Dredging this back up. This subject has been on my mind recently. Having been through several pothole canyons recently and seeing some BAD rope grooves developing on both sides of potholes. To augment Tom's list of options above: It is very useful and expeditious to know which options to skip entirely and go right to the first one that has a chance of succeeding. An obvious example for the purpose of explaining the principle would be skipping steps A-D and going straight to F when a pothole is a likely swimmer -8' from the DC lip. A ton of time and energy can be wasted by employing one unsuccessful method after another, pushing your successful method even further down the list. Back to the rope grooves... If you are going to throw stuff, its better to do it right the first time and get enough weight over to ensure your success and better yet, avoid pulling sandbags back toward you from inside the hole while creating rope grooves. Try to find the sweet spot for that sandbag before entering. You can often see it from above, certainly better than you can from in the pothole. Your angle is also much better to avoid grooves. On a recent trip, we came across a very large pothole that was at least 8' from the lip. We couldn't see what the DC geometry was like from UC. The toss was pretty far (30') but the stance was good. As the Tosser and escaper, I called for 5 full bags. We had plenty of rope so why not do it right the first time? Better to go big on attempt 1 than go in on inadequate bags, groove the rock, and have them pull, only to have to reset and do it all over again. Square one, less energy, more rope grooves. Lose/Lose. I threw all 5 bags, pulled them back until I felt a noticeable increase in resistance, went on rappel in to the hole, had the UC crew manage the ropes so the bags didnt slip. I had a tether attached to all the climbing lines so they were never out of reach and the UC crew would feed slack as necessary to keep the bags in place. I attached my friction hitches and etrier once against the far wall and slid them as High as I could (Iknew it was high enough based on the length of my etriers and the height of the lip) Once I had the bags weighted, I unclipped from the rap rope and took 3 steps up my etrier and I was out. Zero slippage of the bags, no rope grooves, one shot and we were out. No extra energy expended on my part or the part of the other crew members. The only possible extra energy expended was on the tossing of perhaps one or two unnecessary sand bags. Better too many than too few. The point here being that to be an effective and efficient pothole escaper is more than to simply be able to climb or throw or boost, it means to know how to employ the correct method appropriately and effectively, the first time.