Couple missing on Taiwan’s highest mountain found dead after 6-day search and rescue operation

The bodies of a couple who went missing while hiking on Yushan (Mount Jade) 9 days ago were found at the bottom of a slope below the south peak this morning, Tuesday, March 12.

Zhang Zhongyi and his wife Wang Mingli, both 55 years old, were last seen at the Yuanfeng Cabin when they left to climb the south peak on the morning of March 3. Other mountain climbers reported them missing on March 5 after they did not return to the cabin where they had left their sleeping bags and cooking utensils.

Search and rescue personnel led by Yushan National Park Headquarters and the Kaohsiung City Fire Department concentrated their search at the south peak where a trekking pole belonging to Wang was found. Freezing temperatures, icy trails, rain, strong winds, and thick fog hampered search and rescue efforts. The poor weather conditions prevented helicopter air support.

mountain search and rescue team members on icy trail on Mount Jade
Weather conditions hampered search and rescue operations. Picture: Yushan National Park Headquarters.

A total of 146 people were involved in the search, including five drone operators. At around 10:00 am this morning, drone operators located the bodies of Wang and Zhang at the bottom of a steep slope around 200 meters below the place where Wang’s trekking pole was found. Personnel finally reached the location at around noon and began to make arrangements to move the bodies to a suitable place for a helicopter airlift.

aerial map showing search area around south peak of Mount Jade
Map showing location of bodies in relation to Yuanfeng Cabin and south peak. First yellow pin marks location of Wang’s trekking pole. Picture credit: Yushan National Park Headquarters.
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