American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, Alberta, Banff National Park, Five Mile Creek, Mount Cory, Dumber

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

FALL ON ICE

Alberta, Banff National Park, Five Mile Creek, Mount Cory, Dumber

On January 19, D.B. and G.H. were top-roping an ice climb known as “Dumber” above Five Mile Creek on the east slopes of Mount Cory. While attempting to step up on his crampon after placing his tools, G.H.’s foot slipped and he smashed his knee against the ice and dislocated his kneecap. D.B. tied G.H. off and also placed an ice screw under each foot to ease the strain of hanging, he then descended to call for help from a place where he could get cell reception. Wardens responded to the scene by HFRS (Helicopter Flight Rescue System), splinted the leg and lowered G.H. to a point where he could be packaged on a vacuum mattress, stretcher and Baumann bag and heli-slung out.

Analysis

Top-roping does not necessarily mean that a slip may not cause an injury, as this incident points out. It is important to be sure that one’s tool or crampon placement is secure before placing fall weight on it. It is not known why D.B. did not lower G.H. farther down to a point where he would not have been hanging. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service, Bradford White)

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