Death rates of rock climbers


Original Post
T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 730

145 in one million climbers, compared to mtn biking, ultra-running, nordic skiing and open water swimmers. The next closest in the article says 11.2 mtn bikers per one million. Thats a HUGE difference. I kind of find it hard to believe, especially with all the crazy jumps and courses the mtn bikers are making these days.

I wonder if road biking added in would increase the rate for bikers?

http://www.outsideonline.com/2127176/definitive-ranking-worlds-toughest-outdoor-sports?sf50702063=1

nate post · · Silverthorne · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 1,349

Mountain bikers get injured a lot but it's rare to hear about someone dying in a mountain bike crash. You're rarely ever risking a 50 + foot fall on a bike. Road biking however is another story. My cousin died in a crash on a road bike when he got hit by a car.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Well, you need to look at wing suits & BASE jumping to get a true perspective across outdoor sports.

keithconn · · LI, NY · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 0

I can't believe no one jumped on this already, so here I go;

WERE ALL GONNA DIE!

Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 8

I am in denial, so I can't read the article.

caribouman1052 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0

one hundred forty five per million... is that climbers of all disciplines, or just straight up rock jocks? Mountaineering has always been far more dangerous than rock climbing, so that would skew the stats. Think about K2: In one season more than one fifth of your number died in one season. Still way safer than driving, which topped out a 260 per million in the seventies... so let's not drive to the next climb, eh?

Jayson Nissen · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 213

It is useful to actually read the scientific literature and not just the cherry picked data.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/45198321_Evaluation_of_Injury_and_Fatality_Risk_in_Rock_and_Ice_Climbing

From the abstract:
"Overall, climbing sports had a lower injury incidence and severity score than many popular sports, including basketball, sailing or soccer; indoor climbing ranked the lowest in terms of injuries of all sports assessed. Nevertheless, a fatality risk remains, especially in alpine and ice climbing. In the absence of a standard definition for a 'high-risk' sport, categorizing climbing as a high-risk sport was found to be either subjective or dependent on the definition used."

Brent Apgar · · Out of the Loop · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 35
Jayson Nissen wrote:It is useful to actually read the scientific literature and not just the cherry picked data.
Whoooaaaa there big guy, that's going too far.
Drederek · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2004 · Points: 305

Cheat Death Daily!

SeanC Cahill · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
J Marsella wrote: WGD
Pfffffttttt... Speak for yourself. I plan on living forever.
Georgehh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Im supposed to be concerned about a 0.015% death rate? Also the article makes the unit of measure very unclear... is that per million climbers per year, or a lifetime figure? If it's the latter... damn... waaaay safer than I expected.

Rafe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 490

Maybe Ill play it safe and climb to work from now on.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,332
Jayson Nissen wrote:It is useful to actually read the scientific literature and not just the cherry picked data. researchgate.net/publicatio... From the abstract: "Overall, climbing sports had a lower injury incidence and severity score than many popular sports, including basketball, sailing or soccer; indoor climbing ranked the lowest in terms of injuries of all sports assessed. Nevertheless, a fatality risk remains, especially in alpine and ice climbing. In the absence of a standard definition for a 'high-risk' sport, categorizing climbing as a high-risk sport was found to be either subjective or dependent on the definition used."
This could be really useful in some access discussion... thank you!
ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165

Pretty sure the death rate of people who rock climb is 100%.

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 0

The consequences for human error can be quite severe when it comes to climbing. I would bet that human error accounts for at least 130 of those 145 per million, if not more.

Ball · · Oakridge, OR · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 45

Much like prostate cancer, if you don't die from anything else you'll die from rock climbing.

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 545

maybe it's the drones, go pros, and cell phones....look at me brah..brah?? BRAH!! BRRAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa.........

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 730
plantmandan wrote:The consequences for human error can be quite severe when it comes to climbing. I would bet that human error accounts for at least 130 of those 145 per million, if not more.
Taking into account human error, I wonder how that 145 in a million changes with experience. I sometimes wonder if the odds are getting higher and higher against me after 20+ years of no accidents on the rock. Hopefully the odds are getting lower since I'm mostly a total pansy gym climber now.

As far as human error deaths go I would guess 25% of those 145 per mill. are from rock fall/anchor failure due to shit rock.
ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165
T Roper wrote: Taking into account human error, I wonder how that 145 in a million changes with experience. I sometimes wonder if the odds are getting higher and higher against me after 20+ years of no accidents on the rock. Hopefully the odds are getting lower since I'm mostly a total pansy gym climber now. As far as human error deaths go I would guess 25% of those 145 per mill. are from rock fall/anchor failure due to shit rock.
Climbing and not dying does not increase the risk of climbing and dying next time (for the most part) these are independent events. No different than flipping a coin 10 times, because it landed heads the first 9 times doesn't increase the chance of landing tails the 10th time. There is always a 50% chance.

Given the more you climb generally your skill will improve over time and decrease the chance of mistakes while at the same time at some point you are aging and getting weaker so increase the chance of a mistake etc. Climbing multi times back to back makes you tired and that could increase chance of mistake etc.
Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 20

In the United States, the death rate per 1,000,000 drivers is 102.5. Considering this is something everyone in their right mind believes is an acceptable risk, why worry about rock climbing?

Also, the murder rate for 2015 in Chicago is 18.6 per 100,000 - that is 186 per million - higher than rock climbing. Statistically, it is safer to be a rock climber than to live in Chicago.

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 85
T Roper wrote: Taking into account human error, I wonder how that 145 in a million changes with experience. I sometimes wonder if the odds are getting higher and higher against me after 20+ years of no accidents on the rock. Hopefully the odds are getting lower since I'm mostly a total pansy gym climber now. As far as human error deaths go I would guess 25% of those 145 per mill. are from rock fall/anchor failure due to shit rock.
Glad to hear your point of view !

ViperScale wrote: Climbing and not dying does not increase the risk of climbing and dying next time (for the most part) these are independent events. No different than flipping a coin 10 times, because it landed heads the first 9 times doesn't increase the chance of landing tails the 10th time. There is always a 50% chance. Given the more you climb generally your skill will improve over time and decrease the chance of mistakes while at the same time at some point you are aging and getting weaker so increase the chance of a mistake etc. Climbing multi times back to back makes you tired and that could increase chance of mistake etc.
U,
it takes years to grasp, that the 50/50 rule is a panacea . ..

" . . . . Something happening here, what it is isn't exactly clear. "Paranoia strikes Deep, into your hart it will creep. . ."
I
I'm adding this and I mean it out of respect & as a cautionary reminder

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2640297/RIP-Andrew-Barnes

There is a Robert Hunter Song; " Bad Luck Willy" , in it is the line," next morning you wake up in traction or worse, it was one of those actions you couldn't reverse"
RIP A B
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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