American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falls on Ice, Inadequate Belay Position, Protection Pulled Out, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, Louise Falls

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, Louise Falls

A party of two were climbing the upper pillar (grade V) of this popular waterfall on March 20, About ten meters out from the belay, the leader fell, pulling out the one screw he had placed for protection. The resulting 20-meter fall was arrested by his belayer, but the force of the fall spun him around and he sustained a fractured fibula. The leader was not injured. The two climbers were assisted to the base of the waterfall by an ACMG Guide who was working in the area, and then the injured climber was slung out by helicopter to an ambulance waiting at Lake Louise. (Source: Marc Ledwidge, Banff National Park Warden Service)


Belays should be set up so they transfer impacts from all likely directions to the anchor in as straight a line as possible. The belayer then needs only to control the run of the rope. (Source: Orvel Miskiw)

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