National

Nagano police issue compact tip cards to mountain climbers as accidents rise

Jiji

The Nagano Prefectural Police have created tip cards for climbing each of 50 major mountains in the sprawling prefecture.

The police have been distributing them to climbers to make them aware of risky locations on the trails and to help them choose mountains that more closely align with their skills.

The prefectural police hope the safe-climbing cards, about the size of a standard business card, will help prevent accidents as the climbing season kicks into gear.

“We created compact cards instead of leaflets that would bother climbers,” said an official at the Nagano Prefectural Police’s division for mountaineering safety.

Each card bears a photo of a mountain and lists data on the major trails, elevation differences and other features. Warnings such as “Accidents due to tiredness and hypothermia are happening frequently” and “Be aware of disasters stemming from sliding and falling rocks” are printed on the cards as well.

Also provided are stamina ratings as estimated on a scale from one to 10 and five-scale skill ratings for climbing the mountains.

The officers are distributing some 200,000 of the cards by hand at trail heads and other places. The cards also have a quick response (QR) codes for accessing a website with more information on each mountain.

Mountaineering accidents have been on an uptrend in Nagano, which is home to many popular hiking and climbing areas, such as the Yatsugatake Mountains. A record 330 accidents were reported in 2018.

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