Anchor testing completed

Anchor testing in Rhiwbach, Bwlch y Plwm, Wrysgan and Fish Caves has now been completed (to be fair Pete finished off Rhiwbach and Bwlch y Plwm over the Summer!)

Anchors within the blue routes were visually inspected, and where appropriate pull tested with a Hydrawjaw test rig up to 6kN for 15sec. To pass the test the anchor needs to hold the load for that period without fluctuating.

All anchors that passed both the visual (i.e. recognisable, no signs of corruption, not deformed, no movement) and pull test will have a green cable tie fixed to them, any that failed (but we’ve not been able to extract) will have a red cable tie. Anchors with no cable ties may not have been tested as it wasn’t possible to fit the test rig over the anchor.

Rigging plans with all the tested anchors are available here, with the exception of Wrysgan which just needs double checking, all will be added to the Mine Inspection Reports folders available through Google Docs.

Several anchors failed during the tests (see video).

In several cases old 12mm SPIT type anchors (found in Wrysgan) pulled at relatively low loads. These all showed signs of corrosion. There are several Petzl long-life (see photo) anchors in Bwlch y Plwm that were not tested, if using these you do so at your own risk. Any expansion anchor to be tested really needs to have the anchor plate removed and the pull device attached directly to the anchoring component. This isn’t possible with the Petzl long-lifes. Petzl Longlife

Notably several anchors in Fish Caves failed, and frustratingly it was not possible to remove them. The failure mechanism looks to have been a resin/rock bond failure which suggests the holes were more cleaned throughly before placing the resin. The failed anchors are all on the second pitch in Fish Caves and so requires a slightly different approach to rigging (see rigging diagram). I’m afraid this is going to persecute the short!

Fish Caves is rigged predominantly with DMM anchors. These flex when the tested so it’s not unusual to see the resin around the head of the anchor crack (see the image of a passed anchor below). Do not be alarmed by this if using these anchors. However as will all anchors ultimately the user must make a decision if they feel it’s safe to use. Before each use check;

  • Do you recognise the anchor (i.e. is it PPE, manufactured by a reputable company)
  • Check for signs of corrosion
  • Is the anchor set properly (i.e. nor proud of the rock)
  • Check the anchor isn’t deformed or have any sharp edges (especially if tying in direct)
  • Does the rock around the anchor look sound?
  • Does the anchor move if twisted by hand

Please report any defective anchors through the mines inspections email account, through facebook or direct here:

Latest Mine Reports Available

The latest mine reports have been uploaded to providers Google Drive box. Those with access should be able to log in and download the most recent repots by following this link: https://nwminereports.com/reports/latest-users-reports/

Any problem get in touch

Gethin

Message regarding conservation from the N. Wales LCMLA panel

Hello all,

At a recent panel meeting concern was expressed regarding the conservation of our mines. The panel would ask the following statement is shared among current and aspirant instructors;

Members of the N.Wales LCMLA trainer/assessor panel are becoming increasingly concerned with the level of food waste and rubbish found within the mines, and the deterioration of some unique artifacts.

 

We would ask that group leaders try to eat outside the mine where any food waste accidently dropped will degrade. If eating underground is unavoidable please consider what you’re eating, for example try to avoid eating crisps or grated cheese which is easily dropped, save them until you get out! Please also make all efforts to pick up any dropped food or rubbish.

 

Please do not pick up or move any artifacts such as the slate wagon in Rhiwbach or the hobnail boots, and please make sure groups are appropriately supervised when exploring areas where there are known caches of artifacts. It’s sadly noticeable how much some of these artifacts, having survived for decades, have degraded or been completely destroyed given the increased activity within the mines.

 

Please be aware that the panel will be taking a more robust stance during assessments with regards to conservation.

 

Leaders should be aware of the cave/mine conservation code: http://tinyurl.com/ConservationCode

 

North Wales LCMLA Trainer/Assessor Panel. 

April 2019

Thank you
Gethin

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Inspections week update (and Rhiwbach code change)

The mine inspections will be happening this week (1st – 4th April). We’ve revised the original plan a little as follows:

  • Monday: Fish Caves & Rhiwbach
  • Tuesday: Cwmorthin
  • Wednesday: Wrysgan & Bwlch y Plwm
  • Thursday: Minllyn & Gaewern (hopefully)

There’s opportunities during the week to accompany the mine engineer which can be incredibly insightful, however places are limited. If you’re keen please get in touch via the email addresses sent out with the itinerary to those registered to receive the reports, or to me directly.

Note that on Monday the 1st of April the code to Rhiwbach will be changed. This is likely to happen in the afternoon. If you’re planning a trip into the mine please check with whoever’s registered to receive the updates for the mines for the new code.

Gethin

This years mines inspections (April 2019)

Hello all,

This years inspections are programmed to start the 1st of April. The programme as it stands is as follows (although may change at short notice);

  • Monday 1st April: Minllyn & Gaerwern
  • Tuesday 2nd April: Cwmorthin
  • Wednesday 3rd April: Rhiwbach & Bwlch y Plwm
  • Thursday 4th April: Rhiwbach & Fish Caves

There’s a small number of places available to accompany the mines engineer during the inspections. If you’d like to observe the inspections please get in touch

Access updates

Apologies if you’ve just had your facebook news feed bombarded with posts from the mines website. I’ve just done a little tidying up so it should be easier for people to find information about specific mines quickly (there’s a drop down menu on the right hand side side bar).

If you’re aware of any changes to the access for the mines please let me know so I can keep these pages current.