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Slip—River Crossing, Inadequate Belay, Inexperience — British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Bugaboo Creek


British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Bugaboo Creek

About noon on August 23, 1983, two climbers from Ontario (ages 19 and 17), were attempting to cross swollen Bugaboo Creek near Boulder Camp. Peter had crossed successfully and was belaying Joseph, but was unable to hold him when he slipped. Joseph was swept into a boulder/debris jam. While hurrying downstream to locate Joseph, Peter also slipped into the creek and was carried for some distance before managing to get out. He received numerous cuts and bruises and was in shock.

A helicopter was summoned and Peter was flown out. The Park Warden rescue team located Joseph’s body but were unable to recover it. Two National Parks divers were brought in and the body was recovered at 2030. (Source: J. Timmins, S. Shaw C. Sadleir)


Considering the extremely swollen waters of the creek, a crossing probably should not have been attempted. (Source: C. Sadleir)