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British Columbia, Mt. Waddington

British Columbia, Mt. Waddington. In August, about 4 p.m., a party of four from British Columbia Mountaineering Club was preparing final rappel in descent of main tower of Mt. Waddington. Gary Kozel (28) strung a rope through rappel sling left by a Japanese expedition, and tested sling by putting weight on it. Sling broke and Gary lost balance, falling 50 feet down rock, 50 feet down snow, and over bergschrund. He was not seriously injured, mainly due to good run out in soft snow. One end of rappel rope snagged 30 feet below fall point and rest of party were able to reach it by tying waist slings together.

Source: Dick Culbert.

Analysis: The interesting lesson here is that the sling which broke was only about three weeks old and showed no obvious damage. Later examination revealed burn marks, probably caused by earlier party when they pulled their rope down.