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Deadliest Mountains in US?


David_Parker
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I've been having an online discussion with my Dad in Maine. He thinks more people have died on Mt Washington, NH than any other mountain in the US. Does that make it the deadliest? Is it fair to compare mountains you can "hike" to mountains like Rainier, Denali and Hood that require technical proficiency and gear? Is it more fair to divide number of attempts by deaths to determine which is more deadly? What is the most attempted/summited mountain in the US/North America/world? How does Fuji in Japan compare? It's all about how you want to use the statistics. Discuss....

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in the winter you may 'hike' washington, but there are also technical routes up it. and a winter hike could well be harder than volcanos out here.

 

look at the weather yesterday

conditions.png

 

i think that compares to anything you'd find most other places. The temperature continued to drop, down to -25 last night, while the winds were sustained around 60-70mph. thats some serious shit

Edited by Water
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There is an awesome book called "Without Peril" that documents the stupidity of many deaths on Mt. Washington. Without doubt more deaths on Washington are due to "hikers" underestimating the real conditions that occur even in summer on that relatively "low" mountain. Granted, winter attempts on Washington are usually made by "climbers". Mt Washington happens to be exactly located in the triangle of weather fronts from 3 different directions; a perfect storm as you will. Our northwest mountains claim lives mostly of "climbers" who headed out with knowledge and were properly prepared for the conditions at stake. Tends to "tweak" the statistics doesn't it!

Edited by David_Parker
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great book, loved reading it. not everyone was an idiot in it though. What are the numbers for deaths on Mt trashington (a good name for it when the train is running).

 

you guys need to define deadliest: atomic bomb/bullets/razors

or deadliest: junk food, cigarettes

 

Of the mountains, I'd say washington is probably one of the easiest places to die (especially for the layperson) on in any month of the year due to the weather

 

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washington is knar it is true, but it's also true that there are few weather stations on some of the knar western peaks....

 

my vote for treachery would be the raindawg.. but the high country of the rockies - especially colorado is also decitfully treacherous because of the slab danger, particularly the hard slab danger that lingers through the winter most years.

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I've been having an online discussion with my Dad in Maine. He thinks more people have died on Mt Washington, NH than any other mountain in the US. Does that make it the deadliest? Is it fair to compare mountains you can "hike" to mountains like Rainier, Denali and Hood that require technical proficiency and gear? Is it more fair to divide number of attempts by deaths to determine which is more deadly? What is the most attempted/summited mountain in the US/North America/world? How does Fuji in Japan compare? It's all about how you want to use the statistics. Discuss....

 

just because a mountain doesn't require technical climbing skills doesn't mean that it isn't a risky undertaking... there are still objective hazards while hiking to the top of it. I'm not saying that hiking s. sister is as risky as climbing hood, but what i am saying is that there are shared potential dangers between the mountains, weather being the first and most uncontrollable of them. washington in NH gets some of the strongest winds in the country, hood gets whiteouts all the time, rainier's got altitude... this isn't to say that washington couldn't get engulfed in a whiteout, or that rainier couldn't see 100mph gusts (or higher), or that the 11,239 feet of hood's summit couldn't be enough to give a climber a bout of AMS, because it could happen.

The objective hazards of climbing are what make climbing exciting because it must be understood how to avoid these hazards or at least manage them in a calculated way. climbing is very dynamic and one must ready themselves for a variety of scenarios - many of which one may never encounter.

 

technical difficulty aside, if a mountain is ascended regularly and people die on it (not necessarily on a regular basis) than it seems to me that there might be a bit of danger associated with its ascent. i don't think it is unfair to just divide the number of deaths by the number of attempts... it seems fair to reason the numbers that way... i dunno... someone else?

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technical difficulty aside, if a mountain is ascended regularly and people die on it (not necessarily on a regular basis) than it seems to me that there might be a bit of danger associated with its ascent. i don't think it is unfair to just divide the number of deaths by the number of attempts... it seems fair to reason the numbers that way... i dunno... someone else?

