American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Rock—Pinned Climber, British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Bugaboo Spire, Kain Route

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


British Columbia, Purcell Mountains, Bugaboo Spire, Kain Route

On August 20, ten Golden Search and Rescue members responded along with Parks Canada and Canadian Mountain Helicopters to rescue a climber pinned under a rock on the Kain Route of Bugaboo Spire. The man (38) and his teenage son were descending when a large loose rock slid down and pinned him under a granite boulder that was about one and a half meters wide by three meters long and about 30 centimeters thick.

Emergency response personnel were called to the scene. They performed a heli-sling rescue after moving the rock with hydraulic jacks. The victim was pinned by the rock for approximately three hours before being flown to hospital in Cranbrook with a serious crushing injury to his left ankle.


While the rock in the area is primarily granite, the routes do have some loose rock. Injuries or fatalities from falling or rolling rocks of various sizes are not uncommon. (Source: From a report by Kyle Marr, Banff Crag & Canyon)

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