peter303 wrote: ultrarunningkid wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard of more people dying on Capitol than driving to its trailhead.
I mean, statistically i am sure it is more dangerous to simply be driving on the highway than to be hiking. I don't think its meant to downplay the dangers of hiking, but if you are an experienced hiker, it is definitly more dangerous to simply be on the highway than to be bagging most 14ers.
I suggest hiking 14ers is still more dangerous.
The automobile fatality rate is 1.25 per 100 million passenger miles a year, well-quoted NHSTA statistic. If people averaged 150 miles drive per 14er trip, this would would be around a fatality per 500,000 trips.
There are 5-10 14er fatalities a year. CFI estimates about 244,000 climbs a year. So we are talking about one per 25,000 to 50,000 outings. That is an order of magnitude greater. Trying various ways of adjusting the numbers, I cant think of getting the two that close.
(What if there are pit bull passengers in the car?
You need to distinguish between hiking class 1 and 2 peaks and climbing class 3 and class 4 peaks. As I stated above, it is pretty tough to do yourself in on Mt. Elbert. When you start to get to real climbing, that's where the issues begin. And that demarcation seems rather obvious, because rarely do we hear of deaths on peaks like Grays and Bierstadt and Quandary (although a lightning bolt almost took out a group of people several years ago).
An interesting aspect to this exchange was the number of people who have climbed mostly class 2 peaks but none of the harder peaks. Now, is this because it's just a harder drive to the trailhead or is it because that deep down inside, there's a feeling of survival telling people, "Hey, that's dangerous, you could really hurt yourself."
And if that's not convincing enough, on your way to work tomorrow, take a look at 100 drivers and ask how many of them would fall if they were to attempt a climb of North Maroon. It wouldn't be pretty, but I dare say all of them will probably make it to work okay.
No need for statistics when common sense will do. And if people don't wish to acknowledge common sense, go find a class 4 route and then tell me how relevant those stats are.
But in case you do want more stats, of the 30 or so people who have climbed all 637 of the 13ers, I know of four finishers who nearly died in the mountains, one who did die in the mountains, and that's just from my incomplete knowledge. When you get beyond hiking, it can be dangerous. Don't kid yourself with what is essentially a fool's message. Be safe.