Cave Rescue, March 30, 1986
Cassell Cave, WV


In the eveningof Saturday, March 30, two cavers, Steve Thompson and Robert Kostrzewa, entered Cassell Cave, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. They had obtained permission and intended to rappel the old entrance pit, about 95 feet, and exit another entrance. They were not able to find their other entrance and hot not brought ascending gear. Kostrzewa made aspare rig from a spare sling or climbing rope using, using prussik knots, successfully ascended (about 7 a.m.) His companion was "too tired" to follow so the Rescue Squad was called. They called cavers.

Sunday morning a party of cave rescuers arrived and set up a haul system while one rappelled in to administer first aid if necessary and fit a harness on the victim. Thompson was hauled up without incident.


NSS News, November 1987 (Part 2) V45N11, Page 389.

Patty Daw "Easter at Cassell Cave" The West Virginia Caver 4(3), 6-86. p 5.

Patty Daw, Personal Communication, 4-22-86.


Poor planning but a good, though partial, self-rescue. All-or-nothing trips like this can be big trouble.