Deep Trouble [X Marks the Spot]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Amateur Hour, Close Calls, Off The Map, Survival, X Marks The Spot | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

You can't hug a photograph...

In 1961 two friends and I decided to explore the limestone caves of West Virginia. I had a map that caving friends had given me and so we headed south from Pittsburgh. Sure enough we found an entry hole just where the map said it would be. We had carbide lamps, rope and provisions for a few days.  Early Saturday morning, we rappelled down the hole and set out through the slimy cave mud. The cave kept branching into amazing rooms filled with stalactites and other formations. But there were many tiny passageways that we could just slither through. Although we marked our way carefully, somehow we got terribly lost. The fuel for our lamps was the limiting factor. We only lit one lamp, since otherwise it was absolute darkness. Luckily we had left a note on the windshield of our car indicating we were in the cave and expected to be out by Monday. When we finally found the entrance it was late Monday night and we emerged to see a line of torches being carried to the entrance by a rescue party. Hugs all around! —Sam Geffner of San Francisco, CA was a top-ten finalist in the 2010 World’s Unluckiest Traveler Contest, from TravelGuard Insurance, beating out some 800 other tales of woe.

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