AAAS: Australian Adventure Activity Standard – See Preface
Federation (ASF): the national peak body that represents the interests
of caving throughout Australia and internationally on the International Union
of Speleology. Refer to www.caves.org.au
vertical or near vertical natural surfaces or artificial surfaces using ropes
and descending friction devices to manage the descent. It is also known as
Anchor: Any load bearing
attachment to which any part of a belay system
Anchor system: a group
of individual anchors to which any part of
a belay system is attached.
Artificial cave: a
manmade underground passage and/or cavern. For example, a mine, a drain.
caving in an artificial cave.
Bad air: See foul air.
Belay System: The means
by which the caver is protected from an uncontrolled fall or descent.
Belayer: A person that
operates the belay system.
Bottom braking: The
controlling of the descent of an abseiler, by a belayer
located below the abseiler applying tension to the abseil rope.
Bushwalking: walking in
Carabiner: (refer connector).
Camping: the use of a
temporary site for overnight camping.
Canyoning: the descent,
traversing and/or ascent of a canyon using a range of techniques.
Cave: an underground
passage and/or cavern created by natural geological processes.
Caving: entering and/or
moving though underground passages and/or caverns.
Cave diving: the use of
breathing apparatus for caving underwater.
traversing or descending vertical or near vertical natural surfaces or
CO: Carbon Monoxide. An odourless foul air gas that in high enough concentration
can cause death.
CO2: Carbon Dioxide. A naturally occurring
odourless foul air gas that in high enough
concentration can cause death.
Contact rescue: a rescue
requiring an activity leader to manoeuvre to the person’s actual location to
physically assist them.
Connector(s): a metal
device used to link components together. A connector
- Non-locking: a connector
that cannot be locked to prevent it opening.
- Locking: a connector
that can be manually locked and unlocked to reduce the possibility of it
- Auto-locking: a connector
that will automatically lock to prevent it from opening and requires two or
more deliberate actions to unlock.
Cow’s tail(s): two short lanyards with connectors, that are used to connect a safety harness to a fall protection system. As the lanyards or tails need to arrest falls, they are made of dynamic material (e.g. dynamic rope) that is manufactured for use in climbing and abseiling and should have a short and long tail (Refer section 220.127.116.11 Cow’s tails).
constriction in a passage where water is at or close to the cave roof for a
short distance, which requires a caver to become (more or less) fully submersed
for a brief period before continuing. Also the act of going through a
Dynamic rope: a
specially constructed rope that is somewhat elastic under load. The elastic
‘stretch’ under load is what makes the rope ‘dynamic’. (Also see static rope.)
Fall factor: is the
ratio of the height of a fall (h) (measured before the rope or lanyard begins
to stretch) and the rope or lanyard length available to absorb the energy of
the fall (L). It is used as a representation of the severity of a fall when
arrested by a belay system. It is
calculated by (h) divided by (L).
Fall height: The
vertical distance between the climber’s or abseiler’s lowest body element and
the surface beneath.
Fall zone: The surface
that can be hit by a climber or abseiler falling.
Foul air: any atmosphere
which has a noticeable abnormal physiological effect on humans. Also known as
GPGs: Good Practice Guide(s) – See Preface for details.
Harness hang syndrome: medical
complications due to being suspended and motionless within a body harness for a
prolonged period of time (5 to 30 minutes). (Refer Appendix 5)
caving where any fall safety required can be achieved without using a belay system. It may involve walking, scrambling,
crawling through narrow openings, fording pools or streams and climbing
Karabiner: See Carabiner
Marking: helping to
guide hand and foot placement while clambering up or down obstacles. (This
differs from spotting as it helps to prevent
falls while spotting is safety protection
in the event of a fall.)
Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS): is the magnitude of a load that may permanently distort or damage equipment but not cause it to break. (Refer Appendix 3 Equipment load ratings).
waiting to but is not currently doing the activity.
Pitch: a section of a
natural surface or artificial surface that requires no greater than one length
of rope to ascend, traverse or descend. (Also see multi-pitch and single-pitch.)
Rappelling: see abseiling.
Responsible person: a competent person who is able to complete those
delegated elements or tasks during an activity that do not require all of the
activity-specific competence of a caving leader/instructor or assistant caving leader.
(Refer Core GPG – Framework for leadership roles
and Responsible person role.)
Restraint line: is the
line securing a person to a point of anchorage and is used to prevent a person
from reaching a point from which he or she could fall.
ascending, traversing or descending vertical or near vertical natural surfaces.
At times also used to describe climbing on
artificial surfaces. (Also see climbing.)
Roof-sniffing: the act
of edging along a small water-filled passage on your back, with only sufficient
airspace for eyes and nose.
Safety Factor: the ratio between the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) and Safe Working Load (SWL) to provide a safety margin. It is expressed as a ratio, example 8:1. (Refer Appendix 3 Equipment load ratings).
Safe Working Load (SWL): is the magnitude of load that does not permanently distort, weaken, damage or break equipment and includes a safety margin. (Refer Appendix 3 Equipment load ratings).
Show Cave: refer tourist cave.
Simple cave: a cave with the following attributes:
- caverns where light from an exit is always
visible OR single caverns where progression to an exit is obvious by moving in
- AND there are no water hazards requiring
submersion, swimming or roof sniffing
- AND there is minimal risk of foul air
- AND where vertical caving is involved, it is
limited to using only fixed ladders or staircases
- AND a responsible
person with no caving experience would be able to lead a group out of
the cave if the cave leader/instructor became incapacitated.
Single-pitch: a section
of a natural surface or artificial surface that requires no greater than one
length of rope to ascend, traverse or descend.
Spotting: a support
process provided by a person, or persons, who offer physical protection of the
head and upper body of a person should they fall. (This differs from marking as spotting
is safety protection in the event of a fall while marking
helps to prevent falls.)
Stated strength: the magnitude of load that is either the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) or Safe Working Load (SWL) marked on equipment or listed in manufacturers literature. (Refer Appendix 3 Equipment load ratings).
Static rope: a specially
constructed low stretch kernmantle rope, that has low elongation under load.
The low elongation or ‘stretch’ under load is what makes the rope ‘static’.
(Also see dynamic rope.)
SRT: Single rope technique
Sump: a pool of water
completely filling a submerged passage.
Squeezes: A small
opening in a cave which is passable with effort.
Top belay: Belaying a
caver from the top of a pitch.
Tourist Cave: an actively managed cave that typically allows regular tours by the general public that may be professionally guided or self-guided. A tourist cave has suitable infrastructure so that it requires little to no caving experience to enter. May include caves with regular open and closed times, constructed trails or stairs, being lighted during open times, handrails and other barriers for safety and protection of cave features. Also known as a show cave.
Traverse-line: A belay system secured in a generally horizontal
direction to allow horizontal movement.
Trigger point: a
particular circumstance or situation that causes an action to occur.
Vertical caving: caving
that includes the descent, traversing and/or ascent of vertical or near
vertical surfaces, where fall safety requires the use a belay system. It may involve the use of ropes,
ladders and/or descending/ascending equipment to climb up, down or traverse
Waiting areas: a
location in which to wait prior to undertaking the activity, where it is
reasonable for a person to not be required to use equipment to protect them
from a fall from height.
White Nose Syndrome
(WNS): a fungal disease that affects bats during winter hibernation. It has a
very high mortality rate. Thorough cleaning of clothing, equipment and footwear
is essential to prevent its spread and is a crucial consideration for overseas
visitors. Refer www.caves.org.au/conservation
for up to date details.
Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Glossary.