American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rockfall from Party Above, Poor Position, Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Abbott's Pass

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2010

ROCKFALL FROM PARTY ABOVE, POOR POSITION

Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Abbott's Pass

On July 6, JPL was approaching Abbot’s Pass hut from the Lake O’Hara side when a party above kicked off a very large loose rock (approximately 1.5 metres by one metre). The rock luckily split in half just before hitting JPL in the back and smashing his face into the rocks. An UIAGM mountain guide who witnessed the incident called for help and assisted JPL up to the hut where rescuers landed with the helicopter and took JPL to the ambulance. Analysis

This approach was much more prone to loose rock this year with a fresh rockfall covering some of the approach. Following behind any party when there is likelihood that loose rocks may be dislodged is always risky. (Source: Brad White, Banff National Park Mountain Safety Specialist)

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