Author Topic: Metal Steps KMC  (Read 8836 times)

Offline topcat

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #100 on: August 01, 2018, 11:53:40 am »
It was made pretty clear earlier in the thread that these have nothing to do with the pitch.
We realise this: topic drift as per usual  :-[

Offline CNCC

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #101 on: August 06, 2018, 11:04:41 pm »
Hello everyone

Needless to say that the CNCC have been following this thread and have had discussions outside of it too. We have reason to believe that these metal 'steps' were installed with the best of intentions and possibly out of a misunderstanding. There is certainly no need for any witch hunt. The installer has kindly agreed to perform the necessary work to remove them and repair the damage as best as possible if this is the wish of the CNCC Committee.

The general feeling within the CNCC Officers at the moment is that they should be removed; based mostly on the grounds that they are not stainless steel and may, in time, result in a rust streak down the cave walls which would be most undesirable.

There will however be a discussion on this at the 13th October CNCC Committee meeting (9:30am Hellifield Institute). If you have any opinions that you would like to voice you are welcome to come along or to contact me directly. If the feeling of this meeting is to remove them then we will ask the installer to do so and we will offer advice on filling the holes to make them unnoticeable.

Of course the CNCC cannot claim to be the arbitrator of any matters relating to the installation of fixed aids in caves; nor do we have any authority to allow or refuse permission for such installations. In fact, we specifically cannot endorse any fixed aids other than stainless steel resin anchors installed in accordance with BCA policy.

We are however always happy to offer advice or the use of our meetings as a friendly face-to-face discussion forum for any such matters. We encourage anyone considering installing anything into cave walls (anchors, staples, pegs etc) to get in touch with us to discuss first so we can offer conservation advice and maybe help identify alternatives. In particular, for anchors on popular routes, we may even suggest getting this done under the CNCC anchor scheme (for which consumable costs can be reclaimed) which means we can publish them on our topos for other people to use :)

Matt Ewles, CNCC Secretary

Council of Northern Caving Clubs; Working together for northern caving since 1963

Offline Balmerfish

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #102 on: August 07, 2018, 12:06:20 am »
Many thanks, for clarity on this matter - much appraicated.

Adele
We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a Sticky bun.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #103 on: December 30, 2018, 08:18:07 pm »
I just read a post on Cavers of Facebook which said, "An adventure company has destroyed the charm of a beautiful cave. Now full of graffiti. Catalunya, Spain." It accompanied a photo of some metal via ferrata style steps in a cave. It reminded me of KMC and this thread.

I've been for a look in KMC and the steps are still there. There is one on its own and then a series of five close together. They are huge - made of 16mm reinforcing bar and identical to ones seen on the via ferratas created by 'adventure companies'.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #104 on: December 30, 2018, 08:42:38 pm »
I've been for a look in KMC and the steps are still there. There is one on its own and then a series of five close together. They are huge - made of 16mm reinforcing bar and identical to ones seen on the via ferratas created by 'adventure companies'.

According to the provisional minutes of the above mentioned CNCC meeting: "Action: Matt Ewles to contact the installer to inform them that the CNCC wishes for these to be removed and separately discuss with Simon Wilson.". So you should know all about it!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #105 on: December 30, 2018, 08:43:34 pm »
Is there a difference between people going caving and people going caving, now?

Offline droid

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #106 on: December 30, 2018, 08:55:46 pm »
Maybe the difference is between one group of people that put metalware into a cave to make things easier/safer and another group doing the same?
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Badlad

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #107 on: December 30, 2018, 09:22:36 pm »
I understand an initial attempt by the installer to remove them failed.  Simon was due to be consulted for his advice but that may not have taken place yet.  At that October meeting the CNCC committee felt they should be removed on conservation grounds.  However, that process may not be as simple as it sounds.

Offline JoshW

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #108 on: December 30, 2018, 10:59:25 pm »
as a side note nobody had posted up outside of this thread that they had seen them since they'd been put in place, so either:

1) nobody has been down KMC - almost certainly false
2) people have seen them and found this thread so not started a new one - based on how little people tend to use the search function, i guess unlikely
3) people haven't seen them or thought them obtrusive enough to kick up a fuss about...

 :coffee:

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #109 on: December 30, 2018, 11:47:27 pm »
as a side note nobody had posted up outside of this thread that they had seen them since they'd been put in place, so either:

1) nobody has been down KMC - almost certainly false
2) people have seen them and found this thread so not started a new one - based on how little people tend to use the search function, i guess unlikely
3) people haven't seen them or thought them obtrusive enough to kick up a fuss about...

There is a fourth possibility - people may be content with the decisions made by the CNCC in October, and are allowing them to be enacted in a time frame compatible with the available volunteer resources. There is no point in continually banging on about the issue.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #110 on: December 31, 2018, 10:14:02 am »
There was a gap of nearly five months since anybody commented on this thread and nearly five months since the installer agreed to remove the steps. I think five months is more than a reasonable length of time to wait before asking questions. I'm sure most cavers would agree that they should be removed ASAP. The only people who might want them to remain are a few people in the adventure business.

