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9 most common injuries to climbers of Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is not a technical climb, means that you don’t have to bring any special equipments or apparatus to help on your climbing. It’s a straight forward climbing, and some climbers considered it as a hiking activity.

There’s always risk on any climbing activities. As long as you are moving up or down (against or towards the gravity), you will definitely exposed to danger of falling, which may leads to injuries. Depending on your condition, falling down can be really trivial but sometimes can be dead serious.

I will write about fall at the end of this article, but let’s get through 8 most common injuries on climbers, in which I have divided it into 2 main groups:

  1. 4 Injuries from the climbing activities itself,
  2. 4 Injuries from the exposure of our body to the environment.

Emergency Department, QEH

4 Injuries from the climbing activities

1. Foot
The most common minor injuries to your foot during the climb is blisters. It can be caused by unsuitable shoes, as wearing a pair of shoe that is not your size will increase friction of your feet with the padding of the shoes. This friction can leads to annoying blisters which could really spoil your trip.

Wearing unsuitable socks can also be one of the causes, as nylon & polyester material will not absorb your sweat properly and they usually are not thick enough to do it. Thick socks from wool material is the most suitable, as it could absorb sweat, isolate heat (which will help you warm your feet at the peak) and protect your feet from friction with the inside padding of the shoes (which could leads to blister formation). Cotton socks is unsuitable as you are at risk of hypothermia as it retains water.

2. Hands
Hand injuries usually happened at your second stage of your climb, where you use it almost all the time to hold the guide rope on the Summit Trail. As the trail is more than 13,000 feet above sea level, low temperature and strong wind will almost definitely make your hands cramp and numb, unless you use one, or even 2 pairs of gloves to protect it.

It depends on your preferences, some climbers like to wear water-proof gloves, but I opted with some normal cotton wool gloves that is usually use by local construction workers. And I wear 2 pair of those.

3. Upper body (trunk)
Most climbers will climb Mount Kinabalu with less than 10kg of backpack. Unless you need to spend more than 1 night, it is really not necessary for you to bring more loads, as excessive loads could injure your upper back muscle, especially if you don’t have enough training.

Shoulders, upper back and spine, and even your lower back muscle is the most affected, as moving your body uphill with the loads actually increases your potential energy, which means you need more energy to do the work. By this, it is more prone to get injury.

4. Legs and lower limbs
The body part that is primarily used for Mount Kinabalu climbing. Can easily get injured at almost every part – the bone, muscle, tendon and ligament – unless you have a good workout and training for this kind of activities.

Your muscle will be used to the limit when you climb uphill, but it is your joints that is working during your downhill climb. As climbing down releases potential energy, you joints works to absorb more shock with every footstep to stop motion instantaneously.

4 Injuries from the exposure of body to environment (or some medical professional describe it as illness).

1. Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which your body temperature drops below that required for normal metabolism and bodily functions. This condition could happen while you are on the bare rocks of Kinabalu, 13,500 feet above sea level. The temperature can drop to below 5 degree Celsius, and prolong exposure to this environment can leads to hypothermia.

Most climbers will wake up at 2am in the morning to start the second phase of the climb through the cold darkness. You will be exposed to cold temperature for about 4 hours – which can be really cold if it is raining and windy. Wearing thick clothes and maybe a simple raincoat will reduce the risk of hypothermia.

*Do you know that the cause of death of Ellie was hypothermia?

2. Dehydration
Dehydration is a condition in which our body contains an insufficient volume of water for normal functioning. During the first phase of the climb, your body is exposed to fluid loss from sweating. You may exposed to dehydration if you climb uphill without consuming adequate water, especially in a hot and/or humid environment of lower zone of Kinabalu.

That is why the authority have set up huts on the Summit Trail with untreated water tanks for you to refill your water bottle on your way up and down the mountain. Drink a lot of water on the way – better still put a sachet of oral rehydration salt into your water to replenish the electrolytes that you have loss from sweating. You can easily get fatigue if you are dehydrated.

3. Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS) or altitude illness is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure (usually outdoors at high altitudes).

It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters (approximately 8,000 feet). Bare in mind that Laban Rata is at about 11,000 feet above sea level. This condition is caused by reduced partial pressure of oxygen, while the percentage of oxygen in air remains essentially constant with altitude at 21 percent.
*I have explained about altitude sickness here.

4. Internal organ illness
Is what happened to your internal organ when exposed to all external hazard – the weather, the altitude, the heat, the food, the water, the environment… You name it… As the list go on, this is what you have to bear in mind.

You could experience just about any illness that is related to the hazard. You may have to prepare yourself with a good first aid kit to relieve the symptoms, hoping that it would not hinder yourself from conquering the highest peak of Borneo.

Fall
I could not categorize fall in either of the group above. While all the above known injuries could be prevented with a good preparation before and during the climb, falling is not. A lot of external factors that could leads to fall – as you are climbing against and towards gravity.

Wet boulders and rocks can be very slippery sometimes. Wrong judgment and misaligned foot while walking through slippery surfaces can leads to fall. It is not about the mountain all the time, but climbers can sometimes be careless and ignorant.

Stripping climber on a stretcher

What could happen if you get injured from a fall?
Porters of Kinabalu have a very systematic way of lifting injured climbers down the mountain. As what Leong have wrote on his Multiply page, the only way available (at this moment of time) is to strap the injured climbers on a stretcher and bring them down carefully.

There are some issues on air lifting injured climbers down from Mount Kinabalu by helicopter, and up until now, it has not been totally resolved.

However, we have good news for climbers who are concern about their safety. Insuring your trip to Mount Kinabalu may alleviate your anxiety if anything happen. Multinational Underwriters’s travel medical insurance policies have an optional “Sports Rider” that will cover you when you do hazardous sports. They could provide airlifting for any emergency medical evacuation, and could cover the cost up to $30,000 depending on the location and rescue. Check it out.

Don’t forget your travel medical insurance

Coming to Sabah and climbing Mount Kinabalu sounds really fun, but what would you do when “worst case scenario” happen?

Are you insured for this event?
Photo by pearlworld

Lets say while travelling with a public transport from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park, you involved in an unfortunate event – a landslide happened a few kilometers away from Kinabalu Park entrance, and the bus that you take fall into a 30 feet ravine. The stretch from Tamparuli to Kinabalu Park is well known to have intermittent landslide, especially so during wet season.

The question here is: Are you well prepared for that event? We know that the risk of you getting into such position is very small, but what if you are one of the survivors?

For foreign tourist and travellers, the event can actually cost you a lot, unless you are prepared. It is an emergency situation, and you may need immediate medical care that could save your life.

Generally, what you need during the events are:

  1. Emergency ground and/or air ambulance. As most of the time in Malaysia, emergency medical services are operated by government body, you may have to use the resources that they have. Frankly speaking, ambulance services in Tamparuli-Kundasang-Ranau stretch are provided by Hospital Ranau, and the services can sometimes be dissappointing.
  2. Hospital in patient care and medication. Depending on the severity of your injury, intensive care management can be really expensive, especially if you are treated in a private hospital in Kota Kinabalu. It is not that government hospital is bad, you will get more attention in private center.
  3. Outpatient services for less serious emergencies. If you are lucky to survive the event with just a minor injuries, outpatient treatment can always be obtained from any clinic around, but Malaysian government may give you a special attention in the emergency department of the hospital.
  4. Doctor’s fee. Private practice and government medical center have a very different fee schedule. You may want to spend a bit more to get a better services from most of private center here.
  5. Emergency related travel expenses. If your injuries are severe, and need a special attention and treatment from more specialize center, you may have to fork out your own money for the travel related expenses. The most frequent example that I encounter is decompression sickness (for SCUBA divers). Patient have to pay for the transport and ferry to Labuan to get to the decompression chamber for treatment.

You may be fit and healthy before the climbing trip, but you may not be ready if thing goes wrong along the way.

You may need to consider having a travel medical insurance to ease the burden of these kind of travel medical expenses, especially so if you are travelling from abroad. Having medical problems and accidents outside your country can really be devastating, and most of the time will disrupt your travel plan.

I know that shopping for travel medical insurance can be really difficult, but just consider these few points before you sign on the dotted line:

  1. Try to compare various policies of the travel medical insurance packages available.
  2. Know the limits of your coverage for your medical emergencies and treatments.
  3. Make sure you know what are the definitions for important terms like pre-existing condition, medically necessary, stable and controlled condition, or re-occurring condition.
  4. Know the exclusion or exemption of the policies. *As climbing can be categorized risky activities, accidents or injuries during your climbing process may not be covered by the policy. Check with your insurance provider about the possibility of including it. Bare in mind that insurance provider could have a different clauses for the inclusion, and you may have to pay extra for it.
  5. You may want to consult a licensed insurance agent or broker about the types of travel health insurance products available to you.

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Asia Hotels Blog – Asian News On Travel & Hotels

Asia Hotels Blog is a blog for asia-hotels.com, which is an online travel and hotels guide, reservations, and reviews for Asia and Australasia. It has few travel stories in Asia, which I think is nice to read. After surfing the blog for few moments, I found out that the blog is quite new, with 12 articles written.

One of the article that I like to read is “Ten things to do if you are trapped on an island“, particularly number 10: Write a great novel. I love to write. With plenty of time in the island, I will do my best to write a biography about my experiences in the island. And hopefully I could get out from the island as the novel finishes, so that I can get it published.

