American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rockfall, Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Waterfall

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998


Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Waterfall

On Feb. 20, after a successful ascent of this waterfall (III, WI3), a party of three were setting up to rappel the route. A large rock (estimated at 50 to 80 lbs) came from above and hit one member in the head. He was wearing a helmet. He was knocked unconscious, and was bleeding from the ears. When he came to, his partners lowered him to the base of the route. A passerby on the highway noticed the evacuation and called the warden service. A rescue party was dispatched along with Banff EMS. The patient was stabilized on the trail and transported to the Banff hospital.


The patient was later diagnosed with a depressed basal skull fracture. It is likely that wearing a helmet saved his life. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service)

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