‘Running of the Bulls’ vs Climbing Mount Everest: Which Is More Dangerous?

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: November 30, 2022
© Vixit/Shutterstock.com
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When you embark on an adventure, do you put your life in danger? On a never-ending pursuit of adrenaline, a lot of people go beyond the bounds of what is safe or even possible. Even though attendees do not willfully put themselves in danger, outdoor recreation comes with a risk, despite being excellent for the body, mind, and soul.

Although extreme activities come with high risks, people still engage in them. This is especially true in the traditional “Running of the Bulls” and climbing Mount Everest. Which brings us to ask: which of these two is more dangerous? This article compares the risks involved in “Running of the Bulls” and climbing Mount Everest, along with their respective death tolls and other facts.

Climbing Mount Everest

At least 310 people have died while climbing Mount Everest.


While many people know that Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, they are less familiar with its other, more horrifying moniker: the world’s biggest burial ground. Over 4,000 mountaineers have walked in the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary since they first reached the top in 1953, enduring cold weather and perilous land in exchange for a few fleeting moments of the limelight. Nevertheless, some of them remained on the mountain forever.

What Causes Deaths On Mount Everest?

Numerous causes of death exist, although most are unidentified because the climbers vanished. The causes include fatigue, falls, frostbite, rockfalls, cracks, and avalanches. There have been at least a total of 310 people who have died trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

One of the top reasons is frequent altitude sickness, which prevents the person from continuing. On Everest, there are two types of serious altitude sickness: High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which causes fluid to accumulate in the hiker’s head, and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), which causes fluid to build up in the hiker’s lungs. In any scenario, the first and only remedy is a quick descent to the ground camp followed by a helicopter ride to a lower altitude. If not treated right away, HACE and HAPE can quickly become fatal.

In addition, if you become too sick or tired to proceed, that would mean staying still and breathing. The body will drastically weaken, and the individual will inevitably succumb to nature. Even the very fit, young hikers can experience a cardiovascular arrest or heart attack brought on by extreme pressure. A fall or an avalanche could cause snow to compact, burying you beneath it, and you might die from asphyxiation.

What Is Running of the Bulls?

Many people around the world are apparently unaware of the horrific bloodbath known as “Running of the Bulls” that occurs each year at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. The organizers of the annual Running of the Bulls incarcerate bulls and steers in congested compartments before letting them loose onto the streets. A total of 2,000 people run an actual half-mile charge every day from July 7 through July 14 on the cobblestone streets with fighting bulls. The terrified bulls, who have been taught to walk the herd to the bullring, band together to seek safety.

The bulls are escorted into the bullring after being pursued approximately half a mile uphill through the winding streets. The bullfights begin when the bull arrives at the stadium, and the matadors approach him. The bullfighters push the bull to burnout as soon as it starts, forcing him to run from one end of the bullring to the other. When the bull is worn out, a man riding a horse while wearing a blindfold enters the ring. He stabs the bull in the back with a lance, making it bleed, with the goal of terrifying and weakening the animal.

In the spirit of “tradition,” the majestic bulls are then brutally killed, but supporting such culture doesn’t always make something morally correct. Bullfighting is a brutal blood sport that should have long since been consigned to the past. Bullfighting is the mutilation, torture, and killing of animals for amusement, regardless of its history.

History of Deaths From the Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls
Of the 16 runners who lost their lives at the Running of the Bulls, 14 of them hailed from Spain.


Out of 16 deaths at the Running of the Bulls, 14 were Spanish. Except for two, all these men were natives of the surrounding Navarra region. Since 1974 (the time new laws were enacted), women have taken part in the bull runs, but men have always been the ones who have died.

The first day’s bull run is typically the most hazardous, as evidenced by the Running of the Bulls’ historical record of having resulted in the greatest number of fatalities and fractures. The two years with the most deadly bull runs on record are 1947 and 1980, both of which saw two runners lose their lives.

Running of the Bulls vs. Climbing Mount Everest: Which Is More Dangerous?

Climbing Mount Everest is more dangerous than participating in Running of the Bulls because at least 310 people have perished while trying to reach its peak. Looking at all excursions over the past hundred years, on average, three trekkers die on Everest each year. Along the typical Everest routes, these dead bodies can still be discovered in various locations. Several have been around for years, while others only surface when the climate shifts and the snow moves.

Meanwhile, 16 runners have died participating in the Running of the Bulls in the last century. Although many only have scrapes and bruises, others have serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Despite the fact that deaths during the bull run are uncommon, 16 people have passed away since records began to be kept in 1910.

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  1. Climber News, Available here: https://www.climbernews.com/how-many-dead-bodies-are-on-mount-everest/#How_Do_People_Die_On_Everest
  2. Michael Graw, Available here: https://www.alpinsider.com/guides/why-is-climbing-everest-so-deadly
  3. Running of the Bulls (1970) https://www.runningofthebulls.com/history-of-the-bulls/running-of-the-bulls-deaths/#:~:text=Deaths at the Running of the Bulls&text=Many suffer minor scrapes and,began%2C 16 people have died