American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Table III, Estimated Accident and Mortality Rates for Snow and Ice Climbing and Rock Climbing

  • Accident Tables
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1963

TABLE III

Estimated Accident and Mortality Rates for Snow and Ice Climbing and Rock Climbing



Number of climbers

Injuries per 1000 Deaths per 1000 registered climbers registered climbers



Snow and ice

6,241

3.86 0.48



Rock

30,134

2.72 0.76



It is interesting that the injury rate is higher for snow and ice climbing but that the mortality rate is higher for rock climbing. Again it should be emphasized that if we had better estimates of the man-mountain days, our data would be more meaningful, and, in all probability, the rates for snow and ice climbing would be reduced because of the greater number of days spent by each climber to do the longer snow and ice climbs such as Mt. McKinley. On the other hand, a number of days are required for some of the direct aid rock climbs.

It is appropriate that these rates be placed in perspective and compared with rates that obtain in other sports. Such a comparison is made in Table IV.

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