American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, Alberta, Jasper National Park, Mount Kerkeslin, Kerkeslin Falls

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

FALL ON ICE

Alberta, Jasper National Park, Mount Kerkeslin, Kerkeslin Falls

On December 30, a party of two was climbing Kerkeslin Falls (III, 3), a moderate waterfall ice route in Jasper National Park. The leader was ascending the third and final pitch when he took a short fall. The ice screw that he had placed below him held. However, he fell onto lower angled ice below, resulting in a fracture of the lower leg. His belayer lowered him to a large ledge at the bottom of the pitch. Another party of three helped secure him and administered first aid. Two members of the second party descended the route and called for assistance. A warden service rescue team was dispatched and the injured climber and the other two remaining climbers were heli- slung off the climb just before dark.

Analysis

This accident illustrates how serious even a small fall on ice while wearing crampons can be. The injured party was lucky that a second group of experienced climbers were on the route and were able to descend quickly and call for help. If this were not the case, it seems likely that the injured party would have spent the night out before being rescued. (Source: Parks Canada Warden Service)

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