Aim: To examine demographic, morbidity, and mortality findings in a population of mountain climbers in New Zealand.
Methods: A baseline survey and a 4-year follow-up took place among a population of mountain climbers. The purpose of this survey was to determine the frequency and characteristics of mountain-climbing accidents and to estimate the climbing-related death rate.
Results: Forty-nine climbers enrolled in the study. Baseline findings revealed that 44 (90%) climbers had been involved in the sport for more than 5 years and 23 (47%) climbers had been involved in a total of 33 accidents. At 4-year follow-up, results were available on 46 (94%) climbers. There were nine further accidents and four deaths from climbing misadventure.
Conclusion: Mountain climbing is associated with a high risk of serious injury and mortality.