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Record 3,506 people stranded on Japanese mountains in 2022

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Holy smokes. That is a big problem. Rescue services need to be improved.

Of those stranded, 327 people died or went missing,

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yeah thats 10 per day, lets tax them quick

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Put a sign at the start of each climb to inform potential climbers that if they need rescue.... THEY WILL BE CHARGED THE FULL COST.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Most people already know they have to pay the full cost of rescue... they just do not think it is going to happen to them. There is no voluntary rescue service like the UK and people have always had to get insurance to pay for mountain rescue in Japan.

It is not cheap though. Most services want annual cover costs and lots of people go hiking less than 5 times a year. The Post Office used to offer an easy over the counter insurance for the weekend but that might have finished. I hiked 30-45 weekends a year in Japan for over 20 years but rarely got insurance except for tossing a 5 yen coin into a shrine collection box. We were experienced but as they say in Japan, 'even monkeys fall out of trees'. We did a lot of difficult trips.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Holy cow! Holy smoke!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Getting lost on Mt Takao is quite a feat.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Nearly 80 percent of the stranded people were in the mountains for climbing purposes

Is this actually "climbing" or the incorrect translation as usual really means hiking?!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Wow I'm surprised how big that number is. The Japanese I know or who have hiked with are always well prepared and kitted out.

Btw 30 days rescue insurance through Yamap costs 650 yen for 30 days cover, which is very reasonable.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

In Japan, the major cause of mountain deaths during the designated period was trauma followed by hypothermia, cardiac death and then avalanche-related death.

The mountain rescue team in Japan comprises police organisations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8814748/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A very unfortunate but normal occurrence in Japan. And yet, we don't see the Japanese pointing fingers at their own people for getting in troubles in the mountains. But a foreigner gets involved in an avalanche during winter and lo and behold, fingers pointing from all corners.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"Insufficient equipment and unreasonable planning are often the causes (of accidents in mountains)," an NPA official said. "We recommend people plan well in advance and check weather information to prevent such accidents."

I've seen this happen. People climb with just the clothing and gear they have when they commute and expect to just wing the hike without much issue. While I don't expect the average person to be prepared completely for the outdoors, in the very least they should be decently prepared. This also includes being physically fit and are prepared to handle simple emergencies such as bad weather.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At Yosemite, they charge people if they have to be rescued. Sometimes these rescue missions can cost millions of dollars. If that's what tax payers are being charged every year to rescue these people who have no idea what they are doing, I am all for charging them for the rescue, rather than having tax payers front the bill

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You pay for the helicopters if needed. Have insurance.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Holy smokes. That is a big problem. Rescue services need to be improved.

Not really. 3506 out of 500,0000 who go hiking every year, is  a small number.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I've seen a report on tv that said lots of "sounan" callouts were on lower mountains, not alpine ones. Mountains where you are hiking entirely through woodland. When going through woods, there can be forks in the trail that are barely marked and can be easily mistaken if its dark or the spot is overgrown. If a mountain is only 900m high, it can be tempting to think you'll be up there in two hours at most and head up even if its 2pm.

Usually its a 6C temp drop for 1000m of vert, so add a bit of wind and the sun going in, and that 900m mountain could easily be 10C colder at the top, risking hypothermia.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Holy smokes. That is a big problem. Rescue services need to be improved.

At no point in this article did it say that the rescue services were at fault. The big problem is that hikers need to understand the conditions and be better prepared. I'd like to know how many people actually take out insurance before their hikes. If you're a day's hike away from any civilization and you sprain your ankle, what can you do?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well..........it's pretty simple. Don't climb mountains.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The sad thing is .....these unprepared idiots get lost or trapped up mountains and then other people have to risk their lives to go and rescue them. Nature is very beautiful and exhilarating but also deadly for the ill-prepared. Do your homework and be prepared, check the long range weather forecast. I have done 1000s of kilometers of hiking and climbing and I am always shocked by some of the people that you meet along the way who dont even have the right footwear on !!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Phillip bear.

Must be beautiful along the south coast of Tassie. Been there a few years back but couldn’t go on any long hikes… would love to someday go into the south west area… amazing place…

I’ve had a few scares with ankle rolls in the past… I only ever use high cut hiking boots now just in case… I think they make a nice difference in support… albeit with a slight impact on extra weight and some flex.

Safe Hiking everyone!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some head out in minimal clothes on a nice sunny day not realising that the weather can turn cold and/or wet and windy.

This is certainly true for any mountain environment. The other elephant in the room is fake Goretex shells/jacket. Not a problem in Japan, but my neighbour in NZ, whose property is accessed by trampers/hikers has had to rescue quite few whose fake chinese apparel has left them very wet and cold when a storms come through. I have had people on my property sheltering in my shed as well (without permission). Similar issue.

