Radical Alternative Technology Series


Suction Underground Climbing System

The Federated Union of Cave Karst Studies has long been concerned with the shortcomings of bolts, to wit:

  • We are depleting the world supply of base metals by leaving bolts in caves.

  • Bolts are aesthetically offensive, ethically intrusive, and morally repugnant, in addition too being overpriced and labor intensive to install.

  • Therefore, the cavers of Vancouver Island have devised a user friendly, lightweight, and versatile alternative, S.U.C.S. This is one of the few great ideas of the 20th Century not invented by that famous Irish innovator, Pat Pending.

    Plunger caving offers a vast array of advantages over more archaic methods. Gone are heavy bolt kits, hours of drilling anchor holes and the uncertainty of aging sets. Simply remove your plunger placement on exit, and all trace of your visit is gone! Ever been annoyed at the high prices of climbing equipment at outdoor stores? Find it hard to get the right gear in remote locales? Try and buy a bolt hanger in the Northwest Territories! Well, outfitting is a breeze, when every corner store has a range of plungers just waiting for fulfillment as an integral part in exploration of virgin cave. Even truck-stops can be good sources of equipment, since all have public toilets - be sure to ask before liberating such an important item!

    Here we present applications of our new approach to sensitive cave exploration using a common bathroom implement. Mathematical modelling details and consideration of safety factors will follow. Careful engineering analysis shows that plungers have at least a 2:1 safety advantage when used singly! And imagine how safe they are in pairs, or even triplets

    Concept: Dale Chase
    Models/Plunger Operators: Dale Chase, Larry Honcharuk
    Photographer: Pat Shaw
    HTML: Rick Coles

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    Plungers - perfect for quick rigging.