Climbers Saved after Spending Night at 8,000 feet on a Ledge

Spencer Miller |
Climber’s location on the Little Sister.  Photo courtesy of Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section.  

A group of climbers sumitted the Little Sister -a peak located near Canmore, Alberta- just a little too late Saturday evening.  The skies started to darken, and with waning time, the climbers opted to rappel down familiar terrain that they had just ascended rather than trek through the rest of the route.

The group decided to use a rock horn as an anchor, which successfully held the first down climber.  But when the second person was rappelling, the anchor crumbled, and left her tumbling down the face.  Fortunately, she stopped part-way down, but suffered head and torso injuries.  The others diligently performed a self rescue, and then made it to a ledge to wait out the night before calling for help the next day.

Early morning airlift. Photo courtesy of Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section.

Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section released a statement on the incident, writing,

“The climbers called for a rescue first thing Sunday morning after evaluating their condition and position, deciding that the best course of action was to request assistance. While these climbers did a number of things right, ultimately the cause of the accident was not properly assessing the integrity of the anchor. While the slings were inspected, the horn itself was not fully evaluated. This is a good reminder to all to be extremely diligent when selecting anchors.”  

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