AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Handhold Came Off—Fall on Rock, Protection (Bolt) Pulled Out, Alberta, Lady MacDonald, Stoneworks Crag


Alberta, Lady MacDonald, Stoneworks Crag

On August 4, S. (20) was climbing a 5.12a sport route at a crag near Canmore. He clipped three bolts and moved some distance above the third bolt when a hold pulled off the rock and he fell. The top bolt ripped out, causing him to fall six meters to the ground. He shattered the bones in one foot and fractured the other, requiring eight hours of surgery. He was heli-slung to the Canmore Hospital. (Source: Natural Resources Service, Kananaskis Country)


S. said that the bolt looked good when he clipped it, and suspects that the rock surrounding the bolt may have failed. Climbers should be cognizant of the fact that poor rock or poorly placed or old bolts can be prone to pulling out or breaking. However, considering the number of bolts that are clipped every year by sport climbers in North America, this type of incident is relatively rare. (Source: Nancy Hansen)