Hot answers tagged

37

How you react will depend on the situation. If you're climbing and you hear someone yell "ROCK" then your default reaction should be to hug the rock, brace for impact, and hope the rock misses you, or glances off your helmet. If the call comes from above, you should repeat it in case your belayer didn't hear the person above you. If your belayer makes the ...


36

Compasses are good equipment both spelunking and diving. Even the deepest cave you could go to is still near the earth's surface, geologically speaking. The earth's magnetic field is also essentially the same under water as above. If you are using a compass, what you need to be aware of is nearby magnets and large sources of iron. So if you were exploring ...


33

It turns out that gunshots can be used to map caves, The decade-long search might have gone a little differently, though, if soldiers had access to a new system that can use sound waves from a gunshot to quickly map unknown caves and tunnels. The portable system, created by David Bowen of Acentech in Cambridge, Massachusetts, consists of two microphones ...


25

Most climbing harnesses support the majority of your weight, if freely suspended, around the tops of the thighs. While the waist belt may be designed to take the brunt of loads in a fall once you are suspended the weight will tend to settle onto the leg loops, depending of course on the position that you end up in. But either way the harness will end up ...


21

Couple things: ALWAYS wear a helmet. You bang your head a lot more than you think, since you're in the dark all the time (or with limited scope of light with your headlamp). With a helmet, you hardly feel anything when you bump your head. Much, MUCH more comfortable. Of course, keep it buckled to your head. You never know sometimes where or what will happen....


17

I would guess it's a carbide lamp as it was in former times used by mining workers and is still used in speleology (caving) sometimes. The basic working principle is a box with carbide and a water reservoir from which water slowly drips onto the carbide. Carbide and water chemically react and form acetylene gas which is guided through a hose to a small ...


16

The best qualities of caving footware are actually easy to clean (especially now with WNS concerns) easy to walk/crawl in (must fit well and now slide around) keep your feet warm durable (caves eat clothing) Watertight shoes hold water in just was well as they keep water out, and in a wet cave water will get in. First get yourself a pair of 3mm neoprene ...


15

You have no idea how much time you have before you might take an impact, no matter how far above you the call is made because you don't know the delay in calling ROCK. Therefore, I think the answer is always the same, look straight at the rock face so your helmet is pointing up towards the object and hopefully takes the fall. Suck yourself in as close to ...


15

Yes, it is accepted practice to wash new Semi-Static rope (or Single Rope Technique/SRT Rope as it is known by cavers). Dave Elliot is a highly respected SRT expert, and he wrote the CNCC Rope Care page, which says: There are two reasons why new ropes are best washed before use. Washing removes the anti-static lubricants used in manufacture and also ...


15

The temperature within the cave is almost constant whatever the current surface temperature is. Once well away from surface influences, i.e., not near an entrance or another close connection to the surface, where air movements can influence the temperature, caves are usually at the same temperature (or very close) as the annual average temperature for the ...


15

This began as a comment but quickly began to grow, so I suppose now it's my supplementary answer to studiohack's great answer. Personal Experience - If you haven't been to any caves at all, explore a much smaller, easier one first before setting out to do a rappel-entry cave. This allows you to get comfortable maneuvering around in tight spaces where needed ...


14

As an experienced caver, I can say @studiohack & @manoftheson both good advice. Here's some additional pointers, in no particular order. Some of this is copied from my comments, but new info as well. One thing I want to emphasize is using a head mounted light. This leaves both hands free for climbing and crawling. Make sure it has a chin strap. If you ...


14

It isn't that unusual to use 8mm rope in caving on vertical (at least in Europe) especially in deeper caves with more rope to carry down and of course, back out again. In the US cavers tend to rig pitches from a single anchor and take care that there are no sharp bits of rock the rope could come in contact with and use rope which is more abrasion-resistant. ...


14

While this answer on a different question related to safety precautions for caving explains most of the what-to-have-along things, I'd like to put forth some points that can help you understand situation better. Get confirmed information about Tide times and tide chart. Avoid planning one such venture on a Full Moon or New Moon, since the Moon and the ...


12

North America English Canada / United States "ROCK!" (pronounced /rɒk/) French Canada "ROCHE!" (pronounced /ʁɔʃ/) Europe European Alps "CAILLOU !" (pronounced /ka.ju/) It's French but also sometimes used by non-francophone climbers and hikers in the Alps. This word is used to warn when a hiker (or a goat!) up the trail loosens a rock that ...


