Accident and fatality characteristics in a population of mountain climbers in New Zealand

N Z Med J. 2005 Jan 28;118(1208):U1249.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Mountaineering / injuries*
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality