American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Exceeding Abilities, Off Route, Alberta, Chinaman's Peak

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

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION, EXCEEDING ABILITIES,

OFF ROUTE

Alberta, Chinaman’s Peak

On June 28, Allan J. (30) was leading pitch eight of the Northeast Face route (450m, 5.6) on Chinaman’s Peak about 1300. He tried to go straight up from the belay instead of following the normal route, which would have seen him traverse up and right around a comer. The climbing became harder, but he continued until he slipped off, falling about 14 meters and ending up four meters below his belayer. He sustained a compound fracture of the left ankle.

Allan's two companions helped him up to the belay stance, and then one of them completed the climb and descended to get help. He flagged down Ranger MacLean on the road at 1430 to report the accident, and MacLean initiated a rescue. Shortly after 1515, three rangers and alpine specialists were slung to the accident site by helicopter. The victim was stabilized and evacuated to the Whiteman's Pass dam at 1610, then transported by Canmore EMS to the local hospital at about 1625. (Source: Kananaskis Country Alpine Specialist)

Analysis

It is unclear why the victim deviated from the normal route. This led directly to his inability to find protection and to the severity of his eventual fall. (Source: Geoff Powter)

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