/ What is it about this winter?
We seem to have had one incident a week where someone(often more than one) has died in the Scottish mountains, the latest tradgedy occuring yesterday...
Is there any particular reason behind this?
Are there more people on the hills?
Are the people on the hills less experienced or under equiped?
Are the conditions significantly different to the average winter (weather/jetstream related)?
Are the accidents just being reported more?
Is it just an unlucky year?
Do people think this a trend that will continue next year? http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/mountain-incidents-report.pdf Provides some interesting reading, and I note in the period they studied (1996-2005) only 14 deaths occurred where as this year we are close to reaching that number (I count 10?) and it's only February
I agree the news has been grim recently, no doubt a pattern may emerge once the inquests have been held. It's very sad, any death is one too many.
In other cases you just do not have enough information to develop a pattern. If you have no idea how many people where out in the hills this season, in particular days, doing particular activities then you can draw no pattern from the incomplete data you have.
I can't see where you got a figure for 14 deaths over a 10 year period (1996-2005) or am I reading your sentence / or the report wrong?
From the MCOFS stats for 2011, the 'mountaineering' deaths in 2011 were 21 (with 16 in 2010)
http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/mrcofs%20annual%20report%202011%20v5final.pdf page 9
> Is there any particular reason behind this?
> Are there more people on the hills?
> I can't see where you got a figure for 14 deaths over a 10 year period (1996-2005) or am I reading your sentence / or the report wrong?
> From the MCOFS stats for 2011, the 'mountaineering' deaths in 2011 were 21 (with 16 in 2010)
> http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/mrcofs%20annual%20report%202011%20v5final.pdf page 9
I was looking at table 16 in this report: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/mountain-incidents-report.pdf
(I may have misread.)
Its 14%, not number of deaths.
but less experienced I do think so and crucially, unwilling to recognise this or realise it...
The multiple fatalities in the two reported avalanches, from whats been reported of thier backgrounds do not seam to support this conclusion whatsoever, nor the recent loss on the Ben......
As for lesser, and generally unreported injuries, who knows....
> I don't think they are under equipped but less experienced I do think so and crucially, unwilling to recognise this or realise it. The traditional apprenticeship takes too long for people wanting to be seen to be slick and fast mountaineers and doesn't fit with the presentation of self-image on a blog.
> About the same I think.
> There is no such thing.
Looking at many who died.. they had experience..
I do think you have unlucky years.. you get random permutations in numbers out, deaths etc..
Things can happen in batches. Wait til all the inquests are held.
Yes. The most likely explanation.
Try throwing a tube of Smarties on the floor; they will not, by any means, be evenly spread out.
Same thing happens with people falsely assuming causality with random leukaemia clusters round nuclear power atations and so on.
If you brought up a map of the world you could circle a cluster in the west, a cluster in the east, and then a cluster in scotland. You could then maybe draw a cluster with the UK and the Alps taking in their incidents and someone in the USA could see "a pattern in Europe".
The number of incidents might have increased proportionally or disproportionally, and without the other variables you cant do the equation.
> Its 14%, not number of deaths.
So it is! Doh!
> Is there any particular reason behind this? NO
> Are there more people on the hills? YES
> Are the people on the hills less experienced or under equiped? Maybe
> Are the conditions significantly different to the average winter (weather/jetstream related)? NO
> Are the accidents just being reported more? YES
> Is it just an unlucky year? YES
I'd say novices are more likely to call for help.. like the skiier..
Let us not forget that a very experienced and knowledgable climber died in Corrie Fee recently (was it 2011 or 2012?)
Accidents do not only happen to the ill prepared, or those with less skill/ experience/ knowledge. They just happen. We all know the (calculated) risks when we head out. Sometimes people are just unlucky- wrong place at the wrong time!
Obviously my thoughts go out to friends and family of all involved in these recent incidents.
Experienced climbers also make mistakes...read the Yosemite accident analysis here:
As for someone postulating on luck above...of course in a risk based game probability plays a part. However, the stats may relate to other non-luck based factors such as conditions and it's hard to factor out the variety of possible contributing factors from the roll of the dice. I think some of the accidents this winter involved clear unnecessary risks (based on views from other people in the area at the time).
> Experienced climbers also make mistakes...
Yes, of course. But we all make mistakes in every day life. We are all fallible. Making a tiny mistake on the hills can sometimes mean the difference between life and death - to me this can still just be as simple as pure bad luck. It's only my opinion of course.
Climbing is an unnecessary risk!
We should defend our right to take risks as we choose, if someone wants to go and climb something far to hard for themselves in poor conditions, that is their choice and who are we as fellow climbers to judge/stop them.
The difficulty is in explaining this to the masses and those that may seek to control us.
The tragedy is when the deceased weren't intending to play the game with such high stakes, they didn't choose the level of risk encountered.
I am not referring to any particular incident or any one person. It's just a general observation made on the hill.
> The tragedy is when the deceased weren't intending to play the game with such high stakes, they didn't choose the level of risk encountered.
There have been a few deaths in running and thankfully families involved have taken that view and not looked for blame.
The risk is part of the challenge, whilst we mitigate we never remove it, nor would want to.
There were 'bad' years with high profile clusters of accidents in 1995, 2006 and again in 2010. Unfortunately this year is nothing out of the ordinary...
> There were 'bad' years with high profile clusters of accidents in 1995, 2006 and again in 2010. Unfortunately this year is nothing out of the ordinary...
Interesting to note that all those years highlighted were all cracking winters too with great conditions.
Although I agree that experienced climbers should manage their own risk I don't support a right to irresponsible approaches, such as someone deliberately climbing something far too hard for themselves in poor conditions. All climbing deaths are tragedies the only difference in the second case is the tragedy is arguably avoidable you are ignoring the risk. If the extra difficulty wasn't apparent or the conditions worsened unexpectedly, that would obviously be different.
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