American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Reported Mountaineering Accidents, Table III

  • Accident Tables
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983

TABLE III Numbers Refer to Persons Directly Involved*



1951-81

USA

1959-81

CAN.

1982

USA

1982

CAN.



Terrain



Rock

1760

220

75

16



Snow

1034

187

59

25



Ice

70

23

9

6



River

10

2

0

0



Unknown

10

4

0

1



*Ascent or Descent:



Ascent

1434

224

89

26



Descent

1130

141

47

18



Unknown

207

28

4

4



Immediate Cause



Fall or slip on rock

1056

102

52

14



Slip on snow or ice

425

81

32

6



Falling rock or object

230

71

14

6



Exceed abilities

196

19

23

5



Avalanche

189

75

9

6



Exposure and/or exhaustion

141

8

15

2



Stranded

129

24

9

5



Failure of rappel

120

9

1

3



Illness-including edema/frostbite1

102

9

16

3



Loss of control—voluntary glissade

96

8

7

2



Fall into crevasse

74

19

3

4



Failure of piton

64

11

2

1



Failure to follow route

42

5

6

6



Skiing

17

4

0

1



Lightning

33

3

0

0



Faulty use of crampons

31

2

1

1



Failure of nut

14

1

3

0



Heat prostration

4

1

0

0



Prusik/ascending device failure

3

1

1

0



Other

24

5

2

2



Unknown

32

4

2

1



Contributory Causes



Climbing unroped

599

73

34

10



Exceeding abilities

581

82

21

11



Inadequate equipment

295

36

34

5



Climbing alone

185

22

8

6



Bad weather

174

10

19

4



Darkness

71

5

3

2



Failure of piton

64

6

2

1



Party separated

57

7

1

2



No hard hat

48

5

12

3



Placed no/inadequate protection

49

7

18

5



Failure of nut

34

2

6

1



Exposure and/or exhaustion

31

3

3

4



Failure to test holds/old pitons

15

4

4

0



Old rope

8

1

0

0



Waist/harness failure

2

1

0

0



Other

37

8

15

3



Age of Individuals



Under 15

88

10

1

1



15-20

883

145

22

13



21-25

798

130

42

30



26-30

413

95

28

17



31-35

204

36

21

10



36-50

271

53

21

5



Over 50

20

5

11

1



Unknown

499

103

20

49



*Affiliation with Climbing Groups



Unaffiliated

938

84

65

19



Affiliated

886

186

14

16



Unknown

1001

181

61

91



Estimate of Experience



None or little

1097

134

24

24



Moderate

791

133

29

32



Experienced

537

147

40

33



Unknown

533

103

60

37



*Month of Year



January

108

4

2

2



February 

108

24

3

3



March

154

25

7

1



April

156

9

7

1



May

276

24

29

1



June

437

23

19

3



July

534

128

19

8



August

469

119

27

21



September

283

20

10

4



October

154

17

11

3



November

93

2

4

1



December

23

5

2

0



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