Author Topic: There goes the Crux!  (Read 6011 times)

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2018, 03:42:49 pm »
There's a fuck 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.


Offline langcliffe

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2018, 03:46:12 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.

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.

Offline Simon Beck

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2018, 04:05:21 pm »
There's a fuck 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.   
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 04:35:42 pm by Simon Beck »

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2018, 04:10:40 pm »
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.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2018, 04:47:32 pm »
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  :thumbsup:
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Online thomasr

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2018, 07:06:43 pm »
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

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2018, 07:38:12 pm »
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.


Offline Simon Beck

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2018, 07:50:46 pm »
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??
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 08:07:32 pm by Simon Beck »

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2018, 08:07:28 pm »
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.


Offline Simon Beck

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2018, 08:25:54 pm »
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.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 08:34:15 pm by Simon Beck »

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2018, 01:47:37 pm »
What about another sort of crux?

Carlsbad Caverns, US, is an astounding cave whose natural entrance series would serve to exclude the majority of visitors. It was navigated with ropes and ladders by the original explorers, and then partially bypassed by a shaft and bucket/winch. Now there is a paved path, road almost, not only disruptive of the natural beauty of the place, but utterly destructive of respect for its severity.

The cave is a national monument, so it is fitting that the national obsession with size and quantity should be manifest here. The Big Room is vast and so are many of its calcite features. It can be reached by walking down the natural entrance path, but since it is considered the dominant feature of the cave, this effort has been made unnecessary by the construction of an elevator, leading down from the surface through 750' of limestone (once down it is encouraged that you refresh yourself at the restroom, at the snack bar, at the gift shop)

These modifications are justified by the claim that Carlsbad Caverns are a wonder that the public deserves to see. I am baffled by this logic. In making Carlsbad Cave, a forbidding and fragile place, casually available, it has been degraded to something far beneath what it was. The sum of joy, wonder, and satisfaction available from it has decreased as the quantity of visitors increases.



Online Roger W

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2018, 01:57:32 pm »
That, I suppose, is true of all show caves.  Walking-height passages are opened, level pathways and steps installed, with lighting throughout. 

But this is the only opportunity most people have to experience the underground world.  Should they be denied this privilege? 
"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 Kenilworth

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2018, 05:58:40 pm »
That, I suppose, is true of all show caves.  Walking-height passages are opened, level pathways and steps installed, with lighting throughout. 

But this is the only opportunity most people have to experience the underground world.  Should they be denied this privilege?

You have answered your own question by use of the word privelege. No one has a right to experience the underground world, except that self-evident in their initiative to do so. I believe that the opportunity to visit non-commercial caves is more or less unrestricted.

While it is true that most commercial caves are degraded, it was especially disheartening to visit Carlsbad. I really wish I had never seen it.

Some caves need more protection than others. If making a cave public is to sacrifice its definition, character, and health, then neither the diminished land, the guilty developer, nor the robbed consumer are being honored.

Offline NigR

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2018, 08:26:07 pm »
I believe that the opportunity to visit non-commercial caves is more or less unrestricted.

Maybe with you over in the States it is but that is certainly not the case here in South Wales, I can assure you!

Regarding your comments concerning show (commercial) caves, I generally concur but there are some I have visited (mainly in France) which do retain the 'natural' element better than others. Carlsbad certainly sounds like the ultimate example in the opposite direction and, as you say, is probably best avoided by cavers like ourselves.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: There goes the Crux!
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2018, 11:16:05 pm »
I believe that the opportunity to visit non-commercial caves is more or less unrestricted.

Maybe with you over in the States it is but that is certainly not the case here in South Wales, I can assure you!

I can appreciate that access issues in Wales are complex. My real meaning was that anyone who really wants to see caves can do so, even in Wales. No one has to rely on commercial caves for the "underground experience". That being so, the damage done to many commercial caves in the name of public interest is wasteful.