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Climber's Death Sounds Alarm
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Huang De, a junior at Beijing's Tsinghua University, fell to his death when climbing down a mountain in southwest China's Guizhou Province around noon on Saturday.

Huang fell after a piece of rock he was grasping broke off.

His companions, Wang Rongtao and Zhang Weihua, both graduates of Peking University, and two guides dared not move after the fall. One of the guides finally went back to a local village for help on Saturday evening.

It was not until the next afternoon that the two trapped climbers and the other guide were rescued.

"We have reminded our climbers to pay more attention to safety," said Sun Lin, a student working at the Tsinghua University Mountaineering Association.

Currently, a team of 13 Tsinghua climbers is in northwest China's Qinghai Province to scale a 6,600-meter mountain.

After hearing of Huang's death, the climbers postponed the climb because of the potential risks.

Sun said the climbers in Qinghai are now in good spirits despite the death.

A member of Peking University's Mountain Eagles Club said the club's plans to climb a peak of more than 6,000 meters in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have not been changed.

In recent years, mountaineering has gained popularity among college students.

Students from Peking and Tsinghua, China's top two universities, have earned the most acclaim in the field.

Last July, 16 members of the Mountain Eagles Club climbed the 6,178-meter Mount Yuzhu in Qinghai.

Meanwhile, 14 students from the Tsinghua University Mountaineering Association reached the peak of the 6,590-meter Mount Samdain Kangsang in the Nyainqentanglha Mountains in northern Tibet.

But enthusiastic students have been accompanied by accidents, sometimes fatal.

Five members of the Mountain Eagles Club died or were presumed dead after they were hit by an avalanche when trying to reach Mount Shisha Pagma's 7,292-meter western face in Tibet in August 2002.

(China Daily July 6, 2004)

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