A Calgary man died while hiking near Canmore on Saturday afternoon.
Canmore RCMP said a 30-year-old man was hiking near Mount Yamnuska in Kananaskis Country in the scree section of the trail when he fell about 20 feet just after 2 p.m.
A number of people who were in the area tried to help the injured man, RCMP said. According to police, while the man was receiving assistance, several boulders dislodged from the scree slope, hitting the man and those who came to his aid. RCMP said that as a result, the victim suffered a head injury.
First responders including STARS were called to the scene, but the Calgary man died of his injuries, police said.
Canmore RCMP said first responders were called to the area two more times on Saturday. The second, and unrelated incident, happened just after 4 p.m. when a 24-year-old man also fell from a scree slope and sustained a head injury. That man was taken to a Calgary hospital by ambulance.
The third unrelated incident in the area occurred just before 7 p.m. when crews were called to assist another hiker who had suffered a fracture.
On Sunday, Alberta Parks closed the Yamnuska day-use area, trails and climbing areas.
“Due to the significant increase in visitation and dramatic spike in rescues, the area is closed to help prevent the overwhelming of rescue services in Kananaskis,” Alberta Parks said.
They areas reopened on Sunday at 10 p.m.
‘Be aware of the risks’
Mike Koppang, a public safety specialist with Alberta Parks Kananaskis Country, said Monday that Saturday was one of the busiest days he has seen in his 20-year career, in terms of call volume and number of park users.
Koppang recapped the Saturday incidents on Mount Yamnuska.
“There was the event that occurred on the front side of the mountain, which was super unfortunate,” he said.
“We had another individual who broke their ankle quite close to the trailhead, actually. We were able to help them out pretty quickly and then another individual that was fairly seriously hurt on the back side of Yamnuska as a result of a tumbling fall.”
People going for a hike in the mountains should do research before heading out, tell someone their hiking plans and get a paper map, he said.
“Make sure you’re appropriately prepared, you know where you’re going, you have the skills, education and experience to be going into that piece of terrain,” Koppang said.
He said Mount Yamnuska is a stunning place but a lot of people underestimate it.
“It’s not a hike. It’s not a trail that we maintain or put bridges on to manage the risk,” he said.
“It’s actually a scramble. So a scramble means we do not maintain the trail. It’s sort of — you need to find your own way. You need to be aware of the risks and hazards that are out there and be able to mitigate them and manage them.”