/ Name as many Mountaineering-based activities as possible.

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Thom.milburn - on 31 Oct 2012
Okay guys, so i'm writing a dissertation and i'm trying to forumlate a graph to demonstrate the increase of risk versus the type of climbing, for example:

Indoor top roping would be, in my opinion, 1 out of 20 if i was to put it on a scale of risk. with 1 being as low as possible (0 being no risk).

Trouble is i'm struggling to comprehend all of the variations of 'rock climbing' we have. Can people provide as many different types of climbing as they can think of, to compile this table. As well as your estimated risk level on a scale of 1 to 20.

Obviously this is all opinion and doesnt account for any vairables - however that is fine, its just to demonstrate something.

If this works - i shall be very happy!

To start:

Indoor top roping - 1
Bouldering Indoors - 3
Outdoor Top roping - 4
Bouldering Outside - 6
Single Pitch (Sport) - 6
Single Pitch (Trad) - 7
Multi-Pitching (Sport) 8
Multi-Pitching (Trad) - 9
Ice Climbing - 10
6000metre+ Winter Mountaineering - 16


Cameron94 on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:
Classic summer mounatineering ( mountain routes upto vdiff)
Classic winter mountaineering (grades 1-3)
Mountain routes (vdiff+)
Mixed climbing
Multi pitch ice
big walling

Don't know how helpful that is for you?!

Michael Gordon - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

I won't suggest numbers as it's hard to quantify this sort of thing, near impossible with limited info.

What sort of scale is it?
What does '6' (for example) mean?
Does 20 mean certain death?

Trangia on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Scrambling - 10

Ski Mountaineering - 12

Deep water soloing - 8
skarabrae on 31 Oct 2012 -
In reply to Thom.milburn:
1 drinking
2 eating cake
3 talking shite on ukc forums

cant think of any more!
JoshOvki on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

To skew things up a bit, I know of more people getting injured indoor and outdoor bouldering than any of the other activities, so wouldn't that make them more dangerous and there for a higher risk.

For example top roping, sport and trad you tend to have a rope to stop you, while bouldering the only thing stopping you is the floor.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Tbh I think it is far too simplistic to try to capture 'risk', not further defined, on a single axis.

Clearly alpine climbing is more dangerous in terms of chance of death than top roping at stanage, but you don't need a graph to tell you that

You could get a list of peoples opinions but that woyld only be a straw poll of the subset of UK climbers that post on here, so a long way from being robust enough to have any place in a dissertation.

You could do with being more precise about they type of risk- death, injury severe enough to cause lost time from work, etc

And then try to get statistics on it. Insurance companies make decisions about how much to charge for life insurance and income protection for climbers, so there must be data out there for them to base decisions on.

A graph of deaths per 10000 hours participation for different activities would be interesting, though still subject to lots of possible interpretation, in ways that a graph of ulcer posters opinions wouldn't be,

Thom.milburn - on 31 Oct 2012
Cheers for this guys - it's helpful stuff!

And yes, rightly so - it's very much dependant on countless variables which mostly cannot be measured. The idea is to simply create a concept of how risk increases throughout the various categories - the scale (1-20) is simply there as a guide and to allow some sort of sorting process to take place.

0 would be no risk/no loss. 20 would be Death, for both risk and loss.

As stated, this is simply here to provide information for a theoretical example based on forum contributions - however if enough info is provided we can go some way to calculate perceived levels or risk for any one activity by calculating means, etc.
Thom.milburn - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I completely agree - however the purpose of my graph is not to answer the diss topic, it is simply to illustrate the increase of risk as we go through categories.

It's forming part of a proposal and will allow me to identify a particular group of participants by illustrating who takes part in what - with the intention of finding out the motivational factors behind this.
neuromancer - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

I feel like a much more functional scale would be to have two scales, chance of injury/loss (/10) and severity of injury/loss (/10). If you need a composite, multiply them to get a 'danger factor'. A simple 1-20 has the same problems that the british trad rating has in say, grading climbs as solos.

Lots of people probably hurt themselves indoor bouldering, but it will be twisted ankles or broken femurs or such like. Relatively few people who engage in say, deep water soloing will harm themselves seriously, but if they do it'll be misjudging depths or getting hit on the way down, and the risk is pretty high (drowning is bad kids).
neuromancer - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:


Via Ferrata
Winter hillwalking
Fell running
Mountain running
All of the kinds of skiing
Shit with parachutes
TMM on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Aid Climbing
Unsupported High Altitude Mountaineering
Siege Style High Altitude Mountaineering (with or without supplementary Oxygen)
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Ok, I think I see what you mean, its for illustrative purposes, on an ordinal scale.

It's still a tricky one to nail down- 'scrambling' as an activity can mean different things to different people, from the walk up cat bells to tower ridge...

Experience, competence, and willingness to accept risks will all factor in to mean the same activity eg trad climbing could vary by orders of magnitude in risk

Still, it sounds more interesting than my dissertation!


Thom.milburn - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

The title, although very specific to a particular group, is inspired by Kirkpatrick.

"The Motivation of Risk: Why do Outdoor Education students, who seek to become outdoor activity instructors, participate in rock climbing within which high losses may occur?".

It will compare the students against a group of regular, non pro climbers. It should hopefully prove interesting - maybe even of some use.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Yes, definitely more interesting than my dissertation...!

Good luck with it,

KiwiPrincess - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:
Hike and Fly stuff
Paragliding/ speed wing/ base

Personally Danger is route dependant.
Good trad vs Marginal.
A Mountaineering trip that passes ice cliffs Vs snowy hill.
Iceclimbing Icicle daggers around , or Mountain access Vs nice solid face

I personally don't think Multi pitch sis more dangerous than single pitch except if the belay is in a bad place
Also Bouldering is much more dangerous than Outdoor toproping..Falling can sprain ankels
henwardian - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn: I'd agree with the other people who said you need some data to back up your assertions about "risk" and that you need to be more accurate about what kind of risk you are really talking about. Statistics on the number of accidents/time doing the sport or the cost in insurance/time doing the sport might be the sort of stuff you could find out without too much cost and time. At least that way you have some justification for your "risk" of the given sport, without any justification it isn't really an investigation, it's more of an abstract philosophy essay.

A few further problems for you could be:
1) One activity blends into another (where does bouldering become soloing? Where does winter scrambling become winter climbing?)
2) The level of seriousness is defined as much by the difficulty and danger or the route picked as the part of the sport it falls under (e.g. Well protected burly crack above grassy landing vs chossy unprotected slab above sharp rocks).
3) Almost every activity can be subdivided till you have a huge number of fields, e.g.
Trad climbing:
- Single pitch
- Multi pitch

Single pitch:
- Inland crag
- Sea cliff

Sea cliff:
- New route
- Existing route

List off the top of my head of different types of mountaineering based sports:
trad climbing
sport climbing
aid climbing
aid climbing (solo)
French free climbing (hohoho)
alpine rock climbing
alpine mixed climbing
alpine ice climbing
Greater ranges trekking
Cross country skiing
Downhill skiing
ski mountaineering
snow shoeing
Base jumping
Squirrel suit jumping
exploration expeditions
Himalayan versions of a lot of the above.
night climbing/soloing
swimming (lochs)
fell running
fell running (races)
al fresco sex

I'm sure I missed loads. And they can all be broken down into subcatagories that have totally different levels of risk as I did for Trad climbing above.

If you open it up to Canoeing/kayaking/mountain biking and the like then the list is probably boundless.

Good luck!
Flashy - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to henwardian: Can we have a separate UKC forum for each of these?
henwardian - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Flashy:
> (In reply to henwardian) Can we have a separate UKC forum for each of these?

I doubt it. I can think of at least one forum that would be giving the mods major headaches from day 1 onward ;)
Andes - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:
Seems like a strange dissertation title, as many other activities that Outdoor Education students will do are actually more dangerous than rock climbing. Too many people out there label rock climbing as a dangerous sport, when, if it is done sensibly/carefully it isn't. Of course as always with risk it depends how you approach an activity, but many sports such as swimming, biking, running, scuba diving are regularly rated more dangerous than rock climbing e.g. see here:-
Also have a look at Accidents in North American Mountaineering. The 2012 version that I've just read shows a seriously large number of sport climbing accidents, several of them sadly fatal. Also an overwhelming percentage of accidents that are directly a result of human error and were not caused by the natural world.
I agree with Gregor that there is a really big difference between risk of injury and risk of death.... you have to define that difference for your survey to make any sense.
If you include risk of injury then I would rate indoor climbing and bouldering quite high and trad leading quite low. I've done over 1,000 days of outdoor trad leading all round the world, including days cragging, sea-cliffs, long mountain routes and I've never had more than a scratch and only once seen someone else injured. I've been to indoor walls maybe 100-200 times and seen three injuries.
My only mountaineering related accidents have been from summer and winter hill-walking, one accident each, and those activities take up far fewer pages in my log-book.

Anyway I'd go with the following, first figure for death, 2nd for injury
Indoor top roping - 1 5
Bouldering Indoors - 0 5
Outdoor Top roping - 2 5
Bouldering Outside - 1 8
Single Pitch (Sport) - 2 4
Single Pitch (Trad) - 3 6
Multi-Pitching (Sport) 3 5
Multi-Pitching (Trad)- 4 6
Ice Climbing - 6 8
6000m+ Mountaineering - 8 6

Bearing in mind that the vast majority of accidents are caused by human error most of these differences in risk are due to the different environments in which the activities are generally practiced and therefore the more serious consequences of an accident caused by human error. Make a mistake on most multi-pitch trad routes and you will be waiting half a day for medical attention, but make the same mistake on an indoor wall and you could be in hospital in just a few minutes.
nniff - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

I think you need to take into account perceived risk versus actual outcome. The best example I can give you of this is that of a friend of mine, who eventually found himself trained as an underwater Explosive Ordnance Disposal diver. He thought it would be prudent, on account of his wife and child, to get his insurance cover reappraised. To his immense surprise they reduced his premiums on account of the fact that no-one had been killed doing that for years. It may be a dangerous business, and so the approach taken to managing the risk is equally serious and effective.

As a parallel, indoor bouldering is perceived to be safe, but people regularly break legs and ankles. I think you're more likely to see a boulderer hobbling home than you are a trad climber, but a trad climber's injuries are likely to be more severe should he mess up.

Go to the Alps, and there are more things out to get you, over which you have very little control.

Single pitch v multi-pitch makes little difference. Fatal fall height isn't that high.
myth - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn: Clucking
MJ - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Repeating a Mick Fowler "Classic" - Ungradable.
Fredt on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Lion Bakes on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Thom.milburn:

Fell rinning
Fredt on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to A Game of Chance:

emc110502 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Fredt: speed solo ascents, slacklining at height, jumping off with a rope Dan osman style and extreme ironing

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