The German Alpine Club publishes the mountain accident statistics 2016. There have never been so few fatal accidents, but many recoveries of uninjured mountain athletes.

Good news from the DAV Mountain Accident Statistics: DAV members as fatal as in the year 2016 have never existed since records were first introduced. However, the picture for mountain accidents as a whole is slightly different: this value reaches a new high. "The apparent contradiction can be explained quite simply," says Florian Hellberg from DAV Security Research. "More and more people are being rescued before the situation becomes life-threatening for them." For the upcoming fall season in the mountains, Hellberg appeals to mountaineers: "Do not rely on being saved in case of doubt. The most effective protection against severe mountain accidents is a good tour planning and sufficient reserves - both temporally and physically! "

The exact numbers

Thirty dead members of the alpine association in mountaineering accidents were registered in the year 2016. Thus, this statistic reaches a historical low. For comparison: 2015 were still to complain 43 dead Alpine Club members. A total of 1182 DAV members were affected by accidents and emergencies last year, or around 0,1 percent. "Including the membership growth, the individual accident risk remains at a very low level compared to previous years," explains Florian Hellberg from security research at the German Alpine Association. In fact, increasing for two decades, even relative to the number of members, but the risk of blockages.

Via ferrata: blockages cause of emergency number one

"Blockages are situations from which mountaineers can no longer free themselves and are dependent on the mountain rescue service - although they have no injuries," says Hellberg. These emergencies occur particularly frequently when using via ferrata: More than half of all rescue operations on via ferrata are due to blockages. “Via ferrata with their installed wire ropes suggest a deceptive security. Inexperienced via ferrata climbers therefore often have to undertake tours that are too difficult. "

Indoor climbing: mistakes in the rope or safety equipment often blame

Indoorklettern is very safe. In view of the many hundreds of thousands of active people, the number of serious accidents in climbing gyms is very low: Since the turn of the millennium, a total of three DAV members have died in climbing gyms, a fatal accident occurred last year. All three deaths were due to integration error, so that the knot on the belt of the climber was not properly knotted.

Safety and training at the DAV

Experience, ability and knowledge are the most important prerequisites for a responsible approach to the dangers of mountain sports. That is why the German Alpine Club primarily focuses on training: More than 7500 volunteer course instructors are active in the 356 sections of the DAV and pass on their knowledge to the members. In doing so, they benefit from the fundamental work of security research at the DAV. It analyzes the causes of accidents in mountain sports, analyzes the behavior of mountaineers, conducts regular material tests and publishes the findings.

Data basis of the DAV mountain accident statistics

In the DAV Mountain Accident Statistics, only the accidents of DAV members are recorded - regardless of where these accidents happen. Entrance to the statistics are accidents reported by the members to the DAV (Alpine Safety Service - ASS) insurance, for example to be reimbursed for salvage costs. Due to its scope and the already long-standing survey, the DAV mountain accident statistics provide a very good basis to read developments and trends for the entire mountain sports and to draw the appropriate conclusions.

Credits: pictures and text DAV

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