SOLO SCRAMBLING, STRANDED
Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Mount Rundle
On September 6, WM was hiking near Banff and headed up the side of Mount Rundle. He climbed up an old streambed and eventually got to the point where he then climbed up difficult terrain that he could not climb down and he could go no further upwards. WM used his cellphone to call for help. Parks Mountain Safety Specialists and an Alpine Helicopters rescue pilot responded. The team was inserted to flatter ground above the cliff and a rescuer was lowered down to WM. The two then climbed up on top rope and all were heli-slung from the mountain.
Although cellphones seem to make it almost too easy to call for help at times, there have been numerous fatalities from similar events like this on this same mountain, and had this individual not been able to call, he may have slipped trying to climb up or down with almost certainly fatal consequences. This is another mountain where the detailed scramble route brochure has helped limit the number of incidents like this one. (Source: Brad White, Banff National Park Mountain Safety Specialist)
(Canadian Editor's Note: This is another example of a scrambler moving into technical terrain and requiring evacuation and rescue. It is important to remember that climbing up is often easier than climbing down. Banff National Park reported another similar incident with a solo scrambler caught in technical terrain on Cascade Mountain and requiring a heli-rescue.)