 

The problem with computing death rate with number of attempts in the denominator is that some ascent take part of a day (Hood) while other take over 2 days (Rainier). Amount of time spent on the mountain per ascent is probably the most important variable besides difficulty (technical + weather) in determining frequency of accidents.

 

Hood should thus be expected to have significantly fewer accidents than Rainier (considering they have similar number of attempts per year), and according to the numbers I cited in an other thread it appears to be the case.

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What is the most attempted/summited mountain in the US/North America/world? How does Fuji in Japan compare?

 

I've heard Mt. Fuji has the most climbers/hikers per year with Mt. Hood in 2nd place. No comparison between the two in any way though. Fuji has a wide switchbacking trail with little huts (stations) all along the way and is hiked my people of all ages and abilities. I saw a few guys ride their bikes down its scree slopes when we were there - crazy kids. Plus, Fuji has a nice little eatery at the top for those who forgot to bring food :)

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Any mtn THAT THOUSANDS DRIVE THEIR CARs UP or that 100s ride their bicycles up, to the summit, every summer aint the deadliest...sorry. But no qeustion they get some nasty weather and there are lots of frost bite and exposure cases.

 

5mileview224WEB.jpg

 

No one said it was easy....just not deadly at least going up anyway :) Here is just one of the many nasty switch backs!

 

14cycling.600.jpg

 

Winter? Take the guided snow coach up and down.

 

snowcoach08_169WEB.jpg

 

"The Huntington Ravine offers challenging hikes, rock climbs, and ice climbs including: the Huntington Ravine Trail - considered one of the two most difficult hiking trails in the White Mountains; the NE Ridge of Pinnacle Buttress (5.7, 5-6 pitches); and a variety of winter ice climbing routes including the classic Pinnacle Gully (III NEI 3, 4-5 pitches), Odell's Gully (II/III NEI 2-3), South Gully (I NEI 1), and the Escape Hatch (I, popular descent route). The Lion Head, Huntington Ravine, and Boott Spur Trails all share the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center Trailhead with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. See the Routes Overview Section below for a more complete routes list."

 

Hardest thing there is a WI IV. Obvious it isn't the technical difficulties killing people. Sounds a lot like Hood, at least in winter, doesn't it?

 

 

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world list according to http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2008/01/11/10-deadliest-mountains.html

 

#1. ANNAPURNA (26,545 ft.)

#2. NANGA PARBAT (26,657 ft.)

#3. SIULA GRANDE (20,814 ft.)

#4. K2 (28,251 ft.)

#5. KANGCHENJUNGA (28,169 ft.)

#6. THE MATTERHORN (14,691 ft.)

#7. EVEREST (29,029 ft.)

#8. MT. WASHINGTON (6,288 ft)

#9. DENALI (20,320 ft.)

#10 Mt. Fuji (12,388 ft.)

 

here's a pic of some of washingtons prouder terrain

http://www.tuckerman.org/huntington/huntingtonterrainguide.jpg

Edited by danhelmstadter
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world list according to http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2008/01/11/10-deadliest-mountains.html

 

#1. ANNAPURNA (26,545 ft.)

#2. NANGA PARBAT (26,657 ft.)

#3. SIULA GRANDE (20,814 ft.)

#4. K2 (28,251 ft.)

#5. KANGCHENJUNGA (28,169 ft.)

#6. THE MATTERHORN (14,691 ft.)

#7. EVEREST (29,029 ft.)

#8. MT. WASHINGTON (6,288 ft)

#9. DENALI (20,320 ft.)

#10 Mt. Fuji (12,388 ft.)

 

here's a pic of some of washingtons prouder terrain

http://www.tuckerman.org/huntington/huntingtonterrainguide.jpg

 

i wonder if they are the deadliest based on their technical difficulty... also, this comes off a hiking website - any reason to question its validity?

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I'd be surprised if Annapurna or Nanga Parbat have killed more climbers than Everest (I'm pretty sure Nanga Parbat killed more prior to the first ascent, though). I suppose it could be that total deaths on Nanga Parbat have exceeded those on Everest but I'd be surprised. Seeing as I'd bet over 10 x the number of climbers (and maybe 100x) have attempted Everest, that would make Everest a SAFE mountain by comparison.

