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Woman found dead after suspected fall during solo climb on Xueshan

02/13/2024 07:22 PM
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A National Airborne Service helicopter. Photo courtesy of Miaoli County Fire Bureau Feb. 13, 2024
A National Airborne Service helicopter. Photo courtesy of Miaoli County Fire Bureau Feb. 13, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) A female climber died after apparently slipping and falling while climbing Xueshan alone at the weekend, with her body recovered and flown down the mountain by a rescue helicopter Tuesday, according to Miaoli County Fire Bureau.

The bureau received a report from an outdoor safety group that helps to monitor climbers who register with the organization on Sunday night that a woman surnamed Lin (林) failed to check in after climbing Mount Karantakan North Peak located in Shei-pa National Park, said Lo Cheng-ming (羅政銘), a deputy commander from the bureau.

A team of 14 rescuers, including Special Search and Rescue Team members, volunteer firefighters, park rangers and volunteers from hiking organizations were dispatched to the mountain immediately, Lo said.

The climber, a 41-year-old New Taipei resident, had with her an Inreach device which tracks the position of the wearer automatically and helped the rescue team find her on Monday afternoon, said the bureau.

Lin was found in a prone position, about 150 meters from the ridge where she was hiking, without vital signs, Lo added.

Due to volatile weather conditions and the darkening skies, the rescue team waited until the next morning before sending for a National Airborne Service helicopter to transport the body back down the mountain on Tuesday noon.

During the rescue mission, a rescue member surnamed Chen (陳) also slipped and fell part of the way down the ridge, but fortunately only suffered minor cuts and bruises, Lo noted.

A rescue member who has fallen down the mountain ridge is hauled up by a National Airborne Service helicopter. Photo courtesy of Miaoli County Fire Bureau Feb. 13, 2024
A rescue member who has fallen down the mountain ridge is hauled up by a National Airborne Service helicopter. Photo courtesy of Miaoli County Fire Bureau Feb. 13, 2024

The fire bureau noted that Xueshan is Taiwan's second-highest peak. In addition to challenging terrain, hiking trails are often icy and the weather changes rapidly during snow season. The bureau advises hikers not to climb alone and to come equipped with an ice axe, crampons, a helmet and warm clothing to avoid accidents.

(By Kuan Jui-ping and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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