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Man dead in Yoho National Park after suffering 300 metre fall while climbing

A 32-year-old man is dead following a weekend climbing accident on Mount Hungabee in Yoho National Park. A 32-year-old man is dead following a weekend climbing accident on Mount Hungabee in Yoho National Park.
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CALGARY -

A 32-year-old Quebec man who had been living in Banff is dead following a climbing mishap in Yoho National Park in B.C. over the weekend.

RCMP officials confirm Golden-Field RCMP members were deployed early Sunday evening following a fatal climbing incident on Mount Hungabee. 

Parks Canada says the man died in a climbing accident along the boundary of Banff and Yoho National Parks near Paradise Valley.

The body of a 32-year-old man was recovered by Parks Canada personnel.

“They were descending the west ridge which encompasses a series of rappels," said Brian Webster visitor safety specialist at Parks Canada.

"The individual had just finished one rappel and had unclipped from the rope, but was not clipped into the mountain. At this point he lost his balance and fell."

According to Parks Canada, three climbers were descending the west side of the mountain when one of them lost their footing while unroped and fell 300 metres (1,000 feet).

“He fell from the upper section of the mountain, and he fell about 1000 feet,” said Webster.

“He fell far enough that his partners couldn’t see him, or couldn’t communicate with him.”

Visitor safety specialists responded to the scene by helicopter and the body was airlifted to the town of Field.

"Criminality is not suspected in the man’s death and the BC Coroners Service is also investigating," confirmed RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet in a statement to CTV News.

"Our file has since been updated and it appears the man may have originally been from Quebec but had most recently been residing in Banff."

Parks Canada says these types of incidents do not happen frequently, but that they are not uncommon either.

“We’ll typically deal with one to three mountaineering accidents like this a summer, where somebody is injured on a mountain climb and needs assistance,” said Webster.

Webster stresses the importance of correct equipment and proper climbing knowledge.

“When you’re on routes like this you have to ensure you’ve got the skills to do that, you’ve got the experience, you’ve got the judgement, you’ve got the equipment. If you have all of that you can reduce the risk to a reasonable level, but you can’t eliminate the risk," he said.

“This is just one of the risks that is inherent with mountain climbing and we do everything that we can to minimize that risk, but that hazard still exists and we can’t completely eliminate it."

The identity of the deceased has not been released.

"Parks Canada send our deepest condolences to the climber’s family and to the people involved," said Webster.


 

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