American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, British Columbia, Kootenay National Park, Haffner Creek

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

FALL ON ICE, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

British Columbia, Kootenay National Park, Haffner Creek

At about 11:00 a.m. on December 3, Banff Park wardens were called to a rescue at Haffner Creek, in Kootenay National Park, where a man in his 30s had fallen from an ice climb, according to public safety warden Lisa Paulson. The man was about 20 feet from the ground and about to clip his first ice screw when he fell, resulting in a broken ankle. He was rescued from the site by helicopter.

This isn’t the first rescue performed at popular Haffner Creek, which is an easily accessed canyon off the Highway 93 South with a multitude of single pitch ice and mixed climbs. “With respect to that spot, a lot of people go there to practice,” she said. “It’s really well known. Everybody’s really careful there but it’s still been a few broken ankles pulled out of there.”

While they were waiting to chopper out the patient, another climber took a four-meter fall and decked. Fortunately he managed to get up, dust off, and walk away. (Source: Edited from a report by Amanda Follett, Banff Crag & Canyon, and Joe McKay)

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