A 65-year-old Calgary man is dead after falling while scrambling on steep rocky terrain in an area near Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
Hikers discovered the body of the man near Turquoise Lake Monday (Aug. 21), but darkness prevented recovery efforts that evening. Parks Canada’s rescuers flew there at first light Tuesday to recover the body.
The cliff band below Turquoise Lake is about 50 metres high, but rescuers can’t say for sure how far the man fell.
“We found a fishing rod so we think he was trying to get up to Turquoise Lake and he fell out on those cliffs,” said Grant Statham, visitor safety specialist for Banff, Yoho and Lake Louise.
“It’s very technical terrain. It’s a place where you have to be really careful, or use a rope to get through there. It’s not hiking terrain.”
Turquoise Lake is in a remote area off Highway 93 North, north of Lake Louise and west of Hector Lake.
Staff from Lake Louise Inn, who paddled across Hector Lake to hike to Margaret Lake area below Turquoise Lake on Monday, found the body.
They first spotted a canoe and unoccupied tent in the forest.
“They got above Margaret Lake and took a photo and when they were looking for a different way to descend, they then discovered a body,” said Statham.
Statham praised and thanked the hikers for their quick thinking and documenting everything they saw, including pinpointing the location, thus making it easier for rescuers to recover the body.
“They checked this person, covered him up, took a whole bunch of pictures to document everything and got out and contacted dispatch,” said Statham.
“We contacted RCMP right away and later that evening we met with the hikers and RCMP and they gave us everything, including all the photos, and we put together a plan.”
People are advised to be more conservative when travelling solo in the backcountry.
“When you travel by yourself, you might need to back it off a bit more than when you’re with other people,” said Statham. “And, know your limits.”
RCMP is not releasing the man’s name.
“Both Parks Canada and the RCMP offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of this hiker,” stated an RCMP news release.