American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall into Crevasse, Climbing Unroped, Hypothermia, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Andromeda

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

FALL INTO CREVASSE, CLIMBING UNROPED, HYPOTHERMIA

Alberta , Rocky Mountains, Mount Andromeda

On April 25, 1986, David Bennett (18) and Jeff Hanson (18) were climbing on Sky Ladder, a popular climbing route on Mount Andromeda. At 1600, the weather began closing in. Hanson slipped into a crevasse. He was unroped, but managed to arrest his fall with his ice ax. He climbed out, and the two began to rope up.

But before they were roped up, Bennett fell through a snow bridge and plunged 20 meters into another crevasse. He became jammed in a bottleneck in the ice, and his arm or shoulder was apparently injured from the fall. Hanson rappelled down, but was unable to free his friend.

Instead of leaving to go for help in the gathering darkness, Hanson decided to stay. He wrapped Bennett in clothing and a sleeping bag for warmth. At 0600 the next morning, after a final chat with Bennett he left to seek help. He made his way to a highway camp at Tangle Creek, where workers alerted Parks Canada officials.

A rescue team was flown to the site about 0930, but when they arrived, Bennett was dead. (Source: Edmonton Journal, April 20, 1986)

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