A doctor returning from an attempt on Everest this year has criticised the lack of awareness of the dangers of high altitude mountaineering. He has rightly pointed out that with better equipment and more detailed knowledge the death rate should have fallen over the years. Instead it has remained fairly constant at one death for every 10 successful summit attempts. Dr Andrew Sutherland goes a step further, asserting that there is a minimum speed of 100m per hour / hour and a half, which if a climber drops below, should indicate the need to turn around.Sounds to us like a bit of spin in a year which saw a significantly high number of people perish on the mountain. The death rate may still be at 1 in every 10, but what´s happened over the years is that more and more people are attempting the climb. Thus if you look at this another way, comparing the number of deaths with the number of attempts, successful or not the death rate has fallen significantly. Dr Sutherland´s claim that we now have better gear is also questionable. A recent expedition to Everest used clothes reconstructed from Mallory and Irvine´s ill-fated trip in 1924. The findings were quite surprising, they were perfectly well equipped in their wool and leather outfits. What we are really seeing is that despite extra knowledge and an more lightweight equipment, once beyond 8,300m (the official death zone!) we are as susceptible as ever to the affects of altitude. Source of the original article: BBC ———————————————————————– If you have any news worth reporting please contact Matt – matt@planetfear.com / 0114 2969114 ———————————————————————–