48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

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Kali

 
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48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Kali » Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:45 pm

I'm really baffled by the high number of death in/around Elbrus - 48 in the 2004 season according to Pilgrim Tours. Why are so many people dying there? I asked this question on an Elbrus forum and the reply was that many inexperienced and ill prepared people go on the mountain. Even so, it still seems a very high number of deaths and I wonder if anybody has any thoughts on the reasons for this?

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Charles

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Charles » Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:20 pm

the explanation sounds about right, somehow.

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Moni

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Moni » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:35 pm

Look at the statistics for Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn: a high number of accidents and deaths, because of the popularity and misperception that popularity = easy. Obviously not the case.

For example, Matterhorn averages 40 accidents each year , 12 of which will have deaths. About 500 people have died climbing the Matterhorn since 1865.

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Tom Fralich

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Tom Fralich » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:26 pm

From what I understand, the upper slopes on the Elbrus normal route can be VERY icy, making an arrest in the event of a slip extremely difficult. Add to these icy conditions a large number of relatively inexperienced climbers with questionable cramponing and self-arrest skills and you will have your answer.

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Rick B

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Rick B » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:08 am

Do you perhaps mean why there were so many deaths in that particular season?

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Kali

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Kali » Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:39 am

rbi, no I was just using that as an example, from what I gather it's not out of the ordinary.

Interesting point about the icy slopes, I've not heard that before.

Personally, I have wondered if the fact there is a chair lift there encourages 'day trippers' to wander higher up the mountain then they are prepared for and get into trouble.

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Rybakov

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Rybakov » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:51 pm

According to Pilgrim Tours' site 48 climbers died <i>in the area.</i>
I climbed Elbrus recently and was told <i>"over a dozen </i> was killed here last year".

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Kali

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Kali » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:22 am

Further info on Elbrus deaths can be found in the latest trip report (an interview with the head of the rescue service):

http://www.summitpost.org/show/trip_rep ... rt_id/2699

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Corax

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Corax » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:31 am

48 deaths?
Only on Elbrus?
I find it very hard to believe. When I was there last time, July 2004, the count was 7 on Elbrus. 6 had frozen to death high on the peak and one had fallen to his death from the little bump above the saddle.
I got the info from a person in the rescue team, which had had the grim task of bringing down the dead body of the person who fell to his death.
It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire

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Kali

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Kali » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:13 pm

Corax, not only on Elbrus. On Elbrus and the surrounding area. I didn't make that clear in my original post.

I still think it's a high number and it's interesting to hear the number you were quoted which is hopefully more accurate for Elbus itself.

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tne

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by tne » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:28 am

I read somewhere that one of the big reasons of deth on elbrus is quck changes in weather and not enough equipment.

If the weather change and they do not bring equipment to stay up on the mountain they get lost and fall in to a crevas. If they would have brought a down jacket, or a shovel they could have dug down and stayed in the sadel.The marked route can be hard to find in bad weather

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Moni

 
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Re: 48 Deaths on Elbrus - why?

by Moni » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:29 pm

The quick change in weather is typical of most mountains. It goes back to that the mountain is very popular, which leads to a misconception that it is easy, which attracts people who are not experienced enough to tackle it when conditions are poor.


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