incident at Dante's Descent

Publication
ACA 1973 page 12
Date
23rd Jun 1973
Cave
Dante's Descent
State
Arizona
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Difficulty on rope
Primary cause
Rope cut by sharp rocks
Secondary cause
Perlon rope
Group type
Cavers
Group size
Unknown
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
       
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

Name Age Sex Injuries Injured areas
Rowe, Tim 20 Male Fracture Compression fracture spine, cracked vertebrae, dislocated ankle and broken nose.

Incident report

Arizona, Dante's Descent

Saturday, 23 June 1973

NSS members Gary Williams (23) and Tim Rowe (20) stopped by Dante's Descent for a look. On an impulse Rowe decided to drop the 256-foot free-fall drop using 125 feet of Goldline and 150 feet of Perlon rope tied together. Williams did not drop the pit. At about 4:00 p.m. while Rowe was ascending, the Perlon rope was cut by the sharp basalt rock. Rowe fell about 60 feet, landing feet first. He suffered a compression fracture of the spine, broken vertebrae, a dislocated right ankle and a broken nose. After determining that the victim was conscious, Williams drove five miles to town. He could not contact a mountaineering or cave rescue group so he called the sheriff's office. An ex-paramedic was lowered into the pit by a tow truck winch, and he placed Rowe in a Stokes litter. Two hours later a helicopter hoisted them both out.

Analysis: The rope had been laid over an edge which in the past has cut at least two ropes. The rope was not padded at the critical edge (20 feet down). Greater care in selecting the rigging point and use of rope pads would probably have prevented the accident.

Sources: Report by Richard Frith Anon. (1973) "Accident at Dante's.' Cave Crawler's Gazette. Anon. (1973) "Accident in Dante's Descent." NSS News. Vol. 31, No. 8, p. 133.

References

(1973) "Accident at Dante's.' Cave Crawler's Gazette. Anon. (1973) "Accident in Dante's Descent." NSS News. Vol. 31, No. 8, p. 133.

Notes

Cave Crawler's Gazette, NSS News Vol31, No8 p133.

This record was last updated on 18th Nov 2023 at 00:30 UTC.