Obviously there are differences in populations, challenge level of the famous peaks, and so forth, but I am struck that there are so few accidents in MT, ID, NV, and UT. There are plenty of opportunities to have accidents in those places. But they look like Midwestern states here.
I was surprised too, but I think WA, CA, CO, WY, and AK have such a significant number of accidents that it obscures a medium level in MT, ID, NV, and UT. Even the pie charts I made show how WA, CA, CO, WY, and AK have so many more....but I can believe it when I consider just how rugged the mountains are in WA where I live!
Remember, though, that WY and CO have many trophy peaks-- Tetons, Winds, 14ers-- that attract an outsized proportion of people. If Wyoming didn't have the Tetons, I'd bet it would look like those other western states you mention.
In those other states, there are fewer trophy peaks and probably far more locals doing the climbing. Locals are probably more likely to retreat when it gets bad, knowing they have climbed it before or will have many chances to again.
Thanks. I think this is a reasonable explanation, hope you don't mind that I add it to the text on my page.
That's what this picture is, right?