American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Failure to Test Holds, Protection Pulled Out, Alberta, Bow Valley, Yamnuska, CMC Wall

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 2004

FALL ON ROCK, FAILURE TO TEST HOLDS, PROTECTION PULLED OUT

Alberta, Bow Valley, Yamnuska, CMC Wall

On June 15, a female climber was leading on the CMC Wall on Yamnnska (Mount John Laurie). On the third pitch near the top, she pulled out some large loose rocks. She fell approximately 15 meters, pulling out an old fixed pin, but was held by a bolt. Her partner, a certified mountain guide, called 911 for assistance and lowered her to the bottom of the climb. She was then evacuated by helicopter. The climber suffered a dislocated left knee and pain in her right ankle.

Analysis

The Yamnuska crag has been described by some as “a hopeless pile of garbage rock.” The significant effect of freeze-thaw cycles is evident in the large scree slopes below the cliff face. There is plenty of good rock to be found on the crag, but it is important to test holds before committing to them.

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