American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Off Route, Stranded, Fatigue, Inexperience, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Temple

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

OFF ROUTE, STRANDED, FATIGUE, INEXPERIENCE

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Temple

On August 1, 1994, a party of two were overdue on the East Ridge route of Mt. Temple (3544 meters). A search was initiated and they were located below the Black Towers, off route, exhausted, and still a long way from the summit. They requested assistance and were heli-slung out by the rescue team. Meanwhile, another party of three lower down on the same route asked for help by yelling to the rescue party. They were into their third day on the route, having routefinding difficulties, and were exhausted. They were also evacuated by helicopter sling.

Analysis

The East Ridge is a popular objective and is well documented in the literature. Unfortunately, due to the moderate grade (IV 5.7), it is often underestimated. Much of its challenge lies in routefinding and dealing with a great variety of rock quality. Conditions at the time of these rescues were as good as they ever get. (Source: Marc Ledwidge, Banff National Park Warden Service)

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