Cave Rescue, December 28, 1991
Harper's Pit, WV


On December 28 a group of four cavers visited Harper's Pit in Pendleton County, West Virginia. The cave has two 20-foot, in-cave drops. These were rigged and done and the group spent time pushing leads near the end of the cave. One caver did not have vertical gear and had been given the rig of a companion; the companion (27) had for himself a Texas rig using short Petzl "Jammer" ascenders.

Three got out the entrance drop without incident, but when the improvised rig was used the caver had difficulty -- the sling lengths were wrong and mud now coated everything. During a sit-stand cycle his gloved hand accidentally unhooked the top ascender, leaving the caver hanging from one foot, 15 feet below the top of the 80 foot drop. He was able to right himself and continued without further problem. Apparently the glove had caught in the ascender, not allowing it to grip but with it still on the rope. Having the ascender still on the rope would have made recovery much easier.


NSS News, December 1993 (Part 2) V51N12, Page 354.

Anon, untitled accident report, undated, 1 page.


No analysis has been done.