For the last two days, I've had the opportunity to be trained for techniques that are needed to traverse vertical cave shafts.
Now all I need is more practice... the Single Rope Technique (SRT) style of climbing up and down ropes is not difficult, but it is not trivial either, and to make it second nature will need regular training.
The techniques are surprisingly different from climbing techniques, even if some of the basics of handling rope and equipment are similar. On the course we setup all the gear, made suitable length cowtails and ascender loops, and learned to climb up, descend, switch directions, pass anchors, pass other attachments, and, most difficult, pass knots on the rope. Cool. But, setting up rope belays would be yet another level, that was not covered on this beginner course.
Suomen Luolaseura (or The Finnish Caving Association) organises training for caving in Finland, from basic courses to these more advanced courses. The course program can be seen on the web page. Thank you Dare (+ Taina) for this course and photos!
Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko, Taina Nyman, and Dare Talvitie. All rights reserved.