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GPS helps to save Edmonton rock climber
Published Monday, April 13, 2009 4:59PM MDT
A 21-year-old rock climber from Edmonton is recovering in hospital after he fell almost ten metres to the ground while climbing at Banff National Park.
The man was able to alert authorities using an emergency signal from his GPS locator and rescue crews say the tool not only allowed them to pinpoint his exact location, but they were also given an idea as to what sort of accident it was.
The accident happened in the Ghost River Wilderness area Saturday and Eric Klaszus was few hundred metres away when the 21-year-old climber Josh Brown lost his footing and his equipment failed.
"We knew right away we needed to get him airlifted out of there," said Klaszus.
The pair was in a remote area of the park known as Phantom Cragg, and didn't think they would have any cell reception so they brought along a GPS locator device.
After hearing of the fall, Klaszus climbed down to check on Brown and he then hit the 911 button on the device, which sent a signal to emergency crews.
Rescuers in Banff National Park say GPS devices are becoming quite popular with climbers and snowmobilers.
"If somebody was far enough away and they had no other means of communication and had one of the GPS units that could make all the difference," said Aaron Beardsmore.
Brown was airlifted by STARS air ambulance to a Calgary hospital where he remains Monday. He fractured his ribs and vertebrae and should return home Tuesday.
With files from Rob McAnally