Edmonton man dies after hiking fall on Mount Temple


Matt Miller, 42, was with a group of experienced hikers on Saturday when he lost his footing while climbing the mountain

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A hiker who died after falling more than 1,000 metres from Mount Temple near Lake Louise has been identified as Edmonton man Matt Miller.

Miller, 42, was the dealer principal of Lexus of Edmonton, which issued a statement on its social media platforms Monday.

“It is with incredibly heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dealer principal and good friend, Matt Miller,” reads a statement on their Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Bruce Kirkland, president and CEO of Lexus of Edmonton, confirmed in an email it was Miller who died in the hiking accident.

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Miller was with a group of experienced hikers on Saturday when he lost his footing while climbing the mountain and slipped on a patch of snow and ice, according to RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff.

“Early reports indicate that the individual had fallen off a cornice — a snow outcropping that kind of reaches out over a slope — and fell a significant distance,” said Savinkoff.

Emergency services, including Lake Louise RCMP, Lake Louise Fire Rescue and Parks Canada, responded shortly before noon.

Using the Parks Canada helicopter, emergency responders found the man about 1,005 metres from where he first fell, RCMP Const. Lauren Mowbray said in a news release Monday.

Miller had succumbed to injuries sustained in the fall.

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Parks Canada says the prominent triangular-shaped peak above the village of Lake Louise is a popular climb because it’s one of the highest peaks in the area.

A number of accidents have occurred at Mount Temple, its website states, with route conditions best after winter snow has melted completely off the peak, usually by mid-July.

Tim Ricci, director of operations with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, described the hike to the summit of Mount Temple as an expert-level scramble. Yamnuska was not part of the tragic expedition on the weekend, and the company is not taking bookings until July 24 for Mount Temple.

“It’s a long day where you would need advanced and expert skills in order to get up that peak,” he said.

“It sounds like they were experienced hikers and scramblers in the mountains. It’s a tragic event for everybody, and it definitely rocks the community.”

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Parks Canada’s latest report on trail conditions states hiking on the Sentinel Pass connector near the base of Mount Temple is “not recommended” with “steep snow slopes and snow at high elevation.”

Miller was born and raised south of Kitscoty, Alta., 20 minutes west of Lloydminster. He played hockey with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades and three years of junior A hockey. He played one season of pro hockey before finishing out with two years at the University of New Brunswick.

He joined Lexus of Edmonton in 2006 and, according to the company’s website, loved surfing, tennis, playing guitar and was working toward his pilot’s licence.

jaldrich@postmedia.com

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

sbabych@postmedia.com

Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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