KANANASKIS COUNTRY – A serious injury sustained on what is deemed a family-friendly hike in Kananaskis Country serves as a stark reminder to exercise caution no matter where users find themselves in the backcountry.
On Saturday (May 13), an adult male required a rescue and EMS response while hiking Troll Falls, a 1.7-kilometre out-and-back trail in the Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area.
“Just after 10:30 a.m., EMS paramedics did respond to the Troll Falls area to transport an adult male to Canmore General Hospital via ground ambulance,” said Adam Loria, Alberta Health Services public education officer. “[He was] in stable, non-life threatening condition, however, he did sustain a serious injury.”
Loria said the AHS incident file did not include details of the injury or how it occurred. He said local public safety may have more information regarding the event, but despite the Outlook’s multiple attempts to reach out to Alberta Parks, Kananaskis Mountain Rescue could not be reached to provide any further information.
“During the election period, Government of Alberta media responses are limited,” said Leanne Niblock, a spokesperson for Alberta Parks, in an email. “These limitations are outlined in the Elections Act and elections communication policy and are in place until the end of the election.”
Alberta Parks declined and later, did not respond to inquiries from the Outlook despite public health and safety being outlined as exceptions for media inquiries in the communications policy during the provincial election.
A post on the Hike Alberta Facebook page indicates that both EMS and a helicopter rescue were involved in the response. The post also indicates that the person may have broke a bone and could not hike back out.
The Friends of Kananaskis Country, who produced a series of ‘know before you go’ articles with the support of Kananaskis Mountain Rescue, provides the following tips on their website for hikers to encourage safe use of the backcountry, in summary:
- Be aware of your surroundings; watch for bear signs and weather changes.
- Make mental or other notes as you go to find your route on the way back.
- Climbing up is easier than getting down.
- Turning back is always an option, and “back” is sometimes “up.”
- Work as a team with your outdoor partners.
- Try not to make a bad situation worse.
- Reduce the risks you can control, and prepare for those risks you can’t.
For more information on recreating safely while in K-Country, visit: https://kananaskis.org/what-to-think-about.
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. The position covers Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation and Kananaskis Country.