American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Climbing Alone — British Colombia, Selkirk Mountains, Ridge between Mounts Castor and Pollux

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


British Columbia, Selkirk Mountains, Ridge between Mounts Castor and Pollux

On April 21, 1982, a solo climber was ascending the ridge between Mounts Castor and Pollux. He had left his skis where the rock ridge began. On top of the ridge, he apparently walked out to the edge on a cornice to take a photograph. The cornice broke and he fell to the snow and ice below, suffering severe injuries: fracture of the left femur in three places, compound fractures of the right tibia and fibula, general lacerations to the head and back and exposure.

Another party, which arrived later that day, noticed the skis stuck up in the snow and investigated. They followed his tracks and then saw him on the ice field below. One member of the party skied down for help and the victim was recovered by Glacier Park Wardens using helicopter sling rescue. (Source: J.L. Turnbull)


The victim was fortunate in being found the same day and not having to wait until the next day when his registration would have been overdue. (Source: J.L. Turnbull)

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