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David_Parker

Deadliest Mountains in US?

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It's been about 24 hours since I started this thread and I was amazed to see 5 pages now. Obviously the opinion of morbidity is not enough to kill the thread and I agree with those that see the value of discussion. That is the beauty of cc.com. Consider now that I will now direct my father to see the value and discover different views on the subject. Off White is correct that this does derive from the recent tragedy on Hood which became national news and therefore caught the attention of my dad. I think in the back of his mind he still wishes I would abandon climbing.

 

Many deaths in the mountains do not stem from a single isolated event. Those that do are the objective ramifications that fall under the concept "mountains kill." Rather I would venture to say that more deaths are a calvacade of human errors that at first seem insignificant, but lead to a point of no return. It wouldn't matter if you are a "climber" or a "hiker". imo (generally speaking)a "climber" is different than a "hiker" because he begins his venture with more technical knowledge for the advanced terrain and the gear to handle it. You could argue that in itself levels the playing field because it brings the venture into the realm of his perceived margin of safety according to his perceived capabilities. Nobody goes out prepared to die, they go out prepared to live. The ones that die quite possibly and simply, were not properly prepared or underestimated the potential objective hazards.

 

So regardless if Mt. Washington tends to kill more hikers and one of our NW volcanos kills more climbers, in the "end" we are just people and another statistic.

 

BTW, I did not see this as an opportunity to be right or wrong. I merely wanted to extract some discussion amongst climbers so that non-climbers who venture here can gain a new perspective. Thus my signature...

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People can easily check the weather conditions on washington and decided to go up or not. I could just as easily walk out in to a blizzard in the flatness of the great plains and get killed by weather. If you go up washington and die in the weather, it's not like you'll be pinned on some ridge in the himilayas. you chose to go in to weather and you died. I dont think that inherent means the mountain is dangerous...just my 2 cents.

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Josh, I don't really want to start some kind of argument but I think you may underestimate or understate the hazards of New England's Presidential Range. You can check the conditions on Washington before you leave home, yes. But I don't carry a satellite phone and won't have access to current information when I'm at one of the cabins over on Mt. Adams, preparing for a traverse and summit climb the next day (can a simple cell phone reach a signal? I don't know but I don't have one of those either). And, weather conditions aside, I took one of the scariest falls of my entire climbing career on Mt. Jefferson. It was an unroped fall where I bungled self arrest and could have gone for a thousand feet but hit the only little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that could have saved me instead of going over the edge.

 

Yes, a 5,000' bump in New Hampshire is not K-2. But it can still be treacherous, and maybe even more so because it is so very much easier to get to. In many respects, the local hill that is an attractive nuisance (like Mt. Rainier in our case)is a lot more of a danger than Nanga Parbat or the the N. Face of the Eiger (both of which used to be considered the most dangerous of objectives because over 30 people died attempting their first ascents).

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I don't know about the u.s. but it is likely that the deadliest mountain in the world would be Mount Suribachi and it's only 554 ft high.

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Wiki-wiki whack, yo:

 

"Mount Washington has a subarctic climate, with the caveat that it receives an extremely high amount of precipitation, atypical for most regions with such cold weather.

 

The weather of Mount Washington is notoriously erratic. This is partly due to the convergence of several storm tracks, mainly from the South Atlantic, Gulf region and Pacific Northwest. The vertical rise of the Presidential Range, combined with its north-south orientation, makes it a significant barrier to westerly winds. Low-pressure systems are more favorable to develop along the coastline in the winter months due to the relative temperature differences between the Northeast and the Atlantic Ocean. With these factors combined, winds exceeding hurricane force occur an average of 110 days per year. From November to April, these strong winds are likely to occur during two-thirds of the days.

 

Mount Washington holds the world record for directly measured surface wind speed, at 231 mph (372 km/h), recorded on the afternoon of April 12, 1934. Phenomena measured via satellite or radar, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and air currents in the upper atmosphere, are not directly measured at the Earth's surface and do not compete with this record.

 

The first regular meteorological observations on Mount Washington were conducted by the U.S. Signal Service, a precursor of the National Weather Service, from 1870 to 1892. The Mount Washington station was the first of its kind in the world, setting an example followed in many other countries. For many years, the record low temperature was thought to be -47 °F (-43.9 °C) occurring on January 29, 1934, but upon the first in-depth examination of the data from the 1800s at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, a new record low was discovered. Mount Washington's official record low of -50 °F (-45.6 °C) was recorded on January 22, 1885. However, there is also hand-written evidence to suggest that an unofficial low of -59 °F (-50.6 °C) occurred on January 5, 1871.

