AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Fall on Ice, No Crampons, British Columbia, Monashee Mountains, Woolsey Glacier

FALL ON ICE, NO CRAMPONS

British Columbia, Monashee Mountains, Woolsey Glacier

On September 4, 1988, Paul (45) and Don made the six-hour alpine traverse to the Woolsey Glacier. The day was sunny and warm with temperatures in the mid 20’s Celsius. The glacier was free of snow and there was water on the ice. Both men carried ice axes, but not crampons. The glacier is low angle, rarely exceeding 20 degrees. Descending the glacier, Paul slipped on the ice, and in falling, suffered a severe fracture of the lower tibia and fibula. After spending the night on the glacier, Don went for help, and Paul was later evacuated by helicopter. (Source: Glacier National Park Warden Service)

Analysis

Paul was experienced, and had descended the same route in the same manner a year before. A route that avoids the ice without much detour is also available. With crampons, the accident would not have occurred. (Source: Glacier National Park Warden Service)