American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Avalanche, Alberta, Banff, Parker's Ridge

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

AVALANCHE

Alberta, Banff, Parker’s Ridge

Graham Tretick and five companions were ski touring on Parker’s Ridge on 15 February 1977. The skies were clear and temperature about 0°C, and snow structure was surface hoar below settled snow with rounded grains. Tetrick triggered a small hard-slab avalanche that buried him. It fractured one meter deep at an altitude of 2100 meters and ran 60 meters over a width of 20 meters and deposited to a maximum depth of 1.5 meters on an average slope of 30 degrees. Members of the party tried to locate the victim by digging, but no probing was carried out until a trained rescue party arrived at 1730 hours. Tetrick was recovered dead. (Source: Banff Crag and Canyon, February 23, 1977; UNESCO Report on Destructive Avalanches.)

Analysis

Although some information is missing, it seems the party carried neither avalanche beacons nor probe poles. Either would have increased the victim’s chance of being recovered alive. (Source: E. Whalley)

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