American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Reported Mountaineering Accidents, Table III

  • Accident Tables
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

TABLE III



1951-88

1959-88

1989

1989



Terrain

USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Rock

2627

321

100

9



Snow

1491

254

33

8



Ice

123

55

7

1



River

12

3

0

0



Unknown

18

6

1

0



Ascent or Descent











Ascent

2335

327

98

14



Descent

1511

228

41

4



Unknown

235

45

2

0



Immediate Cause











Fall or slip on rock

1696

157

68

6



Slip on snow or ice

596

120

19

3



Falling rock or object

367

96

20

3



Exceeding abilities

290

27

15

0



Avalanche

224

93

3

0



Exposure

192

12

1

0



Illness1

180

14

11

0



Stranded

164

38

5

0



Failure of Rappel

137

19

4

2



Loss of control/voluntary glissade

133

12

40

3



Fall into crevasse/moat

101

29

3

4



Failure to follow route

84

18

4

0



Piton pulled out

69

12

0

0



Faulty use of crampons

47

4

2

0



Nut/chock pulled out

40

3

3

0



Lightning

35

5

1

0



Skiing

30

9

4

0



Ascending too fast

29

0

3

0



Equipment failure

4

2

0

0



Other

70

10

9

1



Unknown

48

8

0

0



Contributory Causes











Climbing unroped

751

99

21

4



Exceeding abilities

717

123

16

3



Inadequate equipment

439

50

12

4



Weather

274

30

15

1



Placed no/inadequate protection

246

23

34

6



Climbing alone

245

39

15

3



No hard hat

127

13

4

5



Nut/chock pulled out

117

6

4

2



Darkness

91

12

5

0



Piton pulled out

77

10

1

0



Party separated

74

14

3

1



Failure to test holds

48

13

1

0



Exposure

45

9

3

0



Poor position

44

6

7

2



Inadequate belay

36

5

3

0



Failed to follow directions

37

1

5

0



Illness1

25

4

1

0



Equipment failure

5

2

1

0



Other2

124

29

14

1





1951-88

1959-88

1989

1989





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Age of Individuals











Under 15

97

11

0

0



15–20

1021

176

16

0



21–25

1155

198

35

6



26–30

735

150

32

2



31–35

381

72

32

4



36–50

497

80

34

3



Over 50

71

10

6

1



Unknown

626

295

71

5



Experience Level











None/Little

1290

228

19

5



Moderate (1 to 3 years)

1136

244

24

4



Experienced

950

262

41

12



Unknown

968

195

61

0



Month of Year











January

137

7

3

0



February

146

30

3

0



March

196

33

7

0



April

245

20

11

3



May

502

34

24

2



June

631

36

16

2



July

725

179

31

3



August

647

180

13

4



September

933

32

11

3



October

247

26

12

1



November

124

3

3

0



December

42

12

7

2



Type of Injury/Illness (Data since 1984)











Fracture

329

37

62

6



Laceration

149

11

29

3



Abrasion

94

7

12

1



Bruise

83

9

11

2



Sprain/strain

78

8

17

2



Concussion

36

3

9

3



Frostbite

30

0

8

0



Hypothermia

30

5

6

0



Dislocation

22

2

4

1



Puncture

15

2

0

0



HAPE

29

0

2

0



Acute Mountain Sickness

9

0

0

0



CE

4

0

0

0



Other

76

14

14

5



None

17

3

5

1



2These include: a) inattention- several; b) distraction - thought he saw a snake; c) dropped rock on partner; d) jumping crevasses; e)foot caught in Quick Draw; f) threw rope down by mistake - stranded; g) pulled rock off (3); h) wind blew tent 300 vertical meters w/people inside(2); i) no radio; j) rope broke - abraded by another rope; k) tangled in rappel rope - strangled.

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