American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Failure to Follow Route—Stranded, Alberta, Banff National Park, Mount Edith, South Ridge

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE-STRANDED

Alberta, Banff National Park, Mount Edith, South Ridge

On May 14, two male climbers (38 and 26) got lost while climbing the South Ridge of Mount Edith (2,554 meters) just west of Banff. They did not have very good information on the location of the descent route, although they had read about the route itself in a local alpine climbing guide. They began to rappel before reaching the summit, but ended up getting stranded above steep overhanging terrain on the Southwest Face. They were able to call for help on a cell phone. Warden Brad White said he initially spoke with one of the climbers by cell phone to try and nail down their location; however, where they were was nowhere near the descent route.

Analysis

People often research the route itself, but should also be doing some research on the descent route before heading out climbing. In this case they managed to find some features that kind of mapped their description of the descent. But by not having a real good understanding of where on the mountain the descent went and how difficult it was, they got themselves into trouble. (Source: Brad White, Public Safety Warden Banff National Park)

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