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Everest vs. BigMac - killer statistics
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Apr 27, 2004 21: 11 EST
This past winter, ExplorersWeb ran the "Killer Mountains" series. They became some of our most popular articles.
The series investigated the summit/fatalities statistics of the 14, 8000ers. But which of the 14 is the deadliest? And - more important - how dangerous are the mountains after all?
Below a summary of the statistics, and a few other interesting stats to consider, when asked why you want to kill yourself.

Our 8000ers, from most dangerous to least dangerous, summits vs. deaths:

Annapurna (8,091 m)
In total, only 130 climbers have summited Annapurna, while 53 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 41%.
Nanga Parbat (8,125m)
216 climbers have summited Nanga Parbat and 61 have died. The overall fatality rate thus 28.24%.
K2 (8,611 m)
Fewer than 200 climbers have summited the world's second highest peak – 198 total. 53 have died. K2's overall fatality rate is 26.77%.

Kangchenjunga (8,586 m)
To date, only 185 climbers have summited Kangchenjunga and 40 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus about 22%.
Manaslu (8,163 m)
To date, 240 climbers have summited Manaslu and 52 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 21.67%.
Dhaulagiri (8,167 m)
To date, 313 climbers have summited Dhaulagiri and 56 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 18%.
Makalu (8,485 m)
To date, 206 climbers have summited Makalu and 22 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus about 11%.
Gasherbrum I (8,080m)
Since 1958, only 195 climbers have summited Gasherbrum I and 21 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 10.77%.
Shisha Pangma (8,027m)
To date, 201 climbers have summited Shisha Pangma and 19 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus about 9.5%.
Everest (8,848m)
Today, Everest has hosted close to 2,000 successful summits. 179 people have perished giving a fatality rate of 9.3%.
Broad Peak (8,051 m)
A mere 255 climbers have summited Broad Peak and 18 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 7%.
Lhotse (8,516 m)
To date, 243 climbers have summited Lhotse and 11 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus about 4%.
Gasherbrum II (8,034 m)
As for GII, a total of 650 climbers have summited the peak and 17 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 2.62%.
Cho Oyu (8,188 m)
To date, about 1,400 climbers have summited Cho Oyu and 35 have died. The overall fatality rate is thus 2.5%,

Other statistics:

Each year, 440,000 people die of diseases causes by smoking or another form of tobacco use, that’s about 20% of all deaths in the United States.

Junk food & doing nothing:
Each year, 300,000 people die of poor diet and physical inactivity, that's about 14% of all deaths in the United States, second only to tobacco use. Nearly 59 million adults are obese in US, and the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Fifteen percent of Americans aged 6–19 years are overweight.

Traffic accidents:
Each year nearly 5,000 Americans die in truck crashes. In 1995, 98% of the people killed in two-vehicle crashes involving passenger cars and big trucks were occupants of the passenger vehicles.

Although these stats are not an exact science and surrounded by a lot of if's and but's, they do offer hints. Surviving on KFC and not working out kills 20% of Americans. Summiting Everest kills 9.3% of climbers.

If you have a cigarette with your junk food, you are at the level of climbing Annapurna. And if you collide with a killer truck, compared to the truck driver you'd have better chance at surviving if you scaled all 14 8000ers.

The "Killer mountains" keep us slender, smoke free and out of heavy traffic. They might just save our lives.

Image of Everest, ExplorersWeb files and Big Mac, courtesy of solstikkan.tripod.com.
Note: As there are no statistics recorded for non summiting climbers on these mountains, this story counts recorded summiteers. To get an idea of the actual danger, count a rough average of around one in ten climbers actually reaching the summit of a typical 8000er.

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