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China: Around The Nation

Two American hikers rescued after becoming stranded on China’s Great Wall

Firemen track down men, who got into difficulty in fading light while walking along dilapidated mountainous section of wall north of Beijing on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 2:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 2:15pm

Two Americans had to be rescued after becoming stranded in fading light while walking along one of the most dilapidated and dangerous sections of China’s Great Wall, mainland media reported.

An ambulance and seven firefighters from Huairou district, in northern Beijing were called out to help when the two hikers got into difficulties on a mountainous, dilapidated stretch of the Great Wall last Sunday, news website Fawan.com reported.

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The remote section of the wall – known as Jiankou or “arrow nock” because the jagged rock faces along the route are shaped like the notch on the end of an arrow – has never been restored and has fallen into disrepair and can be treacherous to climb.

Fireman tracked down the location of the hikers – a 30-year-old student at Beijing Foreign Studies University and his cousin, 26, who teaches English in South Korea – after calling them on their mobile phones.

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The hikers were spotted after an hour when they flashed lights on their phones at the approaching firemen after the sun had gone down.

Both hikers had suffered only slight bruises.

The Jiankou section – stretching for about 80km of the Great Wall’s total length of 21,000km across nine provinces – was built between the 3rd century BC and the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Although it is largely dilapidated it attracts many hikers from around the world because it offers stunning scenery.

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The US travel review forum, TripAdvisor, includes comments of hikers who have climbed the most dangerous parts of Jiankou, with one person describing it as “almost like rock climbing with out the safety rope”.

The Beijing Evening News reported that this steep section of the Great Wall has trapped many hikers in the past.

One climber died following a fall there in 2014 and more than 150 people had to be rescued while hiking along that section in 2013.

Renovation work was now taking place along a 1km stretch of the Jiankou section, the Beijing Timesreported last year.