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1. Acetylene explosion (acetylene still used by

some as fuel for cave lamps)
2. Camp stove explosion (white gas or butane)
3. Fall while climbing rock
4. Fall while downclimbing rock
5. Fall while ascending rope
6. Fall while rappelling (descending rope)
7. Rockfall
8. Dig or tunnel collapse
9. Unplanned detachment from rebelay
10. Failure to complete change from rappel to
ascent, and vice versa
11. Prusik knots jammed
12. Prusik knots won’t grip
13. Ascenders slip on muddy, wet, or icy rope
(this one almost got me on a 250-foot drop)
14. Strangulation in vertical gear
15. Fall from losing grip on handline
16. Rope anchor failure
17. Rope failure
18. Rope cut by falling rock
19. Ladder failure
20. Uncontrolled rappel
21. Harness carabiner opens during rappel (as
with Chris Yeager)
22. Rappel shunt (emergency brake) defeated James M. Tabor’s
during rappel
23. Unwanted rappel shunt activation BLIND DESCENT
24. Rappel off end of rope (as with Alexander THE QUEST TO DISCOVER THE
25. Drop rope
26. Rope recoils out of reach after rappel
Coming to paperback 2/15/11
27. Rappel into pit without ascent gear
28. Foot hang
29. Chemical contamination of rope
41. Entrapment by rockfall
30. Animals eat rope
42. Asphyxiation by methane, carbon dioxide, blast fumes, etc.
31. Rappel rack nut falls off
43. Locked inside gated entrance
32. Hair caught in rappel rack 44. Poisonous snakes and insects
33. Clothing or chinstrap caught in rappel rack 45. Struck by lightning while in cave stream
34. Sewn sling tears 46. Struck by lightning while talking on cable telephone to surface
35. Exhaustion 47. Rabid bat bite
36. Hypothermia 48. Bacterial or fungal infection: histoplasmosis, etc.
37. Drowning 49. Hyperthermia (some caves are 130°F)
38. Becoming lost 50. Incapacitating injury
39. Out of light 51. Incapacitating illness
40. Entrapment by flood 52. Stuck in crevice Copyright 2010 William K. Storage

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