Taipei, The central government will devise regulations regarding activity in Taiwan's mountains to eliminate the confusion climbers and hikers face in navigating different rules in each county or city, an official said Thursday.
Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen told CNA that he has discussed existing regulations with major mountaineering groups and rescue associations and heard complaints about the wide disparity in rules from one county to another that leave many climbers puzzled.
Some even joked that they had to be sure to fall off a trail on the "right" side because rescue fees vary and one could go bankrupt if a county with high rescue fees came to help, he said.
Calling it "unreasonable" to have local authorities set their own regulations, Chang said he will meet with the Sports Administration, Forestry Bureau and National Park Administration next week to develop a new set of regulations for mountaineering as soon as possible.
Chang's announcement came after Gigi Wu a Taiwanese hiker known for posting photos of herself in a bikini from mountain peaks, died while hiking the Batongguan Historic Trail without a permit last month.
Her death led some fellow climbers to question why access to some parts of national parks is not allowed as they believe the government should be more proactive in opening these areas to the public as places of recreation and managing them well.
Some national parks in Taiwan close off certain areas to hikers out of environmental and safety concerns, but Chang said he will look into the issue and suggested park administrations could consider opening up to such activities as river tracing and rock climbing.
According to the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Wu entered Dongpu in Nantou County on Jan. 11, where she planned to hike the Batongguan Historic Trail in Yushan National Park until Jan. 24.
She died after falling into a ravine during a solo trek.
She apparently did not have a permit to hike the Yushan mountain range and was in violation of the law, the Nantou County Fire Department said at the time.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel