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brunoschull


Aug 21, 2010, 11:10 PM
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How Safe Is Climbing
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Hi,

A number of years ago (ten years?) I read an article by a prominent climber about how safe climbing may or may not be. It was an interesting analysis, comparing climbing to different sports, and considering various aspects of the issue. Unfortunately, I do not remember who the writer was, or where I saw the article. I want to say that the climber was from the Rocky Mountains states, but that's not much to go on! In any case, does this ring any bells for people? Do you know of any good articles or essays on the dangers and risks of climbing? You can reply to brunoschull@hotmail.com. Thanks.

Bruno


uni_jim


Aug 22, 2010, 12:09 AM
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climbing is as safe as you want it to be, and as dangerous as you let it become.


Partner j_ung


Aug 22, 2010, 5:19 AM
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brunoschull wrote:
Hi,

A number of years ago (ten years?) I read an article by a prominent climber about how safe climbing may or may not be. It was an interesting analysis, comparing climbing to different sports, and considering various aspects of the issue. Unfortunately, I do not remember who the writer was, or where I saw the article. I want to say that the climber was from the Rocky Mountains states, but that's not much to go on! In any case, does this ring any bells for people? Do you know of any good articles or essays on the dangers and risks of climbing? You can reply to brunoschull@hotmail.com. Thanks.

Bruno

I can't help, but I hope somebody can; I'd like to read it. Every so often somebody on here trots out the old adage that, "the drive to the crag is the most dangerous part of the day." I invariably respond with, "I don't think it is, unless you're toproping perhaps." My logic, false though it may be, is that the likelihood of experiencing a car crash in your lifetime is higher than the liklihood of experiencing a climbing accident only because you spend so much more time driving than climbing.

But yeah, a lot probably depends on what and how you're climbing.


blueeyedclimber


Aug 22, 2010, 12:57 PM
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There's not really an answer for that question. Climbing can be very safe or very dangerous (usually for most of us, it's somewhere in the middle).

These are just some of the factors which play a part in relative safety:

1) Type of climbing
2) Climber's experience
3) Climber's competence
4) Climber's intelligence
5) Climber's confidence
6) Climber's humility
7) Climber's state of being at any given moment (tired, dehydrated, etc.)
8) Weather
9) unknown hazards (i.e. rockfall, wild animals, etc.)
10) Amount of risk climber accepts

and so on and so on...

Just to name a few.

Josh


alg437


Aug 22, 2010, 1:34 PM
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I remember reading that you are more likely to be seriously injured or killed driving to the crag to climb than you are to be injured or killed while climbing. Like driving - you have a lot of control over your risk in climbing.


curt


Aug 22, 2010, 1:49 PM
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j_ung wrote:
...Every so often somebody on here trots out the old adage that, "the drive to the crag is the most dangerous part of the day." I invariably respond with, "I don't think it is, unless you're toproping perhaps." My logic, false though it may be, is that the likelihood of experiencing a car crash in your lifetime is higher than the liklihood of experiencing a climbing accident only because you spend so much more time driving than climbing...

Lies, damn lies and statistics. Cool

1) If you normalize the numbers per unit of time, driving is probably much safer than climbing. But, that doesn't necessarily contradict the statement that "the drive to the crag is the most dangerous part of the day."

2) The original statement I recall hearing on this topic was "you are more likely to die in a car accident on your way to the crag and back, than you are actually climbing." So, this was based only on the chances of a fatality.

3) The above estimate that I first heard was based on available data from the 1960s. Since then, both automobiles and climbing have become safer. So, I'm not sure what a modern analysis would show.

Curt


bill413


Aug 22, 2010, 3:15 PM
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Going back to the question of an article...
Sometime in the 80's (I think, maybe early 90's) there was an article in Climbing magazine that tried to assess whether rappelling was more dangerous than leading in Yosemite.


dingus


Aug 22, 2010, 6:42 PM
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Yes climbing is damn dangerous. There's a thousand ways to get the chop and that's no joke! It takes men of iron backbone and chromium balls, women with titanium tendons and diamond hard muscles, to dare even attempt it. Lessor suitors fall by the wayside on a routine basis, their broken bodies lined up like chord wood at the entrances of climbing gymnasiums nationwide, as mute but effective testimony... the weak need not apply.

