FALL ON ROCK, HEAVY PACKS, UNROPED
Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Mount Neptuak
On August 28, a party of seven set out on a club outing to traverse some of the ten peaks from west to east in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Banff National Park. They had very large packs with bivouac and climbing gear. When nearing the summit of the first peak, Mount Neptuak, one of the party fell over backwards while trying to negotiate the 4th class terrain and tumbled through the large talus below, which, resulted in her breaking her arm. The trip leader called on his cellphone requesting a rescue.
An Alpine Helicopter responded and the patient was slung off. Due to the lateness of the day and the distance from a suitable bivouac spot, the rest of the group was also evacuated back to Wenkchemna Pass and they abandoned their traverse ambitions. (Source: Brad White, Banff National Park Mountain Safety Specialist)
(Canadian Editor’s Note: Carrying a heavy pack can make seemingly easy terrain very difficult. This party may have benefited from short-rope or belay. In addition, there can be challenges to managing a larger group on technical terrain.)