Author Topic: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit  (Read 4271 times)

Offline Badlad

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Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« on: March 04, 2019, 03:28:22 pm »
It is with some trepidation that I start a new thread on recent modifications to this part of the Easegill Cave System.  A number of us in the Dales have been alerted to this latest act and I took a couple of photos at the weekend.  More and more cavers are likely to see this damage as it is on a popular route, so it is bound to come out sooner or later.  I know some folk will be horrified at this damage but please be restrained in any replies.

For my part I think this was a bad idea but I have no idea who was responsible.  However, I have personally set off thousands of caps in the Dales and modified many caves with scaffold and other digging techniques.  The difference is that my efforts were in the name of exploration or stabilising routes and often in remote and less visible corners of our caves.  This modification damage is on a very popular trade route where thousands of cavers have negotiated these climbs quite easily, either by making use of the in-situ rope or rigging their own tackle.

This act is bound to be widely condemned but I would love to know what the motivation is behind it and what the person or persons who did this hoped to achieve.  What ever it is please don't do any more without at least talking it through with some of the local caving community.

Capping of a foothold on the upper Wretched Rabbit climbs


A capped foothold on the second climb

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 03:41:57 pm »
I'm not the strongest caver, I'm not that tall, I'm not the best at free climbing - however I have climbed out of Wretched Rabbit without using any ropes, leg ups etc.  It's something I clearly remember doing and took personal pride in, still do.  I know to some of you, climbing out of WR is nothing, but to me it really meant something.  Now this classic set of free climbs has been, in my opinion unnecessarily altered.  Blimey, if I can free climb out most cavers can so surely no need to go making extra footholds?? I am truly upset that someone has done this to WR  :(

Please folks, think hard before altering anymore such climbs.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2019, 04:03:05 pm »
What the actual feck are people doing?

Me and a mate recently led a club Christmas trip down Trident. This featured cavers who get out about twice a year (they've all turned into climbers urgghhhh) and they all managed this with the help of a ladder that we free climbed up and placed.

Wretched Rabbit is an easy climb suitable for novices. Now don't get me wrong after a long trip it can be a workout, but that's what mates and lifelines are for if so required.

There is no need for any of these mods at all.  People are retro fitting aids to already well established routes regularly done by cavers of all abilities.  There are already bolts and fixed lines in place and some would argue that's too much - but this and the steps thing is horrendous.

I honestly can't believe that someone thinks this is OK?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 04:13:02 pm by MJenkinson »

Offline David Rose

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 04:18:46 pm »
I went down Lancaster Hole and through to Wretched Rabbit with Badlad, a few other forum contributors, and my son Daniel a while back - when he had just turned 12. He had no bother with the climbs.

A few years earlier I took my older son Jacob down Wretched Rabbit and along to Eureka Junction for a play in the main streamway, then back out Wretched Rabbit. I had a rope to use as a lifeline ready just in case, but he jumped the gun and was up the climbs before I had time to tie him on. I was a bit annoyed at the time, but then, he was only 8.

My proposal (yes, it was a joke) to cap the Crux in Quaking Pot is starting to look quite conservative.

Offline Alex

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 04:39:36 pm »
It looks like Lancliffe's tongue and cheek requests of a stanner chair lift on those climbs is coming to fruition.

I  used to have trouble with those climbs a long time ago but I got stronger by doing lots of climbing at the local climbing wall. If I was not fit enough for the cave I modify myself, not the cave. They are quite easy and they have an SRT bypass (the passage on the left) Also, if you can't climb them, that's what ladders are for and it's not like you would have to carry them far either.

Modifying it like this kind of takes out half the fun as you are turning it into a tourist cave?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 04:47:57 pm by Alex »
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 07:20:25 pm »
Beyond the obvious objections, this work is a criminal offense, has someone had a chat with Natural England

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 08:27:56 pm »
Beyond the obvious objections, this work is a criminal offense, has someone had a chat with Natural England
While there are obvious differences between capping out an unnecessary hand hold on a popular free climb and capping out a constriction in a dig, I think we should be careful about accusations of criminal activity. Should Natural England decide to take action in a case like this, it could have troubling consequences for legitimate exploration.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 08:57:59 pm »
Worry not, Pete; NE don't enforce the legislation.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 08:58:41 pm »
Natural England have been quite happy to give consents in the past. Their employees do read the forum...
It's not an accusation at all, unless someone has a valid consent to show, it is an offence.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 09:23:59 pm »
I thought have the pool of people who had access to caps would be quite small. Am I wrong in that assertion?
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 09:56:04 pm »
Anyone can buy (and [mis]-use) caps; BCA insurance does not cover their use in caving scenarios, btw.

