Cave Rescue, July 4, 1976
Crookshank Cave, WV


In the mid-morning of July 4, Bob Custard and Art and Peggy Palmer entered the Friar's Hole System via the Crookshank Entrance. They were part of a larger group using the entrance at that time. The entrance pit is about 100 feet deep and takes a small stream, usually quite small, which has carried logs and debris into the pit. About 100 feet further into the cave from the base of the pit the passage has a narrow cross section and a ten foot climb-down must be negotiated. This pitch is mainly a log jam.

Custard was about fourth in line but out of earshot of those in front. The log climb had been done by many cavers and by Custard numerous times. A log from which one suspended one's self was commonly used. When his full weight came on the log the soft wood on the sides, where it was jammed against the rock walls, gave and it fell. custard landed on his behind in a reclining position and the log, weighing several hundred pounds, landed across his pelvis and upper thighs. Sharp rocks under his back barely missed being driven into his spine..

Art Palmer, in response to a yell of pain, climbed down and managed to lift one end of the log allowing Custard to roll free. He was examined for injuries and it was decided that he had no broken bones. It was also decided that he should exit via the horizontal Snedeggar Entrance about one mile away. Escorted by Art and Peggy Palmer the trip took about two hours. The victim gradually succombed to shock during the trip but made it, thus making an involved rescue unnecessary. It was later diagnosed that he has suffered deep bone bruises to the pelvis.


NSS News, May 1981 (Part 2) V39N5, Page A12-13.

Mike Dyas "Cave Accidents Reports" D.C. Speleograph 32:10 Oct. 1976 p 10.

Art Palmer Personal Communication Aug. 22, 1979.

Bob Custard Personal Communication Aug 7, 1979.


This incident has not been analyzed.