American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Rock, Failure to Test Holds, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cory

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

FALLING ROCK, FAILURE TO TEST HOLDS

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Cory

On July 28, 1986, two climbers of intermediate experience (early 30s) had completed the steepest part of an eight-pitch climb called Clockwork Orange and were ascending moderate cracks on lower-angled terrain. At 1800, the leader dislodged a large limestone block which fell a short distance and broke the belayer’s leg.

The leader anchored his partner on the belay ledge, and rappelled off the cliff to obtain help. The injured climber was slung off the mountain by helicopter at dusk. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

Analysis

Mount Cory consists of good limestone, and the climbers were following cracks in solid slabs. The leader tried to use a loose block for a hold, an unfortunate choice in a place where safer holds were probably available. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

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