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Inadequate Anchor and Belay, British Columbia, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park/Alpine Recreation Area, Snowpatch Spire

INADEQUATE ANCHOR AND BELAY

British Columbia, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park/Alpine Recreation Area, Snowpatch Spire

On July 18, a group of five climbers had climbed the Kraus/McCarthy Route on Snowpatch Spire. They were moving down to a rappel station and the victim (a sixty-four year old male) was down-climbing, belayed from above with his rope attached through a ’biner on a slung horn. The sling then popped off the horn and he fell approximately five meters and was stopped by his belayer. He dislocated the head of his upper arm. The group diagnosed the arm as being broken and a physician in the group provided first aid in the manner of immobilizing the arm. They then rappelled the route, assisting the injured man, and made their way back to the Conrad Kain Hut, where they called the air ambulance. The victim was flown to the Invermere Hospital and released the next day. The group handled the rescue very well and were totally self-sufficient until the guides took over at the hut. (Source: Dave Stark)