A client on a tour with Canmore Cave Tours found himself stuck in a section of cave known as the Laundry Chute. He spent over 12 hours in the narrow section. Rescuers had to chip rock away so he could be freed.
Canmore Cave Tours has been operating cave tours in the Rat’s Nest Cave for years. They are highly skilled and take every safety measure on their trips. The Laundry Chute is an optional passage that can be avoided if cavers don’t like the thought of wiggling through areas.
The cave is on the south face of Grotto Mountain near Canmore. The entry is a small hole in the wall that is gated and locked. Kananaskis Public Safety technicians have been busy this year plucking injured hikers and climbers off mountains, but they do train for cave rescues.
It is common for caving clients to find themselves stuck in a jam, but tour guides can often help them maneuver out. Kananaskis Country Public Safety specials and conservation officers responded with Canmore Fire-Rescue, Alberta-B. C. Cave Rescue Association and Alberta Health Services to the scene.
The Laundry Chute is about 1,000 from the cave entrance, so mounting a rescue took some time. Luckily the stuck caver managed to get comfortable. Rescuers spent about seven hours using air-powered jackhammers, chisels and drills to get the man out. A total of 50 people responded to the rescue.
After the rescue, the man walked himself out of the cave and drove off with his daughter, after paramedics checked him out.