American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

British Columbia, Garibaldi Mountain

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1962

British Columbia, Garibaldi Mountain. On July 17, Frank deBruyn (16), James Hebden (18), and James Fowler (18) were climbing Garibaldi. Because of a known avalanche danger they had started the evening before. At about 4 a.m. they were in a couloir leading to the peaks. They unroped and started to climb when they heard an avalanche. It was hidden from them until it poured over the ice cliffs. deBruyn was in the lead, followed by Fowler and then Hebden. They drove in their ice axes and lay prone as the avalanche of blocks of ice and packed snow swept over them. All three were struck. deBruyn’s pack was ripped from his back, his clothing torn, and he was pulled from his ice axe and carried down the couloir. He was obviously seriously injured. Fowler went for help while Hebden remained with deBruyn. A rescue party was alerted and located Hebden descending the mountain at about 4 p.m. deBruyn had succumbed to his injuries. His body was evacuated that night. He had suffered a crushed chest and abdomen, and a ruptured diaphragm and spleen. He died as a result of shock and internal bleeding. The other two had cracked ribs and one a punctured lung.

Source: James Fowler.

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