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Climber81

CLOSE CALLS!

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Well i thought i would start something a little different. With anyone who has spent any amount of time in the hills, whether its hiking, boarding, alpine climbing or rock climbing, has a good story or two to share about a "CLOSE CALL" they may have encountered at one point or another. Could have been with a wild animal or getting lost on the mountain. I thought it might be kind of interesting to share a story you may have  and how you dealt with or overcame your obstacles and maybe we learn a little something along the way. 

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canadian border crossing en route to mt redoubt circa 2010 - still too ptsd'ed out to give details :shock:

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One time.....I fell unroped through a snowbridge into a bergschrund, bouncing between the rock and ice for about 30' down, until I became wedged tight.   My ice tool had pierced the leash of my axe on my other wrist (but missing the flesh).  Luckily, I was able to rotate my body just enough to free myself and had enough room to get a good stick into the ice to keep from sliding further into the abyss (once I carefully pulled the pick from my leash).  Delicate stemming between rock and ice allowed me to work laterally (>100') to a spot where the schrund was a little less than vertical and I could climb out.  I had the rope in my pack, so my wife at the surface wasn't of much help (I could hear her, she couldn't hear me).  Interestingly, I had to work so far laterally from where I went in that when I popped out downhill and to the side of where my wife was, she thought I was another party and screamed that she needed help (she was standing just downhill of the hole I had made in the snow bridge).  I had tweaked my ankle pretty good on the way in whey my crampon caught, but I was otherwise unhurt.

I learned that you should rope up on a glacier.

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Climbed through lady wilson cleavage on icefields parkway, AB.  Lots of fresh snow fall the night before but we were stupid and young.  Near the top of the gulley, a small slough came down but we managed to hug the side and avoid getting swept away.  But being young and dumb, we decided to finish and just look at the upper walls in the belly of Wilson beast, which basically is a bowl ringed by ice that funnels down into the gulley.  We found a nice little rest spot about 200 feet above the gulley finish.  As we were taking photos and eating/drinking,  I could see a snow filled wind blast go up and turn 180 degrees and smacked the snow slope above the ice.  Immediately a 1 ft deep but very wide swath of snow broke free and fell over the cliff towards us.  We were in the middle of the run out zone, behind a boulder, and too far for a run to avoid.  We hunkered down behind boulder as the snow poured over us.  Our stance filled in pretty quick but I could stay above the snow by pushing my head up above the boulder height and getting the full force of the slough but also get a breath.  that went on a few times.  Once the slough finally stopped, my partner was gone.  He got swepted away and went down the 300' cleavage gulley.  He was under the whole time but on once out of the gulley. the snow fanned out, got thin and spit him out.

We were young and dumb but not that dumb.  we hightailed it out of there and the sounds of spontaneous huge avalanches on all aspects of the valley told us what they thought of us.

relatively cheap lesson.  causalty = one lost pair of ski poles.

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You looking for chestbeaty "then I cut my arm off to escape from this boulder" or snide "then I cut my arm off to escape from your mom"?

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Late summer. I was solo skiing across lower Elliot Glacier to get on Snowdome. Conditions were 4” of melting neve over hard ice. I had a full pack and skis on my back and had just done an end run around an open flooded crevasse and was headed up a short moderately steep section directly above it. I had my axe leashed to one hand and was casually working my way straight up when my dull crampon points slipped and my feet went out from under me. I fell on my axe and was able to stop immediately, but only because I had yet to gain any speed. I could feel I didn’t have much purchase with either crampon points or my axe pick, so I gingerly traversed and retreated with my heart in my throat. I was so shaken I called it a day and went home, but only after taking a photo to remind me to never ever set foot on snow or ice again without making sure my gear (crampon points and ice axe pick) were in tip-top condition. This scared me so bad I initially vowed to never solo glaciers again, but am back at it because I feel I can do it safely when conditions warrant. I still occasionally look at this photo of where I almost ended up to remind me to be careful and have never shown it to my wife.

 

Elliot flooded crevasse.JPG

Edited by pcg
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