Steel Caving Ladder from Liberty Mountain
Climbing Technique for Caving or Rope Ladders
Climbing a caving or rope ladder is significantly different than climbing a regular ladder. If you try to climb these ladders the same way, you will find yourself with your legs being pushed out to where your body is at an inclined angle from the ground, exerting a lot more strain on both your arms and legs.
- Place first foot on a rung as normal.
- Wrap your other foot around the backside of the ladder and place your heel in the next rung.
- Your hands should follow a similar process, putting one on the front side and one on the backside of the ladder.
- **Important** – Try to consciously push with your legs and not pull with your arms.This climbing process allows the opposite forces, from both sides of the ladder, to keep the ladder more vertical. As a result, this will allow your legs to do the bulk of the climbing, therefore ensuring you won’t burn your arms out on the climb.
This climbing process allows the opposite forces, from both sides of the ladder, to keep the ladder more vertical. As a result, this will allow your legs to do the bulk of the climbing, therefore ensuring you won’t burn your arms out on the climb.
Wire Rope Ladders Safety and Maintenance
- Normally the life of wire rope will depend upon the amount of bending it receives. Bending can be minimized by the following :- (i) If a large anchorage (belay point) causes the ends to diverge excessively an extra trace could be used or a karabiner linked across the “C” clips. (ii) The rungs should be horizontal – not tilted. (iii) If the wires between adjacent rungs tend to form a helix, the ladder has probably passed through itself. This should be corrected so that the wires become relaxed. (iv) Do not walk on the ladder whilst not erected (v) Place padding over sharp edges.
- The site should be cleared of loose rocks and equipment.
- A “C” clip must not have more than one other load bearing “C” clip engaged with it.
- If the previous usage of the ladder is not known, it should be inspected for damage. A few broken wires may not be serious, but any damage should be tagged and reported. (Manufacturer can affect repairs). A good rule of thumb is to visibly inspect the ladder before each use.
- A safety helmet should be worn.
- A safety line is always a good idea, especially on long climbs. There is a variety of belaying devices and techniques available. Those not experienced in this field should seek advice.
- Only one person at a time should be on the ladder.
- A karabiner or snap hook attached at the waist is very useful. The climber can hook himself onto the ladder rung and rest in comparative comfort. It also leaves both hands free.
- CORROSION: Occasional wetting with fresh water will not cause significant corrosion. However, it should be washed if necessary and dried before storage. Greater care will be needed if exposed to sea water. A corrosion retarding fluid could be applied provided it does not make the rungs greasy.
- LIMITATIONS: These ladders are designed for use in situations where the use of a rigid ladder or a safer means of access is not available. They are not intended to withstand the wear and tear of a fixed installation or indifferent usage. However, they are much safer than a single rope and if used correctly should provide many years of faithful service.