Offline Inferus

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 10:27:39 pm »
I can't believe what I'm reading. What is wrong with people at the moment? I hope all the people responsible for the recent spell of desecration of caves read these forums and hang there heads in shame!!!  :chair:
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Offline andrewmc

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2019, 10:50:45 pm »
I thought have the pool of people who had access to caps would be quite small. Am I wrong in that assertion?

They are just Hilti nail gun caps and (I think) quite widely available.

Edit: you can buy them on eBay.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2019, 07:16:31 am »
I thought have the pool of people who had access to caps would be quite small. Am I wrong in that assertion?

They are just Hilti nail gun caps and (I think) quite widely available.

Edit: you can buy them on eBay.

Thanks for clearing that up.
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Offline tobyk

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2019, 08:01:05 am »
This is really shocking! Surely the greatest pleasures in caving are moving through a natural landscape, and the challenges they present. Capping and other necessary modifications should surely only be done by the original explorer, and then only when necessary to make progress. Chipping water washed limestone, really? The friction here is good enough to smear, if you can’t do it, get a boost up.
This damage is criminal (or should be), and I fear this section of cave will be tainted for me now.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2019, 11:42:54 am »
Although I am repulsed by it and I could probably hazard a guess as to the motive of the modifications, without knowing why they were made I find judging them a little difficult.

The likelihood of the modifier popping onto the forum to explain their actions is certainly less likely when suggestions are that they will be receiving a visit from the police service. 

Are there any circumstances where it could be justified?

How about, a short person, solo caving couldn't get back up the climbs but had a capping kit and by using it meant they were able to free themselves?  (I've never capped anything so I assume a capping kit isn't too bulky for one person*)



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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2019, 11:49:53 am »
A caver experienced enough to be solo digging with capping kit would be easily able to manage these climbs, that have been managed by tired novices for decades, regardless of their height.
There is also a hand line in-situ.
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Offline kat

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2019, 01:34:39 pm »
Does it actually matter how easy or not the climb is? 

Surely the point is it is that it is irreversible damage (vandalism) - added to which it is at a location close to an entrance where there are other easy ways to deal with the obstacle (fixed rope (which I hate), put down a rope / ladder to use on the way out on a through trip, don't do a through trip unless you know you can free climb out etc). 

Otherwise the next arguement will be that it is okay to cut a step for a difficult climb.

Offline CSJ

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2019, 01:36:19 pm »
This is horrid and make me very sad  :weep:!


Surely the point is it is that it is irreversible damage (vandalism) - added to which it is at a location close to an entrance where there are other easy ways to deal with the obstacle (fixed rope (which I hate), put down a rope / ladder to use on the way out on a through trip, don't do a through trip unless you know you can free climb out etc). 

I agree.

In my opinion the only justification for modifications to a climb up (to make progression easier) has to be that access to the top of it is either not possible, or not practicable. I.e. up pitches deep into systems.
To do this to a climb that is 10m from the entrance to a cave (thus easily rigged with ladders or line from above) is horrendous. Not only is it not needed, it has been done in the most violent and inconsiderate way possible. Literally anything else would have been be better than smashing up the rock with caps .

It would be good to see some leadership from the BCA and CNCC on this! Personally i think that the holes should be filled in, and a note affixed explaining that this is not the way to behave! We must show clearly how to conserve caves for future generations, leaving it for 100's of cavers to see (and use) on a popular tip will only serve to normalize such vandalism in the eyes of new cavers.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 01:45:09 pm by CSJ »

Offline Alex

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2019, 01:49:58 pm »
The only upside to these being cut in could mean that all the unsightly hand-lines could be removed as they would not be needed with these footholds now? This may make up for it and indeed make the climbs look more natural when the rock "weathers" with footfall. Just looking on the upside.

Again however, such a modification as these footholds should not be made unilaterally in such a popular place even if that was the intended purpose of removing the rope. Like everyone else I am just guessing as to their purpose.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline AR

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2019, 09:32:13 pm »
This damage is criminal (or should be), and I fear this section of cave will be tainted for me now.

If it's in a SSSI, then it is potentially....
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Offline Inferus

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2019, 11:17:33 pm »
The only upside to these being cut in could mean that all the unsightly hand-lines could be removed as they would not be needed with these footholds now? This may make up for it and indeed make the climbs look more natural when the rock "weathers" with footfall. Just looking on the upside.

