Patricia Crowther (caver)

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Patricia ("Pat") P. Crowther (born 1943), later known as Patricia P. Wilcox, is an American cave explorer and cave surveyor active in the 1960s and early 1970s. She also worked as a computer programmer.[1]

Crowther was well-known among Kentucky cavers for her slight frame (she weighed 115 pounds) and her extreme dedication. These two traits led her to pursue promising leads that other cavers were unwilling or unable to attempt. Of particular note is her traversal of a narrow canyon known as "The Tight Spot" in the portion of the Flint Ridge Cave System underlying Houchins Valley. The Tight Spot proved to be the critical juncture leading to the passages connecting Mammoth Cave and the Flint Ridge Cave System.[2] Both Patricia Crowther and her then-husband Will Crowther participated in many expeditions that attempted to connect the caves. She was part of the September 9, 1972 expedition that discovered and surveyed the historic final connection.

Crowther earned a B.S. degree in physics at MIT where she met and married William. The couple had two daughters, Sandy and Laura, and divorced in 1976.[3] Around 1977, Crowther married John Wilcox, who had led the cave connection expeditions.[4]

Crowther authored The Grand Kentucky Junction, an account of the expeditions undertaken to connect the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems.


  1. ^ Richard D. Lyons (2 December 1972). "Link Found Between Two Major Cave Systems". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  2. ^ Brucker 1976, pp. 191–192, 230–248
  3. ^ Montfort 2003, pp. 85
  4. ^ "John Preston Wilcox Obituary". The Columbus Dispatch. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-06.


  • Brucker, Roger W.; Watson, Richard A. (1976). The Longest Cave. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-8093-1321-9.
  • Crowther, Patricia (1984). The Grand Kentucky Junction: Memoirs. Cave Books. ISBN 0-939748-08-8.
  • Montfort, Nick (2003). Twisty Little Passages: An Approach To Interactive Fiction. Cambridge: The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-13436-5.