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Should I report this for ACA??

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 12:52 am
by Rick Brinkman
A couple of weeks ago, four of us went to do a 170' pit. While we were all at the bottom, a group of non-cavers came to look at the hole.

They could easily see the Chevy pickup that was 100' away. We had gear lying around everywhere. Our rigging and rope obviously went down the pit.

And of them threw a rock in!!! :hairpull: Luckily it missed me (I was ascending and assumed I had knocked the rock loose with the rope) and the others were out of the rock fall zone.

These were people that should have known better. Personally, I think a 3rd grader would have known better. :doh:

Anyway, should I fill out a more detailed account for American Caving Accidents?

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 1:43 am
by fuzzy-hair-man
Hard too see what the rigging team could have done differently leaving a sign "don't throw rocks down here" is bordering on the ridiculous....
It does reinforce that it's good that all people not on the rope are outside the rock fall zone.

But then I guess if it isn't reported they don't get to analyse it and perhaps learn something that we've missed.

We nearly got hit by a rock the same way but in this case we had walked to the bottom of a waterfall (outside not in a cave). Scary though :shock:

Throwing rocks down whilst there is rigging there is bad though even if someone wasn't on the rope, the rock could damage or cut the rope.

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 6:13 am
by Scott McCrea
I think it should be reported. It's a good lesson for everyone.

There are several pits around here where we always leave someone at the top to welcome and corral the locals and looky-loos. A rappel rack makes for an intimidating weapon.

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 6:41 am
by paul
From "100 Years of British Caving"

1936: The first fatal accident occurred in a British Cave; Mabel Binks was hit by a falling rock in Alum Pot.

It turned out that passing walkers had thrown the rock down this large, open shaft.

Although not underground, I experienced an incident while climbing on a crag where small rocks started hurtling down past me as I was climbing upwards - despite my shouting.

On reaching the top (it was only about 50 feet high) I found a party of kids accompanied by an adult - probably a teacher and schoolkids. The teacher didn't seem to think there was a problem! Mind you when I said if another rock was thrown then he would probably follow it down, he seemed to take a bit more interest...

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 2:16 pm
by George Dasher
Any incident that people can learn from, including this one, should be reported.

Although some people have no brains, and therefore cannot learn.

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 3:56 pm
by MoonshineR DavE
George Dasher wrote:Although some people have no brains, and therefore cannot learn.

Sometimes people have to learn the hard way. :boxing: :tonguecheek:

But seriously I think it should be reported also, unfortunately the people that throw the rocks don't get to read the ACA.

PostPosted: Jul 11, 2007 10:25 pm
by adleedy
since there is deff. a lesson to be learned i think it should deff. be reported

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 9:45 am
by Rick Brinkman
Ok, thanks!

I'll get a report together and give it to ACA.

ACA online report form

PostPosted: Jul 12, 2007 9:41 pm
by Bill Putnam
You can use the online report form at

PostPosted: Aug 14, 2007 8:57 pm
by incavenow
Scott has the right idea. I learned to always have a rope tender on any kind of vertical work, cave or cliff. It is truly amazing how stupid and callus people can be.

PostPosted: Aug 14, 2007 9:18 pm
by Squirrel Girl
I was just reading about how at a popular (but now closed) spring in Florida, a kid was SHOOTING A SPEAR GUN INTO THE CAVE ENTRANCE! Some cave divers convinced the parents to get the kid to stop. They told him to shoot his spear gun towards the river instead. :shock:

At least the cave divers inside the cave didn't get speared.

PostPosted: Aug 15, 2007 9:31 am
by Ralph E. Powers
Some caves probably require someone sitting outside the entrance to help protect the ropes and fellow cavers from the idiots that are among us. Definitely everyone can learn from this incident.

Throwing rocks...

PostPosted: Aug 16, 2007 9:44 am
by Wayne Harrison
Re: throwing rocks.. here's an example of what can happen:

CHEYENNE -- A 15- to 20- pound rock that killed the Rocky Mountain regional director of the National Outdoor Leadership School as he was climbing near Lander last weekend was thrown by a 23-year-old Wyoming man, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Fremont County Attorney Ed Newell said he would speak with relatives and friends of the victim, Pete Absolon, 47, before deciding whether to file charges.

Newell declined to identify the rock thrower. But he said that judging from a sheriff's investigation, the man hadn't known that people were climbing below him.

<a href="">Full Story</a>

PostPosted: Aug 16, 2007 6:15 pm
by George Dasher

Could I ask what state your incident occured in?

I would like to put a brief blurb in The West Virginia Caver about the NOLS accident, and I would like to put one sentence in about your incident.

A "cave in Montana"?

That's all.


PostPosted: Aug 16, 2007 9:05 pm
by Rick Brinkman
A cave in MT works fine.

Now that harvest is over, I'll have time to catch up on some this report.