
 :o

Offline Amata

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2012, 01:30:41 am »
Is bottom belay typical there? It is here unless requested not to have it...and of course first person down doesn't get one.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #80 on: February 23, 2012, 08:34:14 am »
Kindly define what you mean by bottom belay.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #81 on: February 23, 2012, 08:35:09 am »
No, Amy, 'bottom belay', if used at all, tends only to be used for novices.

I'm led to understand that providing a bottom belay can lead to a sense of false security, insofar as the belayer has to have very quick reactions to be of any use – but I'm prepared to stand corrected on that if anyone has experience of using the technique for real.

Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #82 on: February 23, 2012, 08:35:09 am »
I would only normally bottom belay a novice. Bottom of a pitch is not a good place to hang around with people above...
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Offline graham

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #83 on: February 23, 2012, 10:35:37 am »
I would only normally bottom belay a novice. Bottom of a pitch is not a good place to hang around with people above...

Agreed.
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Offline paull

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #84 on: February 23, 2012, 11:30:40 am »
None of the above from what I can gather he just lost control on the slick wet rope and plummeted, he was the 3rd or 4th down.

it was the second pitch in swinsto , i was in the hole at the top of the 3rd pitch when i herd the fall,  quickly getting back to the bottom of the 2nd to find our fellow caver flat on his back at the bottom of the pitch and winded

it was a winter trip with snow on the surface and the water was bloody cold , we think that he had a bit of a panic when in the spray from the waterfall  and let go of his stop to push himself out from the water, being on a wet 9mm rope the brake on his stop did not work and he fell to the bottom ( we still cant get through to him to change to a simple because it gives you a free hand )
thankfully he wasn't injured and managed to make his own way out of the cave

this is the only mishap or incident Ive been involved in underground in the 7yrs I've been back caving , the incidents are normally on the way home and involve bikers laying in the road having had a rtc with a car
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 11:45:50 am by paull »
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Offline paul

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2012, 12:24:51 pm »
There were a group of 4 of us doing a Swinsto "pull-through" quite a few years ago with Chris wearing thick neoprene gloves which he had just bought.

All went well until the last little climb down where the Swinsto and Simpsons routes join and as it was fairly wet, we put a handline on it.

Chris slipped on the climb down and couldn't hold on the handline with his thick gloves and peeled off backwards. Luckily he was wearing a tackle sack full of rope on his back and that took most of the shock. Unluckily, he broke his wrist and thumb.

We manage to get him up the ladder we had rigged previously at the pitch up to Valley Entrance with his one good arm, between the other two pulling his lifeline at the top and me supporting him on my shoulders while he and I climbed the ladder.

Mark drove Chris to the Lancaster Royal Infimrary for fettling (they kept him in overnight as there were no X-Ray facilities available until the morning) while Jon and I headed for the Marton Arms and picked Chris up the next day from the hospital.
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Offline Amata

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2012, 06:11:28 pm »
I would only normally bottom belay a novice. Bottom of a pitch is not a good place to hang around with people above...

Agreed.
Of course, it's why you use a J belay. You are out of "falling rock" zone and allows a smooth ride while keeping proper tension. The angle created if weighted combined with the weight provides a fast full stop. I practice catching people off only a 40ft cliff. I've also practiced in cave with a 140ft drop. It's a wonderful technique as it works for both short rope and long rope. (Originally trained for it for Bridge Day, 700-850 ft rappel depending on which slot you draw over the gorge).

I can say firsthand it works for both short 40ft practice cliff and long rope 800+ stuff just as well. that's the nice thing about this technique. Short rope typical belays you are probably thinking of may work but as noted often fail and give false security, put you in rock fall zone, etc. This technique circumvents those issues.
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Offline Elaine

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2012, 07:12:38 pm »
I was following someone through a crawl, when she said "this opens out onto a pitch and it is rigged" So as we were wearing srt stuff she decided to go down. I am behind. I cannot see anything. Then suddenly she disappears out of sight very quickly. For some bizarre reason she attached her descender to the end of a rope that had been wound up and tied off in a bit bundle. When she started descending the bundle rapidly undid itself. Lucky for her it knotted itself after she had fallen 10ft or so. If she had also gone the other 20ft to the bottom it would have been a different story.
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Offline menacer

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2012, 07:24:11 pm »
with the concomitant possibility of dropping the jammer back down the pitch????

Which brings us nicely back on topic
Thats exactly what i did the 1st and last time I borrowed Chris's SRT kit  to do a rhino trip. Im just "used to" removing the top jammer from the rope and letting it drop onto the safety cord...only on this occaision, it went tinkle tinkle tinkle all the way down the pitch.  :'(
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Offline graham

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2012, 07:28:44 pm »
with the concomitant possibility of dropping the jammer back down the pitch????


Thats exactly what i did the 1st and last time I borrowed Chris's SRT kit  to do a rhino trip. Im just "used to" removing the top jammer from the rope and letting it drop onto the safety cord...only on this occaision, it went tinkle tinkle tinkle all the way down the pitch.  :'(

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Offline Alex

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2012, 07:35:16 pm »
Carrying your descender on the side of your harness is a real bad idea, I do not do that anymore. On thrutchy pitches/climbs it comes off, trust me. Once it got wedged half way up a tight climb and I did not notice for 10 minutes meaning I had to backtrack through some real awful stuff to find it. It also did the same on a pitch in Cresant.

Needless to say if it needs stowing I always put it in a bag now.

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Offline Les W

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2012, 09:49:31 pm »
Back in the days before p hangers I was rigging down Bull Pot in Kingsdale.
I used to keep my rigging spanner on an elastic bungee tied to a snoopy loop around my arm with the spanner tucked under the loop when not in use (as, I believe, most riggers used to do).
On this trip for some reason I didn't have the elastic tied to a snoopy loop but had cliped it to my harness instead.
Having sucessfully rigged and descended the first 4 pitches, I was heading towards the head of the mythical fifth pitch, a manoeuver that involves a thruchy traverse to the pitch head. As I arrived at the pitch head I felt a tug on my harness and looked back to see my rigging spanner losely jammed across a narrow part of the rift some 20 feet behind me whilst still attached to me by the bungee...  :o

I was somewhat concerned with the situation at that point and naturally didn't want to put any extra stress on the bungee, in case the spanner slipped from its precarious position and relocated itself some 20 feet nearer to me at high velocity...
I carefully uncliped the bungee from my harness and let it go. I rigged the 5th pitch on naturals and managed to retrieve the spanner on the return.

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Offline MarkS

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Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #92 on: April 24, 2012, 10:24:41 pm »
Near the end of a fantastic week at the SWCC, I was on a 1-3-1 trip which was going brilliantly. We were just heading back through from Cwm Dwr to 1 and were at the 5 m climb just before The Connection when as I climbed down one of my hand holds came off the wall, swiftly followed by the second. I fell ~3 m resulting in a broken leg and an enourmous thanks goes to everyone who came to help out.

What really made me think afterwards was that it was almost impossible to preemt. At the time, the guys behind me didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I conciously thought at the time that I'd be able to easily take my weight on either hold, and when some people went back the next day they said that the holds (now on the floor) looked decent.

I guess it's the sort of risk inherent with any outdoor activity, but something I think there's no harm in having a reminder of now and again....although I'd have preferred not to have witnessed it first hand...

There's a full write-up at http://www.yucpc.org.uk/reports/details.php?id=1261