Cave Rescue, January 24, 1982
Just Cave, WV


At 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, Kris Kline, Kelley Price, Susan Shaw, and Dave DeLand entered Just Cave in West Virginia. At the entrance they rappelled a 44 foot drop to a small, wet room. They continued to explore for three hours. As they neared the rope they heard a crash as some newly-formed ice around the entrance fell into the entrance room. Kline ascended and re-rigged the rope in as dry a spot as possible. Shaw ascended but at that point the rope became too icy for prussiking. DeLand tried to free-climb (with a belay) but that proved unfeasible. The top two passed down dry clothes, coats, granola bars, carbide, sleeping bags and ensolite pads, then went for help.

Kline returned with two other cavers and a set of Gibbs to use on the iced rope. This worked although Kline and Price became hypothermiated from standing in a water shower to give bottom tension. They had been in the cave for 15 hours.


Kelley Price "The Affair at Just Cave" Quaterly Journal (James Madison University Student Grotto) Jan, 1982 pp 71-73.


An entrance drop in winter is a harsh place to get novice experience. Some trouble was also experienced in properly tying the Gibbs system. For Price the foot Gibbs came off part way up but she continued with aid from those on top.