AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Reported Mountaineering Accidents, Table III



1951-87

1959-87

1988

1988





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Terrain











Rock

2528

309

99

12



Snow

1443

253

48

1



Ice

114

50

9

5



River

12

3

0

0



Unknown

18

6

0

0



Ascent or Descent











Ascent

2223

315

112

12



Descent

1471

225

40

3



Unknown

231

42

4

3



Immediate Cause











Fall or slip on rock

1625

153

71

4



Slip on snow or ice

581

116

15

4



Falling rock or object

342

93

25

3



Exceeding abilities

278

27

12

0



Avalanche

220

91

4

2



Exposure

187

12

5

0



Stranded

159

38

5

0



Illness1

161

12

19

2



Failure of Rappel

135

18

2

1



Loss of control/voluntary glissade

131

12

2

0



Fall into crevasse/moat

97

29

4

0



Piton pulled out

69

12

0

0



Failure to follow route

83

18

1

0



Faulty use of crampons

43

4

3

0



Lightning

34

5

1

0



Skiing

30

9

0

0



Nut/chock pulled out

33

3

7

0



Ascending too fast

15

0

14

0



Equipment failure

4

2

0

0



Other2

65

9

5

1



Unknown

46

8

2

0



Contributory Causes











Climbing unroped

741

98

10

1



Exceeding abilities

705

122

12

1



Inadequate equipment

431

48

8

2



Weather

265

29

9

1



Climbing alone

232

37

13

2



Placed no/inadequate protection

216

22

30

1



Darkness

88

12

3

0



Nut/chock pulled out

106

4

11

2



No hard hat

114

13

13

0



Piton pulled out

76

10

1

0



Party separated

69

13

5

1



Exposure

43

9

2

0



Failure to test holds

47

11

1

2



Inadequate belay

30

5

6

0



Poor position

29

5

15

1



Failed to follow directions

22

1

15

0



Illness1

24

3

1

1



Equipment failure

5

2

0

0



Other2

104

28

10

1





1951-87

1959-87

1988

1988





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Age of Individuals



Under 15

96

11

1

0



15-20

1012

176

9

0



21-25

1131

195

24

3



26-30

689

144

46

6



31-35

353

65

28

7



36-50

465

79

32

1



Over 50

62

10

9

0



Unknown

595

290

31

5



Experience Level



None/Little

1266

227

24

1



Moderate (1 to 3 years)

1112

239

24

5



Experienced

888

249

62

13



Unknown

898

192

70

3



Month of Year



January

132

6

5

1



February

140

29

6

1



March

191

33

5

0



April

234

20

11

0



May

463

34

39

0



June

609

35

22

1



July

710

174

15

5



August

627

176

20

4



September

919

30

14

2



October

237

26

10

0



November

119

3

5

0



December

38

10

4

2



Type of Injury/Illness (Data since 1984)



Fracture

270

28

59

9



Bruise

69

7

14

2



Abrasion

84

5

10

2



Laceration

122

8

27

3



Sprain/strain

62

8

16

0



Concussion

28

5

8

2



Dislocation

14

2

8

1



Puncture

10

2

5

0



Frostbite

22

0

8

0



HAPE

15

0

14

0



Acute Mountain Sickness

6

0

3

0



CE

2

0

2

0



Hypothermia

23

5

7

0



Other

61

9

15

5



None

17

3

0

1



2These include: a) rope severed by falling rock; b) inadequate food/water; c) fall while cleaning protection; d) rappel device somehow came off; e) rope “came untied” from harness; f) inadequate area security; g) ice ax pulled out when used for protection; h) inadequate conditioning; i) bolt pulled out; j) inattention; k) leg caught in rope; l) removed glasses - couldn’t see (2); m) sling became unattached from top anchor while climber was being lowered via sling-shot belay.