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Adventure travel can be deadly

By Qu Zhi (Shanghai Daily)

14:13, July 15, 2013

(Shanghai Daily)

Shanghai adventure traveler Xu Guang was last seen one month ago in scenic Hemu village in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. There's been no sign of him since then.

On June 8, the IT engineer in his 30s left Shanghai for a solo hiking trip in Xinjiang in China's far northwest and planned to fly back 11 days later. He was an experienced hiker and backpacker, but hiking solo breaks a cardinal rule of adventure travel: don't go alone.

On the afternoon of June 10, Xu sent a text message to his father in Shanghai, saying he had arrived near Kanas area. He said that because of the remote location, there might be no signal as he traveled. He told his father not to worry. Nothing was heard from him since then.

His family finally called for help when he didn't return to Shanghai.

Search parties were dispatched, based on a planned travel route Xu released earlier in an online forum. They found no sign of Xu, no footprints.

On July 1, the Xinjiang Shanyou Mountain Rescue Team announced it was time to abandon the search, according to Sichuan media. The leader called it "a tough decision," but said the terrain was too hazardous, the team was all-volunteer and they had found no signs of Xu. His chances of survival in the harsh terrain and flood season were next to nothing.

The next day, another rescue team from the Kanas police and volunteers from the mountain rescue team set off for the rugged uninhabited area in the upper reaches of the Hemu River. So far no information has been heard.

In recent years, rugged, adventure trips (ye you ò°ó?) to undeveloped scenic places has become a trend. Over the last 10 years, there has been an increasing number of lost, trapped and injured travelers, as well as dozens of fatalities.

On July 7, a 50-year-old man in an adventure team of 38 members died by falling from the waterfall in Juxi Grand Canyon in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. Another trekker surnamed Wen has been missing in the same place for more than 15 days while still has no trace for the search. According to the Zhejiang media, the landscape is very complicated and difficult that both victims lack professional equipment to ensure safety.

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