American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Unroped, Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Mount Temple

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

FALL ON ROCK, UNROPED

Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Mount Temple

On September 26, while down-climbing the steep grey rock band on the “tourist route” on Mount Temple, Banff National Park, LR slipped and fell to the scree below seriously breaking his leg. His partner ran down the trail to Moraine Lake to request a rescue. Parks Mountain Safety Specialists and a rescue pilot responded to the scene. Conditions were very windy, but eventually through excellent flying a single rescuer was inserted to the patient and he was packaged and slung off the mountain.

Analysis

Heli-Flight Rescue (HFRS) is the most common method of evacuation employed for most incidents in steep terrain in the Mountain National Parks. It requires only a few highly trained personnel and is quick and efficient. However, it is contingent on good flying weather and it is often only through the great skill of the rescue pilots that the method is possible. A ground evacuation from a spot like this would have been a long and dangerous exercise that would have taken all night and required a crew of at least eight rescuers. Parties should be prepared with adequate first aid training and the ability to stabilize a patient. (Source: Brad White, Banff National Park Mountain Safety Specialist)

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