Post details: ladder installation

03/17/05

Permalink 11:46:19 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 668 words   English (US)

ladder installation

I'm way late getting this up, but last Sunday I met up with Sertile and Atron back at the Hall of Fame caves.

This time we weren't really there to explore, although we did plan to check out the second cave again. I'd welded together a metal ladder from some scrap steel to replace the existing ladder. The one that was there was made out of wood and was rotting badly. We'd already managed to break two of the rungs out of it, and I had visions of some kid breaking their neck.

I went down first and moved the old ladder, then had them hand the new one down to me. I'd drilled out some holes in the bottom of the ladder, and I had ten inch nails with me to stake it down into the ground. I positioned the ladder where we wanted it and started driving the nails it. Unfortunately, it became apparent pretty quickly that the ground just wasn't firm enough for the ladder to stay staked down forever, but it would work for the time being.

Atron came down while I broke apart the old ladder with a sledge hammer and handed it up to Sertile. Then he came down, too, and we used some twine to take some measurements around the rock. I figured I'd buy some cable and permanently attach the ladder to the wall since I couldn't attach it to the ground. Either that, or I'd just make a whole new cable ladder for that cave like I was doing for the other one.

After that, we headed over to the second cave. Atron tied his rope to a boulder outside the cave, I tied some twine beside it, and we threw both down inside. We were going to use the twine to measure the depth so that I could make a rope ladder out of metal cable. We were also going to make a second ladder for a pit we'd found inside the cave the last time, which meant we had to go down inside and measure that as well.

I slid down the rope into the cave with Atron right behind me, while Sertile stayed up top to communicate with us via walkie talkie. He untied the rope for us and tossed it and the twine down. Atron and I then went over to the other pit, tied the rope and twine to another boulder inside, and tossed them both down again.

This time Atron stayed up top while I went down the rope into the pit. At the bottom, I found that the ground sloped down yet again into another chamber. Luckily, this one sloped down gently enough that I could walk down inside it. I had the walkie talkie with me, and I was already deep enough that Sertile couldn't hear me anymore, so I sent it back up the rope to Atron.

The third chamber turned out to be insane. It was two stories high in places and the walls and ceiling were covered in stalagtites and other formations. It looked like something out of a commercial cave, completely pristine. Except for two names scrawled on a blank wall at the bottom, both from the early sixties, it didn't seem like anyone had ever been to this part of the cave. I ended up spending quite a while inside the chamber taking pictures of the formations before I finally hauled myself back up the rope.

Back up in the main part of the cave, we had Sertile, who was good and bored by this point, pull our rope back up and tie it to the boulder. I struggled up the rope first, then sat down and enjoyed watching Atron do the same thing. Once we were out and had our gear put up, we decided to call it a day.

Be on the lookout for a future entry where we install our new cable ladders in the cave with tags saying "Courtesy of Underground Ozarks."

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Daniel [Visitor]
I am in similar situation, having to go down a 15-20ft verticle shaft. I was making a rope/wood ladder for this. Does somebody have a better idea for me?
Permalink 08/08/05 @ 18:48
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