Freesteel Blog » More caving weekends with added digging

More caving weekends with added digging

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 at 10:16 pm Written by:

Weekend of the 14th July was designated CUCC rescue training practice for the usual Austria caving expedition where we got to learn about all these new-fangled mid-rope rescue techniques, including this one which I’d heard about, but never seen demonstrated.

It’s to be used by a small person rescuing someone bigger than them who is incapacitated while ascending the rope and needs to be removed from it quickly.

The trick is to connect the lower section of rope with a knot to their top jammer so it hangs freely, install the descender onto it and then transfer the combined weight from their chest jammer onto the descender (hanging from the rope on the top jammer) by cutting it. The top jammer is then left behind holding the two pieces of rope together while they abseil down to safety.

Hopefully it’s not on brand new rope or there is the possibility that the outer sheaf of the rope will slip down off the core now and off the cut end, leaving both hanging from material like the finger of a woolly glove.

It’s a technique you’d only do only if you lack enough spare rope to hang down in parallel to the one that the casualty is on. For example, if they are incapacitated by a rockfall, it may have also damaged the rope.

We also experimented with hauling rigs, which can only be used if you have too much spare rope to play with.

Then there was testing out our rescue stretcher, which is not quite of the quality of the one they put me into at the North Wales Cave Rescue Organization practice

I seem to be winding up at quite a few cave rescue drills recently, more than in all my other years of caving put together.

Mustn’t grumble.

Here’s a picture of the goddamn slugs munching our lettuce crop.

Went to Leck Fell, Yorkshire on Friday 27 July to help on a breakthrough dig at Inlet 6.5 and Three Quarters in Notts II. These old guys had been digging it since March. Becka and Richard went round the loop the the passage on the other side and dug from their end.

I could hear their voices very faintly through the packed mud when I put my ear to it and I was at the front. But the old folks couldn’t hear anything until the actual breakthrough because they hadn’t got their hearing aids on.

Quick off the mark, here is the survey of the connection with the paper drawing of it underneath already sketched and rendered in tunnel. The survey error was 11.6metres in approximately 1km of loop.

Now it’s possible to get to a further area of the cave without too much crawling and trashing of the formations going via the long way round (1km of passage). Or maybe it will get a lot more traffic by folks wanting to do a round trip.

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