More People Stranded as Climbing Gains Popularity amid Epidemic


Nagano, Aug. 11 (Jiji Press)--As the summer climbing season swings into full gear and climbing has been increasingly popular amid the novel coronavirus crisis, more people have been stranded in mountains in the central Japan prefecture of Nagano.

Climbing is gaining traction as a leisure activity that can be enjoyed without creating close-contact settings that increase the risk of coronavirus infection.

The number of climbers who were stranded in mountains in the prefecture in July came to 48, up from seven a year before and up from 36 in July 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the mountain safety division of the Nagano prefectural police department.

Lone climbers accounted for 19, or about 40 pct of the total. The proportion was far higher than the average of 27.7 pct in the past five years. Of the July 2021 total, seven died, and six of them climbed solo.

Of the 48 people, 14 were in their 50s, nine each in their 40s, 60s and 70s, and seven in their 30s or younger. During the four-day weekend in late July, 29 climbers got lost, and four of them died.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press