TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of mountaineering accidents in Taiwan’s southern county of Pingtung has tripled since last year, the county's Bureau of Fire and Emergency Services said on Monday (Dec. 21).
The bureau attributed the increase in mountaineering accidents to the increase in people engaging in mountain climbing, which is believed to be driven by pandemic restrictions on overseas travel.
According to the bureau’s statistics, there have been 30 mountaineering accidents so far this year, leaving seven people dead and 10 injured, CNA reported. Of the 30 accidents, 10 happened on Beidawu Mountain, which is 3,092 meters in elevation and one of Taiwan’s renowned 100 peaks.
Based on statistics compiled by the Pingtung Forest District Office, a total of over 32,000 people ascended the mountain in the first 11 months of this year, compared to 24,700 people in 2019 and 22,800 in 2018. The number of hikers climbing the mountain in a single day has also multiplied this year, the office added.
The Beidawu Mountain Trail has been slippery due to frequent rains in recent days, especially on the ridge line after kilometer mark 7.4, the office said. It added that the slippery condition is expected to last more than two weeks.
Beidawu Mountain (Facebook, 郭文全 photos)