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2 hikers fall to their deaths after climbing mountain in northern Taiwan

Leader of mountaineering tour tumbles into valley with elderly hiker after trying to pull him to safety

(Hsinchu County Fire Bureau photo)

(Hsinchu County Fire Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two men died on Saturday (Feb. 26) after falling into a steep valley on Mt. Pintian in Hsinchu County's Jianshi Township.

The Hsinchu County Fire Bureau received a report that day that two members of a mountaineering guided tour had fallen into V-Shape Valley. After receiving the report, the bureau called for a helicopter to transport a search and rescue team to the mountain.

Chen Jun-you (陳軍佑), commander of the fire bureau's second group, told CNA that the rescuers spotted the first victim that afternoon 100 meters below the point where the accident occurred.

The rescuers decided to rappel down the steep snow-covered valley wall, and they reached the man after one hour. They found the other one not far from the first, Chen said, adding that both were dead when they were found.

The rescuers transported their remains to the summit of the mountain before heading to nearby Xinda Cabin to spend the night, the fire bureau official said. A helicopter was arranged to transport the bodies to Zhudong Township on Sunday, he added.

According to Chen, one of the deceased, surnamed Wu (吳), 50, was the leader of the six-member mountaineering team. The group had embarked on a five-day trek to climb the Wuling Quadruple Mountains (Mt. Pintian, Mt. Chiyou, Mt. Tao, and Mt. Kalaye) as well as the mountains around Mt. Dabajian.

They left Xinda Cabin to climb Mt. Pintian that morning and had planned to return to the cabin after reaching the summit, the fire bureau official said.

Chen cited members of the mountaineering team as saying that upon reaching the valley as they returned, a 67-year-old man surnamed Chen (陳) slipped and fell on the steep, icy trail. Wu then tried to pull him back, which caused both of them to tumble into the valley below.