A Whistler woman was killed Sunday, Jan. 24 in an ice climbing accident which occurred near Rampart Creek, north of Lake Louise.
Karen Kogler, 22, was in her first season of ice climbing. The incident happened late in the morning while Kogler and two friends, John Newsome and Shane Spencer from Kamloops, were climbing the frozen waterfall known as Ice 9.
Spencer was ascending the waterfall when a chunk of ice the size of a small car cracked off from above and to the right of him. The ice missed both Spencer and Newsome, who was belaying the rope, but hit Kogler at the base of the waterfall where she was sitting with their backpacks, waiting for her turn to climb.
RCMP Const. Kerry Doran of the Lake Louise detachment, said Kogler did not have a chance to get out of the way and was buried by the snow and ice that fell from above.
When they realized that they were unable to dig her out, her friends went for help. Park wardens had to use tools to break up the ice.
Doran said that the climber was not the cause of the falling ice, as he was no where near the area that fell. Authorities said this was the first ice climbing fatality in Banff National Park this winter.
Kogler was attending the University College of the Caribou in Kamloops, B.C., where she was enrolled in courses to be an adventure travel guide.