Study: 8.2% Chance of Getting Killed While Climbing In New Zealand

The New Zealand Herald reports a Christchurch forensic psychiatrist has rocked the climbing world by publishing a study saying you have an 8.2% chance of getting killed while climbing in New Zealand. Dr Erik Monasterio said the figure is based on four climbing deaths, including two guides, from among the 49 participants in the four-year study he was conducting. The participants were mostly experienced climbers tackling difficult routes. Ironically none of the four deaths occurred in the 2003/04 climbing season, a bad one for fatalities. Thirteen people died in the Mt Aspiring area and in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, including three guides and a client in an avalanche on Mt Tasman. In 2001, another study published in the journal calculated the fatality rate in the Aoraki/Mt Cook park was 1.87 deaths for every 1000 days spent climbing. A 1988 study estimated a death rate of 4.3 per cent for British climbers on peaks over 7000m – more than 3000m higher than Aoraki/Mt Cook.

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