American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Inexperience, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cory

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

STRANDED, INEXPERIENCE

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cory

On August 23, 1981, two teenagers from Calgary decided to scramble up a mountain. About 200 meters above the highway, they encountered rock. The more adventurous youth continued; the wiser one refrained.

Four hundred meters higher, after scrambling and climbing numerous bluffs, the first youth felt he had arrived at a “sufficiently summity place to permit retreat.” He had been following a rounded rib on the climb and chose to descend in the gully on one side, since, having scree in it, it must be at an easier angle. Unfortunately, there were several vertical drops farther down. He persevered and finally halted on a small ledge just short of oblivion. Just before dusk he was rescued by a team which slung onto the ridge above him and lowered him to the foot of the gully. (Source: T. Auger, Banff National Park)

Analysis

This incident, while not a climbing accident, highlights a kind of trap that is common in this area. The limestone ranges of the eastern Rockies contain many gullies which are, in effect, deep confined troughs that often contain overhanging drops. (Source: T. Auger, Banff National Park)

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