Hiking Related Accidents in Hong Kong

Introduction

There have been several hiking-related accidents in the past week, two of which lead to the untimely deaths of the participants. Stewart Goes Walkies laments these fatalities and we send our condolences to the families of the deceased. Both deaths were related to the extreme weather we are experiencing in Hong Kong at the present time.

Weather Details
Hot Weather Alert on the 26th July
Graphics courtesy of the Hong Kong Observatory

As you will see from the graphics shown above, the weather is extremely hot. So much so that the elderly and infirm are being advised to take precautions, even when carrying out routine trips to the market. How much more planning, therefore, is necessary when planning a serious hike.

The First Incident

While there have been several incidents reported during the past week, two, in particular, stood out.

The first involved a 52-year-old man who passed out after climbing to the summit of Sharp Peak in the Sai Kung peninsula. Sharp Peak, also known as Nam She Tsim rises to a height of 468 metres (1,535 ft). The route is designated as ‘hard’ and should only be undertaken in suitable weather, and certainly not when a Hot Weather Warning has been issued.

To add to the tragedy of the situation, the hiker involved had suffered a mild stroke seven years ago and had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

By Geographer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116052065

I climbed Sharp Peak at the age of 27. It is not a route I would even consider today at the age of 69.

The Second Incident

The second incident involved a 60-year-old man who was out hiking with his autistic son.

According to the report they set out from Ngong ping on Lantau Island with the intention of climbing Lantau Peak and descending the route known as West Dog’s Teeth, one of the ridges leading off the mountain.

Lantau Peak – By Ngchikit – Upload from en.wikipedia en:Image:404 0450.JPG, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1670169

By the time the two hikers had reached the ridge, it was already evening and the father was feeling unwell. He sat down to rest and, strangely, the son continued down the ridge by himself. At some point in time, he injured his ankle and was only found the following day by another hiker who contacted the police. While the boy was being treated it was discovered that his father was still on the mountain. Subsequent Search and Rescue operations found him on the West Dog’s Teeth ridge. Unfortunately, he had already passed away.

West Dog’s Teeth – By Nhk9 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88790297

The West Dog’s Teeth ridge is extremely hard. It is another route that I managed in my late 20s. It requires physical fitness and preparation and should not be attempted in any but the most suitable weather conditions. The fact that these hikers attempted it on one of the hottest days of the year is appalling.

Conclusion

It is very sad when any hiker passes away. Very often our love of the outdoors overshadows our common sense. Hiking fatalities are always something that happens to the ‘other guys’. If you take precautions and prepare you should be safe. Yes, you should be, but will you be prepared for any and all emergencies.

I am a firm believer in the saying that discretion is the better part of valor. This is borne out by my decision to abort the hike in the post, Kau Lui Ha to…Kau Lui Ha…? You may read about it here.

In the early 80s a friend of mine climbed Sunset Peak on Lantau on a Sunday afternoon. He was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and flip-flops. He took no food or water with him. When one of his flip-flops broke on the descent he was forced to sleep out on the mountain before continuing on to Mui Wo the following morning. He was extremely fortunate that all he received was a sleepless night and some mosquito bites.

Stewart Goes Walkies urges our readers to exercise caution. The hills and mountains are there for our enjoyment and while every outing should have a degree of a challenge it is up to the individual to assess that challenge and his or her level of fitness and experience. We need to make sure that we come back in one piece so that the outing becomes a pleasant memory that does not include a trip to the Accident & Emergency Department.

Please be safe and sensible.

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

Help us to make a commitment to the reduction of plastics in our environment. Dont buy drinking water in plastic bottles when its easy to bring it from home. Lets work together to save the planet.

 

 

Published by stewartgoeswalkies

Happily married man to a wonderful lady. Living in Hong Kong. In my younger days I enjoyed hiking, camping and rock climbing. I've trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Mt. Kinabalu in East Malaysia.

One thought on “Hiking Related Accidents in Hong Kong

Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment.

%d bloggers like this: