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Fall on Ice, Inattention, British Columbia, Kootenay National Park, Haffner Creek

FALL ON ICE, INATTENTION

British Columbia, Kootenay National Park, Haffner Creek

Haffner Creek is a popular ice climbing area with a number of new mixed climbs. On December 13, a group of mountain guides were doing some training. While ice “bouldering” five feet off the ground, R.O. fell. He landed on his feet on uneven ground, shattering his lower leg in the process. One of the other guides was able to contact the Warden Service by radio. He was evacuated by heli-sling to the highway.

Analysis

Even short falls can have serious consequences, especially when one has crampons on his/her feet. R.O.’s comments were as follows.

“I have been climbing ice extensively for the past eight years and this is the first fall that I have ever taken. The ice I was climbing when I fell was of a very easy grade. I think complacency was the cause of my accident. Stupid accidents like this one are not uncommon among experienced climbers. Climbers need to always be focused and aware, even when the climbing is easy and close to the ground.” (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service and R.O.)