FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT-PITON
Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Ha Ling Peak
On September 12, J. M., F. K. and S. K. were climbing the Northeast Ridge of Ha Ling Peak near Canmore. J. M. was leading the third last pitch when he experienced some difficulty and decided to be lowered and let someone else try the lead. He was lowered off a single existing piton which pulled out, sending him down a 30-foot fall. He suffered injuries to his shoulder and ankle. The group felt they could neither continue nor lower, so F. K. contacted Kananaskis Emergency Services for assistance.
KES responded by heli-slinging two rescuers to the site. The party was evacuated singly in screamer suits. At the heli staging area, the victim refused transportation to the Canmore Hospital.
(Editor’s Note: Relying on a single piece of protection means it must be tested to determine whether it is “bomb proof.” Trusting a “found” piton these days is a risk because of the length of time the piece may have been in place and an inability to test it.)