Learning from the past: Everest fatality numbers in context

Posted: May 23, 2012 03:30 am EDT

(AdventureStats) Once in a while the toll on Mount Everest exceeds "normal". Here some numbers to help put the recent season into context.

1996 vs. 2012

236 people perished on Everest between 1922 and 2012.

The deadliest year to date is 1996 (Into Thin Air) when 15 people perished. 12 people died during the spring season and 3 that fall. 2006 (that brought the stories of David Sharp and Lincoln Hall*) was another bad year: 11 climbers perished.

So far during 2012, 10 people have reportedly died either on Everest or by injuries sustained on Everest. Of these one was a Nepal-born female and 3 were working Nepalese Sherpas. The three Sherpa all died early in the season.

6 of the 10 climbers perished between May 19 and 20 in relation to the summit push and majority of them were descending after reaching the top. Causes have been stated as general exposure: falls, altitude sickness and exhaustion. Typically on Everest, congested ropes and lack of supplementary oxygen often contribute to exposure in the first place.

Age, general fatality rate, supplementary oxygen

Statistics between 1922 - 2006 showed that older climbers do not have a higher fatality rate than younger climbers.

The fatality rate (climbers compared to death) was 2% until 2006 and dropped further in the last couple of years. The fatality rate for climbs without supplementary oxygen was 3.8% and 7.6% among summiteers without oxygen.

The success rate on Everest was 30% for climbers with supplementary oxygen and less than 20% without.

Commercial vs. private

Statistics showed no significant difference in risk between commercial expeditions or private. 1.1% of guided clients perished compared to 1.3% for private. The numbers showed increased chance of success in commercial expeditions: 40% vs 33% in private.

(*Ed note: The survival story of Lincoln Hall broke at ExplorersWeb)


Everest statistics 2000-2006

Lincoln Hall died

#Mountaineering #Stats #feature

Everest south side in 2006, when 12 people died on the peak during the spring season and 3 during the fall.
Image by Polish Falvit Mount Everest courtesy Polish Falvit Mount Everest