Since the installer has said they will be removed, I'm waiting to see how he proposes for it to be done.

Offline ali_mac

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2019, 01:17:38 pm »
Who is the mystery installer?

Offline ahinde

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2019, 02:51:32 pm »
This has not been forgotten about. The original installer and myself failed to remove the staples with levers and car jacks. The staples are too flexible. Therefor I set up a test bed with some left over staples in my yard at work. We have been trying alternative methods including sawing off the staple at 75 mm and cutting a thread onto the end. We were able to withdraw the fixed end using a nut and oversized socket as a spacer. However, the test was nullified when we noticed the test bed substrate had cracked in the process. Because the re bar is distinctly oval shaped it is difficult to initiate the thread cutting and the nut only bites on a fraction of the circumference of the re bar.( we do not have access to a full range of die sizes The amount of work involved with this technique ( performed whilst dangling from a rope ) is probably not worth pursuing any further.
Another alternative is using an anchor puller/tester with a linkage clipped through a drilled hole in the sawn off staple. The siting of some of the staples on a thin edge profile of limestone would make the use of a tripod puller very difficult.
We have practiced sawing the staple off flush to the wall and treating it with antioxidant and covering it with grey anchor resin. Takes just minutes and is looking like the most realistic option at present.
I can assure everyone that I am not an engineer with any talent in this area of work. However, I am sure we can avoid making things worse by continuing to think things through and complete our experiments before tackling the offending items in KMC.
The original installer would love to be named and shamed on UK Caving and sell the film rights via his/her publicity agent, but I will not give him/her the satisfaction. There is no witch/wizard hunt required.
I like to think that we are able to keep a sense of perspective/proportion in our relations within northern caving.
Andrew Hinde
Chair CNCC.

Offline droid

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2019, 03:30:50 pm »
Rather surprised that Simon Wilson wasn't involved in this.

I might disagree with him on many things but I acknowledge his expertise in these matters.
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Offline malcolm smith

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #114 on: January 09, 2019, 09:56:48 pm »
Had a trip to see them today. They look like ones that were/are in Dismal Hill.
I wasn't offended by them. Had to crane an ageing neck upwards to see them in the first place.
If they make the traverse, which I presume is intended as an emergency high water exit rather than an adventure climbing frame for more able cavers, a bit easier for less able cavers who find themselves in peril, I'd think fair enough.
It's a bit of cave used by the caving world and his/her dog so why not make the emergency high water exit a bit easier for the less able?
May well be wrong on the reason for their placement of course 🙂


Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #115 on: January 10, 2019, 11:35:25 am »
I assume they are actual via ferrata staples not just random bits of rebar and may well be stainless ?
if so then we'd not need to worry about them forming streaks of rust down the walls

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #116 on: January 10, 2019, 11:49:56 am »
I assume they are actual via ferrata staples not just random bits of rebar and may well be stainless ?
if so then we'd not need to worry about them forming streaks of rust down the walls

You may well be right, but in the aforementioned CNCC minutes it says: "Matt Ewles said that this was more a conservation matter; they were not stainless steel and risk rust streaks developing on the cave wall below them over time."

To me, all lumps of steel look the same.

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #117 on: January 10, 2019, 01:30:50 pm »
i was wondering if they are actually not stainless or are they assumed to be non-stainless.

i wasn't arguing for or against their existence

Offline marysboy

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #118 on: January 10, 2019, 02:00:01 pm »
they had already started rusting last summer

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #119 on: January 10, 2019, 02:02:22 pm »
i was wondering if they are actually not stainless or are they assumed to be non-stainless.

i wasn't arguing for or against their existence

Which is good, because I didn't respond to any argument for or against their existence.

I was simply quoting one reasonable reputable source which claims that they are not stainless.

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #120 on: January 10, 2019, 02:51:04 pm »
its odd.
looking at Raumer's website it seems their version is both stainless and galvanised perhaps to try to make them dull matt grey rather than too shiny

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #121 on: January 10, 2019, 03:02:39 pm »
I assume they are actual via ferrata staples not just random bits of rebar and may well be stainless ?
if so then we'd not need to worry about them forming streaks of rust down the walls

I thought most via ferrata staples _were_ just bent bits of rebar... Stainless are available but would bankrupt many via ferrata installers, I suspect!

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #122 on: January 11, 2019, 11:24:05 am »
they may have been once, but all the ones i've seen over the last 5 years conform to standards

see
https://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_clista.asp?cat=via_ferrata_stemples-pegs-handrails-metal_ladders&qi=0-21-0



Offline Badlad

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Re: Metal Steps KMC
« Reply #123 on: January 11, 2019, 04:13:13 pm »
My understanding is that the staples in KMC were home made from standard rebar and painted before installation.