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The real danger of climbing starts after getting to the top

Falls currently account for about half of all hiking accidents, while other causes include cardiovascular problems and exhaustion. In 2006, the number of people injured in the Austrian Alps was 474, whereas it had risen to over 700 by 2014. The University of Innsbruck in Austria has been investigating what triggers the slip, trip or stumble. Dr Martin Faulhaber and his team analyzed the causes of 5,638 falls reported to the Austrian Alpine Police over nine years.

While hikers may feel they have conquered the hardest part after reaching the peak, in fact 75% of falls occur on the road home. A mix of loose gravel, uneven ground, exhaustion and the physical exertion of walking downhill all combine to make the descent a more treacherous journey than the climb.


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