American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Climbing Alone, Weather—Lost Equipment in Storm, British Columbia, Mount Robson Provincial Park, Mount Robson

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

CLIMBING ALONE, WEATHER-LOST EQUIPMENT IN STORM

British Columbia, Mount Robson Provincial Park, Mount Robson

During the week of August 27, C.G. set out to attempt a solo climb of Mount Robson or Resplendent. He made it to the col between the two mountains. During a violent storm his tent was destroyed and ice ax lost. Feeling he no longer had the necessary equipment to continue safely, he activated his personal locator beacon at 1300 on September 3. The signal was received by the Rescue Coordination Center, in Victoria, British Columbia. They notified the Mount Robson Park Rangers who in turn notified the Jasper National Park Warden Service at 1645. The Jasper Warden Service conducted an aerial search for C.G. and found him uninjured at the col at 1922.

Analysis

Mount Robson is a serious undertaking for a party of experienced climbers, let alone a solo climber with minimal climbing experience in the area. It is riddled with numerous hazards ranging from crevasses, to serac fall, to avalanches, to poor weather. A climber must be able to evaluate and select routes to negotiate these hazards. C.G. was warned of these hazards by a Robson Park Ranger before attempting the mountain. If C.G. had not attempted the mountain with other experienced mountaineers, he may have been able to retreat. C.G. was extremely fortunate to have not fallen into a crevasse or to have succumbed to one of the many other hazards of mountain travel. Fortunately, C.G. was carrying a device to activate a rescue, although it did take some time for his location to be pinpointed and then relayed to the appropriate rescue agency. A radio or satellite phone would have allowed him to communicate directly to rescue personnel. (Source: Jasper National Park Warden Service, L.P.)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.