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Rappel Failure, Inadequate Protection, Inexperience, Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon


Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon

A group of four spelunkers were descending to the mouth of a small cave on May 26, 1980, when this accident occurred. Lori Huntley (18) began an unbelayed rappel with no gloves, using a figure eight descender. This was her first rappel attempt. Her arms became tired, so she let go with her brake hand and grabbed the rope above her. She slid rapidly 60-70 feet, landing on a ledge, which resulted in several fractures and burns. (Source: Dr. Richard Wallin, Salt Lake City, Utah)