American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Illness — British Columbia, Glacier National Park, Mount Uto

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000


British Columbia, Glacier National Park, Mount Uto

On August 28, five climbers were on their way up the Southwest Ridge of Mount Uto, a 5.1 rock climb. One of the climbers, S.L. (F 45), developed sudden acute and severe right lower abdominal pain. The party managed to get her to a ledge where D.B. (43), a registered nurse, examined her abdomen. S.L. was showing symptoms of appendicitis. A decision was made that one experienced member of the party would descend alone to obtain help. Three hours later, S.L. was heli-slung off the mountain. The remaining three climbers rappelled and down-climbed. (Source: D.B.)


While no accident occurred in this instance, this is a situation that could happen to any climber at any time. The party had a first aid kit with painkillers, which were of great help to the victim. The only regret the remaining party had was in only having one headlamp. Much of their descent was made in the dark due to the long wait for the rescue, and the descent would have been much easier and quicker if each person had a headlamp. (Source: D.B., Nancy Hansen)

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