Author Topic: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?  (Read 743 times)

Offline Jakob

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Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« on: January 18, 2021, 02:17:32 pm »
The title sais is all. I live close to Hades Cave and would (for future purposes) like to know which tree to use to end up on the right ledge? I tried the climb, but it was a little too much for me to freesolo - so I'd rather tackle it from above on SRT gear.

Anyone have a clue?

Online rhychydwr1

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 03:00:10 pm »
There is a book...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274644342017

Hades is at the top of The Slab.  I think that the cave you are talking about is Corpse Cave.  All I can suggest is trial and error!  Use the nearest tree, descend, obverse and then reposition ladder accordingly.

Online mikem

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 05:56:59 pm »
There isn't a tree, take a ladder & rig off fence.

Online Thomas Tom-Thomas

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2021, 01:10:17 pm »
Hi Jakob,
I've not been into Hades, but I've been past it many times (it's on one of my scrambly runs).

I wouldn't be too keen on abbing in from above, as the anchors are right by the path, which is frequented by all sorts. I know folks whove had bags nicked from the grass while they were belaying. The anchors are a bit funny, and I'm not sure how straight the ab is.

The straightest line down is from a little v notch in a rock wall. You can look over the fence, there's a gap of about 4 feet, then a spindly tree and and the little wall. The rope would take you down easy slab, then through a gap in a vegetated ledge down a couple of short steps onto the large ledge with the cave.  Places to rebelay may be limited due to some misguided soul doing some comprehensive vegetation clearance this spring. The anchors would be either the fence (hmm...), the spindly tree (not sure I would!) Or extending the anchors to sturdy trees across the path (potential to trip pedestrians)

At the top of easy slab, there's also an open area with a nice view and two sturdy trees. You're much closer to the undercut edge of the buttress here and could swing into space.

I'm not sure which route you tried to climb up, but the first "pitch" of easy route is considerably easier than either of the fir tree slab options.

Hope that gives you some information to help you with your decisions.

Tom

Online mikem

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2021, 02:52:06 pm »
Ah yes, Hades is well to the right of the previous car park - route up to it is a bit convoluted - trying to go direct from either side would be challenging. Corpse cave is to the left on a much more intimidating face to climb.

Offline Jakob

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 03:42:26 pm »
I'm not sure which route you tried to climb up, but the first "pitch" of easy route is considerably easier than either of the fir tree slab options.

Hi Tom! Yes, I actually did make it up to there I assume the entrance is. I didn't look around much because rain came in and we didn't want to descend in the wet. Still, i think the first couple of meters of descent from the entrance are quite exposed (On easy route). Is there a place close to the entrance where you WOULD rig a pull through rope, just for the first maybe, 8m?

Online Thomas Tom-Thomas

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Re: Where to rig rappel for Hades Cave, Avon Gorge?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 09:13:43 pm »
Hi Tom! Yes, I actually did make it up to there I assume the entrance is. I didn't look around much because rain came in and we didn't want to descend in the wet. Still, i think the first couple of meters of descent from the entrance are quite exposed (On easy route). Is there a place close to the entrance where you WOULD rig a pull through rope, just for the first maybe, 8m?

Hi Jakob - Good move.  Gorge limestone in the wet is as slippy as it gets. 

From memory, the cave entrance is a little way off to the right once you pull up onto the big ledge from Easy Route.  There are a couple of small hawthorn trees by the entrance.  The furthest one normally has a cable loop and maillon round it to allow climbers to abseil off without ring barking the tree after climbing on Fir tree Slab (this was replaced in May so should be still there, but you never know).  There might be other trees on the big ledge, but I'm normally chuntering along and only looking at what I'm about to climb, so I can't be sure.

The line of the abseil takes you maybe 50 feet down the easy angled fir tree slab. At the bottom of the slab, you're just above a rock catch fence.  There's an easy walk/scramble back towards the parking from here.

It's worth saying that the ground around the hawthorns, while not really technical in a climbing sense, is worthy of being careful on.  There's an outward slope and lots of scrittly little flakes lying around on the ledges.  Some sort of lifeline protection might be needed to reach an ab point (depending on confidence or conditions).  I don't recall exactly where the first hawthorn is, or if it's possible to ab off it.

Use your judgement, and an abundance of caution.  There aren't many incut holds or bomber anchors round those parts.

All the best

Tom
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 09:27:56 pm by Thomas Tom-Thomas »

 

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