Author Topic: There goes the Crux!  (Read 5997 times)

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 10:27:39 am »
Does size have any correlation to the people arguing that we should make digs as small as possible?

While i accept that some digs don't happen for environmental reasons (eg "we'd have to smash all those stalls", or "this would open an easy way in to what has been until now a 3 hour crawl")

Once you've taken the ethical decision to dig, i see no point in making it only just big enough for a few small people. unless you're one of those small people.

Would Titan have been found had Far Sump Extensions still only been accessible to divers ?

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2018, 11:06:22 am »
Does size have any correlation to the people arguing that we should make digs as small as possible?

While i accept that some digs don't happen for environmental reasons (eg "we'd have to smash all those stalls", or "this would open an easy way in to what has been until now a 3 hour crawl")

Once you've taken the ethical decision to dig, i see no point in making it only just big enough for a few small people. unless you're one of those small people.

Would Titan have been found had Far Sump Extensions still only been accessible to divers ?

Has anybody said that? What Simon Beck said and what I agreed with is that natural passages that cavers can get along should not be enlarged unnecessarily.

Offline Roger W

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2018, 12:52:12 pm »
I think "unnecessarily" is the point in question, Simon.  Who decides how much enlargement is "necessary" and by what criteria?
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2018, 02:19:36 pm »
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Offline droid

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2018, 09:05:05 pm »
Well, that clears that up..... :lol: :lol: :lol:
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline richardg

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2018, 12:26:21 am »
Many years ago.
Down in a Dales pothole.....we had a small tube beckoning us with a good draught and the sound of a stream beyond, and with the promise geologically of a large cave system. we enlarged it.

Me and my mate squeezed through headfirst to discover a vertical drop that required a certain level of athletic agility to negotiate.

this eventually led our club into half a kilometre of magnificent cave including a large stream way...

Its has since been visited and enjoyed by many others.

That first obstacle has provided each person who has negotiated it a genuine feeling of satisfaction.

Recently came along a caver who wanted to see the cave for himself.
A pleasant guy,  an experienced caver, though at this time was not in his prime, and carrying a bit of excess weight so could not pass the obstacle without the hassle of a engaging in a heathier lifestyle.

He took explosives down and removed the obstacle.

He then went only a little further into the cave, and decided he'd seen enough, deciding the cave wasn't for him, he left, and moved on elsewhere.....

Consequently a historic feature of exploration no longer exists..





 


 

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2018, 08:21:01 am »
In my eyes that comes across at best as shortsighted selfishness.

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2018, 08:55:01 am »
Has anybody said that? What Simon Beck said and what I agreed with is that natural passages that cavers can get along should not be enlarged unnecessarily.

Apologies. I thought we were talking about "how small can we make our dig?"

Offline PeteHall

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2018, 10:25:32 am »
But what about adding a crux?

The easier entrance to lower Piere's Pot was blocked many years ago by an unfortunate rockfall.  The crux of the trip now is a very committing vertical squeeze that was bypassed by the original entrance.

Should we be opening the old entrance again so those of a slightly larger than ferret build can visit the cave again?
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2018, 10:35:25 am »
Dunno Pete, but we drain sumps for those who can't be arsed learning to dive.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2018, 10:39:58 am »
Learning to dive is something that people can do something about if they choose. You don't choose the size of your chest or hips and there is nothing you can do to change them...
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2018, 10:46:42 am »
As you well know Pete I am hardly a racing snake.  I fully agree with what I think is your point.  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.

I'm just mardy cos I like pies and beer.

It's a very grey area and relies I think in a certain requirement for "sportsmanship" and a view to long term conservation vs exploration.  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. 

It also depends on what you are digging through - till and infill, fuck it, make it massive. Flowstone, as little as possible.  But that's my view and I am sure many would disagree.

Online alastairgott

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2018, 11:37:11 am »
Dunno Pete, but we drain sumps for those who can't be arsed learning to dive.

And generally they fill up again, as that's what sumps do! However If it's a static sump, the problem is much more prevalent.

There are two fantastic Examples in the speedwell streamway, as far as I know both are static, but would probably be lost entirely if they were drained.
 Secret sump and Bathing pool are both really beautiful places with crystal clear blue water. These Iconic destinations in the Peak speedwell system would [probably] be lost forever if they were to be drained/pumped. [not withstanding large floods from main rising!]

O Hesp Alyn (north wales) is one which is drained, Cavemanmike tells me two sumps, the first is vast. They drain it with a syphon over several days, then empty the second into the first. (better done in summer, otherwise you'll be sumped in!)
 Jenks, as I've not yet been in, i'll offer to carry in winter and see how you get on ;)

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2018, 11:48:22 am »
To me caving has always been one of the sports which favours the small guy.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2018, 06:44:09 pm »
But what about adding a crux?

The easier entrance to lower Piere's Pot was blocked many years ago by an unfortunate rockfall.  The crux of the trip now is a very committing vertical squeeze that was bypassed by the original entrance.

Should we be opening the old entrance again so those of a slightly larger than ferret build can visit the cave again?

Given that I'm pretty small (about a 6.75" squeeze box) and had a very 'entertaining' time getting out of it again, I'm amazed there is as much polish down there as there is.

On the other hand, I guess that's why it's still pretty despite being completely open in Burrington (well and the fact that fairly careful reading of the laminated description was necessary to find the well hidden ways on!).

PS I've never done a squeeze/thrutch before where I felt simultaneously too fat (as its reasonably snug) and too skinny (as it was all too easy to slip back down a few critical inches even after I'd got my elbows out, after which it _should_ but somehow still wasn't easy! Didn't bring a rope which made it more interesting... I was the base for a bit of combined tactics for my partner but had to get myself out; declined assistance from above for reasons of misguided ethical purity :shrug:

Offline maxf

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2018, 09:02:10 pm »
To me caving has always been one of the sports which favours the small guy.

Except when climbing underground !

Offline NigR

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2018, 09:26:06 pm »
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?

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2018, 08:19:16 am »
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!

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2018, 09:38:27 am »
...  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?

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2018, 01:42:36 pm »
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?

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2018, 02:16:15 pm »
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?

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2018, 02:34:11 pm »
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.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2018, 03:07:48 pm »

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.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2018, 03:23:11 pm »
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.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2018, 03:30:47 pm »
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.