Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section responded to a call on Sept. 1 to an injured climber on Yamnuska. The leader took a 15-metre fall and hit a ledge and sustained injuries to their head and lower body. The climbers were on Diretissema, which is a sandbagged 5.8 up the centre of the wall. While there are bolted anchors, the pitches often have five to 10-metre sections of run-out climbing. Some mountains in Canada have mountain grades, which are different than gym grades. A 5.8 on an alpine face can have serious consequences if a climber falls, as the protection is often run-out and difficult to find. The quality of the rock can sometimes be suspect and even break.

In 2011, 27-year-old Akihira Tawara, who was a strong 5.13 climber, fell and died soloing Diretissema. Chances are that a hold broke. A number of other climbers have been rescued from Diretissema over the years. If you’re new to big climbs in the Rockies, it is sometimes best to start on well-protected routes and work up. Read how you can reduce risk on Rockies limestone in an article by Andy Genereux here.

Yamnuska Rescue Sept. 1, 2016. Photo KCPSS

Yamnuska Rescue Sept. 1, 2016. Photo KCPSS

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