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Fall on Rock, Rappel Error—Protection Pulled Out, British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Eastpost Spire

FALL ON ROCK, RAPPEL ERROR-PROTECTION PULLED OUT

British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Eastpost Spire

On July 18, Dave Ireland (51) and Peter Uzieblo were about two pitches up Lions Way (5.6, six pitches) on Eastpost Spire. One dropped his digital camera, and so they were rappelling to retrieve it. Uzieblo did a mix of down-climbing and rappelling in order to lessen the weight on the rope. He then yelled up to Dave Ireland not to pull out on the anchor, only down. Unfortunately, the anchor failed Dave Ireland about a full rope length (60 meters) to the boulder field below, resulting in fatal injuries. In meeting with the Invermere, B.C., Coroner the day following this tragic accident, she advised that D.I. died instantly of a broken neck.

Peter Uzieblo is an accomplished and experienced climber. Dave Ireland was a novice with top-rope experience in Devil’s Lake State Park (WI), but he could easily follow on 5.8 routes. He was a much respected and valued member of the Chicago Mountaineering Club. (Source: Edwina Podenski, Canadian ANAM editor and Paul Szymanski, friend of the deceased)