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Inadequate Belay—Climber Lowered Too Quickly, Alberta, Jasper National Park, Malign Canyon

CANADA

INADEQUATE BELAY-CLIMBER LOWERED TOO QUICKLY

Alberta, Jasper National Park, Malign Canyon

On February 10, at 1600, a Jasper Warden was contacted via cell phone by B.C., who reported his partner had stabbed his right knee with his left crampon while being lowered after top-roping a climb. The Warden Service evacuated B.C. with a wheeled stretcher to the trailhead.

Analysis

His partner lowered the victim too quickly, and as a result, he caught his crampon on the ice causing him to spin and then stab his right knee with his left crampon. Belayers should always pay close attention to their partners while lowering, and the speed should be slow enough so the descending climber can safely negotiate the terrain s/he is being lowered over. Occasionally, a fast lower can result in the belayer completely losing control over the lower, resulting in serious injury or even death. (Source: Jasper National Park Warden Service, L.P.)