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Reported Mountaineering Accidents Table III

TABLE III



1951–95

USA

1959–95

CAN.

1996

USA

1996

CAN.















Terrain



Rock

3369

398

95





Snow

2000

297

38





Ice

180

84

2





River

12

3

1





Unknown

22

6

0





Ascent or Descent



Ascent

2969

422

91





Descent

1843

286

48





Unknown3

247

3

0





Immediate Cause



Fall or slip on rock

2324

212

68





Slip on snow or ice

754

152

20





Falling rock, ice or object

467

105

12





Exceeding abilities

381

27

18





Avalanche

249

105

4





Exposure

231

12

3





Illness1

255

20

14





Stranded

249

48

9





Rappel Failure/Error

188

33

8





Loss of control/glissade

164

15

2





Fall into crevasse/moat

125

38

4





Failure to follow route

113

20

8





Piton pulled out

84

12

0





Nut/chock pulled out

88

3

9





Faulty use of crampons

60

5

5





Lightning

39

6

0





Skiing

45

9

3





Ascending too fast

43

0

0





Equipment failure

7

2

0





Other2

166

18

15





Unknown3

59

8

0





Contributory Causes



Climbing unroped

875

143

14





Exceeding abilities

819

154

9





Inadequate equipment/clothing

531

68

10





Placed no/inadequate protection

417

51

46





Weather

362

46

7





Climbing alone

307

53

9





No hard hat

216

22

11





Nut/chock pulled out

160

16

9





Darkness

110

15

4





Party separated

95

16

2





Piton pulled out

82

10

0







1951–95

USA

1959–95

CAN.

1996

USA

1996

CAN.















Contributory Causes (cont.)





Poor position

103

13

4





Inadequate belay

100

18

7





Failure to test holds

65

18

1





Exposure

54

10

1





Failed to follow directions

56

5

4





Illness1

32

4

0





Equipment failure

9

4

0





Other2

220

79

7





Age of Individuals





Under 15

112

11

0





15–20

1123

196

19





21–25

1392

222

30





26–30

995

186

28





31–35

654

93

15





36–50

800

105

24





Over 50

124

18

4





Unknown

836

466

52





Experience Level





None/Little

1440

269

31





Moderate (1 to 3 years)

1303

334

29





Experienced

1286

350

50





Unknown

1375

241

62





Month of Year





January

173

12

5





February

175

37

2





March

236

44

82





April

320

28

8





May

683

43

22





June

804

51

26





July

895

209

16





August

811

119

29





September

1035

46

13





October

323

29

12





November

149

5

3





December

60

16

1





Unknown

4

0

0





Type of Injury/Illness (Data since 1984)









Fracture

633

120

58





Laceration

332

46

32





Abrasion

182

37

21





Bruise

208

50

16





Sprain/strain

165

18

13





Concussion

109

12

6





Frostbite

76

6

1





Hypothermia

83

10

14







1951–95

USA

1959–95

CAN.

1996

USA

1996

CAN.















Type of Injury/Illness (cont.)



Dislocation

64

6

3





Puncture

25

4

2





Acute Mountain Sickness

14

0

3





HAPE

47

0

2





HACE

14

0

2





Other1

173

27

10





None

82

31

21





1These included: AMS (3), HAPE, HACE (2), exhaustion (4), frostbite, appendicitis, twisted/strained back, allergic reaction—bees, hemo/pneumothorax, punctured lung, slight hangover.

2These included: multiple stings, distraction, unable to self-arrest (5), inadequate food (2), inadequate fuel, failure to turn back (3), bolt broke when loaded, route selected had extreme objective dangers (2), unable to extricate—crevasse, rope jammed—rappel device, late start, haste (3), carabiner broke (loaded with gate open), carabiner lock gate jammed shut, miscommunication, psychological (2), misperception: rappelled into deep pool—unable to ascend rope (drowned—exhaustion/hypothermia), dead cell phone battery.

(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.)