Not surprisingly, Sabah beaches does not listed to be one of the “Best beaches in Asia“. It may be because of a lot of beaches in Sabah is still not discovered and less advertisement about it. I must say that Tanjung Simpang Mengayau should be in the list with Seminyak, Palawan, Phuket and Maldives in their blog post.

Blogging for business – Accomline Blog for travelers

Accomline BlogA new way to promote Accommodation Reservation Online – having a blog to promote it. Accomline Blog is a good example for accommodation provider to market the services through blogosphere. It provides accommodation news, updates, travel news and stories in a blog presentation to promote their online accommodation reservation services worldwide.

After surfing Accomline Blog for few minutes, I notice that it has few good articles about accommodation stories. “How to shut the kids up while traveling” is a good example that I could relate as I face similar difficulties while traveling with my kids. It makes sense to me that traveling with less disturbance from the kids will reduce my stress and make the journey more enjoyable.

Accommodation travel news about “France Experience” is one of the post that gives us the idea on what to do and where to go if we decided to go to France for our holiday. For me, I would like to experience “Tour de France” route!

Accomline Blog also features “Top destinations for Uni grads” as the latest accommodation updates, and listed out 4 major cities around the world. If you plan to spend your after graduation holiday, you should get some idea from the article.

Brought to you by Accomline Blog 

Travel Europe with Eurobookings.com

EurobookingsEurobookings.com is one of the online European Hotels reservation portal that offers the best choice of hotels and room rates in Europe. They cover a whole lot range of accommodations from small family hotels, chain hotels, airport hotels, highway hotels, luxury hotels to low budget hotels in all the major cities of the world as well as the popular areas across Europe.

I managed to check out their website today and the first thing that I noticed was their tagline, “Lowest Rates – No Reservation Fee – No Cancellation Fee – No Payment In Advance!”. When I look into their website deeply for their claimed statement, it seems that Eurobookings will not request any charges when you make a booking with them, but only will do it when you check out from the hotels. They even do not charge for any cancellation fee!

Another nice feature about Eurobookings is that they have a Europe Hotel Guide, a blog like entry of post about the various destinations in Europe. With Hotel Guide, I think travelers could get some feedback on their destination from an insider point of view, especially on choosing which hotel to stay for their trip.

In addition to that, Eurobookings also provides a flight and car reservation services to complete your package to Europe.

This is a sponsored post. 

Sidestep.com – Your one stop travel search engine

Sidestep.comI usually goes to Airasia.com and sometimes Malaysian Airline System (MAS) websites to look for flights, going to and fro Kota Kinabalu. The problem with these individual airline website is that we cannot compare the flight tickets, side by side (although I know that Airasia is always cheaper). A good travelers search engine like Sidestep.com, provides flights from both airlines side by side in one page, enabling you to compare the price differences at real time.

As an example (and I just would like to do some personal experiment), I was looking for roundtrip flights from Kota Kinabalu to Johor Bahru, Johor. Surprisingly, Sidestep.com’s database is really up to date, enabling me to check the airline fares for my search easily. The best thing about Sidestep.com is the capability to check out flight deals from over 150 travel sites and 600 airlines with one click!

Apart from providing cheap airfares, Sidestep.com also provides discount hotels, cruise vacations, car rentals, and vacation packages to popular travel destinations worldwide. They have a very interactive travel guide, which mentioned Sabah as a playground for adventure seekers, extreme sportsters, and bums in search of the ultimate beach. I really agree!

The other special feature from Sidestep.com are the free newsletter and an IE toolbar, which can be use to compare travel prices side-by-side with sites like Expedia and Travelocity, search multiple sites at once for discounts on flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation package discounts (like this Hotels in New Orleans package) and discover deals from travel providers that other sites miss.

Sleeping for less in Orlando – and visit Disney World!

Orlando Vacation HomesWhen you’re traveling, your vacation room becomes a home away from home. You want accommodations that are safe, clean, and comfortable, all for a reasonable price. If you are planning to spend sometimes in Disney World for your holiday, you may want to read this:

Bank on vacation homes. We all like to be pampered now and then. Still, spending $150 a night to sleep in a hotel seems ridiculous when vacation homes offer rooms for half the price. And it also comes with complete family amenities like kitchen and pools for you and your children.

Orlando Vacation Homes provides complete vacation home planning center, which offers theme park tickets and vacation package to visit Disney World. It is a good choice for your trip because:

  1. Close to Disney World. All their vacation homes are within 8.5 miles to Disney World. The total traveling time from any of their homes to Disney World’s Main Entrance is less than 15 minutes.
  2. All of their homes are Brand New – Less than 4 years old! This is very important to know, because while there are some very nice vacation homes in Orlando that are 7 or 8 years old the other homes in their community might not be so nice.
  3. You can choose between Executive level homes and Standard level homes – to suits your pocket. Either way, you won’t make any mistake on your choice.

