It is a common misconception that climbing is dangerous.

The following statement may shock those of a nervous disposition.

Climbing is not dangerous!

I state this because most people have a misconception or misunderstanding between danger and risk. A danger is ever present whereas risk is the likelyhood of that danger happening.

Consider the following two statements:

  • A hungry tiger is dangerous.
  • A hungry tiger is risky.

Well a hungry tiger is dangerous, but it is only a risk if it is in your vicinity. It is very risky if it is in the same room as yourself!

This is why insurance companies insure against risk and not danger. If they insured against the latter then they would always be paying out as the danger would be guaranteed. As they insure against risk then they are working the odds on you crashing your car; being struck by lightening; etc. Thus if climbing were dangerous then everyone would only have the chance to do one climb before they were killed or seriously injured. As climbing is merely risky we get the chance to climb another day!