TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A hiker went missing on Sunday night (Sept. 19) while climbing Baigu Mountain in central Taiwan, while a search Monday failed to find him.
The Nantou County Fire Bureau said it received reports Monday morning that a hiking team of 17 people that embarked on a day trip shortly after midnight on Sunday had a member missing when it returned in the evening, CNA reported.
They had planned to scale the summit of Baigu Mountain on the border of Nantou County’s Ren'ai Township and Taichung’s Heping District and return the same day. However, in the evening on the way back, a 60-year-old team member surnamed Huang (黃) went missing around Mount Sanzhui.
Huang’s wife, who also went on the trip, said that during the return trip, her husband’s footfalls sounded farther and farther off. When she called him on his cell phone and couldn't get through, she notified the team leader, Apple Online reported.
According to the fire bureau, the team leader told people to continue down the mountain, while he stayed to search for the missing hiker.
Upon receiving the reports on Monday, the bureau dispatched four firefighters to search for Huang and applied to the National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) for a helicopter to assist in the effort.
The NASC said the helicopter reached the target area at 1:16 p.m. but was forced to turn back by clouds and mist. However, the ground search is still ongoing.
At an elevation of 3,341 meters, Baigu Mountain is regarded as one of the four hardest mountains to climb along the Central Cross-Island Highway, all of which are on the list of Taiwan’s 100 Peaks. The other three peaks are Mt. Bilu, Mt. Yangtou, and Mt. Pingfeng.
A roundtrip from the trailhead to the summit of Baigu Mountain and back usually takes anywhere from 10 to 20 hours.