cave rigging overview

There are two traditional rigging systems used in caving that are driven by both geography and culture:

  • Alpine Technique. Utilizes 9 mm semi-static rope, mostly artificial anchors (bolts), and deviations and rebelays to keep the rope from contacting the cave wall.

  • Indestructible Rope Technique. Utilizes 11 mm static rope, mostly natural anchors, and uses rope pads and a more durable rope sheath for when the rope contacts the cave wall.

In many modern rigging situations a hybrid approach is used, but the ascending and descending systems used with each type of rigging system are also complimentary. Alpine rigging is better suited to bobbin descenders and a Frog ascending system; whereas IRT works well with brake bar racks and Ropewalker ascending systems.