American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Exceeding Abilities

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Mountain, Bankhead Buttress

A group of six soldiers were climbing on a cliff known as Bankhead Buttress, a few kilometers east of Banff. The leader came off while trying to place protection, and fell ten meters. One foot was badly broken, and nearly severed. Because the accident occurred fairly near to the town, the emergency response was rapid. A paramedic was slung in to the site with Park Wardens by helicopter, and the victim was then slung directly to the hospital in Banff. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)


The group were climbing on uncharted rock 100 meters or so from any listed route. Where the accident happened, the rock is mostly compact limestone, so it would be difficult to find placements for protection, but that land of rock is excellent for bolting, and pioneers now often carry bolt kits, as well as the ordinary equipment, for protection. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

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