FALL ON ROCK, HEAVY PACK
Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Temple
While five climbers were being evacuated higher on the mountain on August 1, 1994, a party of four began climbing the ‘Big Step’ on the East Ridge, as two ropes of two. The first rope team had completed the second pitch, and the second pair were following them up it. The leader clipped in to a flexible friend left in place by the first team, and shortly afterward, he fell off. Although he fell only a short distance, he hit a small ledge, injuring his ankle. His companions lowered him to the base of the Big Step, and two of them descended the route to get help. They reached the road midmorning the next day, and reported the accident. The victim and the fourth climber, who had stayed with him overnight, were slung off the mountain by helicopter soon afterward.
The pitch was well protected, but unfortunately the victim struck a ledge during his short fall. His heavy pack may have been a contributing factor in the fall. A total of seven climbers in three different parties were evacuated from the route over a two-day period. Another party of two completed the route without incident during the same time. Busy place! (Source: Marc Ledwidge, Banff National Park Warden Service)