American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Avalanche, Fall on Ice, Climbing Alone — Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cirrus

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cirrus

A solo climber (27) was ascending the Polar Circus ice climb on Mount Cirrus on February 5, 1982. He had successfully climbed the first two falls and was crossing a small snowpatch on his way to the base of the third, when the snow avalanched and he was swept down the middle fall and injured. He attempted to rappel down the lower fall but apparently slipped or lost consciousness and fell to the bottom.

Three friends of the victim were climbing near the Columbia Icefields that day. In the late afternoon, they came upon his car in the parking lot near the head of the trail leading to Polar Circus. Assuming that he was still up the mountain, the three went to Saskatchewan Crossing. They returned to the parking lot at 10 p.m., and finding the car still there, decided to hike to Polar Circus. At 11 p.m. they found the victim’s body at the base of the mountain. (Source: Banff Crag and Canyon, Toronto Globe and Mail)

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