A Calgary man in his mid-20s is dead after falling from an ice climb in Banff National Park, RCMP said Thursday. His body was found on Christmas Day.
RCMP responded to a sudden death call at Cascade Falls on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Police said the man was declared dead at the scene.
“It appeared that he had succumbed to his injuries which were the result of falling a significant distance down the ice climb,” a news release said Thursday.
Const. Mike Hibbs said the area is popular with climbers.
“A couple of people that were heading up located the deceased male,” he said.
Hibbs said the man wasn’t in a restricted area but was alone on the mountain. Police do not know what time he went up or when he fell. Officers won’t release his name as the investigation continues.
“The RCMP wish to pass along their condolences to the individual and we want to keep everybody safe and maybe keep safe practices for the next time you decide you want to climb,” Hibbs said.
“This is a very tricky time of year,” he added. “Make sure you are very well-prepared for ice climbing, that your equipment is in good shape, you have plenty of the equipment you need to go. Never climb alone.
“Always have a partner or somebody who can come to your rescue if something bad happens. Also, watch out for the conditions of the day… or whatever that may interrupt the ice as you’re climbing.”
Levi Ramos, founder of the K8 Mountaineering Club of Alberta, said he was saddened by the man’s death and sees it as an eye-opener for the climbing community.
“In our group, it’s really a big no to do it solo,” he said. “The minimum count should be two and the ideal is three so if there is an accident, one should be staying with the victim and the other one can go run to seek help.”
Ramos said it’s important to assess surroundings and potential hazards — no matter how many times you’ve climbed. Being safe outdoors is crucial, especially with an extreme winter sport.
“Always treat a certain route just like it is the first climb or first ascent,” he said. “Be prepared. Make sure all equipment is ready. Don’t be lazy.”