ALBERTA

Banff Crevasse Death: Calgary Man Killed After Summiting Mount Hector Near Lake Louise

04/16/2013 01:46 EDT | Updated 04/16/2013 01:46 EDT
Parks Canada/Aaron Beardmore

A successful summit of an 11,000-ft. Banff peak by three friends on Sunday ended in tragedy.

The three were skiing down after summiting Mount Hector, when one of the men in the team, described only as a 32-year-old Calgarian, was killed after falling into a crevasse.

The victim was approximately 400 metres from the summit, and descending, when he fell down the 35-metre crack in the ice, Parks Canada said.

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Calgarian Dies In Mount Hector

"The victim’s friends, who were very well-experienced, descended the crevasse to determine the condition of the skier – he was unresponsive – and then made the decision to ski out and call Parks Canada for assistance," said Parks Canada spokesman Omar McDadi.

Parks Canada safety specialists were able to pull the body from the crevasse but were unable to complete their rescue, due to nightfall, McDadi said.

Rescuers returned Monday and airlifted the man out, he said.

Lake Louise RCMP have notified the next of kin and the medical examiner has is now investigating.

"The thoughts of the rescue team, all Parks Canada personnel and local emergency services are with the family," McDadi said.

"Crevasses are always a concern when travelling on glaciers. Parks Canada strongly recommends that mountaineers learn safe glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills prior to travelling on glaciers."

This is the second crevasse death in the area in as many months.

Mark Taylor, director of the parks department in Abbotsford, B.C., fell into a crevasse on the Wapta Traverse in Yoho National Park, just on the other side of the Banff National Park boundary, on March 12 while on a five-day back-country ski trip with his daughter and a friend.

Taylor's body was found approximately 20 metres below the surface of the glacier. Efforts to reach him had been delayed by unpredictable weather, rough terrain and the threat of an avalanche.