American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Failure and Loss of Crampon, Fall on Ice, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Mountain

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

FAILURE AND LOSS OF CRAMPON, FALL ON ICE

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Mountain

On December 25, 1981, a Calgary man (24) was practicing ice climbing on the lower pitches of a Cascade waterfall. One of his crampons came off, he lost his balance and fell to the base of the climb. He suffered a broken back and ankle. (Source: T. Auger, Banff National Park)

Analysis

The crampons used were Lowe Footgangs—the type with a modified ski binding. It is not known whether the toe piece, a heavy wire clip which fits over the welt at the toe, broke or simply slipped off the boot; whether the welt of the boot was adequate to receive the toe clip; or, whether the Footgang safety strap was attached. We don’t know the kind of boot used and the crampon was not found. (Source: T. Auger, Banff National Park; J. Williamson from a phone conversation with Jeff Lowe)

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