Mountaineering fatalities on aconcagua: 2001-2012

Jeffrey Westensee, Ignacio Rogé, Jon D. Van Roo, Carlos Pesce, Sam Batzli, D. Mark Courtney, Matthew P. Lazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


High altitude mountaineering is a dangerous endeavor due to the hypoxic hypobaric environment, extreme weather, and technical skills required. One of the seven summits, Aconcagua (6962 m) is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Its most popular route is nontechnical, attracting >3000 mountaineers annually. Utilizing data from the Servicio Médico Aconcagua (park medical service), we performed a retrospective descriptive analysis with the primary objective of deriving a fatality rate on Aconcagua from 2001 to 2012. The fatality rate on Aconcagua was then compared to other popular mountains. For climbers who died, we report all available demographic data, mechanisms of death, and circumstances surrounding the death. Between 2001 and 2012, 42,731 mountaineers attempted to summit Aconcagua. There were 33 fatalities. The fatality rate was 0.77 per 1000, or 0.077%. The fatality rate on Aconcagua is lower than that on Everest or Denali but higher than that on Rainier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-303
Number of pages6
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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