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cave climbing

Cave Climbing

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You will find many famous caves prepared for tourists to visit and with suitable conditions on Iran Tours. Even if you are not interested in caves, you can go to see the big caves that are among the tourist attractions of Iran. Caves such as Ali-Sadr Cave, Saholan Cave, Quri Qal’eh Cave, Rood Afshan Cave, Chama Ice Cave, Katale Khor Cave, and other chalk or salt caves of Iran are easily accessible to visitors. Even if you don’t have any specialized caving equipment, as an ordinary nature tourist, you can visit them and other big caves without any difficulty. But in this article, we have discussed the list of cave climbing equipment.

If you plan to pursue this profession more professionally or step into caves that are difficult to pass, you must carry the necessary equipment for cave climbing with you. Pay attention to the fact that having professional and specialized equipment for caving is essential but not sufficient. You must also know the skills of using these devices. You should know the tips and skills of caving and in general, if you are starting this profession for the first time, go with professionals. If you are an amateur, go into the cave with professionals and learn the principles and tips of caving from them. After the training, you can explore hidden and difficult caves by relying on the acquired skills and equipment needed for caving. Even go through caves that few people have been able to pass through.

What are the necessary tools for caving?

Cave clothing should generally be strong, thick, and comfortable. In terms of structure, it should be in one piece so that you can easily pass and crawl in narrow passages. The zipper variety is generally preferable to the one-piece variety. It is necessary to close the ends of the sleeves and the tails of the legs with an elastic band to prevent dirt and mud from entering the body. For the strength of the parts in contact with the ground, such as elbows and knees, it is better to patch a piece of anti-scratch cloth on it. In the following article, we will discuss the list of caving equipment.

Caving clothes are divided into two categories according to the working conditions in the cave:

1- cotton

2- Synthetic fiber clothes

1- Cotton clothes (light caving)

They are usually linen and used in dry caves, but they wear out quickly. (Essential tools for caving)

2- Synthetic fiber clothes

These types of clothes are used to move under waterfalls and wet places and prevent water from penetrating the body. Texan-type clothes have high resistance and are very useful for cave climbing, where even nylon clothes are torn. The top clothes are of the Ural model and are made of PVC synthetic material and another type of polyurethane material which is also anti. They are water resistant, and the body can breathe in them. (Essential tools for caving)

Some Necessary Equipment for Cave Climbing:

Caving Shoes:

In the first step, the best criteria for a shoe suitable for caving is that the shoe must have a solid and resistant sole so that it is comfortable and safe to step on sharp surfaces. Secondly, Caving shoes should be water resistant. Thirdly they must fit perfectly.

Climbing shoe size and fitting: Perhaps the foremost thing you have to consider is that purchasing ordinary shoes differ from purchasing climbing shoes. In reality, we normally strive for a gap around the other areas of the foot so that the toes do not strike the front of the shoes. It is the polar opposite while hunting for climbing shoes. The goal is for all of the shoe’s components to fit snugly around your foot. This is why it is dangerous to go around casually in climbing shoes, as these shoes are not meant for walking and that is not what they should do.

So when choosing a shoe seek a suitable fit for both of your feet when selecting climbing shoes for beginners. That is, the shoe must fit snugly without giving pain to your foot. However, once you start wearing your climbing shoes, it is preferable that the toes have a tiny bend and touch at the end of the shoe. Keep in mind that any gaps on the heel or under the arch may cause you to slip or slide.

Gloves:

Caving gloves should be strong yet flexible. The advantage of using gloves is to protect the hands from moisture and possible scratches, and at the same time, it prevents mud contamination.

Caving Bag:

A caving Bag or carrying bag should be small in size, and its diameter should be such that it can be easily passed through a 60cm hole. Their fabrics are resistant and light. Waterproof bags can also be used for activities in water caves. These bags’ maximum height and diameter should not be more than 80 and 40 cm.

Caving Hat:

A suitable device to protect the head when hitting walls or falling rocks. The characteristics of an ideal casket hat should be light and soft but at the same time strong. The hat must have a double strap to close under the chin, and at the same time, it must have holes for ventilation of the skin and head and a place for installing a headlamp in the front of the hat. These hats have head diameter regulation for adjustment and are designed without a brim.

Headlamp:

The cave climber’s movement, safety, and survival are directly related to his light and light reserve.

Harness:

An interconnected set of nylon straps made by hooking or sewing in two pieces of the upper body and lower body is used to protect and transfer the body weight against possible falls and spread the shock caused by the fall throughout the body. And it is possible to make a safe ascent and descent. Usually, the chest and seat should be two pieces and separate from each other, and a crawler should be installed in between them.

Carabiner

This device is used to create quick and reliable connections and has a lot of variety in type and material, each of which was used for a specific case. Screw carabiners are used for caving. The reason for using this type of carabiner in caving is due to its heavy resistance to friction or equipment. In terms of physical structure, they are made in oval, semicircular, and delta shapes, and the more parallel type is used in middles and traverses.

Landing Gear

The landing device is made of light materials and alloys that are resistant to friction and impact and is a reliable device for landing. This device has two fixed pulleys, which are prevented from being hit or pulled out by a movable metal plate. The use of landing devices in technical caving can be seen differently. Some of them have an automatic braking system for landing, in the form of a small handle at the bottom, which automatically locks the rope and prevents it from moving as soon as it falls suddenly and releases the brake lever.

