American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, Equipment Failure, British Columbia, Rocky Mountains, Mount Field

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986


British Columbia, Rocky Mountains, Mount Field

At 1230 on December 31, 1985, two experienced ice climbers (39 and 30) were ascending Silk Tassel waterfall. They were about 15 meters up the ice route, when the leader (38) fell three meters above his protection. The belay failed after a six meter fall because of breakage of the back shaft of the carabiner (Salewa hollow oval, 1400 kg test). The lead climber continued to fall to the base of the waterfall, landing on his feet and causing a multiple fracture of his right ankle. His companion reported the accident to the warden office, and the injured climber was slung out by helicopter. (Source: E. Langshaw, Yoho National Park Warden Service)

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