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Old 05-23-2016, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 6,825,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
This. The news reports this morning made it seem as though there is such a high risk of death in climbing Mt Everest. It's really VERY LOW compared to numerous other mountains, including but not limited to K2 and Annapurna, which for some reason do not receive nearly as much flack, despite fatality rates of 25% and 32% respectively.

Mt Everest is filled with tour guides, as well as quite a few safety protocols.
Well, 1% is rather high for an endeavor. Imagine if visiting Yellowstone had a 1% fatality rate? That'd be 20,000+ deaths per year!

On the other hand, an Everest expedition takes a minimum of a month, generally six weeks or more. Six weeks is 1% of 12 years - and a fair number of normal, non-elderly people will die over any 12-year-span.

In the end, it amounts to people accepting a degree of risk in exchange for living their lives. And really, we all do this every day. People who ride motorcycles do it - that is an inherently risky act. Even a trip out to eat at a nice restaurant entails risking the roads (which kill over 30,000 Americans annually) and food-borne illness (5000+ dead Americans per year) simply for a couple hours of pleasurable socializing and dining. Sure, the Himalayas are a greater risk. But then, there's a lot more pleasure to be gained from six weeks on a mountain than from a bike ride or a dinner. Also, it's conveniently self-serving for people to insist that the small amount of risk they're willing to exchange for pleasures is acceptable, but any more is selfish. Notice how they draw the line in just the right place so as their pursuits pass the 'acceptability' threshold?

People get weirdly bent out of shape over this. Where's the similar rage towards smokers, or people who don't exercise, or who don't watch their cholesterol? On average, being a fat couch potato is going to shave more years off a person's life than an Everest summit bid.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:44 PM
 
48,893 posts, read 39,381,014 times
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They can do what they like.

The problem is that more and more people are up on mountains like Everest that have no business being there and essentially pay Sherpas to carry them (almost literally) to the top.

They create bottlenecks that strand people in the dead zone and kill them.

So I 100% agree....people can do what they like, including killing other people by being where they don't belong but that's part of the risk on Everest anymore.

Curious about the experience level and skill etc. of the (now) 3 dead....seems like that total is more likely 5+ at this point.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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K2 has one death per 10 summits.

Getting buried alive in an avalanche has to be the worst way to go. You can't move, it's black and you suffocate.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:30 PM
 
1,506 posts, read 920,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
Well, 1% is rather high for an endeavor. Imagine if visiting Yellowstone had a 1% fatality rate? That'd be 20,000+ deaths per year!
As a side note, this site has the over all fatality rate at 2.05%.
Adventurestats.com

Then factor in that this is the total fatality rate for all people in that it includes very experienced guides, and the skilled climbing Sherpas who can make more than one trip to the summit. In short, the fatality rate amongst ordinary tourist climbers is probably higher.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan2yankee View Post
Four people have died on Everest in the last few days, including one Sherpa. I don't understand people risking their lives; many with wives, husbands, children, parents, loved ones; just to say they reached the summit of a mountain.

Statistically, 1 in 20 people die trying.
I can see why they do it... I've hiked to 6,900 ft on Mt. Rainier and I did it for the view and the sense of accomplishment being the amateur hiker that I am.

I wouldn't risk death for it... but many obviously do.

What really blows my mind though is being up there with 14,410 ft. Rainier in front of me (less than 100 feet shy of being the tallest mountain in the lower 48) ... and realizing it isn't even half as tall as Everest.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:24 PM
 
48,893 posts, read 39,381,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptic View Post
As a side note, this site has the over all fatality rate at 2.05%.
Adventurestats.com

Then factor in that this is the total fatality rate for all people in that it includes very experienced guides, and the skilled climbing Sherpas who can make more than one trip to the summit. In short, the fatality rate amongst ordinary tourist climbers is probably higher.
Any mention of death rates though should take into account the changing situation on the mountain.

The routes, the planning, the methods really decreased the death rates for a long time.

Then when it got more commercial and easier the influx of posers getting carried up the mountain has greatly increased the risks of "death by traffic jam" and of course less than optimally fit people succumbing to things like altitude sickness etc.

All that said, there isn't a big enough sample to fully prove the point but probably over the last 10-20 years it's arguably gotten more dangerous.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:57 PM
 
Location: zooland 1
3,744 posts, read 3,273,607 times
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If you are going to die doing anything.... it better be worth it...you only get one shot...
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,889 times
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Mount Everest: Death of Australian woman sparks concerns over safety of trekking companies - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

You get what you pay for?
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,421,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notmeofficer View Post
If you are going to die doing anything.... it better be worth it...you only get one shot...
until your next life...hare krishna, hare rama
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:45 PM
 
1,506 posts, read 920,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Any mention of death rates though should take into account the changing situation on the mountain.

The routes, the planning, the methods really decreased the death rates for a long time.

Then when it got more commercial and easier the influx of posers getting carried up the mountain has greatly increased the risks of "death by traffic jam" and of course less than optimally fit people succumbing to things like altitude sickness etc.

All that said, there isn't a big enough sample to fully prove the point but probably over the last 10-20 years it's arguably gotten more dangerous.
Good points. Commercialization has changed what once was an obscure hobby or profession of the hard core few who spent years training for dangerous high altitude ascents like Mount Everest into a hobby that anybody, even the poorly prepared, can buy into at any time.

Though there may not be statistics to prove the point about increased danger, my guess is that you are correct. Not only do "traffic jams" lead to more deaths, but the commercialization has also led to less willingness among some to assist in rescue operations- even when there is a good chance of success.

My bet is that in past generations, the climbers knew each other personally, or at least indirectly. As a result refusals were fewer and because the skill ratio was high, fewer rescue missions were needed. This led to fewer "could have been rescued deaths".
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