Kananaskis Country Public Safety responded to an accident in Heart Creek near Canmore on Aug. 5 in the early afternoon. The 42-year-old male climber fell over 20 metres from an anchor and landed on the ground. Reports suggest the climber sat back to be lowered but was not on belay. The climber was airlifted to a staging point near the accident and flown to Foothills Hospital where he later died. His name will not be released as the incident is under investigation. In 2012, two climbers died in Heart Creek after a rappelling accident.
There have been a number of serious accidents across Canada this year due to poor communication. While it is unknown exactly how this accident occurred, it is a reminder to stay safe. We are halfway through the summer and many climbers have been outdoors for months. Often climbers will become complacent with routine actions such as tying in, rappelling and lowering. Even top climbers make mistakes after being on the rock day after day. Thanks to Canada’s search and rescue technicians for their amazing work.