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Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, No Hard Hat, Inexperience, Ontario, Bon Echo Provincial Park


Ontario, Bon Echo Provincial Park

At 1230 on May 30, 1987, Francis F. was leading a Class 5.6 route on the cliffs at Bon Echo above Mazinaw Lake. He lost his grip, and fell about ten meters until a pin caught him. He had placed a #3 Rock higher up, but it pulled out. The impact of the fall forced him into the face of the cliff, resulting in a broken vertebra in his neck, a cut on the right side of his head, and scratches on his legs and arms. The belayer held the fall, and was able to lower the climber down . He then applied appropriate first aid to prevent further injury. (Source: E. Buck, Superintendent, Bon Echo Provincial Park, and Lahav Wolach, ACC, Toronto Section)


On this route there is a band of crumbly rock which requires extra protection. Since this was the climber’s first time in the area and he was unfamiliar with the rock, it would have been more prudent to choose a lower grade climb to begin with. This was his first lead at Bon Echo, and he felt he may have been off route. No hard hat was worn. (Source: Lahav Wolach, ACC, Toronto Section)