Again however, such a modification as these footholds should not be made unilaterally in such a popular place even if that was the intended purpose of removing the rope. Like everyone else I am just guessing as to their purpose.
It is possible to climb them all without rope, I tried once many years ago (when I was young and full of energy), hard work as you get higher up the climbs but doable (and I'm definitely not a rock rat). If removal of rope was a reason then the first rope (as you exit) shouldn't have been there in the first place as that's the really easy one..

Please do not try and put an upside to this and justify the actions of self-centred vandals.
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Offline tobyk

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2019, 07:14:55 am »
Above ground chipping holds on climbs went out of date in the 1800s. As a classic caving route, this is akin to chipping a way up a classic rock climb e.g. little Chamonix, or a hard move on a classic scramble e.g. pinnacle ridge St Sunday crag.
Are the missing pieces likely to still be there and can simple be stuck back on? Or do you think they have been blown into a hundred pieces?
Maybe an idea, which would require work, but could a pamphlet be put together by the BCA or CNCC of ‘how to behave in caves’ and if you want to make modifications these should be justified first and go through an appropriate channel. The pamphlet could be sent out with the BCA insurance card each year as a reminder.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2019, 07:54:59 am »
Maybe an idea, which would require work, but could a pamphlet be put together by the BCA or CNCC of ‘how to behave in caves’ and if you want to make modifications these should be justified first and go through an appropriate channel. The pamphlet could be sent out with the BCA insurance card each year as a reminder.

Nice sentiment, but we can safely conclude that it is foolish to continue presuming that C21st cavers (i.e. members of the public) are aware of the existence of regional caving councils, national body, this website etc.. BCA already has a Conservation Code, an Ethical Caving Code, the Minimal Impact Caving leaflet, a credit-card sized conservation list, the excellent EUSS conservation poster, a thick volume of Caving Conservation reference material (harking back to NCA days) etc., etc.. More of the same failed* prescription is a fool's paradise.

Putting signs in caves, just beyond the limit of daylight penetration (i.e. somewhere that only someone who is caving can reach if they are equipped with a light source for personal navigation) has been mentioned to at least one RC and the BCA (at C&A level), and here, more times than I can remember yet in this country it is a topic which seems to elicit an irrational disdain from certain quarters, despite it being standard practice in much of Europe: such signs can convey, using icons so there is no language barrier, acceptable standards of behaviour. WhyTF we don't have them in the UK is a mystery, especially as there are memorial plaques, rescue organisation info-signs, and roadsigns littering numerous classic caves around and about, so the precedent already exists.

Many years ago it was even offered for some signs (based on European example) to be made up and installed FOC but the usual predictable shit storm threatened to wash in so I didn't bother with it any further. That was at RCC/BCA level, please note.


* GG graffiti, HLIS/Swildon's Hole vandalism, WR, L/E, KMC etc., to name but a handful of recent examples, all prove these documents did not reach their target. The list will continue to grow so get used to it.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 08:16:32 am by Cap'n Chris »

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2019, 09:47:32 am »
This damage is criminal (or should be), and I fear this section of cave will be tainted for me now.

If it's in a SSSI, then it is potentially....

I would not place much reliance on the law surrounding SSSIs if I were you.  Yes section 28P of the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act makes it a criminal offence for any other person who without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages any of the geological or physiographical features by reason of which land is of special interest.

The Leck Beck Head Catchment Area SSSI citation states: "The caves exhibit a wide range of features of interest, including a number of passages which lie well above the present water table. ... The scale and variety of the caves makes this a most important site for the study of surface and underground landform development over a long period of the recent past." see https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Citation/1001420.pdf.

The statement of Operations requiring Natural England's consent include: "Recreational, educational or other activities likely to damage features of interest." see https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Consent/1001420.pdf.

I suggest features of interest only focuses on "underground landform development" since it makes no other reference to "wide range of features of interest".  So do you really think creating a few steps is damaging the "underground landform development"?  I fear a reasonable defence lawyer could make hay with the vagueness of the citation.

Also please note that section 28E prohibits the land owner from permitting any operation prohibited by the SSSI to be carried out and section 28P makes that a criminal offence.  Given that, should the land owner place more restrictions on access to protect themselves?

