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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

St. Catherine hiking trip organised by unofficial agency: Tourism ministry

Ministry clarifies that the hiking trip in which four Egyptians died after being caught in a snow storm was not undertaken with an experienced, authorised guide

Ahram Online, Thursday 20 Feb 2014
 Saint Catherine city snow
A view of Saint Catherine city and mountains covered by snow during winter, South Sinai, Egypt (Photo courtesy of web site)
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Views: 2279

Egypt's tourism ministry suggested that the eight hikers stranded by a snow storm near Saint Catherine Monastery were responsible for getting lost in the mountains because they set off with inexperienced Bedouin guides.

Their hiking trip was not organised by any official tourism agency under the supervision of the tourism ministry, the ministry's spokesperson Rasha El-Azazi said on Thursday.

The eight Egyptian hikers lost their way in the mountains on Monday after their guide abandoned them. A snow storm soon blew in and four of the hikers died.

According to Bedouin sources near the monastery, the leader of the hikers had bypassed two qualified guides due to their high rates and then hired the inexperienced and cheaper guide.

The guide then misled the group, allowed them to get separated and then left all of them alone on Monday, making his way back to Saint Catherine by himself.


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20-02-2014 08:10pm
Many kept asking the authorities to rescue them, but it was Bedouins who went into the mountainous area and rescued the survivors, Mostafa said. The victims’ friends asked the authorities to send a helicopter to save the other four who are on the peak of the mountain, but they received different responses, he said. They were told that the missing people are not foreigners and that is why authorities cannot move. Another response was that authorities need three days to finish some procedures first. Another said that they cannot go there because the area is not equipped with a helipad, he said.
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