Climbing into cave can be a bit sticky
Monday, Sept. 6, 2004 10:36 p.m. MDT - By Rodger L. Hardy - Deseret Morning News
PROVO — Climbing into — and out of — Nutty Putty Cave can become a sticky situation in a hurry.
Yet despite the dangerous conditions inside Nutty Putty — at least two people have been pulled out by rescuers in the past month — officials say they aren't planning to shut down public access anytime soon.
"Closing the cave isn't something we'd take too lightly," said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Rescue teams were called to the cave two times over Labor Day weekend.
The popular spelunking site in Utah County's west desert is the place a 23-year-old Brigham Young University student became stuck late Friday night. Rescuers worked for nearly eight hours to free David Crowthers of Harpers Ferry, W.V.
On Sunday, police received another call for help — but that distress plea may have been a hoax. There wasn't anyone at the cave when rescue teams arrived, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
The emergency call originated from a citizens band radio to an amateur radio operator who forwarded the message to a second amateur radio enthusiast who called deputies.
However, the call sign for the first amateur radio operator was not valid, Cannon said.
Last month a 16-year-old Orem boy was stuck upside down for 11 hours. He had to be carried away and hospitalized, exhausted after rescuers pulled him out.
Crowthers was in better condition and able to walk on his own after he was extricated, Cannon said. He was stuck in a location where rescuers were able to get around him, he said.
Entrance to the popular cave is straight down into the ground.
Once inside, spelunkers can stand upright, but must crawl on their back or belly to move through an extensive network of tunnels and caverns.