A mountaineer in a near-fatal incident sues his guide, the Association of Mountain Guides for falling rocks, if the exchanged words “belaying” and “climbing” form an agreement
At July 15, 2021, the customer, Ian manson, 63, of Whistler, BC was secured on the face of Mount Rogers in Glacier National Park, BC when the guide tested the stability of a boulder the size of a refrigerator causing the boulder to move and then fall directly towards his client. The client was able to avoid the direct impact of the rock, but when the rock brushed against the client, the guide let go of the rope causing the client to lose balance by falling backwards. When the client fell, the rope unwound its full length, then tightened, pulling the guide out of its belay position, catapulting it through the air and down the face of the mountain.
The client was able to stop his fall on a small ledge below. As the guide hovered over the client, the client was able to grab the loose rope that was hanging from the guide’s belay loop. The customer tightened the rope firmly in an attempt to change the guide drop arc. The guide struck the rock wall in the length of the rope under the client so that the client was not pulled off its ledge and the fall of the guide was interrupted.
Parks Canada rescued the climbers from the incident site with a longline helicopter rescue and transported them by helicopter and air ambulance to hospitals in Kelowna, BC and Revelstoke, BC
A notice of civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in the British Columbia Supreme Court says the client suffered injuries in the incident.
The civil action act alleges negligence on the part of the guide and / or his company due to a duty of care and breach of contract. The lawsuit alleges “when [the guide] called “belaying” and the applicant replied by recalling “climbing”, an ancillary agreement was formed between [the guide] and the applicant by whom [the guide] became immediately responsible for ensuring the safety of the claimant while climbing on the particular terrain for belaying. [The guide] broke that agreement when he let go of the rope, dropping the plaintiff, putting the plaintiff in danger of death without reason and recklessness. “
The notice of civil suit further alleges negligence on the part of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides due to a duty of care relating, among other things, to the training of the guide.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and the defendants have yet to file a response to a civil suit in the action.
The client claims an undetermined amount in general damages, special damages and costs.
Online Court Services: https://justice.gov.bc.ca/cso/index.do
SOURCE MacKenzie Fujisawa LLP