Question 13 is based on the following reading passage.
In the past ten years, there have been several improvements in mountain-climbing equipment. These improvements have made the sport both safer and more enjoyable for experienced climbers. Despite these improvements, however, the rate of mountainclimbing injuries has doubled in the past ten years.
13. Which of the following, if true, best reconciles the apparent discrepancy presented in the passage?
(A) Many climbers, lulled into a false sense of security, use the new equipment to attempt climbing feats of which they are not capable.
(B) Some mountain-climbing injuries are caused by unforeseeable weather conditions.
(C) Mountain climbing, although a dangerous sport, does not normally result in injury to the experienced climber.
(D) In the past ten years there have been improvements in mountain-climbing techniques as well as in mountain-climbing equipment.
(E) Although the rate of mountain-climbing injuries has increased, the rate of mountain-climbing deaths has not changed.
In this question you are asked to identify the fact that would best reconcile the apparent discrepancy that the passage presents. The discrepancy is that despite improvements in mountain climbing equipment that have made climbing safer, the incidence of mountain-climbing injuries has greatly increased. Choice A explains how this could have happened — the improvements in equipment have led climbers to attempt feats that are beyond their level of skill. Therefore, Choice A is the correct answer.
None of the other choices provides information that resolves the discrepancy. Neither Choice B nor Choice C relates to conditions that have changed over the relevant ten-year period. Choices D and E do relate to the relevant period. But if, as Choice D says, techniques as well as equipment have improved, that fact by itself only makes the increase in injuries more puzzling. Choice E provides more data about the consequences of climbing accidents, but doesn’t suggest any explanation for the increase in injuries.