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Most dangerous mountain?

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Postby RickF » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:39 pm

Luciano136 wrote:A percentage is probably the most well accepted way to measure it I'd say. If you have 10 different attempts and 7 die, it must be pretty dangerous :)


I respectfully disagree. Using only the percentage, or fatality ratio as I have referred to it, does not account for number of people drawn to the mountain. The attraction is a key component of the danger.

Think about this analogy, the drug propyfil (spelling?) is more lethal than heroin, but heroin is a more accessible and euphoric substance so more people abuse heroin, making it the more dangerous drug.

Annapurna is like the propyfil, highly lethal but not very accessible and draws fewer people.
Everest is like heroin, less lethal but being the highest in the world, with plenty of available commercial guiding, it draws many people. So Everest, like herion, is more dangerous.
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Postby RickF » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:No offense but if you need a formula to determine most dangerous mountain, you're asking the wrong questions.

DMT


In another thread about rating climbs similar points were made. People, including many of here on SP will attempt to compare, catagorize, rank, and rate things. Some people make lists of goals, consider statistics and plan trips. Others think these behaviors are foolish and they just "go do it" so to speak. Maybe its a right-brain vs. left brain behavior. To each his/her own.

I'm the list-maker, goal-setter, planner-type so maybe thats why I'm finding this topic so thought provoking.
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Postby kamil » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:54 pm

RickF wrote:Annapurna is like the propyfil, highly lethal but not very accessible and draws fewer people.
Everest is like heroin, less lethal but being the highest in the world, with plenty of available commercial guiding, it draws many people. So Everest, like herion, is more dangerous.

No pun intended? :lol:
Great comparison BTW.
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Postby Hotoven » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:18 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:
And make some snap decisions... how about for this weekend. Forget your plans, scrap them! Go do something WILD!

DMT


Great Advice, Mt. Sunflower, here I come!!
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Postby Luciano136 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:22 pm

RickF wrote:
Luciano136 wrote:A percentage is probably the most well accepted way to measure it I'd say. If you have 10 different attempts and 7 die, it must be pretty dangerous :)


I respectfully disagree. Using only the percentage, or fatality ratio as I have referred to it, does not account for number of people drawn to the mountain. The attraction is a key component of the danger.

Think about this analogy, the drug propyfil (spelling?) is more lethal than heroin, but heroin is a more accessible and euphoric substance so more people abuse heroin, making it the more dangerous drug.

Annapurna is like the propyfil, highly lethal but not very accessible and draws fewer people.
Everest is like heroin, less lethal but being the highest in the world, with plenty of available commercial guiding, it draws many people. So Everest, like herion, is more dangerous.


So, you are really rating dangerous as in the number of deaths. I don't think that's right. I don't know the numbers but probably more people died on Everest than on K2 and I doubt anyone would argue K2 being a lot more dangerous than Everest.

According to your reasoning, driving a car would be way more dangerous than climbing K2 since a lot more people are attracted to driving a car and hence die. We may just have a difference in opinion but absolute numbers don't make any sense to me, only percentages do (except maybe when the sample is REALLY small; like 1 person tried and died).
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Postby mstender » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:49 pm

Luciano136 wrote:
RickF wrote:
Luciano136 wrote:A percentage is probably the most well accepted way to measure it I'd say. If you have 10 different attempts and 7 die, it must be pretty dangerous :)


I respectfully disagree. Using only the percentage, or fatality ratio as I have referred to it, does not account for number of people drawn to the mountain. The attraction is a key component of the danger.

Think about this analogy, the drug propyfil (spelling?) is more lethal than heroin, but heroin is a more accessible and euphoric substance so more people abuse heroin, making it the more dangerous drug.

Annapurna is like the propyfil, highly lethal but not very accessible and draws fewer people.
Everest is like heroin, less lethal but being the highest in the world, with plenty of available commercial guiding, it draws many people. So Everest, like herion, is more dangerous.


So, you are really rating dangerous as in the number of deaths. I don't think that's right. I don't know the numbers but probably more people died on Everest than on K2 and I doubt anyone would argue K2 being a lot more dangerous than Everest.

According to your reasoning, driving a car would be way more dangerous than climbing K2 since a lot more people are attracted to driving a car and hence die. We may just have a difference in opinion but absolute numbers don't make any sense to me, only percentages do (except maybe when the sample is REALLY small; like 1 person tried and died).


So then, according to RickF, mountains like Montblanc, Elbrus or Whitney are more dangerous than Annapurna or K2!? :?: So maybe I should scrap my Elbrus plans and go straight to K2. :lol:
I guess I am with Luciano136 on this, you have to take the percentage of fatalities into account.
Nobody mentioned it yet, but Pobeda is regarded as a highly dangerous mountain too but I could not find any statistics.
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Postby Baarb » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:51 pm

Perhaps the number of parties attempting a climb rather than the total number of people in it might be a more useful factor. E.g. if one party of 20 dies in an avalanche then that could just be bad luck, doesn't mean that every 20 people going to the mountain is done for in advance.
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Postby mstender » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:05 pm

Baarb wrote:Perhaps the number of parties attempting a climb rather than the total number of people in it might be a more useful factor. E.g. if one party of 20 dies in an avalanche then that could just be bad luck, doesn't mean that every 20 people going to the mountain is done for in advance.


That's actually a good point. In the single worst accident in mountaineering history, 43 people were killed on Peak Lenin as an avalanche swept away one of the camps but still nobody would say that Lenin is particularly dangerous.
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Postby Luciano136 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:41 pm

Baarb wrote:Perhaps the number of parties attempting a climb rather than the total number of people in it might be a more useful factor. E.g. if one party of 20 dies in an avalanche then that could just be bad luck, doesn't mean that every 20 people going to the mountain is done for in advance.


That would be a good measurement IMO, although it would still be nice to know what percentage of people actually died as well.
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Postby Gak Icenberg » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:00 pm

from what I understand the deadliest is the 10th highest, Anapurna. Denali comes in around 9th.....Gak
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Postby Gak Icenberg » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:23 pm

and yep, specifics. Are they climbers that attempted a certain mountain or climbers that made it to the summit?....Gak again
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Postby RickF » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:32 am

Dingus Milktoast wrote:So my job here is to remind yall... the most dangerous mountain in the whole wide world is the one you are standing on. Never forget that.

DMT


Dingus, Excellent perspective!
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Postby Patrick B » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:34 am

Annapurna. On Blanc, Everest, and Washington (NH) you get a lot of new climbers not knowing what they're getting themselves into becuase of their popularity and height in Everest's case.

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Postby RickF » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:56 am

Luciano136 wrote:So, you are really rating dangerous as in the number of deaths. I don't think that's right. I don't know the numbers but probably more people died on Everest than on K2 and I doubt anyone would argue K2 being a lot more dangerous than Everest.

According to your reasoning, driving a car would be way more dangerous than climbing K2 since a lot more people are attracted to driving a car and hence die. We may just have a difference in opinion but absolute numbers don't make any sense to me, only percentages do (except maybe when the sample is REALLY small; like 1 person tried and died).


Luciano, you are right.

I tried to make the number of deaths only one component of my proposed formula and take into account also the number of attempts.

The flaw in my current formula is that with two mountains, both associated with an equal number of fatalities but one of the mountains having been attempted more times would still have a the same danger rating. The formula needs another degree of factoring to give a higher weight to the number of attempts.

You are also right that statistically driving a car is more dangerous than summiting a mountain. I tell my wife that each time I leave for a trip to the mountains.
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