Another fatality... This time, on Mt. Hector... - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Default Another fatality... This time, on Mt. Hector...

http://www.calgaryherald.com/dies+af...781/story.html

One more time, skiing downhill, unroped. Fall 35 meters deep.

I do curious about where he fell in. 400m below the summit, I'm guessing on the steep bench, but off-route on climber's left side. There're some fierce holes. But it could be anywhere. This glacier is scary...
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 04:41 PM
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The link shows some pictures - see second pic for location. There have always been big slots on climbers left/center near this spot that are visible on late summer climbs. I have always gone up and down on the climbers right side of the face but we did drop a guy in a slot up to his arm pits(roped) when we wandered skiers right closer to the middle of the fall line which is closer to where this occured.
Tragic as always.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 04:57 PM
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Wow. I think we ski'd over those crevasses on our ascent when we blindly followed some french guys up.

Always sad news - it seems like almost everyone skis down Hector unroped so it's a bit surprising. Easy to go off route though - especially if it was a white or grey out.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by billk

The link shows some pictures - see second pic for location. There have always been big slots on climbers left/center near this spot that are visible on late summer climbs. I have always gone up and down on the climbers right side of the face but we did drop a guy in a slot up to his arm pits(roped) when we wandered skiers right closer to the middle of the fall line which is closer to where this occured.
Tragic as always.
Oh I didn't see the photos. The photo from 11,000er book shows its ugly face when snow melts. The safest line is probably going way towards climber's right, almost to the edge, and then cut left and ascend the steep upper face. Going over the summit of Little Hector won't be a bad idea later in the season. That's probably the route I'll take if I do it again.
There were some open crevasses near the beginning too. The tracks we were following initially goes right, but then cut a bit left, ascending the middle bench on its middle part, and then goes left a bit again, and swings right at the end.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 05:07 PM
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Sad new indeed.

http://claytonditzler.zenfolio.com/p...b620#h3e83b620
For reference shot from Little Hector August 2010.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 05:18 PM
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Sad news.

BTW, did anyone attempt Hector from Little Hector? Looks pretty straightforward to me, although I can't see if the last 2 cliff bands can be scrambled safely without venturing on the glacier.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Engor

Sad news.

BTW, did anyone attempt Hector from Little Hector? Looks pretty straightforward to me, although I can't see if the last 2 cliff bands can be scrambled safely without venturing on the glacier.
I haven't heard anybody doing this traverse. But from what I'd seen on the glacier, the ridge section should be quite straightfoward in summer condition. There were lots of cornices and some had failed so we didn't attempt Little H.

I don't think the direct traverse is scrambling. To break the crux band I believe there's only one spot. And most people had done it (at least down) with a belay. However, by following the ridge you can avoid the heavily crevassed parts, and the snow climb will be much shorter.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 05:29 PM
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I have heard of people doing Hector from Little Hector but you do go climbers left on the snow/glacier around the big rock outcrop and then up to the summit block. Don't remember any crevasses on that part in the summer but long time ago.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:26 PM
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I was trying to remember which trip report I read about a guy going up Hector via Little Hector. It was Vern's Andromache trip report:

Once back at the Noseeum pullout we chatted for a short while with an older gentlemen who I think was named 'George'. He was considering going for Noseeum Peak but didn't know if he could navigate through the canyon created by the creek. He told us that he'd been climbing for about 40 years and how every year he climbs Mount Hector from Little Hector. I asked him if he used an axe or crampons and he kind of laughed. He just scrambles up there! I mentioned the glacier and snow but he dismissed it as 'not a big deal'.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Marko

I was trying to remember which trip report I read about a guy going up Hector via Little Hector. It was Vern's Andromache trip report:

Once back at the Noseeum pullout we chatted for a short while with an older gentlemen who I think was named 'George'. He was considering going for Noseeum Peak but didn't know if he could navigate through the canyon created by the creek. He told us that he'd been climbing for about 40 years and how every year he climbs Mount Hector from Little Hector. I asked him if he used an axe or crampons and he kind of laughed. He just scrambles up there! I mentioned the glacier and snow but he dismissed it as 'not a big deal'.
George? At one point, I forgot which year, I saw a set of photography selling in Banff or Lake Louise, and the photographer was George blah blah. And the only photo I remembered was himself on the summit of Hector, a self-portrait photo. So that pretty much says he did it solo.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:32 PM
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Holy shit. My chum Dave and I were planning on Hector on Sunday, but bailed. Our plan was to tailgate that group.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:35 PM
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@ Steven, probably George Brybycin. He's been shooting the rockies forever it seems.

http://www.canadiannaturephotographe...brybycin2.html
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:43 PM
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It's years since I did Hector, we skinned up roped up then followed our tracks down unroped after going to the summit. Real shame to see another individual die in a crevasse fall. Was the weather crappy that day? If so, that might be a reason to keep the rope on as you ski down. My recollection is that it isn't very steep so pretty easy to ski roped up. I remember some big obvious slots along the way that were easy to avoid.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:53 PM
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Thanks guys. I think consensus is that it's impossible to completely avoid glacier on the way from Little Hector to Hector, but some sources describe this short section as "safe".
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2013, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by danjurak

@ Steven, probably George Brybycin. He's been shooting the rockies forever it seems.

http://www.canadiannaturephotographe...brybycin2.html
Yeah - you're probably right about that. I remember he was very comfortable tramping all over the Rockies solo and he mentioned that he does the traverse from Little H to H often - solo. He liked to stay up on the ridge and carried a pretty big pack.
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