The Calgary Sun, Thursday, April 20, 1989

Climber's body found by family

Calgary Sun

A Calgary couple's search for their missing son on a Kananaskis mountain turned to tragedy yesterday when they discovered his body.

The alarm for Steven Williams, 24, of Southdale Rd. S.W. was raised Tuesday when he failed to return from a lone climb on Mt. Buller.

Yesterday Williams' father, Stan--also an experienced climber--began searching with his wife, Lilian, and two Peter Lougheed Park rangers.

"Almost immediately the parents saw something on the mountain, which obviously needed investigating," said ranger Pat Ronald.

"The two rangers went up and discovered the climber's body," he said.

Rangers and RCMP later brought in a helicopter to take out Williams' body.

Police established the climber had been caught in a rock slide.

"He was climbing a snow gulley and seemed to have reached the top," said Kananaskis RCMP Cpl. Ken Patterson.

"It appears he was then struck either by a single large rock or several rocks, and then got caught in a rockslide back down the gulley.  He slid down 500 metres and that was where they found him.  He had been climbing several times and was experienced.  He was climbing with an ice-axe, but no helmet."

Williams loved mountain climbing, said Karen Kiefer, 30, a close friend.

"He was a marine biologist at Dalhousie University, Halifax, and only returned to Calgary six days ago.  He came here to start a new project with his father, connected with mining.  He loved mountain climbing, diving and caving.  They were his favorite hobbies.  He often used to climb with his father, and he'd also been diving on both the east and west coasts," said Kiefer.

When Williams failed to return home Tuesday evening, his father drove out to Kananaskis and began to search for his son's car.

"The family notified us at 11 p.m. and the first search began then but was called off until first light," said Ronald.

"Mt. Buller is quite a popular mountain with climbers, but there is always the danger of falling rocks.  This is not a particularly bad time of year, rocks can fall at any time.  It's one of the risks," said Patterson.

<Photo Caption>

Mt. Buller rockslide proves deadly

Steven Williams, 24, of Calgary, described as an experienced climber, was found dead yesterday after he was caught in a rock slide climbing Mt. Buller, a Kananaskis mountain.  Williams went missing on Tuesday.