FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE, FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING ALONE British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Garibaldi Provincial Park
On September 1, 1985, two hikers left Black Tusk Meadows to scramble up Black Tusk (2200 meters). The night before, they had seen a Parks Branch film about the summit, which stressed that the only safe way was up a chimney at the west end of the main face. When they reached it, one of them decided it was too steep, and the other (40) went up alone. Descending, he took a wrong turn from the summit, and wound up on the steep, dangerously loose South Face. He fell 12 meters into a narrow gully, fracturing his skull, an arm, and a leg, and suffering other injuries.
A climber reached him in an hour, and sent hikers to the rangers’ cabin. A helicopter came with a doctor on board. The victim, still unconscious, was attached by slings to a fixed cable under the helicopter and flown to hospital. (Source: Paddy Sherman, Ottawa))
The Black Tusk is an easily-accessible climb which is an easy Class 3, if you find the right route. But if you miss it, either ascending or descending, you’re onto horribly loose Class 5. (Source: Ian Kay, West Vancouver)
(Editor’s Note: While this is not counted as a climbing accident, it is an example of a hiker finding himself unprepared in climbing territory.)