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October 17, 2011

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Expert: Few rules regulating hikers

REGULATIONS covering hikers are almost non-existent, said a Shanghai outdoor rescuer yesterday, in the wake of a controversial expedition in Sichuan Province.

A party of 14 was missing in the Siguniang mountains for 13 days, leading to an extensive search. They emerged safe last week, but were controversially told to pay just 4,100 yuan (US$642) as a fine for entering a protected area and a contribution toward rescue costs.

While climbing regulations are applied to hikers, this is inappropriate, said a rescuer with the Shanghai Outdoor Rescue Volunteer Center, with the online name "Blueice."

"When hikers are higher than the mountain climbing range, there are no laws regulating their conduct."

In a Shanghai Daily's poll on the issue (see left), 40 percent of those taking part said China needs regulations for hikers and taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for their rescue.


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