While many mountaineers have considered Aconcagua to be one of the safest mountains to climb, it is also the peak with the most fatality rate in South America. Aconcagua sure has the advantage of being non-technical, hence not requiring any equipment or gears at all, and to be fair, one might not even need an artificial oxygen support to reach the top. But, there sure are reasons as to why the mountain may not be as kind as one might think it is.
Throughout the years, there have been several deaths in Aconcagua, and in this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about Aconcagua deaths. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!
What is another name for Aconcagua?
Mount Aconcagua has been named “Mountain of Death” by the mountaineers who have climbed or attempted to climb the mountain. This is because this mountain is the deadliest one in South America and many people have died in the mountain throughout the years.
What is the fatality rate of Aconcagua?
Mount Aconcagua has a fatality rate of 0.77 per 1,000. As per the data of The US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, as of the year 2012, there were 42,731 mountaineers who climbed the mountain, but out of this population, 33 could not make it out of the mountain alive.
On an annual basis, the deaths happen in the frequency of three people. Hence, over the years, the number of deaths have been increasing since the time the record was made by the institution in 2012. The mountain and its conditions really are not one to be taken lightly, as it can be fatal when you are overly reckless or even slightly mindless.
Why is the death rate in Aconcagua high?
The death rate in Aconcagua is high not just in Argentina but also in the entire continent of South America. Moreover, it must be kept in mind that while the mountain is not technical and has been considered fairly easy to climb, not everyone can reach the summit. And, not everyone can make it out alive if they push themselves too much, either.
In Aconcagua, there is almost no restriction for anyone to make an expedition. Hence, almost anyone can attempt to climb the mountain. The accessibility, sadly, is also the downside of the mountain. A lot of people who do not even have experience climbing mountains make an attempt to climb Aconcagua without acknowledging the fact that this is, after all, one of the most dangerous mountains in the whole of South America. On top of this, many mountaineers or mountain enthusiasts find the mountain fascinating since it is one of the seven summits in the world.
This way, they do not get enough training before climbing up the mountain. Many of these climbers do not have knowledge about good acclimatization and high altitude sickness. This further adds up to the reasons why Aconcagua might be fatal to one. While it is least likely for experienced mountaineers to not make it out of the mountain, inexperienced climbers really should not attempt to expedite the mountain unless they have trained enough with both the climbing skills and the high altitude conditions. Similarly, underage or people who have crossed a certain age might not be safe when they are climbing this mountain, in contrast to the mountaineers who have climbed Aconcagua despite being of a certain age. It is necessary to know that some of these climbers have been an exception, and not everyone can be favored by the mountain.
How many people have died in Aconcagua?
To this day, many people have died in Aconcagua. There is a death rate of 0.77 in the mountain. And, every year, at least 3 people have been recorded to have died here. While there is no record of every climber who has died in this peak, it is evident as per the activities since the past that over a hundred people have died in Aconcagua to this day.
Though not every single death has been mentioned in the news and other media portals, there has been a few notable deaths in Aconcagua that we have mentioned below.
1. Federico Campanini
Federico Campanini was only 31 years old when he died in Mount Aconcagua in the year 2009. He was with a team who recorded the whole event. This further went on to be very controversial among the media and the viewers as the mountain climber did not make it out alive. Everyone who was with him, including the cameraman, was seen to have been struggling to save the young climber while also encouraging him to not give up. Unfortunately, the Argentinian-Italian climber fought to his last breath in the snow but did not survive. His father made a statement about how the mountaineers went to get a corpse and returned with a survivor.
In the same year, another 38-year-old female mountaineer Elena Senin also died in the mountain. Around 4 other people besides Federico and Elena died in Aconcagua the same year.
2. David Reinhart & Eric Nourse
In 2012, real estate executive David Reinhart and his friend Eric Nourse perished in the mountain at the height of 22,000 feet, which was not very far from the summit of Aconcagua. The pair died from altitude sickness. The only person who made it out alive was Nourse’s twin brother Greg. Greg always seemed to have a thing for climbing and his wife shared that there was something different and strange about him that parted him from the other mountaineers who went to Aconcagua with him.
3. Jarod Von Rueden and Francis Keenan
Jarod Von Rueden and Francis Keenan were only 22 and 28 years old respectively when they perished in Mount Aconcagua in the year 2013. They were from the United States and apparently, had gone to the mountain in an appropriate hour of the day. The two fell to their death beds after falling in 65.5 feet crevasse.