Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Nielsons Well and the day I almost died Caving

  1. #1

    Nielsons Well and the day I almost died Caving

    Nielsons Well is the 22nd deepest cave in the US at 880 feet. I had the opportunity to explore this cave in it's early years, pushing virgin cave and deep unexplored drops on multiple trips. Nielsons was the hot spot for cavers in the 90's, with what seemed at the time an unlimited amount of adventure and depth potential.

    When I was first introduced into the deep cave exploration team, I had never experienced anything like this cave. I was new to caving at this level, and will admit a slight bit nervous. To give people an 'Intro' to deep cave exploration, the team leaders setup an introduction to Nielsons Well trip. I of course being very eager at the time, jumped on board with full enthusiasm.

    On my first trip to the cave I took my camcorder. I dragged this thing every where. And I thought, hey what a better cave to film. So in 1994 on my first trip I did just that. Dragged my $2000 (at the time) camcorder into a cave I knew nothing about, but ready to learn everything I could. After my first trip I realized that this was a cave not for my camcorder. Maybe someday I will return to make a proper documentary on such an amazing and beautiful place.

    Every winter I would snow shoe the 4 miles to the cave entrance, mostly just for the beauty but also to stay in shape. I did this for six winters while living in the Logan.

    Name:  DSC00029..JPG
Views: 735
Size:  133.7 KB

    The video is broken into two parts. The first one is the raw footage I took from the trip. The second is the same footage with audio commentary. I wish I had taken my camera threw Bat Trap while we were there, but I didn't know what to expect and left it behind. Another day.





    On July 3rd 1995 we were about the launch the largest most extensive exploration of the cave to date. We had cavers from all over the US.

    My friend Jim and Dan went into the cave first, and my friend Duane was to be the next person. But the entire trip he had a really bad feeling about it, and in the end decided to not enter the cave. So next up, me.

    I got about 25' down the passage when my friend Dave stopped to ask me what the plan was for out group. After about a two minute conversation I continued my rappel. I got about another 50' when all of a sudden I hit by something huge, something hard. A rock. I was stunned at first, and thought what the crap was that. Not realizing what had just happened. The other two cavers below me thought I had dropped my pack. Then they suddenly realized it was a huge rock. They started yelling up to see if I was ok.

    I just look at my rack. Wondering what happened. Then suddenly, blood starting running down my face unlike anything I had ever seen. I knew I was in trouble. I quickly locked off my rack in fear that I might pass out. I yelled out that I had been hit by a rock and bleeding badly. And there I am, 280' in the air hanging on a rope thinking that I might actually die.

    I felt the rope drop just a little. My friend Jim yelled up that he was coming. I heard his ascenders screaming up the rope. In 30 seconds he climbed 280' up rope. When he got me he quickly assessed the situation. A decision had to be made, hook onto me and cut away my rack, lower me into the cave and thus turn this into a full scale rescue. Or see if I can make it out.

    I looked at him and said I can make it out, I just need help switching over my system to ascending. Within a matter of minutes I was ready to go slowly started making my way back to the top.

    When I finally got out of the cave, I felt very lucky to be alive.

    A few factors fell into place that saved my life that day. If my friend Dave had not stopped to talk to me, I would have been much farther down the drop and that rock would have gone right threw me, killing me instantly.

    The rock hit me in the head. Yeah, it was estimated at 50 plus pounds but it hit me where I had protection. It could have hit me in the shoulder, arms, leg, making things much worse.

    And I was carrying a 350' rope slung around my neck and shoulder. When the rock hit me that rope acted like a shock absorber and kept me from breaking my neck. The rope was brand new and white. When we got the surface they held up the rope, half of it was deep red from all the blood I lost.

    When I finally got out, we were able to control the bleeding and I was able to hike the four miles off the mountain and headed to the ER.

    Here are a few pics.

    Name:  cave0140..jpg
Views: 772
Size:  73.3 KB

    Name:  cave0078..jpg
Views: 456
Size:  88.3 KB

    Name:  cave0077a..jpg
Views: 620
Size:  92.1 KB

    The next summer I went back to Nielsons. My first time back at the entrance was the most nerve racking day of my life. But I did it, went to the bottom two times that summer. Pushing the cave to it's current depth. Hope you enjoyed the trip report.

    Thanks everyone and happy caving.

    Robert

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Posts
    Many
     

  3. #2
    Moderator jman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Above you and looking down
    Posts
    2,580
    Woah, now that's a story! Glad you are alive and able to tell the story!
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●My brother Jeff welcomes your hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    ●Mountain/Road Bikers: Please buy my sister's 6-week Bike Fit Book!

  4. #3

  5. #4

    Nelsons?

    Isn't it "Nielsons" Well? Also shouldn't it be "Nielson's"?

  6. Likes Atticus_1354, CaverStretch liked this post
  7. #5
    Glad you are okay and thanks for sharing your story. The residence helmet police (@ratagonia) on bogley would be happy to see that you had a helmet on.
    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. -Martin Luther King, Jr.





  8. #6
    four-oh-four tanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Just a few miles from Zion National Park
    Posts
    8,425
    By Bo Beck and Tanya Milligan:
    Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/1892540827/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

    To get it signed, get it from the link above.
    If you like the book, please give us a kind review on Amazon
    and REI and anywhere else this book is sold.

    Zion National Park on the web.

Similar Threads

  1. [News] Canyoneer Died of Suffocation
    By Iceaxe in forum Canyoneering
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-17-2011, 01:47 PM
  2. Help, My Computer Died!
    By James_B_Wads2000 in forum Tech Forum
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-06-2009, 10:29 AM
  3. The Sundance Kid died in Duchesene. Is it so?
    By Mtnman1830 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-27-2009, 11:40 AM
  4. World's ugliest dog died
    By KapitanSparrow in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-12-2008, 01:11 PM
  5. My dad died Sunday
    By Wasatch Rebel in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-05-2007, 03:47 PM

Visitors found this page by searching for:

nielsons cave

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •