Fall on Rock, Placed Inadequate Protection, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Yamnuska

Publication Year: 1995.


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Yamnuska

While leading the third pitch of Red Shirt on July 30,1994, Andrew F. (50) fell about nine meters, striking the belay ledge with his head. His helmet fell off, and he fell another three meters before being stopped by his rope. He was secured on the belay ledge above the second pitch by his companions, and then three of them rappelled to the base of the cliff while the other two stayed with him. A Park ranger was nearby at the time and reported the accident to Bow Valley Provincial Park at 1415. About a half hour later, rangers flew to the accident site in a helicopter to assess the situation. Then four rangers were transported to the base of the route by helicopter sling, with rescue equipment, and two of them decided to Jumar up the climbing party’s rappel ropes, some 90 meters, to reach the victim. That proved to be a slow and arduous process. About an hour after starting up, the first one arrived at the ledge and found Andrew confused due to a head injury. Meanwhile another ranger and a paramedic were flown to the base of the cliff. The injured climber was placed in a Bauman Bag on a scoop stretcher and lowered to the scree by 1820. After assessment and receiving oxygen, he was slung by helicopter to an ambulance for transport to hospital. He was diagnosed with a cracked skull and concussion. (Source: George Field, Alpine Specialist, Kananaskis Country)


Although it's never a good idea to fall, most falls do not result in injuries these days. Adequate protection would have been the key to a non-event in this case. (Source: Orvel Miskiw)