American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Alberta, Kananaskis Mountains, Mount Lougheed

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

FALL ON ROCK

Alberta, Kananaskis Mountains, Mount Lougheed

On July 31, 1988, Brian Wallace (29), Jeff Marshall, and Steve Demaio (23) were climbing the north face of Munt Lougheed. All were experienced climbers. Late in the afternoon, they were on a difficult part of the climb, 425 meters below the summit of the 3050 meter peak. Wallace was leading when he fell 20 meters. He was stopped by the belay, but hit his head hard, and died within a few hours.

His companions were unhurt, but could not climb off the mountain to report the accident until the next day. Even then, snow, ice, falling rock, and poor visibility prevented immediate recovery of the body. It was finally done by helicopter on August 4. (Source: Calgary Herald, August 2 to August 5, 1988)

Analysis

Marshall had a reputation of being a highly skilled climber, and he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. He was evidently on a long run-out from his last protection, and was unlucky enough to hit his head on the way down. (Source: Calgary Herald, August 2 to August 5, 1988)

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