Let me emphasise that I do not condone what has been done; it is just that I fear appeals to law are of no value and could disastrously rebound on access.   :'(

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2019, 10:31:18 am »
It'd be an interesting thing to research Bob - most of them do not go to court and will not end up being defended as they are civil sanctions. Natural England has successfully pursued hundreds of individuals in this way in the past including for mineral extraction, geological collection etc, and if they can get you for churning up mud with a vehicle, rearing pheasants or incorrectly storing manure, they can certainly give stop notices and enforcement undertakings for blowing up bits of rock or inserting bits of metal.

The argument that "ooo err it might affect access" is not an excuse for folks to cover up or deny criminal activity.

Besides that fact, its a shit argument: I've always found NE very helpful and willing to give out SSSI consents for activities including rock removal, and remember that part of Natural Englands remit is to help people access, understand and enjoy the natural environment. Bear in mind they also have employees that sit on the BCA council (for the moment) and you'll understand why I find this ignorance of our national bodies particularly jarring.

Offline mikem

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2019, 11:59:28 am »
Unfortunately it's a normal cycle of life, people push the boundaries of what's acceptable, sanctions are brought in & things generally calm down for a while, then people start pushing in other directions. Just have to deal with it as best we can ...

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2019, 01:12:13 pm »
Putting signs in caves, just beyond the limit of daylight penetration (i.e. somewhere that only someone who is caving can reach if they are equipped with a light source for personal navigation) has been mentioned to at least one RC and the BCA (at C&A level), and here, more times than I can remember yet in this country it is a topic which seems to elicit an irrational disdain from certain quarters, despite it being standard practice in much of Europe: such signs can convey, using icons so there is no language barrier, acceptable standards of behaviour. WhyTF we don't have them in the UK is a mystery, especially as there are memorial plaques, rescue organisation info-signs, and roadsigns littering numerous classic caves around and about, so the precedent already exists.

They exist at the entrance of most major Welsh caves? (OFD, Daren, Aggy?)

My money would still be on club cavers (or ex-club cavers), not just 'members of the public' (which I presume means non-BCA members, as we are all members of the public). All the evidence I've ever heard suggests the majority of active cavers are BCA members (albeit this is hard to prove), and the vast majority (something like 5/6ths?) of BCA members are club members. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the DIMs are in a club as well; I'm in four clubs and still a DIM (you have to be to be in the BCRA, for example). Joint with another DIM who is a member of two clubs.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2019, 02:07:23 pm »
tobyk suggested a leaflet be pushed out by BCA to all members on 'how to behave in caves'.  CNCC has a leaflet, see https://cncc.org.uk/digging but it is focused on digging & SSSIs.  Although Cap'n Chris makes a point about their ineffectiveness he does highlight other resources which could be used.  And of course, the message need not be restrained to just a leaflet.   

However, the message needs an outline of the ideas it should cover.  My initial thought was creating a message focusing on 'modifying caves', be it adding aids or making holds.  I am unsure quite what 'how to behave in caves' could cover.  But ideas like don't touch stall, keep between tape come to mind. 

With a set of ideas for content, drafting the message should not be too difficult.  It could then be worked up into a message to be sent out to all clubs to forward onto members and also to magazines etc as well as a leaflet for use in various locations.  It could also be turned into a poster for display in club huts and caving shops.  And perhaps other devices for getting the message across?

So what ideas are there for the content of such a message?

Mods - Should this be a new thread?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2019, 02:29:06 pm »
It is my personal opinion (a dangerous thing, I know) that anyone with the appropriate kit and experience to have capped these footholds knew perfectly well what they were doing and that it was against any kind of acceptable caving conduct.

"Capping" is an "advanced" digging technique, it is inconceivable to me, that a "member of the public" would come up with this exact same technique off their own back to cut footholds into a cave (that already has an in-situ rope).

For this reason, I cannot imagine that any form of sign or leaflet would help. If someone chooses to vandalise a cave in this way, a sign is unlikely to stop them.

A 30mph speed limit is well sign-posted and drivers need to undergo training and pass a test to drive on the road, however, people still choose to ignore them for personal convenience. Why do we think that a sign in a cave would be any more effective?
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2019, 02:58:09 pm »
I think Pete Hall is spot on and I wonder if more clutter in caves by way of notices, etc. would have the opposite effect, i.e. the less “pristine” the environment seems the more some people will think it is OK to add their own modifications?

It seems to me that the place to start is to calmly and gently ask the step installers and cappers why they thought it was OK to take unilateral action; did they consider asking others; did they know who they might consult about their plans; did they recognise that they were irrevocably damaging a SSSI, etc. Knowing the motivation might help to inform how best to educate people.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2019, 08:18:03 pm »
It seems to me that the place to start is to calmly and gently ask the step installers and cappers why ...

