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Re: The climbing season of 2006 was the deadliest on record for those [#permalink]
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Official Explanation

The mountaineering experts have asserted that exceptionally good weather is directly linked to the record number of fatalities. The correct answer choice will demonstrate the nature of that link.

(A) Whether or not the climbers expected the good weather and were subsequently surprised does not explain how this surprise would contribute to the record death toll.

(B) CORRECT. While it may be reasonable to assume that good weather would cause a lower percentage of people attempting to reach the summit to perish because bad weather typically creates complications which have fatal consequences, the absolute number of fatalities could increase if a much higher number of people attempt to reach the summit. This answer choice states that there was a significant increase in the number of people entering the “death-zone,” the area of the mountain where “almost all” of fatalities took place. Hence, this provides a reasonable explanation of how the good weather was a cause of the record number of fatalities.

(C) This implies that the “death-zone” is more survivable during good weather than in bad and does more to refute the experts’ conclusion than it does to explain it.

(D) The fact that modern equipment protects climbers in bad weather does not provide any insight as to why good weather would result in an increased number of fatalities.

(E) The decrease in the number of expert climbers does nothing to explain the overall increase in deaths. In order to do so, the answer choice must either show or imply that either non-expert climbers have a higher probability of dying due to the good weather, or the number of non-expert climbers has increased enough to overcome any decrease in the probability of them perishing and any deaths that may have occurred in the expert group prior to their decrease in numbers; the answer choice does neither.

Answer: B
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