American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Exceeding Ability, Alberta, Banff Naitonal Park, Mount Rundle

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

STRANDED, EXCEEDING ABILITY Alberta, Banff National Park, Mount Rundle

On July 29, a solo climber was ascending the normal scramble/hiking route on Mount Rundle. He scrambled up a gully above trail into the steep technical rock slabs and could no longer go up or down. He eventually managed to attract attention by screaming and someone phoned in to report his location. A warden rescuer heli-slung to the site, placed the stranded individual into a screamer suit and evacuated him to the base of the mountain.

Analysis

While not a climbing incident (thus not included in the statistics), this is a very common occurrence. Inexperienced people often end up on stranded in terrain which exceeds their abilities. Terrain from below often looks easier than it is and it is easier to climb up than descend. Parks has developed detailed route descriptions of the popular scrambling/hiking ascents in the vicinity of Banff to try and prevent people getting off route. These brochures are in French and English and are made available to as many of the local staff and visitor centres as possible. This individual had not seen one, however. (Source: Bradford White, Banff National Park Warden Service)

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