American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Climbing Unroped, Inadequate Equipment, Exceeding Abilities, Inexperience, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise Area, Castle Crags

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


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise Area, Castle Crags

Clarence and Lyle went hiking up toward Castle Crags on August 5, 1991. From the Plain of Six Glaciers trail, they scrambled up a large scree gully southeast of Lake Louise and then up some class-four rock, reaching the top of a pinnacle around 1500. Clarence started down, and 15 minutes later Lyle started down by a different route. Lyle went around a corner for a few seconds, heard Clarence yell, heard rockfall, and then nothing. Lyle yelled for help, and then went down to look for his friend; he found him lying approximately 100 meters below the high point in the gully. He checked Clarence’s pulse, found none, and then proceeded down to get help. The body was slung out by the Banff Warden Service later that day. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)


The party had little mountain experience, no climbing equipment, and both victims were wearing running shoes. It is suspected that the victim slipped, but rockfall may also have been a contributing cause. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

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