Review and Analysis of Mountaineering Accidents in the United States from 1947-2018

Emma P. Deloughery, Thomas G. Deloughery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


DeLoughery, Emma P. and Thomas G. DeLoughery. Review and Analysis of Mountaineering Accidents in the United States from 1947-2018. High Alt Med Biol. 23:114-118, 2022. Introduction: Given the popularity of mountaineering, it is important to better understand accidents related to this sport. We undertook this review of accidents to better understand the demographics and locations involved in mountaineering accidents over 71 years. Methods: Data collected from "Accidents in North American Mountaineering"booklets from 1947 to 2018 included the date, state and location of the accident, sex and age of the victim, type of accident, injuries sustained, and distance fallen if a fall occurred. If at least 10 accidents occurred in an individual state and/or location, these sites were separately analyzed. Results: From 1947 to 2018, 2,799 people were reported to be involved in mountaineering accidents, and 43% of these accidents resulted in death. Women were involved in 12% of cases. Falls were the most common accident (68% incidence, 45% fatal), followed by falling rock (7%, 26% fatal), avalanche (6%, 75% fatal), and falling into a crevasse (2%, 52% fatal). The average age of victims was 30 years. California had the most accidents (18%), followed by Washington (16%) and Alaska (15%). Denali had the greatest frequency of both accidents and deaths (11%, 8% of deaths), followed by Mount Rainier (6%, 7% of deaths) and Mount Hood (2%, 3% of deaths). Conclusions: Accident victims tend to be young and predominantly male, and the accidents themselves are most often falls. Avalanches were identified as an accident cause with a high fatality rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • avalanches
  • falls
  • mountaineering
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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