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Climbers Flock During the Autumn Foliage Season, Need to be Careful of Mountain Accidents
  • By Jung In-hee, reporter
  • 승인 2022.10.13 13:28
  • 호수 310
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▲ Seorak Mountain colored with autumn leaves (Source: Gangwon Regional Meteorological Agency)

As the autumn foliage season begins, hikers are flocking to majorly famous mountains across the country. The colorful autumn mountain is a place that many people visit to refresh themselves. October, when autumn leaves are in full bloom, is the time when the most accidents occur, among an average of 10,000 mountain accidents a year, more attention is needed. Therefore, you should be familiar with how to prevent mountain accidents in advance and thoroughly prepare for mountain climbing.

According to the mountain accident statistics of the Gyeongsangnam-do Fire Department, a total of 2,445 mountain accidents occurred from 2017 to 2021. Among the four seasons, 857 accidents occurred from September to November alone: the fall season. According to a survey of 20 sections of the mountain trail where many accidents occurred, there were 16 in Jiri Mountain and 4 in Yeongnam Alps. In the case of Jiri Mountain 177 in the section from Cheonwangbong Kalbawi to Rotary Shelter, 171 in Jungsan-ri, and 149 in the section from Rotary Shelter to Cheonwangbong. Additionally, in the case of the Yeongnam Alps, the section from Icheon-ri, Sangbuk-myeon, Taegukjongju, to Sanwol-seon and Sangbuk-myeon, was the most common with 110. When looking at mountain accidents by type, 651 cases of general distress, 609 cases of tripping and falling, 398 cases of personal diseases, and 256 cases of exhaustion and dehydration were found. Distress, tripping and falling, accounted for more than half of the total mountain accidents.

Safety rules should be strictly adhered to prevent mountain accidents during mountain climbing. Before ascending the mountain, warm up your neck, waist, ankles, and knees, which are prone to injury. Additionally, wear long clothes that are easy to maintain body temperature in autumn, when the daily temperature varies in range. Water, high-calorie emergency foods such as chocolate, nuts, and fruits should be prepared and consumed from time to time to prevent dehydration and exhaustion. You should also walk slowly at a constant speed and take appropriate rest according to your physical strength. Since autumn has dry weather, even a small fire can cause large forest fires, so smoking or cooking should be prohibited.

If an accident occurs while hiking, it is possible to check the location of the Mountain Site Sign or the National Point Number, installed on the hiking trail and report it to 119. If you haven't found the sign at the time of your accident, you can tell 119 the location using the location transfer function of the Google Map or Kakao Talk app. If treatment is necessary, first aid should be provided with emergency medicine that is in the simple rescue first aid box, and then stabilized until the rescue team comes. The 119 Response Director of the National Fire Agency said, "We are pushing for comprehensive measures to minimize mountain accidents and casualties, including the operation of major mountain safety guards such as national parks," "Most of all, please follow the mountain safety rules."

In order to prevent mountain accidents, it is necessary to understand your physical strength and prepare for unexpected situations. After checking the weather forecast in advance before hiking, you should decide on a hiking course in consideration of your physical strength, pre-existing conditions, and illnesses. Water and snacks should be prepared to replenish physical strength and drink water. It is recommended to check cell phone batteries and take auxiliary batteries in case of an emergency. In addition, you should refrain from drinking alcohol and hiking. Furthermore, it is recommended to check the location of safety facilities in advance. Since a moment of carelessness can lead to a large accident, it is hoped you finish your pleasant hike by following safety rules carefully.

By Jung In-hee, reporter  sugar3870@naver.com

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