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  • Stephen Shields

The truth about climbing deaths on Mount Everest


Much the Peak XV story takes place in the early 1920s during a British Everest expedition led by Oliver Hall. I thought it would be interesting to post facts about the mountain.

Most Climbers Die in the Khumbu Icefall – False

Falls are the primary cause of death on Everest at 67, according to the Himalayan Database through autumn 2015. Icefall Collapse was way down the list at 15 deaths. However, this is another one of those stats heavily skewed by one disaster. Adding in the 16 deaths in 2014, the Khumbu Icefall now is the location of 31 deaths. Altitude and illness-related deaths still top the list, with 90 listed.

From 1921 to 1999: 170 people died on Everest, with 1,169 summits or 14.5%. But the deaths drastically declined while summits increased fivefold in this century. From 2000 to 2015, there were 5,832 summits and 112 deaths, or 1.9%. However, two years skewed the death rates in the south, with 16 in 2014 and 19 in 2015.

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