American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Poor Position, Alberta, Jasper National Park, Parker Ridge

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

FALL ON SNOW, POOR POSITION

Alberta, Jasper National Park, Parker Ridge

On May 6, a group of mountaineers were practicing crevasse rescue at Parker Ridge. The group was working in roped teams of three. A person on one end of the rope would jump off a corniced ridge, while the other two people on the rope would arrest the fall and then perform the “rescue”. A.L.’s group performed the rescue practice once successfully and then changed the order of the rope team to practice again. A.L. was facing away from the cornice when the person on the end of the rope jumped off. A.L. was spun around quickly and ended up with a spiral fracture in her lower leg. The rest of the group splinted her leg and then carried her out on a tarpaulin. (Source: A.L.)

Analysis

This particular accident may have been prevented if A.L. had been facing the direction of the cornice and “victim”. It is also possible that the group was getting “aggressive” in their practice, and the victim jumped farther than before, creating a significant sudden jerk on the rope. In a real crevasse fall, team members may not always be facing the right direction, but the rope should be kept tight enough between members to ensure there is no sudden and great force of pull on the rope. It is important even in practice to ensure that the rope is kept tight. (Source: Nancy Hansen)

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