Pulleys are used in the operation of carrying wounded and Tyroleans and to increase the lifting power. It is also an efficient and helpful tool for reducing weight and friction during lifting. In different sizes, naturally, the amount of pressure required for this device must also be considered according to the type of work. Generally, they are used to change the direction of the rope from 90 to 180 degrees. The larger the diameter of their pulley, the less friction, and their bearing type has the least friction.

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Shunt

The shunt is a light and durable device made of titanium alloy, used for self-support during landing, has a latch connected to the landing seat, and is quickly locked in case of a possible fall.

Note:

1- Under no circumstances should braided ropes be used when landing with a shunt.

2- The permitted rope for descent and self-support of the shunt is in the form of one strand or two strands of the same diameter.

Ascenders

It is a fast and safe climbing device from a fixed rope. This device is also used in different places. Like the operation of carrying the injured, but it is generally used in climbing operations, the method of climbing with an Ascender is also in the form of steps and steps. Ascenders have a handle that can be easily moved on the rope. It would help if you took care of the barbed jaws of your Ascender so that mud does not remain between them. Ascenders are made left and right (L and R), and their weight is usually 200 grams. And it is suitable for transferring the weight of up to 2 people, and if more shock or weight is applied to it, it will cause damage to the rope coating.

Croll

This device is considered one of the specialized equipment in the field of caving and is regarded as a part of the climbing tools. In terms of performance, a Croll is much like an Ascender. But it has notable particular differences. For example, it is designed so that it does not cause discomfort when placed on the chest.

Climbing Harness

This device consists of a simple Croll-like part that is installed around the thighs by a belt so that the weight is divided during climbing, allowing the climber to climb more easily; This device is considered an auxiliary tool.

Metal rod

These ladders are of the rope type. This device is used to climb up from wells or descend into wells. Due to the fact that caving with this tool wastes less time and energy, especially when the number of visitors is high. This device is usually made in lengths of 7 to 10 meters. The stairs are also made of hollow wires with an alloy resistant to impact and pressure, each step is about 15 to 20 cm long, and to increase their length, the two ends of the wires are made into hooks and twisted.

Hammer

Caving hammers weigh about 250 to 300 grams and have a broader and heavier head to hit nails and rolls. The other side of the head is in the shape of a triangle, which can be used to break sharp edges. A hole is built in the middle of the hammer to be connected to the body or used as a lever.

Drill

In some instances, a drill may also be required. With a roll punch machine, you can establish a good and safe station in the desired location. It is important to note that the target area must not have decay or erosion, and the degraded surface can be removed with hammer blows. Do not use the roll-in cracks and cracks; this device consists of two parts, a handle, and a drill.

Caving Rope

The diameter of the caving rope should not be less than 9 mm and more than 12 mm. These ropes do not have elasticity and have a rough surface. In other words, these ropes are called static ropes, and they consist of 2 parts: core and cover. The reasons for making this rope for caving, first of all, are due to the fact that there is no longitudinal tension and fluctuation in these ropes, and less energy is needed to climb. Secondly, these ropes are more resistant to friction and moisture.

Tips on cave climbing rope care

1- The extra rope at the bottom of the well should be looped so that it does not get crushed underfoot.

2- Don’t use wounded and suspicious ropes.

3- Pay attention to their burns and twists.

4- After each program, the rope must be cleaned and washed with fresh water.

Nails

Nails are widely used to establish middle grounds or stations. Of course, in caving, due to the low strength of rocks, nails are used less often because the nails’ strength is usually greater than the rock itself, and it easily sinks the rock under high pressure. The nails are made of spring steel and have holes, of different types for different shapes.

Additional Caving Equipment

Diving clothes and equipment are used in caves where cavers must stay in the water for a long time, or crossing branches requires diving.

Tools needed for mapping and documenting caves: It can be said that all professional cavers agree that cave exploration is incomplete without documenting and mapping the cave. Undoubtedly, carrying out this important activity, like other caving activities, requires its own tools and equipment. The available devices are available in two ranges, digital and classic. Among these accessories are compasses and inclinometers.

Twin inclinometer compass among the above types, the twin type, which is actually a combination of two compass and inclinometer devices, is more popular. Light weight, small volume, and high efficiency are the reasons for this popularity. With the help of this tool, after determining the points, the angle of the hypothetical line connecting the points with the north and also the slope of this hypothetical line are determined. Another mapping tool is the meter. With the help of this tool, the distance between the points (the length of the hypothetical line mentioned above) as well as the coordinates and dimensions of the halls and passages are determined. But the presence of modern and digital equipment has its own special place like other fields. All types of laser meters have widely replaced tape meters. But with the growth and expansion of science and technology and taking advantage of this importance in documenting caves, a new tool has entered the field of cave mapping.

Disto A3 is a new tool that has been integrated into a digital device by making some changes to three of its functions: compass, inclinometer, and meter. This new device not only performs the work of three instruments at the same time in a compact size and weight but also has the ability to transfer information to pocket computers, laptops, etc., directly. Therefore, to use this tool better, a pocket computer (PDA) is usually used simultaneously, significantly impacting the speed and ease of mapping. Writing software is also an integral part of documenting and mapping caves. For this purpose, a pencil, eraser, and checkered paper are used. For wet caves, the documents must be waterproofed with a particular method. In the case of underwater mapping, related techniques are also used.

If you are interested in exploring another form of an Iranian landscape check out our Iran desert tours where we explore vast desert lands and dunes.

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