Five Great Wall Hikers Die of Hypothermia in Two Incidents

Regions around Beijing are not known for extreme weather, but within past three weeks, five hikers died of hypothermia while on trips exploring the Great Wall, including three Japanese tourists. On both occasions, inexperienced travelers were stranded on snow-covered mountains.

On November 3, four Japanese tourists, along with a Chinese guide, were caught in a snow storm while hiking the stretch of the Great Wall outside Zhangjiakou, which is approximately 200 km northwest of Beijing. The guide went down the mountains to find help, but the rescuers could not reach the stranded until 20 hours later. Three travelers died of hypothermia. The three deceased, two women and one man, were senior citizens, 62, 68 and 76 years of age.

On November 18, seven hikers from Beijing were stranded in mountains north of the city as they trekked a remote section of the Great Wall. Travelers in distress were able to call for help using their cell phones. Rescuers arrived about four hours later. By then, two of the stranded group had fallen into coma, who passed away on the way to hospital. The two victims, one man and one woman, were 57 and 57 year old. Temperature that night reportedly reached -20C˚ and snow on the ground was one to two feet.