12

Assuming you have no way of safely and reliably leaving the cave to get help, your first priority is not to become a casualty yourself as well. Even if the Guide needs urgent medical attention, it would take an appreciable amount of time for the first members of the cave rescue team to arrive on site and then to locate you and the Guide in the cave, so ...


9

In addition to WedsPashi's answers, in the past when I've waded and scrambled around coasts I've gotten scratched and pierced by sharp mussels and rocks. I had a friend once step on a particularly long barnacle which broke inside his foot and we had to go to the ER. Also bear in mind that sea caves are formed in places that ocean currents batter the coast, ...


8

When I've had to clean spray paint from remote destinations, we've used chemical paint removers in spray bottles and scrub brushes. Do not do this on a historic site without permission from whoever manages it. There is a very good chance you will cause at least slight damage while removing the spray paint, and if you are careless, you can make the ...


8

The main problem is the disruption of the normal blood circulation. The blood pressure generated by the heart alone is not able to persistently pump back the blood from the feet, it needs the venes and the "muscle pump" generated by movement of the legs, especially of the feet against the ground. The loss of consciousness is a symptom, but after a person ...


8

Basically, a lava tube is formed when a underground lava flow stops flowing, leaving behind a long tubular cave. A lava tube is a natural conduit formed by flowing lava which moves beneath the hardened surface of a lava flow. Tubes can be draining lava from a volcano during an eruption, or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has ...


7

They shrink, apparently. For example, Beal's Precautions says: Before first use, soak the rope and leave to dry slowly. It will shrink by about 5%. Take this into account when calculating required lengths. And first use means just that: The very first time the rope is used.


7

In the UK and at least some other European countries, it is very common to dig in caves to get through blocked passages. Normally this is done through either sections of cave blocked by boulders from ancient roof collapses or through sediments left from post-Ice Age flooding. For example, this photo looking upwards to the caver at the top of a dig currently ...


7

As climber, your options are usually limited: get close to the wall, grab a good hold and/or a sling/pair when nearby. One possibly bad result of the rockfall might be that you'll be short a rope or belayer, hopefully temporarily. At least temporary rope slack as your belayer saves his beans is to be expected. When things go really bad they might means ...


6

The wikipedia page you quote should be right, of course this may vary by situation and person. So The asnwer to "how fast" is "about 20 minutes". This is indeed not a whole lot of time. When it is clear that within the next few minutes the person can not be lowered to the ground by normal means, rescue should start immediately. If the person is conscious, ...


6

From my experience in caves, I'd say you could expect the gunshot to reverberate for just a second or two in passages that are barely more than walking size. In larger passages, maybe longer. Around a few bends it would probably sound muffled as well. And keep in mind that sound travels through small, impassable cracks and crannies in caves as well -- I'...


6

The main areas for caving in the UK are: The Yorkshire Dales The Peak District South Wales The Mendip Hills (near Bristol) The North Pennines There are other, smaller areas as well, such as: Forest of Dean, Devon, Barrow in Furness, Assynt (in Scotland). The UK Caving WIKI has some more information on this. If you would like to get back into caving, ...


6

I am member of a caving association, and we have found no better equipment than the good old 5 EUR rubber boots. Equipment manufacturers know this as well, therefore a specialized marked is small and brings no better value. Use wool socks inside.


5

First, if you remove the descender from the harness, you can accidently drop it down (this really happens sometimes). Second, you have one more connection, which you need to control. This can increase the risk, if you are tired and/or do a lot of descents in a row. Third, and the most important, figure 8 twists and tangles the rope like hell. It is not a ...


4

I also agree that 8mm rope is pretty safe. I've done pretty close to straight vertical rappels up to 160ft on it while canyoneering (8mm rope is very common in canyoneering). I'm assuming you've gone on your trip by now, but for anyone else who might be curious, I'd like to address the idea of different descenders. The speed that you travel on the rope has ...


4

No, there are no risks, assuming you're asking abput biohazards. This is poop so old it has petrified, become stone and/or sand. The only microorganisms that actively live in there are ones that can also live in other types of sand. There are some forms of bacterial and probably fungal spores that can stay alive in a suspended state for tens or even hudreds ...


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