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David,

 

a bit of searching turns up the data that 135 people have died on Mount Washington in the past century-and-a-half.

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

that's less than one per year. and about a quarter million (!) people reach the summit each year! the death rate is literally about one in a million! (actually, more like two-in-a-million, but I'll claim poetic licence...)

 

Mount Rainier attracts about 10,000 attempts each year, about half of which are successful. and there are on average about 3 deaths per year. the fatality ratio is therefore about 1 in 2000. and the total of deaths on Rainier I've seen quoted as 323, more than twice the all-time total for Mount Washington.

http://www.seattlepi.com/ghostsofrainier/rain.shtml

there were 50 deaths in the 1977-1997 period alone.

 

worldwide, the king of the killers is clearly Mont Blanc. 50-100 people lose their lives on Mont Blanc each year. 30 died in one MONTH in summer 2007, about the average death toll from climbing accidents in all of the USA for one YEAR! given that about 20,000 people climb M Blanc per year, the fatality ratio is around 1:200 to 1:400, maybe ten times as high as Rainier, and at least 1000 times as high as Mt Washington.

 

the Himalayan giants have high kill ratios (in terms of fatalities as a proportion of successful ascents and/or as a proportion of attempts - which is what matters to you and me when we're trying to assess our personal risk of getting killed in a particular enterprise), but there are too few people on their flanks in a year to make them outright leaders in the mordancy sweepstakes.

 

you're right; your Dad is wrong.

ain't google great...

 

cheers,

 

p.s. just over 100 people have died on Denali. the death rate (vs number of attempts) is about 1%, over a hundred year period.

 

Edited by Don_Serl
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David,

 

a bit of searching turns up the data that 135 people have died on Mount Washington in the past century-and-a-half.

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

that's less than one per year. and about a quarter million (!) people reach the summit each year! the death rate is literally about one in a million! (actually, more like two-in-a-million, but I'll claim poetic licence...)

 

Mount Rainier attracts about 10,000 attempts each year, about half of which are successful. and there are on average about 3 deaths per year. the fatality ratio is therefore about 1 in 2000. and the total of deaths on Rainier I've seen quoted as 323, more than twice the all-time total for Mount Washington.

http://www.seattlepi.com/ghostsofrainier/rain.shtml

there were 50 deaths in the 1977-1997 period alone.

 

worldwide, the king of the killers is clearly Mont Blanc. 50-100 people lose their lives on Mont Blanc each year. 30 died in one MONTH in summer 2007, about the average death toll from climbing accidents in all of the USA for one YEAR! given that about 20,000 people climb M Blanc per year, the fatality ratio is around 1:200 to 1:400, maybe ten times as high as Rainier, and at least 1000 times as high as Mt Washington.

 

the Himalayan giants have high kill ratios (in terms of fatalities as a proportion of successful ascents and/or as a proportion of attempts - which is what matters to you and me when we're trying to assess our personal risk of getting killed in a particular enterprise), but there are too few people on their flanks in a year to make them outright leaders in the mordancy sweepstakes.

 

you're right; your Dad is wrong.

ain't google great...

 

cheers,

 

p.s. just over 100 people have died on Denali. the death rate (vs number of attempts) is about 1%, over a hundred year period.

 

thanks for keeping yer stick on the ice, don! :tup::)

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Good work Don.

 

I'm not surprised Rainer is more deadly than Washington in terms of numbers of deaths or deaths per climbs. Mt. Washington is different, though, in the sense that one can simply walk to the summit without any special boots or crampons or even snow. In that sense, the danger is more insidious. Maybe it can be seen as more "deadly" in that respect - that it may be more of a killer of the unsuspecting.

 

I've been on Mount Adams, five miles from Washington, when it was so windy that we were getting bumped accross the surface while simply sitting down. We literally had to dig in with an ice axe to stay still. I have not experienced that on Mt. Rainier.

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