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Rappel Failure, British Columbia, Selkirk Mountains, Mt. Austerity


British Columbia, Selkirk Mountains, Mt. Austerity

On 24 July 1978 Edward P. Nester and Julius Bede, both experienced climbers, attempted a new route on the northeast ridge of Mt. Austerity, 10,980 feet. At 1600 hours they had not reached the summit, and decided to return. At 1700 hours Nester placed a rappel rope around a rock and started to rappel. Shortly after, Bede called that the rock was rocking, but Nester replied that it was not a truly vertical rappel and continued. The rock then broke away, and Nester fell several hundred feet and was killed. A group from Toronto led by Roger Parsons called a helicopter and rescued Bede from the ridge. (Source: R. Parsons)


Nester ought to have tried to secure himself to the mountain so his companion could have reset the anchor. (Source: R. Parsons)