American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Alberta, Banff National Park, Tunnel Mountain, Gooseberry

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

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Alberta, Banff National Park, Tunnel Mountain, Gooseberry

On August 26, a lead climber in a party took a 30 to 40 foot lead fall on third pitch of Gooseberry (II, 5.6) on Tunnel Mountain. He sustained a back injury but was still mobile. The party rappelled to the ground and started walking out. On the way out the leader started to suffer muscle spasms and was unable to continue. His partner contacted Park Wardens who responded with a wheeled stretcher team. They wheeled the patient out using vacuum mattress immobilization. Subsequent examination revealed a stable fracture of the sacrum.

Analysis

A warden team on a training climb on the same route was about three pitches up and observed the party starting below them. They continued to the top and were unaware that a fall had occurred. The spot where the climber fell had several bolts placed, which make the climb safer and easier to protect than earlier ascents and should prevent a long fall. It is unknown if the leader used the bolts, but subsequent ascents showed them to be intact. (Source: Bradford White, Banff National Park Warden Service)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.