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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Edmonton man dies after hiking fall on Temple Mount

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

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

Miller, 42, was the director of the Edmonton Lexus dealership, which released a statement on its social media platforms on Monday.

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we announce the passing of our chief distributor and good friend, Matt Miller,” read a statement on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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

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Miller was with a group of experienced hikers Saturday when he lost his balance 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 ledge, an outcropping of snow that extends over a slope, and fell a significant distance,” Savinkoff said.

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

Using the Parks Canada helicopter, emergency services found the man about 1,005 meters from where he first fell, RCMP Const. Lauren Mowbray said in a press release on Monday.

Miller had succumbed to injuries sustained in the fall.

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

There have been several accidents at Mount Temple, its website states, and road conditions are best after the winter snow has completely melted, usually in mid-July.

Tim Ricci, director of operations for Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, described the trek to the top of Temple Mount as an expert-level scramble. Yamnuska was not part of the tragic weekend expedition, and the company will not accept reservations until July 24 for Temple Mount.

“It’s a long day where you would need advanced, expert skills to reach that peak,” he said.

“It seems that they were experienced hikers and climbers in the mountains. It’s a tragic event for everyone, and it definitely shakes the community.”

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

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 professional hockey before finishing with two years at the University of New Brunswick.

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

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