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Slip on Snow, Unroped, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Deltaform

SLIP ON SNOW, UNROPED

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Deltaform

On August 21, 1993, K.V. and R.P. were doing the traverse of the Ten Peaks from west to east. While descending the east ridge of Mount Deltaform (3425 meters) unroped, K.V. slipped on a patch of snow and fell 150 meters down the south face to his death. R.P. climbed down to him, and saw there was nothing he could do for him. He climbed back to the col between Mounts Deltaform and Tuzo, then descended the north side on very exposed terrain. That required numerous rappels and downclimbing on loose mixed ground. He reported the accident at Moraine Lake, and his partner's body was recovered by helicopter by the Parks Canada Warden Service.

Analysis:

This is a multi-day alpine traverse on peaks in the 3000 meter to 3500 meter range, and requires extensive mountaineering experience. The background of these two climbers was mostly rock climbing. The terrain where the accident occurred is loose and exposed mixed fourth class, typical of the Canadian Rockies. Though technically not difficult, it is potentially dangerous, and requires extreme care and experience, since generally it is not easy to protect. In this case, the climbers decided to travel unroped, which is not unusual on such terrain. (Source: Banff National Park Warden Service)