American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Slip on Snow, Unroped, Inadequate Equipment, Exceeding Abilities, Inexperience, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Niblock

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


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Niblock

A party of four were making an ascent of Mount Niblock on July 14, 1991. While traversing an upper slope covered with snow, one of them slipped and slid 200 meters down the slope, over a 25 meter buttress, and finally slid a further 30 meters down a snow slope below that. His companions descended to help him, and two stayed with him while the third ran down to summon help. The victim was slung out by helicopter to a waiting ambulance. His injuries included a fractured femur. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)


The group was not properly equipped, having only running shoes for footwear and light-weight clothing. They proceeded onto a large, steep snow slope in the heat of the day and encountered very rotten snow conditions. Inexperience was the contributing cause of the accident. Another member of this party had slid down a snow slope and injured himself the previous week. A late spring resulted in a number of snow-related incidents in the area. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

(Editor’s Note: It would appear that this was a group of non-climbers who had set out for what they thought would he a walk. No mention of ice axes appears in the report.)

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