Author Topic: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length  (Read 826 times)

Offline LarryFatcat

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Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:16:06 pm »
Going to Oxlow in the near future and had a look at the topos, Crewe and DCA.

There is quite a disagreement for the required rope on the 2nd pitch which Crewe say is 14m deep (Caves of PD 12m).

2nd pitch Oxlow- (rope length)
DCA- 40m
Crewe- 24m

anyone made their own topo or can remember the rope needed?

(The Crewe and DCA topos broadly agree for all the rest of the pitches within 10%)

Offline Brains

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2019, 06:25:04 pm »
There is a free climbable descending passage to the head of the third pitch, but IIRC 24m should cover that anyway?

Offline Alex

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2019, 08:40:21 pm »
Is not because the second pitch can be continued to that big chamber, i.e. the wrong way. I reckon the full descent would be 40, but it you land on top of the ramp for the way on, then 24 should easily do it.

Most people then rig the ramp as it ends at another pitch.
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Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 09:48:32 pm »
The Crewe guide is accurate for rope length for the 2nd pitch.
The 24m takes you to the top of the slope down to the 3rd pitch.
Then there is a 31m for that slope & the pitch.
A 55m then for West Swirl Passage TO THE TOP OF THE 4th PITCH.
Total 110m.

If you do all that the 20m for the 4th pitch is OK.

I have only just seen the DCA topo and that does it slightly differently.

As I understand it they suggest a 40m for the 2nd pitch plus the slope to close to the top of the 3rd pitch.
Then there is a 60m for the 3rd pitch plus WSP, but only to the bolt BEFORE the top of the 4th pitch.
Total 100m.

If you do all that then I don't think the 20m will be long enough for the 4th pitch, starting several metres back from the top.
I once tried a 20m from there and had to climb the last few metres of the pitch.

My suggestion would be to use the CCPC lengths, finish at the bolt before the 4th pitch, and  take a 25m for that pitch. It's a better stance there than at the pitch head anyway, and if you finish up using the in-situ rope that is likely to be there that usually fnishes before the pitch anyway.

I think Alex has the 3rd pitch in mind, not the 2nd.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2019, 10:22:08 am »
Oxlow can be done on 40,60,25 assuming West Swirl Passage is rigged. This allows for the Miner's Step (Small ledge that's free-climbable but not for a novice) to be rigged just below the entrance. The 60 does the 2nd and 3rd pitch including the traverse in-between.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 01:10:35 pm »
Yes I was thinking of the 3rd pitch, I had forgotten about that second one.
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Offline Madness

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 10:30:20 pm »
Having done Oxlow last night I can verify the following:-

A 40 metre rope is plenty for the Entrance Pitch and the Armco Step below.

A 55 metre rope is exactly the right length to get you down Pitch 2 and Pitch 3 to the top anchor in West Swirl Passage.

West Swirl Passage is still rigged with the old blue rope but it finishes at the anchor before the anchors at the head of the 4th Pitch. Therefore you'll need a rope longer than 20 metres for the 4th Pitch so that you can start rigging from the bottom of the old blue rope. I can't say for certain, but I think 25 metres is probably enough.

A 20 metre rope is plenty for the 5th Pitch. I've done it on an 18m before with no issues.

We carried too much rope down with us last night as we were unsure whether West Swirl Passage would still be rigged.

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2019, 01:13:53 pm »
Having done Oxlow last night I can verify the following:-

A 40 metre rope is plenty for the Entrance Pitch and the Armco Step below.

A 55 metre rope is exactly the right length to get you down Pitch 2 and Pitch 3 to the top anchor in West Swirl Passage.

West Swirl Passage is still rigged with the old blue rope but it finishes at the anchor before the anchors at the head of the 4th Pitch. Therefore you'll need a rope longer than 20 metres for the 4th Pitch so that you can start rigging from the bottom of the old blue rope. I can't say for certain, but I think 25 metres is probably enough.

A 20 metre rope is plenty for the 5th Pitch. I've done it on an 18m before with no issues.

We carried too much rope down with us last night as we were unsure whether West Swirl Passage would still be rigged.

I took a 25m for the 4th pitch recently and found it just! touched the bottom so would recommend a 27m. We re-measured our ropes with a rope measure recently so it really was a 25m.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2019, 02:03:59 pm »

I took a 25m for the 4th pitch recently and found it just! touched the bottom so would recommend a 27m. We re-measured our ropes with a rope measure recently so it really was a 25m.

Depends how you rig the 4th Pitch; it's a classic for getting an insight into people's rigging techniques and needs to be rigged differently depending on the ability of the group. I favour an enormous bunny-ears or fusion knot on that pitch as it makes getting on/off it easier for freshers but it also uses 30m of rope. If it's a quick bounce trip with competent people, a deviation off the left hand bolt makes things quicker and uses far less rope but novices struggle with the angle.

No matter which way I rig it though, I'm never quite sure why there are two bolts on the left wall as using the two in a Y-hang leaves the hang in completely the wrong place!
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Offline Tseralo

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Re: Oxlow 2nd Pitch Rope Length
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2019, 02:15:42 pm »

I took a 25m for the 4th pitch recently and found it just! touched the bottom so would recommend a 27m. We re-measured our ropes with a rope measure recently so it really was a 25m.

Depends how you rig the 4th Pitch; it's a classic for getting an insight into people's rigging techniques and needs to be rigged differently depending on the ability of the group. I favour an enormous bunny-ears or fusion knot on that pitch as it makes getting on/off it easier for freshers but it also uses 30m of rope. If it's a quick bounce trip with competent people, a deviation off the left hand bolt makes things quicker and uses far less rope but novices struggle with the angle.

No matter which way I rig it though, I'm never quite sure why there are two bolts on the left wall as using the two in a Y-hang leaves the hang in completely the wrong place!

If your stood at the top of the pitch with west swirls behind you.

I tend to rig the traverse coming down on your right to the right hand bolts a tight traverse across to the left hand bolts and then a y hang as you say it uses more rope but it’s the easiest I’ve found for people.

I did once come to it to find someone had rigged a tri hang so the rope dropped right down the middle of the pitch which I imagine would have been easy to get off but would put more force on the bolts if one was to fail.

Some of the bolting in oxlow is interesting I’ve never had the chance to check with a hammer but i can only assume there is lots of bad rock at some of the pitch heads, that or moose bolted it.