American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Failure to Follow Route—Stranded, Alberta, Banff National Park, Mount Haddo

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

FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE-STRANDED,

Alberta, Banff National Park, Mount Haddo

On July 21, after completing the North Glacier Route on Mounts Haddo and Aberdeen, a party of four began descending the “easy” south face of Mount Haddo as described in a local climbing guidebook. After a couple of rappels and steepening terrain, they became stranded and called Warden Service dispatch with a cell phone. They were evacuated by heli-sling shortly after.

Analysis

The guidebook gives two options for descending from Mounts Haddo and Aberdeen. The option this party chose is described as “easy scrambling from almost anywhere on the Southwest Ridge.” In reality, the terrain is at best fifth class and exposed. The easy descent involves climbing up and over Mount Aberdeen. Many parties have experienced epics trying to descend the south face of Mount Haddo. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service, Editor)

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