Once upon a chilly February morning, two eager friends raced the sun rising in Banff National Park in search of a frozen waterfall to scale.....the plot quickly twist and the happily ever after will take a minute.

Once upon a chilly February morning, two eager friends raced the sun rising in Banff National Park in search of a frozen waterfall to scale. Conversation flowed between meditation and mountains, goals and gear as they hiked loaded with ice screws and ice tools, crampons, helmets, harnesses, ropes and Rocky talkies. They shared leads and laughs while their focus remained as clear as the sunny skies above. Efficiency and stoke were just as high as they began the fourth and final pitch.

With a gentle nudge, the day, this story and my life changed in a fraction of a second. Another plot twist in this surreal story.

Though an easy grade, some garbage ice made getting an ice screw in a challenge yet managed and climbed on. Eyeing a bulge above I aimed to protect us both by getting a second screw in before the protrusion. I remember the relief of getting solid tools. Then there remains a memory gap until I was on the ground. JKL was curious if I could rappel on it, I tried to stand yet instantly knew I was heading back to another Emergency Room. The dark and painful memories of 26 months in hospitals following my TBI flooded as I crawled up towards him and into the cave where he belayed. 

I am incredibly thankful for JKL’s calm, methodical response. Too, @Grant  and Ben from parks Canada and Todd who flew the heli, with the long line evacuation. The medics from Banff were a gift and who helped keep the ambulance ride as smooth as getting boot off with grace 😉

So with a broken tibia, Fibia and shattered ankle the happily ever after is going to take a while. 

I have 29 screws, 3 plates and another generous human’s bone holding everything together. The ER and Acute team at Banff Mineral Springs hospital made a horrific few days brighter. Dr. Heard’s magic along with the hardware placed will remain forever along with more scares to remind me of that which I am capable of overcoming. 

Though told I will never run again and felt as hard as the fall itself, through the darkness, I climb on. 

~ To those who have shown up not only at my bedside but in every way imaginable from here in the Bow Valley and from afar. Strength truly shines from feeling supported. Thank you. 


For more videos and photos and a window seat to this recovery check out ➡️ https://bit.ly/3T1F4JF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Rima Lurie says:

    Dear Jill- I have been thinking of you every day, sending prayers and blessings, ever since Tom (Stevens) told me about the fall, before your post came… OMG, sorry!!! If anyone can overcome, it’s you!! When my 76-yo runner self is still feeling off-kilter as a result of having been seriously rear-ended in a car accident over a year ago, I am using what I can do as a prayer for you, while I continue practicing faith for recovery! ❤️🙋🏻‍♀️ Blessings, Rima (from our still-snowy Colorado mountains)!