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Fall on Rock, Hand-hold Broke Off, Alberta, Banff National Park, Lake Minnewanka Valley, Devils Gap, Macadamia

FALL ON ROCK, HAND-HOLD BROKE OFF

Alberta, Banff National Park, Lake Minnewanka Valley, Devils Gap, Macadamia

On July 31, a 30-year-old climber suffered serious injuries after falling 40 feet while leading Macadamia (5.9) near Devil’s Gap in Banff National Park Sunday afternoon. The accident left the climber with a serious lower leg fracture and a crushed hand. Banff rescue wardens were flown to the scene. Alpine Helicopters flew him to Banff’s Mineral Springs Hospital and later to a Calgary hospital.

Analysis

Spontaneous rockfall and hold failure is common in the Rockies because of the nature of the rock in combination with the winter melt and freeze conditions. Climbers should be alert for rockfall and holds should be tested before fully weighting them. (Source: Marc Ledwidge, Banff National Park Warden, and Cathy Ellis, Rocky Mountain Outlook)