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Fall on Ice, Inadequate Protection, Alberta, Mount Rundle, The Professor Falls

FALL ON ICE, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Alberta, Mount Rundle, The Professor Falls

On November 23, R.R. was leading the second pitch of this popular Grade III, WI4 route. About twenty feet up the second pitch, he placed his second screw but did not like the placement. He then placed a third screw to back it up, clipped it and then put his weight on it. Both screws failed and he fell to the bottom of the pitch injuring his knee. His partner and nearby climbers lowered him to the base of the route. His partner then went for help. He was evacuated with heli-sling by park warden rescue crew shortly after. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service)

Analysis

The dependability of protection in ice is sometimes circumspect, occasionally to the point that apparently good screws will hold little better than body weight in poor ice. The possibility of gear failure needs to be factored into decisions about frequency and location of screw placements. (Source: Geoff Powter)