American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Failure to Follow Route, British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Mount Cheam

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988


British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Mount Cheam

At 0730 on July 1, 1987, John Isaak (63), his son, and two others started to climb Mount Cheam (2000 meters). At least one member of the party had mountain climbing experience, but Isaak did not. At 1130, during the descent, near a point called The Gendarme, his feet slipped on a snow patch as he turned to make his way into a gully. He slid on the snow on his back for about 100 meters, then went over a cliff to his death. (Source: The Vancouver Sun, July 2, 1987)


The climb is an easy one, with just one tricky spot that is readily avoided by a short but obvious detour. This is presumably where the accident occurred. (Source: Ian Kay, West Vancouver, B.C.)

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