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

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Rundle

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Rundle

On August 11,1989, about 1400, Mark D., a very experienced climber, was leading the fifth pitch of a route called Dropout on the east end of Mount Rundle. He pulled out a large block, which caused him to fall about 25 meters. His belayer held the fall. However, Mark was seriously injured, with a pelvis cracked in six places and a broken heel. His belayer tied Mark off and rappelled down the face to summon help.

A rescue was required high up on difficult rock, and darkness was approaching. Beginning at 1830, rangers were slung by helicopter with rescue gear to a ledge approximately 20 meters above the climber. One ranger descended to the climber and applied first aid. Meanwhile, a long sling was assembled, attached to a cascade toboggan, and taken from the ledge down to the injured climber. At 2135 he was flown off in the toboggan and taken to hospital. (Source: George Field, Alpine Specialist, Kananaskis Country)

Analysis

The fall was a long one. Protection placed more frequently would have resulted in a shorter fall. (Source: George Field, Alpine Specialist, Kananaskis Country)