American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded Due to Shoulder Dislocation, Alberta, Mount Louis

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

STRANDED DUE TO SHOULDER DISLOCATION

Alberta, Mount Louis

On August 10, G.G. and G.B. were beginning the exit pitches on the summit tower of Mount Louis. They were attempting the classic Perren Variation (5.7). While starting to lead the first pitch, G.G. dislocated his shoulder and backed off the pitch. He was able to relocate the shoulder, but was unable to use the arm and continue.

The party called warden service dispatch on a cell phone and requested a rescue. A warden service rescue party responded by helicopter. The pilot was able to manage a partial landing on the ledge below the summit towers to evacuate the climbers. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service)

(Editor's Note: More than a few climbers have the problem of chronic shoulder dislocation, though it is not certain whether that is the case here. The question is whether one can compensate for this problem by planning for it by having enough gear to rappel— which can be done with one arm incapacitated.)

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