Sunday, June 6, 2010

school boy hurt in mount kinabalu

"a secondary 2 boy on a school trip to sabah's mount kinabalu fell on the descent on tuesday, fracturing his hand and injuring his head."

it is never comforting to read such news, more so when you are about to embark on your first trip to mount kinabalu in two weeks' time. however, i was not alarmed enough to the point of considering aborting the trip. this is not the first time i have heard about climbers having to be stretchered out and carried down the mountain by porters or by their own companions.

one of my balestier walking 'kakis' who went with a group of 28 in march this year reported that one of the climbers in her group also suffered the same fate. another friend also cautioned me because the same unfortunate thing happened to someone she knows.

so, it seems like falling and getting injured during the descent - yes, most of the accidents took place on the way down - is not big news. if you look at statistics, the descent is more dangerous than the ascent when it comes to mountain climbing. take the case of the matterhorn in switzerland. it has claimed more than 500 lives and most of them were lost during the descent.

although climbing mount kinabalu is not a technical climb as no special equipment or apparatus is needed, one still needs to be suitably prepared for the activity.

one has to be reasonably fit and one's muscles must be conditioned for the task ahead by doing a lot of climbing, up as well as down. a good training ground is the bukit timah nature reserve. my 'adviser' took me on a route that included the rock path, rengas path, dairy farm loop and northview path.

a good pair of trail shoes is preferred to track shoes. the rocky surface can get wet and slippery after a rain and a pair of shoes with good grip will reduce the risk of slipping and falling. the shoes should not be too tight, neither should they be too loose. thick woollen socks will help to keep the feet warm.

to prevent injuries to the hands, climbers should wear gloves, preferably the woollen type. gloves will protect your hands from rope burn and cuts as well as provide some comfort from the cold.

descending the steep gradient, the pressure on the knees will be tremendous. a trekking pole or
walking stick will help to reduce the pressure and improve your balance somewhat. once you have reached the summit and watched the sunrise, there is no need to be in a hurry to get to the rest house at laban rata.


Ida said...

i think i buy you a pillowcase ok? you strap to yourself when climbing mt kinabalu. wear helmet also!!

Yu-Kym said...

I agree that the descent is more dangerous than the ascent. It's partly because our muscles are tired from the ascent.