American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
Black Diamond Logo

Fall on Rock, Unroped, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Grotto Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Grotto Canyon

On the evening of August 8,1993, Bow Valley Ambulance in Canmore was called about a climbing accident in Grotto Canyon. They notified Kananaskis Central District, who dispatched rangers to the scene, and asked other rangers and Canmore Helicopters to stand by for further notice. Ranger G.H. arrived at the trailhead about 2020, met with Bow Valley Ambulance personnel and members of Exshaw Fire Department, and then proceeded up the trail toward the accident scene. He reached the site about 2040, as Alpine Specialist G.F. was arriving at the trailhead from his home.

The victim, Mike S., was found on a ledge about five meters above ground, conscious and sitting upright, but suffering pain in left wrist, lower left leg, and lower back, after falling some eight meters while climbing alone and unroped. He had been with a group of climbers but wandered off to explore on his own, and was first located by members of that group.

Other rangers and the Alpine Specialist reached the accident scene about 2100, assessed the victim, and then notified Canmore Helicopters that they would not be needed. Mike was lowered to the bottom of Grotto Falls, where he was checked by Canmore Ambulance staff, and then taken down the trail with the help of Exshaw Fire Department and other climbers. At the trailhead, he was loaded into an ambulance for transport to hospital. His injuries were found to be a fractured left wrist and multiple bruises, with unspecified minor trauma of his back and left leg.


The subject was in a situation with the potential for serious injury or death, as he fell in a treacherous running waterfall and creek area. (Source: George Field, Kananaskis Country Alpine Specialist)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.