The First High Mountain Rescue Team of China

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The First High Mountain Rescue Team of China

by kafirchen » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:52 am

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 and

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Re: The First High Mountain Rescue Team of China

by cesc » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:32 pm

Ka fei shao zi?

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Johan Heersink

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Re: The First High Mountain Rescue Team of China

by Johan Heersink » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:22 pm

That is very good news! Another sign that alpinism in China is starting to get adult.
Unfortunately here in Xinjiang there is not yet such initiative and it is not expected to come on the scene soon. Reason is also clear to see: In Sichuan, the most popular high altitude area is rather compact, and most who go there climb in Siguniang area, meaning you have a clear place where to station a rescue team. Xinjiang you are talking area's who are hundreds if not thousand or more kilometer distant from each other, all drawing part of the existing climbing scene. This complicates things greatly: Say for instance if such a rescue team were to be based in the capital of the province, Urumqi, it would be in good position to come to aid for those in trouble in Bogda Shan, but virtually useless if there was mishap in the Central or West Kunlun, the Karakoram, the Central Tien Shan and you name it!
Before a high altitude mountain rescue team in Xinjiang could be formed on a basis that it would be effective in its operation, it will be necessary to come to some kind of agreement with the airforce that they will fly in the team by helicopter to the places were it is urgently needed, (private operation of helicopters is forbidden in most of the province). Even if such proves possible in the future, the costs of such rescues would mount up astronomically high, as we know from previous experiences, (Army has actually come to the rescue of some sitting marooned South of Aksay Chin), what kind of bill will be presented for such assistance.
A positive note: At least in Muztagata area it looks that the question can be solved locally. Already for some years, Kyrghyz boys and young men offer load carrying services to expedition groups, going up as high as camp II, (6300 meter) with their specially trained donkeys, (And making a big joke of not a few "wanna be" western high altitude mountaineers, which they more than easily outrun on their torn canvas Chinese army "shoes"). When last summer two German climbers went missing high above camp III, the management of base camp recruited a couple of Kyrghyz and they managed in a very good time to get up to the spot of the accident, (where unfortunately nothing more could be done as the victims had already succumbed to the cold). If only the money were available to train some of these kids, (and in other regions populated by mountain nomads), a little more in specific techniques of mountain rescue............

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Re: The First High Mountain Rescue Team of China

by Vinny » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:37 pm

Everett Mountain Rescue in WA (in collaboration with Seattle and Olympic MR) had the pleasure of meeting some of these guys when the state department flew them over to CO and WA. ... .html#img1

It was pretty fun to get to know them even if we didn't play the publicity game as well as Rocky mountain.

MRA has an international group to collaborate on such projects and I look forward to more.

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