American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Unroped, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Indefatigable

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

FALL ON ROCK, UNROPED

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Mount Indefatigable

On September 5, Kananaskis Country rangers were informed that someone had fallen down the East Face of Mt. Indefatigable (2670 meters) from the ridge joining its two peaks. A helicopter was requested, and a search and rescue operation proceeded in bad weather conditions, involving several rangers and Kananaskis Emergency Medical Services. At 1519, about one hour after the initial report was received, J. A., a visitor from Scotland, was found at 2317 meters on the east face of the mountain, having fallen some 300 meters to her death. Park rangers were transported to her position by helicopter sling to investigate and remove the body to Kananaskis EMS. (Source: George Field, Kananaskis Country Alpine Specialist)

Analysis

J. A. had many years of scrambling experience in Scotland and Europe, and its not known why she fell. Although her companion reported that conditions were a “reasonable Scottish mist,” he says the rock was not slippery. The traverse of Mt. Indefatigable is considered a moderate scramble, and such a rating may lead some to think it presents little or no hazard. But the serious exposure in one or two spots is ample reason to take along a rope and use it to belay in those places. (Source: Orvel Miskiw)

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