SLIP ON MIXED TERRAIN, RAPPEL ERROR, FATIGUE, DEHYDRATION
British Columbia, Tantalus Range, Mount Dione
On September 24, two experienced climbers were descending Mount Dione. They had completed the second ascent of the West Face, and spent the night on the summit. H.Z. (39) had forgotten his water bottle and was very dehydrated. Both climbers were fatigued and were rappelling and down-climbing the standard descent route. The final rappel was over steep rock and snow. M.S. rappelled from an anchor made of natural rock protection. H.Z. told M.S. that he would remove the rock gear and either make a bollard in the snow to rappel from or down-climb. Somewhere between moving the rappel anchor or beginning the down-climb, H.Z. slipped and fell 30 meters. He sustained a fractured pelvis and internal injuries, and then went into cardiac arrest. He was heli-evacuated by the Squamish and Whistler Search and Rescue teams. He died three days later in hospital, never having regained consciousness.
H.Z. was severely dehydrated and fatigued, and it is likely that his judgment and movement on the terrain were impaired as a result. (Source: Val Fraser, Squamish Search & Rescue)