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Handhold Came Off—Failure to Test Hold, Fall on Rock, Climbing Unroped, Alberta, Jasper National Park, Mount Colin

HANDHOLD CAME OFF–FAILURE TO TEST HOLD, FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING UNROPED

Alberta, Jasper National Park, Mount Colin

On September 7, S.A. (35) and L.B. (26) set out to climb Mount Colin by the Southwest Face Direct route (III 5.7). The pair decided to solo the first few 5.5 pitches to save time. At 0900, one hour into the climb, S.A. was thrown out of balance when he grabbed a loose handhold. He fell 60 to 80 meters. L.B. saw him unsuccessfully try to stand up.

Park Wardens heli-slung into the area and climbed to the victim. S.A. had come to rest on a ledge in a steep rock gully to the left of the buttress he was climbing. S.A. had died from extensive trauma. His body was lowered off the mountain and heli-slung down to the awaiting ambulance.

Analysis

Climbers are sometimes lured into solo climbing easier pitches. However, Canadian Rockies limestone is often loose, particularly on lower-angled terrain, which is why it is a good idea to rope up. (Source: Lisa Paulson, Jasper National Park Warden Service)