Simpsons-Swinsto exchange

Kat negotiates the Duck in Simpons Pot
Kat negotiates the Duck in Simpons Pot

I have a trip planned to the Gouffre Berger this summer so am going to be more caving focussed for the first part of the summer, this meant despite the glorious spring weather a reasonable team had been assembled to tackle a Simpsons/Swinsto [glossary “a caving trip where two teams descend different entrances to the same cave system, pass each other underground, and exit the system via the other team’s route (de-rigging any equipment left by that team on route)”]exchange[/glossary]. I went in Simpsons & out Swinsto. Both of these trips are more often done as pull downs with an exit via valley entrance. This was the first time I had done the exchange though I had once previuosly bounced Simpsons. Doing it as an exchange in my opionion makes for a much more enjoyable trip taking around 6 hours, and felt like a proper caving trip. It also means an accidental decent of Bobs Pit (which we didn’t) would be less serious, apparently it goes at VS 4c. Exiting via Swinsto is suprisingly damp with a couple of interesting climb outs. Overall a fun trip.

16 thoughts on “Simpsons-Swinsto exchange”

  1. Brrr! That water looks cold – I can remember that cold water over my head in the duck in Simpsons clearly!! 😯 Can’t say I’d have traded the brilliant spring rock climbing weather for that this weekend though. But I am very excited by the prospect of your forthcoming Berger trip!!! :mrgreen: Ultra anticipating a mega report for that one (and more training trips before then too 😉 )…

  2. I’m a bit confused about caving language too. 😕

    I know about pull-ups ( 😉 ), presumably pull downs are different, unless there’s some weird anti-gravity thing going on ❓ Is bouncing an eating disorder suffered by cavers in an attempt to slim down and fit through smaller gaps ❓ Possible a bad taste gag, sorry. 🙁

    And I would have thought it’d be too cold for ducks Pete ❓ 😆

    Sillyness aside, I have an idea Pete. 💡 How about a glossary tag or similar, where cavers can explain bouncing and pull downs and sport climbers can explain redpoints ❓

    Brownie points :star: for me if it’s a good idea. :good: :geek:

    And how’s the ‘most 🙂 ‘s in a reply’ count going ❓ Much as I love you Grim :love: , I feel like you’re embarrassing yourself 😳 through a lack of posting :angry: . I look forward ➡ to your response. 😛

    Think I’d better be quiet now. :zip:

    1. Glossary function added Jon. 😉 I thought it was a good idea! :star:

      I’ve taken the liberty to add a definition to Dave’s post above, see “exchange” in the body of the report.
      I think it’s pretty easy to use, just enter [glossary “explanation”]term[/glossary] in to a report.

  3. Bounce – To go to the bottom of the cave & back up to the top – the term is more often used for single pitches and is also probably more of an American term as in “we bounced the pit”. (Pit being American for Pitch)

    Pull Down or Pull Thru – To enter a cave at a high entrance and exit at a lower entrance pulling the rope down behind you as you go. Much the same as you would do if abseiling off a multi-pitch climb. This obviously carries a degree of risk as you are effectively closing the door behind you as you go. Both Simpsons & Swinsto cave connect with the Kingsdale mater cave and an exit is then possible via Valley entrance (provided the Roof tunnel pitch is rigged first)

    “Bobs pit” is notorious in Simpsons cave as it is a blind hole but has P-Bolts in place for protecting the traverse over it. Quite a few people on pull down trips have dropped Bobs pit, pulled the ropes down behind them then realised they were stuck. As mentioned it does allegedly “go” at VS 4c though wether you’d actually fancy climbing wet limestone in wellies with only a static rope and the odd jammer or crab for protection is probably a moot point.

    Hope that didn’t introduce as many new terms as it explained 🙂

    1. Thanks Dave :star:

      ‘Bounce’ makes sense – if you don’t bounce do you thud or splat 😈

      Pull down/thru makes sense too. I always think of going upwards, but of course you guys generally go downwards. I guess you do your research before you jump in, eh 😯

      So, with my new found caving knowledge, I reckon a ‘blind hole’ is a descent where the only way out is the way you’ve come ❓

      And you’re right. Wet limestone VS’s in wellies with dodgy gear – not even in daylight ❗

  4. Maybe we should have a mass caving trip on the Saturday meet up and then a mass climbing trip on the Sunday, so that we can learn each others terminology first hand?

    1. Ah, you noticed… 🙁

      Obviously I’d love you guys to drag me down a dark hole, kicking and screaming, but Pete’s ruling on the rendezvous date means I’ll probably be in the Alps, so will unfortunatley miss out. Shame…

      Where’s the sarcy smiley Pete ❓ ❗

      1. “Ruling”, that’s a bit strong, just picked a date when most were available – no other bias. 😉

        … I am working on your “glossary” idea Jon. Will now add that smiley to the to-do list. But I am still struggling to visualise what it will look like.

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