Beijing’s hiking community had a mixed reaction to news that one of its favourite spots was being viewed as dangerous and could be off limits.
A report released by the Bluesky rescue team reveals that a section of the Great Wall is the most dangerous outdoor recreation site in Beijing.
It states that the Jiankou section of the wall in Huairou district saw the most outdoor accidents in 2010, followed by Haituo Mountain in Yanqing county and Jiulong Mountain in Mentougou district.
The report said six accidents were reported for the Jiankou section of the wall during the year. Three were reported from Haituo Mountain.
American Tyler Cotton said the natural beauty of the area and the few people who go there make it worth the risk.
“I know people can be a bit cavalier about where they hike and if you choose to go to a dangerous spot, you should know what you’re doing,” he said.
People should carefully plan their trips and travel in groups if possible to minimize the danger, he added.
Hong Gao, a hiking guide with 90 per cent Travel, which takes hikers to un-restored sections of the wall, said a professional guide will also minimize any risks.
“It’s a calculated risk, for people who are well trained or who have a professional guide, it’s achievable,” he said. “But for amateur hikers, I wouldn’t advise going there.”
Zhang Ye, 34, who has visited Jiankou several times, said the report will not dampen his passion for the outdoors.
“We know the danger of mountaineering but that is definitely the charm of the sport,” he said.
There were 26 reported outdoor accidents in 2010, involving 99 people. One person died and six were injured. One of the people who was injured last year was a hiker from South Korea who broke a leg while climbing along a section of the un-restored Great Wall.