Poor quality (read untested, but rated 4 seasons) shelters and apparels can be a killer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you require alpine rescue in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire (US), they will go through your gear and note the clothing you had on/with you. If you were not at all prepared for the conditions you put yourself into, YOU pay for the rescue- the chopper, the whole bit. If you were prepared but just got into a jam (sometimes things just happen), as long as your gear checks out, you don't pay. The state covers it, along with the Air National Guard Blackhawk they call in.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

An NPA official said: "We recommend people plan well in advance and check weather information to prevent such accidents."

Couldn't agree more - in other words...You're ignorant with no regards for educational and survival skill.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Even with the right equipment, training, and preparation, there are still accidents. Register your route and schedule with the police before climbing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Choice. Go climb a mountain or sit on your couch playing computer games.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most of those rescued are old people.

How many were on their own when happening ?

I imagine since it is a nearly free hobby more and more hikers so more rescues.

The more urban one is the less prepared in general about the weather.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Choice. Go climb a mountain or sit on your couch playing computer games.

Those are the only choices?

How about

dig over the allotment and plant some veggies

take the grandkids out for the day

cook something really scrumptious for dinner

join a sewing/knitting/go/chess/volunteer/pottery/tennis/dance club.

go to the gym

learn to play the piano/saxophone/violin/drums

join a choir or chorus group

take your significant other to an onsen or a spa

Life has much more to offer than the either/or of falling off a mountain/stagnating on the couch.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have been wearing the same Wrangler climbing boots with a hard toe, for 25 years and they will outlast me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kind of scary considering that as time goes on, surveillance gets better.

But, people get stranded on Mt. Takao? The only way I can picture someone getting stuck is attempting to climb an alternate trail in a wheelchair at midnight.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cleo

Today 02:34 pm JST

Choice. Go climb a mountain or sit on your couch playing computer games.

> Those are the only choices?

> How about

It is interesting that all those things you list are basically inside activities and with the exception the garden and the gym itls the only one that really constitute any form of healthy exercise.

Why not go hiking, take the grandchildren, learn about nature, learn about the fauna, do some birdwatching, get some exercise, etc...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When we lived in Nagano, we climbed many of the peaks. We belonged to a local club and if the climb was going to be hard we trained for 2-3 months beforehand. We always went with an alpine guide who would be in radio contact with other alpine guides. The equipment we used had to be agreed upon by the club to maintain safety standards. After 2,000 meters I had to be careful. Once I had altitude sickness when my brain turns into soup. Having good boots is important to wear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

all those things you list are basically inside activities

???

tennis (as an example, other sports are available, most are played outdoors).

take the grandkids OUT for the day

dancing may be an indoor activity, but my friend tells me she finds it very energetic and very good exercise

another friend tells me playing the sax really builds up the lungs

pottering around the allotment/garden is also a great way to commune with Nature, watch the birds, learn about the critters, get some back-breaking exercise in.

Yeah, why not go hiking, if that's your thing? My list of suggestions wasn't meant to be exhaustive, just a few alternatives to falling off a mountain (outdoor activity) or stewing on the couch (indoor non-activity), which Rodders was telling us were the only choices.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wallace

When we lived in Nagano, we climbed many of the peaks. We belonged to a local club and if the climb was going to be hard we trained for 2-3 months beforehand. We always went with an alpine guide who would be in radio contact with other alpine guides. The equipment we used had to be agreed upon by the club to maintain safety standards. After 2,000 meters I had to be careful. Once I had altitude sickness when my brain turns into soup. Having good boots is important to wear.

That sounds like so much fun! No wonder so many people want to do it. Throw in the fact you get nothing for completing the task, and the extra bonus of possible death or serious injury, and I'm so there! Where do I sign up?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

garypen

   wallace

>    When we lived in Nagano, we climbed many of the peaks. We belonged to a local club and if the climb was going to be hard we trained for 2-3 months beforehand. We always went with an alpine guide who would be in radio contact with other alpine guides. The equipment we used had to be agreed upon by the club to maintain safety standards. After 2,000 meters I had to be careful. Once I had altitude sickness when my brain turns into soup. Having good boots is important to wear.

> That sounds like so much fun! No wonder so many people want to do it. Throw in the fact you get nothing for completing the task, and the extra bonus of possible death or serious injury, and I'm so there! Where do I sign up?

There are many rewards in achieving a climb. There are many various flowers that only grow at altitudes. The incredible views from the top. Every day in our lives is the possibility of death and serious injury just walking down the street. You can join your local climbing club which is also part of the fun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleo,

I think you are missing the spiritual component of mountain climbing;

It's not just about physical activity ( eg, gym, tennis and those others you suggested).

For some people, climbing a mountain is a spiritual experience.

Yes, one can go to a temple for spiritual experience.

But there's something very human and very spiritual about praying at a shrine on top of a mountain that you've just climbed.

And the sunrise/sunrise up there is something that makes you feel one with the Universe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sunrise / sunset
1 ( +1 / -0 )

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