Alberta climbers die in 100-metre cliff fall

Two people are dead after a rock climbing accident Sunday afternoon at the Heart Creek Mountain area near Canmore, Alta., about 80 kilometres west of Calgary.

Ground units from Canmore and Kananaskis, Alta., along with conservation officers hiked a couple of kilometres along the Heart Creek Trail to retrieve the bodies of the climbers, believed to be in their early 20s, from a dry creek bed at the bottom of the valley, Stuart Brideaux with Calgary EMS said.

A witness who saw the pair fall about 100 metres from the rock face was able to give emergency crews accurate information as to the location, Brideaux said.

The young man and woman, who have not been identified by RCMP investigators, were equipped with the proper helmets and ropes for rock climbing, Brideaux said.

There are more than 70 rock-climbing routes at Heart Creek, ranging in skill level from easy to extremely difficult. Nearly all the routes are what climbers call the "sport" variety, meaning there are safety bolts drilled into the rock face for people to hook safety equipment into as they ascend.