Seriously.

DMT


billcoe_


Aug 22, 2010, 7:26 PM
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Climbing at your local crag is much safer than going and hitting an 8,000 meter Himalayan peak. For sure.


Partner rgold


Aug 22, 2010, 7:35 PM
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Climbing is...

...less dangerous than your non-climbing friends think...


...but...


...more dangerous than your climbing friends think.


tpro


Aug 22, 2010, 7:40 PM
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Interesting point: I was reading an article from a British source not too long ago that stated female climbers had a far better chance of dieing during child birth in their life than from climbing.Shocked By some significantly higher factor too. If I can find it again, I'll post the link. It also listed a number of other common activies and the risk of death compared to climbing. Climbing deaths were quite low on the list. The problem is, I believe the article was written in the 90s with older stat data. Since then, climbing has certainly become far more popular, however, the equipment has also gotten better....however, there also seems to be a higher number of knuckle-heads entering the sport as well.

Impossible question to answer reallyCrazy


banjolele


Aug 22, 2010, 8:49 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
There's not really an answer for that question. Climbing can be very safe or very dangerous (usually for most of us, it's somewhere in the middle).

These are just some of the factors which play a part in relative safety:

1) Type of climbing
2) Climber's experience
3) Climber's competence
4) Climber's intelligence
5) Climber's confidence
6) Climber's humility
7) Climber's state of being at any given moment (tired, dehydrated, etc.)
8) Weather
9) unknown hazards (i.e. rockfall, wild animals, etc.)
10) Amount of risk climber accepts

and so on and so on...

Just to name a few.

Josh

I think the reasons you listed are why climbing can be safer than other activities one participates in; the safety of a climb is almost entirely in the climbers hands. 8 and 9 can be mitigated or avoided to an extent, and 7 can be mitigated/avoided through adequate preparation and planning.

When I ride my bike on a popular road for fast cars and and Lance Armtstrong want-to-be bicyclists, I routinely fear for my life when some asshole forces me into traffic or an idiot drivers skates past me on a turn going ridiculously over the speed limit.

While climbing, my partner's safety, as well as my own, is almost entirely in our hands. As long as we're doing something within our known limits and are adequately prepared, we're not taking any undue risks. Are we still in danger? Sure, accidents can and do happen. But with self rescue knowledge and adequately protecting a route I can feel confident I'll make it to the top and back safely (or at least with a fighting chance of survival if an accident should occur).


curt


Aug 22, 2010, 8:49 PM
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tpro wrote:
Interesting point: I was reading an article from a British source not too long ago that stated female climbers had a far better chance of dieing during child birth in their life than from climbing...

Almost certainly true, if you normalize the data per unit of time.

Curt


Partner j_ung


Aug 23, 2010, 5:18 AM
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curt wrote:
tpro wrote:
Interesting point: I was reading an article from a British source not too long ago that stated female climbers had a far better chance of dieing during child birth in their life than from climbing...

Almost certainly true, if you normalize the data per unit of time.

Curt

But the reverse is almost certainly true for male climbers. Laugh


dingus


Aug 23, 2010, 5:51 AM
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Lions! Climbers have the hearts of LIONS!

Fingers like rock daggers. Toes of cobalt steel. The steely gaze of raptors. The serenity of the Buddha.

They really are a special lot.

DMT


blueeyedclimber


Aug 23, 2010, 7:39 AM
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banjolele wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
There's not really an answer for that question. Climbing can be very safe or very dangerous (usually for most of us, it's somewhere in the middle).

