LAC DES ARCS – A man in his late 30s was airlifted from Heart Creek after a rock struck him while he was belaying his rock climbing partner on Thursday (Aug. 30).
The two men were climbing a multi-pitch route known as Heart Line around 9 a.m. when a rock came loose and hit the man in the shin.
“While they were ascending they were climbing up and the belayer, so the guy that was feeding out rope to the climber above, took a rock,” said Mike Koppang, a public safety specialist for Kananaskis Public Safety.
The injury was severe enough that the man could no longer belay his partner.
Fortunately, his partner was already at an anchor and able to rappel himself down.
After stabilizing his climbing partner he contacted emergency services for help.
“It was a randomly generated rock fall, we don’t know what triggered it,” said Koppang, adding the man was in good spirits when they rescued him.
Kananaskis Public Safety along with Alpine Helicopters worked together to locate the climber and rescue him.
Once he was packaged, rescuers brought the injured climber to the roadway so Calgary EMS could take him to hospital.