 

On January 16, 2004, the summit weather observation registered a temperature of -43.6 °F (-42.0 °C) and sustained winds of 87.5 mph (140.8 km/h), resulting in a wind chill value of -103 °F (-75.0 °C) at the mountain.[9] During a 71-hour stretch from around 3 p.m. on January 13 to around 2 p.m. on January 16, 2004, the wind chill on the summit never went above -50 °F (-46 °C). Snowstorms at the summit are routine in every month of the year, with snowfall averaging 645 cm (21.2 ft) per year."

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I follow F1 as well as climbing, and this little news article relates directly to this thread:

 

 

 

Former F1 driver Ukyo Katayama is lucky to be alive after a mountain climbing expedition he was involved in went terribly wrong.

 

The ex-Tyrell driver and two companions set off on Thursday to climb Japan's 3776-metre Mount Fuji as part of their preparations for a journey to the South Pole.

 

Having pitched tents at roughly 2750 meters, the trio got into distress with Katayama calling rescue services for help, claiming that his companion's tents had blown away.

 

The 46-year-old was rescued early on Friday afternoon at around 2200 meters well [sic] trying to descend alone.

 

Kyodo news agency has reported that the former driver told police that his climbing companions had "drawn their last breath" after their tents blew away.

 

On Saturday a recovery mission was launched and the bodies of two men, believed to be that of those accompanying Katayama, were found on the mountain.

 

The police investigation into the incident continues.

 

 

Nasty! Goes to show, eh, doesn't matter much the height or technical difficulty (or lack thereof) of the mountain - when the weather goes bad (especially in the winter) anyone can get into very deep trouble.

 

 

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The difference being when someone dies of exposure while sleeping out on the street on a cold winter night in Saskatoon, or Fargo, no one pretends it is a mountaineering death. But if it is on some dinky little hill, suddenly that bump becomes a Killer Mountain

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The difference being when someone dies of exposure while sleeping out on the street on a cold winter night in Saskatoon, or Fargo, no one pretends it is a mountaineering death. But if it is on some dinky little hill, suddenly that bump becomes a Killer Mountain

 

I was thinking the same thing. So Mt. Washington records a low of -50, big deal. Places in Alaska reach temps that low quite a bit, and most of the places don't even have weather stations. Besides you can walk down many parts of Mt. Washington, you can't just walk out of the Brookes Range in a few hours.

 

I'm not trying to diss Mt. Washington, but if I had a choice of places I am least likely to survive on my own, I don't think Mt. Washington qualifies.

Edited by XXX

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My completely unnecessary input here:

 

The mountain that has killed the most people is the deadliest. You can't state the obvious and say that technical mountains are deadlier. They aren't climbed as much and are reserved for people who at least know how to get to the base.

 

I'd guess Mt WA on east and Mt HOOD on west. Whichever mountain has the most access by idiots is which one wins. Screw conditions and difficulty as they don't matter.

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People can easily check the weather conditions on washington and decided to go up or not. I could just as easily walk out in to a blizzard in the flatness of the great plains and get killed by weather. If you go up washington and die in the weather, it's not like you'll be pinned on some ridge in the himilayas. you chose to go in to weather and you died. I dont think that inherent means the mountain is dangerous...just my 2 cents.

 

The day we were lashed down getting hypothermic on Canon the forecast was for a clear, sunny, warm mid-August day.

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True. Mountain wedder changes quick and can be unpredictable. However it seems like many fatalities recently involving people getting stuck in storms were a result of those people either disregarding or disrespecting obvious forecasts for shite weather.

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A further distinction that can be drawn is simply the difference between rock climbing and alpine mountaineering.(With the understanding that big peaks requiring alpine snow and ice climbing can also involve plenty of rock climbing, too.) I've lost a dozen friends who died mountaineering on large peaks. Big mountains are dangerous, lots of potential for rock and icefall, altitude, avalanche, glacier travel and extreme weather hazards, greater overall logistical difficulties. Very complex, a lot more to go wrong, far less forgiving.

 

Pure rock climbing much less so. High angle rock climbing areas tend to be more structurally sound and stable, pro is comparatively more frequent and dependable, and notwithstanding the advances in clothing,training, technique, technical gear and skills to progress into a longer or even year-round season, the vast majority of climbs are done during good weather months. Also, most of the well-known areas are relatively accessible, not as remote. By comparison, I've only lost two friends who died rock climbing.

 

Epics in my personal experience, and those of my climbing friends, have also been more frequent on big mountains than on rock. Never take anything for granted on any climb, but mountaineering, even on supposedly easy or simple routes, requires a much higher level of everything you have to bring to it.

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