TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--A 77-year-old Malaysian man died Wednesday, possibly from hypothermia, in a mountain lodge where he stayed after an aborted ascent to Taiwan's highest peak, the 3,952-meter Jade Mountain, Chiayi County Fire Bureau confirmed.
The man, Chaiock Foong, belonged to a mountaineering team of 31 members. They arrived on Monday at Paiyun Lodge (排雲山莊), located 3,402 meters above sea level on the west slope of the mountain's main peak. They planned to climb to the top on Tuesday morning.
However, days of rain had made the route to the summit too treacherous, and the team was forced to abort the climb, firefighters said.
Friends accompanying Foong found him unconscious on Tuesday night and sought assistance immediately. Staff at the lodge performed AED and CPR, while alerting rescuing units in the area about the emergency situation. Rescuers braved the weather, heading up the mountain from a trail entrance at 2,610 meters.
After more than five hours of trekking through the night, they arrived at the lodge at 5:40 a.m., on Wednesday, but Foong was already dead.
As the inclement weather prevented a helicopter from landing at the lodge, rescuers and policemen from Jade Mountain National Park carried the body down the rugged and muddy trail, arriving at the trailhead at 11 a.m.
Rescuers urged those who want to scale high mountains to first seek medical advice before embarking on such a potentially dangerous journey.