These are just some of the factors which play a part in relative safety:

1) Type of climbing
2) Climber's experience
3) Climber's competence
4) Climber's intelligence
5) Climber's confidence
6) Climber's humility
7) Climber's state of being at any given moment (tired, dehydrated, etc.)
8) Weather
9) unknown hazards (i.e. rockfall, wild animals, etc.)
10) Amount of risk climber accepts

and so on and so on...

Just to name a few.

Josh

I think the reasons you listed are why climbing can be safer than other activities one participates in; the safety of a climb is almost entirely in the climbers hands. 8 and 9 can be mitigated or avoided to an extent, and 7 can be mitigated/avoided through adequate preparation and planning.

That was my point. The factors I listed were not what makes climbing dangerous. They were what makes it EiTHER more safe or more dangerous, depending on the person and depending on #10.

Josh


shoo


Aug 23, 2010, 7:48 AM
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uni_jim wrote:
climbing is as safe as you want it to be, and as dangerous as you let it become.

End of thread.


ski.ninja


Aug 23, 2010, 12:46 PM
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tpro wrote:
Interesting point: I was reading an article from a British source not too long ago that stated female climbers had a far better chance of dieing during child birth in their life than from climbing.Shocked By some significantly higher factor too. If I can find it again, I'll post the link. It also listed a number of other common activies and the risk of death compared to climbing. Climbing deaths were quite low on the list. The problem is, I believe the article was written in the 90s with older stat data. Since then, climbing has certainly become far more popular, however, the equipment has also gotten better....however, there also seems to be a higher number of knuckle-heads entering the sport as well.

Impossible question to answer reallyCrazy

http://www.hse.gov.uk/...statistics.htm#death


patmay81


Aug 23, 2010, 1:18 PM
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dingus wrote:
Yes climbing is damn dangerous. There's a thousand ways to get the chop and that's no joke! It takes men of iron backbone and chromium balls, women with titanium tendons and diamond hard muscles, to dare even attempt it. Lessor suitors fall by the wayside on a routine basis, their broken bodies lined up like chord wood at the entrances of climbing gymnasiums nationwide, as mute but effective testimony... the weak need not apply.

Seriously.

DMT
damnit dingus, if you don't right a book soon I swear I'm gonna go through all your posts on all your forums and compile all this stuff up into the best how-to-be-a-kick-ass-rock-climber guide never published!!!!!!


lrossi


Aug 23, 2010, 2:18 PM
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Of course most people have more climbing outings than maternities. The chart says there's one death every 320,000 climbs or one death every 8,200 maternities.

So if you climb more than 39 times (320,000 / 8,200) then your chance of dying climbing becomes greater.

All of this also ignores the slow death that is parenthood. :)


Toast_in_the_Machine


Aug 23, 2010, 2:50 PM
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lrossi wrote:

Of course most people have more climbing outings than maternities. The chart says there's one death every 320,000 climbs or one death every 8,200 maternities.

So if you climb more than 39 times (320,000 / 8,200) then your chance of dying climbing becomes greater.

All of this also ignores the slow death that is parenthood. :)

A comparison of odds: http://www.funny2.com/odds.htm

It is internet accurate, of course, but nice to pick and choose for comparison.


moose_droppings


Aug 23, 2010, 3:34 PM
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lrossi wrote:

Of course most people have more climbing outings than maternities. The chart says there's one death every 320,000 climbs or one death every 8,200 maternities.

So if you climb more than 39 times (320,000 / 8,200) then your chance of dying climbing becomes greater.

All of this also ignores the slow death that is parenthood. :)

72% of all statistics are made up.


majid_sabet


Aug 23, 2010, 4:25 PM
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How safe is climbing = How clean is your box of Karma


NoMoCouch


Aug 23, 2010, 4:41 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
How safe is climbing = How clean is your box of Karma

I thought it was a bag..... DAMN


majid_sabet


Aug 23, 2010, 4:44 PM
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NoMoCouch wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
How safe is climbing = How clean is your box of Karma

I thought it was a bag..... DAMN

We become climber so we could empty the box faster than the average Joe. We just have to make sure we are 100% secure while dumping the sh*t out

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