This is a sponsored post.

Thinking of having a vacation?

Vacation Rentals by OwnerPlanning your vacation includes deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind. To make the vacation packing easier (and cheaper) for you, then you might have to consider this:

  1. Lighten up. Luggage that’s heavy before you put anything in it will be a nightmare to transport when it’s full. Invest in the lightest bags you can find. Your clothes and other personal items will more than make up for the difference in weight.
  2. Carry on what you can. If you’re flying, ask your carrier how many bags you’re allowed to take on board. If you can fit all your necessities in one bag, do. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait 20 minutes or so at baggage claim – provided, of course, that your bags actually arrive with you.
  3. Take advantage of amenities. Pack as few toiletries and cosmetics as possible in the smallest containers possible. Don’t take anything that you know your hotel will supply, such as soap and shampoo.
  4. Mix and match. By selecting your travel wardrobe wisely, you can make many outfits from just a few articles of clothing. Two shirts and two pairs of shorts or pants could last you four days with a little creative coordination. Accessories can increase your outfit options.
  5. Pack with panache. When packing your suitcase, put shoes and other heavy items on the bottom. Next go lightweight items, followed by wrinkle-prone items on top. Use plastic bags to house and separate items and to hold dirty clothing on your return trip.
  6. Try looking for vacation rentals by owners. You can deal with the owner of your stay directly and discuss all the expenses incurred. You can save huge amount of money if you pick the correct rental place. VLBO is one of the portal which gathers all vacation rental owners in US, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico. If you think that your next vacation situated in one of the country mentioned, you should check out their portal.

Happy vacation!

This is a sponsored post.

PPP is getting better with PPP Direct

I told you before that I love PayPerPost. After fiddling around with a lot of other blog advertising network, PPP is still the best. And today, the best is getting better. PPP introduces PPP Direct – similar like ReviewMe – but pays more. (I don’t like SponsoredReviews because I have to bid to get to write post. And until now I have not won ANY bid)

I don’t know why they called it “Birdo Release”, but PPP Direct will enable advertisers to directly approach Posties to get them to write special blog posts. Posties then have to specify specify the minimum amount they want to be paid for these PPP Direct opportunities and stick a widget on their blog. When an advertiser finds the blog and decides they would like the Posties to write something they just click on the badge attached to the widget and make them an offer.

PPP DirectThe service charges? I am now evaluating my reviews, so that advertisers will know how much they should pay me to write their reviews. As ReviewMe rate my blog as USD40 per post (which means I only get USD20) and SponsoredReviews rate my blog around USD10-USD40, I am calculating that with PPP Direct, I should earn around USD20 per post. By saying that, you will be surprised that you will only pay me USD22 (the extra USD2 is for PPP Direct service charges) if you are an advertiser. The charges is the lowest among those 3 mentioned blog marketplace. Sounds fair right?

With their “Birdo Release”, they also announced Benches – a feature that I think help me the most. I get really annoyed with this 6.01 advertisers. I know I am qualified to post, but my blog theme does not! So, I am going to “bench” all those advertisers for 90 days from now on – until I made a new blog specifically for them.

Cheers!

Emergency phone card for your travel to Kinabalu

One of the problem that I notice for foreign travelers to Sabah is the difficulty of connecting themselves to outside world using phone. Mount Kinabalu is a place where you can actually “roam” with your mobile phone, but not all travelers come here with one. The options for them to get connected is still using the good old land lines, that are easily accessible via public phones which are available on the park (even up to Laban Rata). However, the cost for a normal rates o call from Laban Rata to United States for example, can be really huge. (Bear in mind, internet connectivity is almost impossible from Kinabalu).

Today I came across Pingo, a prepaid calling card provider which provide you with the best calling card experience, including quality, convenience, and customer service at the most competitive rates available today. They said that Pingo calling cards have no additional charges – just a nominal monthly maintenance fee – what you see is what you pay.

I did some research about using Pingo from Malaysia to call to anywhere around the world, and this is what I found out:

  1. Malaysia is one of the country that support Pingo calling card. They have their own toll free number here, 1-800-80-3815. Malaysia in one of the country listed among 34 other countries.
  2. Calling from Malaysia to United States is as low as 7.3 cent per minute (about MYR0.25 per minute). Calling from United States to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is as low as 2.9 cent per minute.
  3. I think Pingo calling card is one of the best options for you to have as a back up for emergency phone card.
  4. It is one of the best prepaid phone card rate to India.
  5. Well, it saves you money on international calls!

This is a sponsored post.