American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Reported Mountaineering Accidents, Table III

  • Accident Tables
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

TABLE III



1951-94

1959-94

1995

1995





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Terrain











Rock

3252

384

117

14



Snow

1957

293

43

4



Ice

172

78

8

6



River

12

3

0

0



Unknown

22

6

0

0



Ascent or Descent











Ascent

2957

410

113

12



Descent

1789

274

54

12



Unknown3

246

3

1

0



Immediate Cause











Fall or slip on rock

2147

205

77

7



Slip on snow or ice

725

148

29

4



Falling rock, ice or object

451

104

16

1



Exceeding abilities

357

27

24

0



Avalanche

247

103

2

2



Exposure

225

12

6

0



Illness1

246

20

9

0



Stranded

221

46

18

2



Rappel Failure/Error

173

29

15

4



Loss of control/glissade

159

15

5

0



Fall into crevasse/moat

122

37

3

1



Failure to follow route

109

18

4

2



Piton pulled out

83

12

1

0



Nut/chock pulled out

82

3

6

0



Faulty use of crampons

55

5

3

0



Lightning

39

6

0

0



Skiing

41

9

3

0



Ascending too fast

43

0

0

0



Equipment failure

5

2

0

0



Other2

151

15

22

3



Unknown3

58

8

1

0



Contributory Causes











Climbing unroped

858

139

17

4



Exceeding abilities

813

153

6

1



Inadequate equipment/clothing

513

66

18

2



Placed no/inadequate protection

387

51

30

0



Weather

354

42

8

4



Climbing alone

298

52

9

1



No hard hat

205

21

11

1



Nut/chock pulled out

154

16

6

0



Darkness

105

14

5

1



Party separated

92

16

3

0



Piton pulled out

82

10

0

0





1951-94

1959-94

1995

1995





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Contributory Causes (cont.)



Poor position

96

12

7

1



Inadequate belay

92

12

8

6



Failure to test holds

63

16

2

2



Exposure

53

10

1

0



Failed to follow directions

53

5

3

0



Illness1

29

4

3

0



Equipment failure

8

4

1

0



Other2

207

79

13

4



Age of Individuals



Under 15

110

11

2

0



15-20

1112

193

11

3



21-25

1347

221

45

1



26-30

955

185

40

1



31-35

562

92

26

1



36-50

746

104

54

3



Over 50

116

16

8

2



Unknown

811

429

25

37



Experience Level



None/Little

1429

269

20

13



Moderate (1 to 3 years)

1280

334

23

6



Experienced

1216

350

70

13



Unknown

1294

241

81

18



Month of Year



January

170

10

3

2



February

168

36

7

1



March

228

41

8

1



April

307

27

13

1



May

672

42

11

1



Tune

786

50

18

1



July

866

206

29

3



J J

August

774

117

37

2



September

1015

46

20

10



October

306

29

17

1



November

146

5

3

0



December

58

16

2

0



Unknown

4

0

0

0



Type of Injury/Illness (Data

Fracture

since 1984)

664

111

69

9



Laceration

296

43

36

3



Abrasion

172

35

10

2



Bruise

177

49

31

1



Sprain/strain

160

13

10

5



Concussion

86

11

23

1



Frostbite

70

4

6

2



Hypothermia

73

10

10

0





1951-94

1959-94

1995

1995





USA

CAN.

USA

CAN.



Type of Injury/Illness (cont.)











Dislocation

57

6

7

0



Puncture

25

3

0

1



Acute Mountain Sickness

13

0

1

0



HAPE

46

0

1

0



CE

11

0

3

0



Other1

154

26

19

1



None

58

3

24

28



lThese include: a) exhaustion (6); b) atrial fibrillation; c) gastrointestinal bleeding; d) myoscopic hematoma (2); e) hypothermia (7); f) possible umbilical hernia; g) frostbite (2); h) dehydration (6); i) severed spinal cord; j) tom meniscus; k) neurological damage-head; 1) 50 bee stings; m) flail chest; n) lacerated pancreas; o) ETOH; p) heatstroke.

2These include: a late start (5); b) wet rock (3); c) haste to: complete route (5), to meet a schedule, to catch thieves raiding packs at bottom, and to get to the bar; d) crowded route-rock fall; e) cornice collapse (2); f) trying to catch ice ax dropped from above; g) lost balance—tripped (3); h) over confident; i) bees (2); j) rope jammed while prussiking-stranded; k) unable to self-arrest; 1) fell while setting up rappel (2); m) misperception-route research; n) failed to follow directions (2); o) inadequate supervision; p) poor navigation (2); q) fell attempting to retrieve stuck rappel ropes.

3Probably a fall-on Mount Hood.

(Editor's Note: Under the “other” category, many of the particular items will have been recorded under a general category. For example, the climber who fell into his unanchored partner knocking him off would be coded as Fall on Rock, Falling Rock/Object, and Placed Inadequate Protection.. The point in this category is to provide the reader with some added detail. It should be apparent that many of these details can be translated into a few basic categories.)

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