December 12, 2005, Chengdu, China
The project to build the first Chinese mountain rescue team, Sichuan Mountaineering Rescue Team was kicked off yesterday. Sichuan Mountaineering Association will coordinate future rescue missions. Due to scarce competent climbers in China, let alone professional mountain rescuers, such missions have always been and will be executed mostly by volunteer climbers. But, with the first team of this kind under the guidance of official mountaineering association, we can expect faster and more efficient rescue in case other civil rescue missions are to be mobilized.
Sichuan province is becoming the most popular place for Chinese climbers and it's getting known in western climbing community for its plenty formidable unclimbed mountains ranging from 5000 to 7556m. It's also becoming the most deadly mountain region due to a lot of inexperienced rushing for alpine style climbing.
Just in November, three young men lost their lives due to a fatal fall when trying Mont Tian Hai Zi (6070m). The tragedy triggered a fierce debate online; finally Sichuan Mountaineering Association agreed to lead the initiative of building the first rescue team.
For further information, please refer to www.8264.com and http://www.sma.gov.cn/