As the number of climbers increased, so did the number of those that missing in 2012. The National Police Agency reported on Thursday that with 2,465 missing climbers, last year set the highest record since 1961. The record had also increased by almost 50 percent over the decade.
Mountain-climbing has become more common among people, regardless of age. Data gathered revealed that 1,837 or 75 percent of the missing climbers in 2012 were at least 40 years old. The data revealed that there were 1,254 rescued climbers and 927 injured, but 249 climbers have died while 35 are still unaccounted for. “As the mountaineering boom continues among middle-aged and older people, many climbers draw up challenging plans that do not suit their physical strength, make wrong judgments about weather conditions and head into the mountains under-equipped,” said an NPA official. Geographically, Nagano Prefecture has the most incidents with 254 missing people. Hokkaido came next with 155 followed, by Toyama Prefecture with 107 climbers gone missing.
Various situations have been found as reasons for the climbers to go missing. The main reason found was simply getting lost, accounting to 42 percent of the missing climbers. Falling recorded 15 percent, while those who slipped contributed 14 percent missing people. There were also climbers who got sick, 8 percent, and suffered from fatigue, 4 percent. Mountain-climbing always needs to be done with proper precautions especially for people in and past the middle-age. The older a climber is, the higher the risk is for having accidents and health-related incidents.
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