104 Lost Chinese Hikers Rescued

First question: How did over 100 hikers ever get lost?

As China's massive population goes upwardly mobile, they're expanding into outdoor pursuits at a rapid rate. More hikers means more lost hikers, which in turn means more rescues. But China's gotta do everything big—even when it comes to search-and-rescue: 104 freaking climbers got lost and were subsequently rescued in Huiyang Lovers’ Valley in the Pingshan Mountains.

The outdoor climbers group “wind runners” was earlier formed spontaneously by some climbing amateurs by posting forum through internet. On June 28th at 8:00am, the 104 climbing group members, led by an employee of a shenzhen transportation company, rented two buses and headed for the Shitouhe Reservoir for climbing from Shenzhen Gymnasium. At about 21:00pm, the 104 members were lost and stranded in the Lovers’ Valley due the darkness.

"Due the darkness?" It's amazing that out of 104 hikers, no one took notice of 1) where they were going, and 2) "the darkness." That's some serious herd mentality. Luckily, Chinese authorities scrambled 230 rescuers, and no one was injured.

It's amazing that those 334 people ever found each other in the wilderness.

(Learn more about Chinese backpacking's rapid expansion in "The People's Hiking Revolution," from our March issue.)

—Ted Alvarez

104 stranded climbers rescued in Shenzen (Shenzen Post)

via The Goat