An unidentified ice climber has died in Kananaskis Country, a park within the Canadian Rockies. The climber was descending from a popular route called Lone Ranger in Ranger Creek when an avalanche occurred. According to CTV News, the climber who died was a 29-year-old man from Squamish. His partner who survived was a 26-year-old woman.
“An ice climbing party of two had just finished climbing the Lone Ranger ice climb in Ranger Creek, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park,” reads the Mountain Information Network report here. “They were starting their descent on foot from the base of the climb when they were struck from above by a size 2 wind slab avalanche. They were swept into a gully feature on the slope below. One member of the group was partly buried and able to dig themselves out. The other member was fully buried and did not survive.”
This is not the first time a climber was involved in a serious situation at Ranger Creek, one just needs to search the area online. And while we don’t know the circumstances of the accident, anytime an ice climber is killed in an avalanche, we have to reiterate how important it is for ice climbers to carry avalanche gear (beacon, probe, shovel) when heading into avalanche terrain.
The Avalanche Canada report continues with, “The wind slab avalanche had developed rapidly above a reactive crust that had formed on November 10. Other dry loose and wind slab avalanches were noted to have occurred in the area.” Our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.