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Fall on Snow, Avalanche, Fatigue — Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Stanley Peak

FALL ON SNOW, AVALANCHE, FATIGUE

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Stanley Peak

On July 23, 1983, three climbers were unable to make the summit of Stanley Peak via a route on the north face and turned back around noon. During the descent of a gully on the lower north face, Bob (50) slipped on wet snow. He arrested his fall but pulled M. and F. off. These two men slid past Bob in a small wet snow avalanche and yanked Bob out of his arrest. The three men then fell approximately 150 meters down the gully which included going over a small cliff band. Bob suffered a fractured leg and gashes to his head. M. descended for help, reaching the highway around 0700 the next morning. The party was discovered overdue by the new voluntary registration system during the night of July 23, and M. was met at the trailhead by Kootenay Wardens checking the overdue. Bob and F. were slung off the face by 0830 by a crew dispatched from Banff. (Source: Tim Auger, Banff National Park)

Analysis

Bob had 30 years of moderate mountaineering experience. Although it was not specifically stated in the report, it is likely that fatigue was the reason the party turned around on the climb, and it is also likely that it contributed to the slip on the relatively easy snow slope. (Source: Tim Auger, Banff National Park)