FALL INTO MOAT, FALLING ROCK, WEATHER
British Columbia, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park, Bugaboo Spire
In August, S.A. and B.C. approached the east face of Bugaboo Spire, intending to climb the Left-Hand Herr route. They ascended a snow apron below the face, crossed a bergschrund, and reached a moat, which was the final obstacle before the actual rock climbing. They proceeded to cross the moat to a small ledge on the rock. B.C. stepped across and was moving up to the ledge when S.A. attempted to cross the moat. She stepped on a small snow bridge that was supporting a boulder, and the bridge collapsed, releasing the boulder. It slowly rolled onto her and pushed her some three meters down into the moat. S.A. managed to wriggle out from under the boulder and climb to the surface, but soon collapsed from massive internal injuries, and eventually required CPR. Other climbers in the area quickly responded to assist. The accident was reported to the Park Rangers, and S.A. was transported to Invermere Hospital via helicopter, but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
This accident may have been avoided if the snow bridge had not been used; the day was extremely warm and all snow bridges should have been suspect. Warm weather throughout the previous week likely made snow support of all boulders suspect as well. (Source: Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park Ranger)