Good Kristy didn't kill her partner. Verbally abused? (probably) There were some other good things they did that have already been pointed out, but the fact remains all of it could have been avoided with what Tom labeled as "software". Commentary (Not going to call it BAD because it's all learning and experience one gains or must gain. The crux is HOW and WHERE you gain it.) This is a classic example of cascading failure, approaching Dunning–Kruger effect. Quote: "We researched a ton and decided on ZigZag canyon and Headdress Canyon. Research, even by the "ton", doesn't translate to successful accomplishments. It's a forerunner to success, not a guarantee. Quote: "I was free hanging as the rock caved inwards and my top ascender was blocked by 9 of ledge that I can't get over." Stay away from vertical caving then. At least 70% of every pit ascended has these obstacles in varying degrees. Responding to @The Dread Pirate Roberts question about ledges too lengthy to reach over. The difficulty is in the first 12 or so inches. Once you gain enough purchase where you can brace off of a constriction (with arms/knees) it becomes much simpler to navigate. Until you reach that point, you skillfully muscle through it. [Edit] So that wasn't much of an explanation. Skillfully muscling through it is fairly accurate. First, it helps if your top ascender is easily removed/replaced. You're probably not going to be able to slide the ascender past the first 1-2 inches of the constriction. After that, the rope can usually be raised, like pulling up a string on a guitar. That's why it's important to be able to remove and replace the ascender. Again, the top ascender is key... speaking from a Petzl product point of view; the Ascension works best, the Basic and Croll are just okay. Tibloc and knots (Prusik and like) are poor poor poor choices, as the top ascender, IMO. Quote: "ascenders don't allow you to! (desend)" Wrong! Quote: "I've gotta transfer to the other rope and if I undo one wrong connection, I fall to my death." That's not the only mistake that can end with that results. Rope transferring should be an element of one's skill set. Quote: "I couldn't get any slack on the rope because of my weight so I had to cut away the slings that connected me to them." Maybe the most telling evidence to the lack of knowledge. With all that gear...."Seriously Clark, that's your solution?" Quote: "next thing I know the rope is gone!" The last straw! The sign that one is not mentally and physically in a position to self-rescue any longer. Lastly, when your team consists of two (most of the time not wise) every decision you make should include a contingency consideration. 2 - 1 = 1 and can that 1 (whomever it is) carry the load?