44 year old cave anchor break tested - Topless Dome Part 3 of 3


Topless Dome is a 396 foot tall dome with a water fall coming down the center of it. This is the 3rd video about the project where we test the original anchor that we found; used by the first ascensionist in 1978. The webbing was weaker at 12.91kN and 14.41kN as new webbing which would be 20kN in the way I tested them. When I pulled the anchor itself, it broke at 9.01kN which is LESS than 50% of what it should be. The pulley was ironically stronger at 9.94kN. And the quick link was 47.24kN. The other two quick links from other TAG cave systems broke at 26.25kN and the other one that looked really corroded I could not break after destroying my stuff at 89kN or 20,000LBF. We also test a few other quick links found in nearby caves.


Tumbling Rock Cave is SCCI protected and permits are required to enter the cave

Project leader: Rachel Saker https://www.instagram.com/petzlprincess

Photo Credit: Ethan Reuter https://www.instagram.com/ethan_reuter_photography


Behind the Scenes

I originally broke a 50 year old cave rope as a slackline channel July 2020 which really was my introduction to caving. I eventually meet Rachel through publishing that and she told me about this Topless project. In the two trips, I was out there I could see first hand what corroded gear looked like. She sent me some of it after cleaning up the gear so I could break it. It didn't flow with the 2nd video and combining all 3 would be way too long so this video became a stand alone episode. It was really fun to break something I helped re-discover and I actually understood the history of it. It was also really interesting to see how nylon degrades when NOT exposed to UV light and how strong rusty steel quick links can be.


After Posting Thoughts

Now that I risked posting an hour long mini FILM about our world record highline in Sweden and it turned out to be a wildly successful episode relative to slackline content, I think posting this series as a 40 minute long single video could have worked well. There is always a debate whether having 3 videos point to each other helps or just going 100% full value is better. But over 250,000 views in 3 months on a cave video is amazing. The problem is, it is only on the 2nd video with the best thumbnail and the other videos only have about 30,000 views. Like I always am testing gear, I'm always testing distribution methods. Chopping stuff up fails the test here.


See the other two videos about the project

The first episode's blog has a photo collage of amazing photos from the project!











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Edutainment has been a great way to help people understand their gear, and know the true limitations of it.  Watching HOW gear fails is more important than the force itself, as almost all gear is super good enough.  It's more important to share information on how to stay safe than it is to have a paywall.  We hope our stoke is contagious.