Outrage climbs as video of huge rocks thrown from Mount Rundle surfaces
'I have climbed on that cliff numerous times,' says seasoned climber, calling for better signage
A video of two people throwing huge rock chunks off Mount Rundle near Canmore — potentially putting climbers and hikers at risk of injury — is drawing outrage and calls for better signage.
The video — originally posted to Instagram but since deleted — was copied and posted to a climbers' Facebook forum.
"I was really pissed off," long-time Calgary climber Adam Ghani told CBC News.
"It just really, really angered me. I am a climber so when I see stuff like that, it endangers people who are climbing on that cliff. I have climbed on that cliff numerous times, not far from where they were throwing those rocks off."
CBC News has chosen not to identify the individuals in the video because a member of the climbing community has spoken to them and determined they weren't acting maliciously, but didn't realize their actions were dangerous.
"I believe they don't really understand the consequences. They just think it's fun and not wrong. I don't think they were doing it intentionally," he said.
Police want to talk with people in video
Canmore RCMP are now involved and want to know more.
"We have received a complaint and we are investigating it," Sgt. Stan Andronyk said.
"It is definitely a safety concern to see those types of actions. We would like the public to be considerate of everyone in the area and to consider the potential consequences and actions that may seem harmless at the time. We definitely would like to speak to the people involved and determine what their intentions were."
A public safety specialist with Alberta Parks Kananaskis Country says the actions did put climbers and hikers at risk as there are paths and hiking areas directly below where the rocks were thrown.
Mike Koppang says he gets complaints, but they aren't that common, and it's likely the people in the video weren't aware of what could happen.
Meanwhile, Ghani would like to see better signage alerting people to the hazards.
"The signage should be better. There could be a collaborative effort where we could get together and start putting signs on popular cliffs where there are multiple users, hikers and climbers," Ghani said.
"There is that opportunity."
This isn't the first report of rocks thrown from mountains. A climber told CBC News just weeks ago he was twice subjected to rocks thrown from Mount Yamnuska while climbing.
Alberta Parks said at the time it had updated its website to explicitly remind Yamnuska visitors to not throw rocks from the mountain and is considering installing new signs along the route, as well.
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With files from Sarah Rieger and Robson Fletcher