Good luck with that.

Offline kay

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2019, 09:22:33 am »
tobyk suggested a leaflet be pushed out by BCA to all members on 'how to behave in caves'  ...

However, the message needs an outline of the ideas it should cover.  My initial thought was creating a message focusing on 'modifying caves', be it adding aids or making holds.  I am unsure quite what 'how to behave in caves' could cover.  But ideas like don't touch stall, keep between tape come to mind. 

With a set of ideas for content, drafting the message should not be too difficult.

BCA New Caving Code and Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines are available for download from http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=conservation_access:news

They don't specifically cover adding aids or making holds, but no-one reading them could be left in any doubt that one should at least have a hard think before undertaking such activities.

Offline gardouth

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2019, 12:28:54 pm »
The Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines are also available in web page form here: https://cncc.org.uk/conservation/caving-guidelines.php

There is also a page on digging on SSSI's: https://cncc.org.uk/conservation/digging.php

Plus lots of other conservation information.
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Offline kat

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2019, 01:18:43 pm »
have realised why I never post on forums - it never quite comes out right
 
anyway just for future clarification - by fixed rope (which I hate) I meant those particular ropes - not the presence of fixed ropes in general. much preferred the previous knotted ropes in WR.

anyway just mentioning in case someone decides to point this out next time I'm being thankful there is a fixed rope somewhere   

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2019, 07:16:15 pm »
Like a number of fellow cavers who have expressed displeasure over this issue, I also find it difficult to think of any legitimate justification.

But . . . just put yourself in the mind of the person who did it. The more vitriolic the posts in this topic the more difficult it would be for them to come forward and engage in meaningful discussion. The latter is probably the best way to persuade folk to go about things differently in future. I think that's really what Badlad had in mind, in his well written original post above.

I don't think anything written so far is particularly distasteful but some of it might be a bit off-putting.  Give the bloke or lass a chance - I'm sure common sense will then eventually prevail.

Offline thomasr

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2019, 07:46:46 pm »
Totally agree :thumbsup:

Offline Fulk

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2019, 10:36:24 pm »
Quote
Give the bloke or lass a chance - I'm sure common sense will then eventually prevail.

You could have said that about the stemples in Kingsdale Master Cave . . . but Lo and Behold, it happens again!

So – will 'common sense' ever prevail?

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2019, 10:08:24 am »
Should we as a group be covering for and encouraging a gentle attitude towards this act of criminal damage?

Offline Canary

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2019, 10:32:06 am »
If you condemn a person/group entirely and not allow any discussion, the usual reaction is for them to go "f**k it, i will do whatever the hell i want". This usually leads to more bolting/capping as in reality you can't stop them.

Just look at any bolting thread on climbing forums in the past 20 years.

 

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2019, 10:13:19 am »
Should we as a group be covering for and encouraging a gentle attitude towards this act of criminal damage?

No and no. But if you want to nip this in the bud, an analysis of which is likely to be the more successful approach should factor in human nature - which I think is the point Canary makes.


Offline CNCC

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2019, 11:34:01 pm »
Council of Northern Caving Clubs; Working together for northern caving since 1963

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 11:25:34 am »
There will be as many views as there are personalities on the forum. I personally think this is rather OTT but then I was surprised to see the metal plate placed on the climb down out of Maypole Inlet in OFD2 when it appeared. On Mendip we have until now had more of  a history of fixed aids disappearing in caves eg Three Rung Ladder and the Wire in Wire Rift in St. Cuthbert's Swallet, and the ladder in the Greasy Chimney in Swildon's Hole as wel as the famous row in the 60's over whether a piple should be in place at the top of the 40. In Reservoir Hole we had quite a discussion on how much we should modify the climb into the Frozen Deep and metal plates there were primarily to reduce erosion of the pitch. I think changing the character of a climb that is regularly done after half a century at least of use by cavers is not really good form.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2019, 11:53:28 am »
Mrodoc has said explicitly what most here have suggested. It is not the damage to the cave that's upsetting, but the damage to tradition.

A sign in a cave is more unsightly, less useful, and ecologically equal to some footholds.

I attempt to leave every cave as unaltered as possible. When there is a need to drill, break, blast, muddy, carve, or dig, then, I feel absolutely justified in doing so. It is important to do our violence with respect for the place and its people.