American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow and Rock, Roped but not Belayed, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Collier

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

FALL ON SNOW AND ROCK, ROPED RUT NOT RELAYED

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Collier

On August 18, 1991, a party of four were proceeding up from the Victoria-Collier col to the summit of Mount Collier as two ropes of two when they encountered a steep snow slope. The party leader, Hans, belayed his partner, Gerry, across the slope to a rock outcrop, and then followed on the rope but without belay. Halfway across the slope, he slipped and could not self-arrest. He slid into the rocks below and over a low cliff, and then Gerry was able to hold him from falling farther. The second rope team helped to bring Hans up onto a ledge, and then left to get help. They were benighted on their way out, and reached Lake Louise the next morning. The injured climber and his partner were helicopter-slung out by the Warden Service later that day. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

Analysis

Traverses on steep snow slopes can be difficult to protect. A combination of poor techniques, crampons becoming clogged with wet snow, and lack of a belay caused this accident. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)

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