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SRT Tackle

I have heard recently that the question of whether the club should purchase and provide for members use SRT rope and pitch rigging accessories (krabs, mail Ions, hangers, bolts) has been discussed by the committee.

May I make the following points which to me appear very relevant to this matter.

1.                  At an A.G.M. within the last few years the question was discussed.  From memory the decision taken was that the club would only supply the traditional caving tackle of ladders, lifelines, tethers and spreaders.  This decision I interpret as forming club policy which has never been revoked by any subsequent A.G.M.  Therefore no committee can override it or take any different action unless a future A.G.M. decides so.

2.                  Many times discussion has taken place on the desirability of group SRT tackle for general club use.  Even very recently at a meeting to dispose of the Berger Expedition equipment those present considered that the club could not control such equipment.

3.                  Where will it be stored?
Who will administer it and keep a log of usage? Who will check for damage etc.?
Who will say when a rope is unsafe?
Is there a big demand amongst members for group SRT equipment?
Are krabs, maillons, hangers etc. group tackle or should individuals use their own?
Would you use club tackle for SRT?

4.                  Even in the reasonably well controlled situation of the recent Berger Expedition where over 50 people used the SRT tackle many people expressed worries about the rope and more particularly worries over individuals treatment of it; their different SRT techniques which could cause damage to the rope and the lack of care with it.  I would suggest that the control over club SRT tackle would be less diligent and therefore more prone to misuse, loses and damage.

5.                  Our ability to look after our gravitational caving tackle is not very good.  Much goes missing never to be seen again.  I was in the tackle store recently and noticed only 1 lifeline - where have all the others gone?  Tethers and spreaders are abused and twisted beyond use.

6.                  Can the club afford it?  Are there not more important expenses?  I suggest that the only action the present committee can take now is to air the matter amongst members and in the B.B. for consideration at the next A.G.M.

Tim Large  5th December 1985.