Author Topic: Swildon's Ladder Removed  (Read 2545 times)

Offline Mr Cosmic

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Swildon's Ladder Removed
« on: March 11, 2018, 08:30:41 am »
Please could whoever removed the Wessex Ladder from Swildon's 20 on Saturday afternoon (10th March) return it to the Wessex HQ at Upper Pits, Eastwater Lane, Priddy.

The ladder is easy to identify having a built-in tether and every fifth rung is anodised red.

We assume it was taken by mistake and the party that was below the 20 at the time managed to exit the cave without any issues.
That's not going to fit!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 09:04:06 am »
About four o clock there was a wcms ladder rigged with a sling and twenty metres of rope with a blue tackle sack nearby but no other ladder or gear stashed there.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 09:05:23 am »
Other than the various Wessex groups in the cave, I also passed what seemed to be a university group below the 20.

Will post this to the CHECC Facebook page in case...
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Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 10:47:01 am »
It's Southern CHECC this weekend, so I think that most uni clubs down this end of the country are likely to be in Wales. Could it have been a scout group, is there an easy way to get in touch with them?

Offline Mr Cosmic

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 01:46:47 pm »
The  ladder has now been returned so all is well.
That's not going to fit!

Offline dugadig

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 07:19:41 pm »
I remember coming back to the Twenty once with some friends and the ladder was gone.. Had to climb it obviously but could have done without it!  :down:

Glad you got your ladder back.  :)


Offline NigelJ

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 10:07:55 pm »
As one of the cavers who were below the 20 and expecting our ladder to be there, i’m glad it’s been returned. Hopefully the individuals involved were apologetic.
While I’m certain that the ladder was removed for genuine reasons this kind of lack of attention can have serious consequences. Just how do you walk away with an extra ladder?

Offline mikem

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 08:39:30 am »
I wasn't there, but apparently the group split to go to different places below the 20 & some new members picked it up on the way back, thinking it was one of ours (the red rungs are quite faded). They didn't discover they had brought back two until a few hours later.

Mike

Offline NigelJ

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 10:38:54 pm »
Hi Mike,
Thanks for replying.
We thought it would be something as innocent as that. It's easily done and it's not the first, and I'm sure that it's not the last time this will happen.
In one sense it's a shame as on the way down we were discussing the various methods we had been told (or seen) to climb the 20. Might've been amusing to see some of them tried out in anger.  :o

However, I am painfully aware that accidental ladder removals at the 20 are a significant part of a potential incident chain. I wonder what can be done to prevent them?

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2018, 06:33:27 am »
Many things, probably all unacceptable.

Offline Alex

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 09:10:53 am »
Install a lift ;) ?
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Offline darren

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2018, 09:34:59 am »
Any other caving region would install some fixed aids.

But that's not the Mendip way, apparently,
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Offline crickleymal

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2018, 05:54:19 pm »
Laminated or engraved label on the top mounting point?
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2018, 06:53:15 pm »
Darren, there used to be a fixed ladder on the Twenty.

Like many things which aim to 'improve' situations , it wasn't acceptable.

Offline mikem

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 07:11:59 pm »
Lot of people, "give it a go" in top part of Swildon's, wouldn't want to enourage then to get lost further down (although last year someone did need rescuing after trying to hand over hand down a rope instead...)

Mike

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 08:46:16 pm »
Lot of people, "give it a go" in top part of Swildon's, wouldn't want to enourage then to get lost further down (although last year someone did need rescuing after trying to hand over hand down a rope instead...)

Mike

If there was a fixed ladder then people just having a poke around would be less likely to fall down the pitch... I can't see random people finding their way up to the Short Round etc and anyone who has done enough research to find it has as much right to do it as anyone else.

Not saying a fixed ladder would be acceptable, but I bet the number of rescue callouts from both cavers and non-traditional cavers would be decreased by a fixed ladder!

Offline darren

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 10:36:14 pm »
I've always fancied a Via Ferrata setup, couple of traverses and some stemples
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2018, 06:45:17 am »
Darren, it can be rigged as a roped traverse off naturals (yes, even without using the in-situ p-hangers) already. It doesn't make it easy, but it does make it easier. If it was left permanently rigged, it probably wouldn't be used, though, as it would require cavers to own and bring additional kit, namely safety lanyard and connectors.

Offline dugadig

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2018, 05:33:58 pm »
Darren, it can be rigged as a roped traverse off naturals (yes, even without using the in-situ p-hangers) already. It doesn't make it easy, but it does make it easier. If it was left permanently rigged, it probably wouldn't be used, though, as it would require cavers to own and bring additional kit, namely safety lanyard and connectors.
[/quote

Yeh so stick another fixed ladder then is the answer I think..  A wire traverse would probably mean more people falling off.
The cave is heavily used so a fixed ladder sounds sensible. No call outs for overdue parties because of a nicked ladder!
No expensive callouts for our services.. including MCR.
Sod it.. put a ladder there. Means I might have less to worry about if I fancy a trip 20 years from now too!  ;D

Offline martinr

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2018, 06:11:55 pm »
Willy Stanton had an itch, down below,
To improve the twenty pitch, down below,
But his efforts were in vain,
With his stemple and his chain,
Roger's sent them back again, down below.

Willie Stanton installed steel rungs and chains on the twenty foot pot and [Roger Biddle] went down with with a hacksaw, removed them and returned them to Willie. OCL [Oliver Cromwell Lloyd] though it such a laugh that he wrote [this] verse!


Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2018, 03:08:31 am »
Lemmy had something to say about looking up the twenty....

Offline dugadig

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Re: Swildon's Ladder Removed
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2018, 11:36:12 pm »
Lemmy had something to say about looking up the twenty....

[/quote

Sorry that was too painful to see your point. Just stick a fucking ladder there.  :-\]