The deadliest of pastimes

September 11, 1990|By Ernest F. Imhoff

Mountain climbing is generally considered the most dangerous sport. If not routine, deaths are also not uncommon.

On July 13, at least 43 mountaineers from six countries were killed by an avalanche on Peak Lenin in the Pamir Mountains, Soviet Central Asia. And, in the Alps, 10 climbers died in separate accidents on the Matterhorn in just the first four weeks of this summer.

But mountain hiking also is a dangerous sport. As reported by the magazine U.S. News and World Report, here are National Safety Council figures on the number of deaths per 100,000 participants in 10 sports:

Mountain climbing, 599; hang gliding, 114; parachuting, 24; snowmobiling, 13; mountain hiking, 6.4; scuba diving, 2.9; boating, 2.7; Alpine ski racing, 2.5; water skiing, 0.3; and downhill skiing, 0.1.

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