How to treat blister during your climbing trip

Blisters can add a heavy load to your climbing trip. Just as with bites and stings, the best defense is a good offense.


  • Be sure shoes or boots fit properly. Tight shoes cause pressure sores; loose shoes cause friction blisters.
  • Break in new boots gradually before any long hikes.
  • Wear a thin liner sock under a heavier sock. Friction will occur between the socks instead of between the boot and the foot.
  • Keep feet dry.
  • Before hiking, apply moleskin to areas where blisters commonly occur.
  • Treat hot spots immediately. A hot spot is an area where skin is red and irritated but has not yet blistered.


Blister treatment with moleskin For hot spots: Cut an oval-shaped hole slightly larger than the hot spot in a rectangular piece of moleskin. Center the hole over the hot spot and secure with tape or knit dressing. Be sure no sticky surfaces touch irritated skin.

For small, intact blisters: Do not puncture or drain. Apply a piece of moleskin or molefoam with a doughnut style hole cut out slightly larger than the blister over the site. Secure with tape.

National Geographic – Everest 50 Years on the Mountain (2003)

Ever since I read the fascinating book “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, I have maintained an interest in Mt. Everest. I read several more books on the subject (and the tragedy that Krakauer wrote of). I also saw a few documentaries and a terrible “made-for-TV” movie on the tragedy. I saw the I-Max movie and still, I always looked forward reading or watching anything else I could find.

“Everest-50 Years on the Mountain” is as good a visual presentation as any I’ve seen (the I-Max movie aside). It tells of the attempt by the sons of Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary to climb Mt. Everest together. I didn’t really find their story all that compelling but it was as good an excuse as any other to put this National Geographic special together. What I did enjoy was the background information, especially about the Sherpas, and how they were able to include a lot of historical film into the story.

Most of all, I enjoyed the film of the mountain and the climb that was documented. The photography was fantastic as well as instructive. It helped me retrace the steps that Krakauer and company took in “Into Thin Air” by showing what he wrote of. The climb to the Hillary Step was very instructive by showing just how much exertion and rest was required to take three or four steps.

The crowds that Krakauer commented on were there as well as the bored millionaire looking for something different to do. However, we were not burdened by having to follow the millionaire, we were able to focus on a group of men who made the story all the more interesting. We saw them at their best and sometimes at their not so best.

I have looked more and more these days for the sort of National Gepgraphic specials that I used to covet seeing when I was growing up. The Society has expanded more into history these days (or so I judge from the available DVD’s on Maybe that’s because the wilderness has been tamed too much to compell us like it used to. However, I found “National Geographic – Everest 50 Years on the Mountain” to be the quality of special that I was looking for. I’ll be watching this one again and again.

A DVD review by Randy Keehn (Williston, ND United States), courtesy of

Rhodiola Rosea – herbal remedy for acute mountain sickness

Rhodiola Rosea - herbal remedy for acute mountain sicknessI received another email from one of our members, who managed to climb Mount Kinabalu on the 4th of July. Alison went to climb the summit with her family – her husband and two children. She did asked me about Rhodiola Rosea, few weeks before she climbed Mount Kinabalu, but I could not give her a good answer.

She went up to the peak – and prepared herself with Rhodiola Rosea one week before the climb – after Googling about the herb from the net. And the result was stunning. This is her email:

Hello Ruhaizad,

WE DID IT!! Thanks to our wonderful guide, Sapirin Sumping, I am happy to say that 3 out of our family of 4 made it to the summit on 4 July. My husband and 19 year old son who are both very fit, experienced headaches. The 16 year old who is less fit suffered severe AMS symptoms and stayed at Laban Rata while we climbed to the summit.

I had chosen to take Rhodiola Rosea (2 capsules daily for week before climb) and experienced NO AMS SYMPTOMS AT ALL. Thought this follow up might interest you and possibly your readers.

Thank you again for your informative newsletter. We will return to Sabah next year but not to climb the mountain…..once was enough!!

Alison Zorn

Well, congratulations and thank you for your feedback, Alison! I really appreciate what you have done for yourself and for other readers of this blog. After receiving your email last two days, I did some research on Rhodiola Rosea. As I am a practicing medical physician, I don’t like to endorse medication or supplement to the climbers, UNLESS I have a good and solid information about it and have a positive feedback (like the one that I received from you).

I did some Googling the past couple of days about Rhodiola Rosea and I found a very interesting new information about combating acute mountain sickness – without using paracetamol and ibuprofen. Although the result that I found were merely mixed (positive and negative), I guess it is no harm using Rhodiola Rosea as a supplement for preventing acute mountain sickness.

Quoted from All-The-Tea Company:

Rhodiola has been used by Tibetans as a traditional remedy for more than 1000 years. Today, it is popular around the world, used as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are defined as substances that have no toxicity or side effects at normal dosages and that non-specifically increases the body’s resistance to disease and to physical and chemical stresses.

Rhodiola has been used by Tibetan doctors in formulas to treat dysentery, back pain, lung inflammation, painful and irregular menstruation, leukorrhea, epidemic diseases, limb edema, traumatic injury, and to heal burns. According to Chinese interpretation, rhodiola can support vital energy (qi), help the body resist pathogens, enrich the blood, nourish the brain, improve intelligence, and preserve health.

Recently, various preparations of rhodiola, alone or compounded into prescriptions, have been produced and used in clinical practice to prevent and treat various diseases. The rhodiola preparations have been shown the following effects: to reinforce physical strength, enhance body endurance, compensate for low oxygen, relieve tiredness and weakness, improve efficiency of physical and mental work, treat cardiac and pulmonary diseases, and counteract side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancers.

In the clinical studies, rhodiola was evidently effective for treating weakness, poor appetite, heart palpitations, dizziness, chest distress and insomnia. The herb could also increase blood levels of hemoglobin and platelets and reduce the heart rate. After rhodiola was used to treat patients with coronary heart disease, attacks of angina pectoris were relieved along with the partial blood oxygen pressure of the arteries and arterial blood oxygen saturation was elevated.

One of the adaptogenic applications of rhodiola that has received considerable research attention is for aiding adaptation to high altitudes, thus, as a preventive and treatment for mountain sickness. Perhaps by related mechanisms, rhodiola has been shown to significantly aid athletic performance and to delay fatigue by improving oxygen utilization during exercise. Researchers speculate that rhodiola also helps reduce the stress that occurs secondary to exercise by regulating the parasympathetic nervous system, normalizing the body functions more rapidly after vigorous exercise.

So, if you plan to climb Mount Kinabalu next time, try Rhodiola Rosea as a supplement. It will then reduce the risk of you getting acute mountain sickness during your once a lifetime quest to the summit of Borneo.

Get your free travel blog from

RealTravel is a travel guide and trip planner for travelers, powered by advice from real travelers. Their tagline, “Real People. Real Advice. Real Experiences.” shows that you can use their website as a one stop center for all your traveling tools and tips for your next destination.

It is a website that gives travelers information on the places where you want to go, by learning from true experiences of the real travelers which has been to that place and you can even tell other travelers your side of the story after you have made the trip.

RealTravel also provides 2 free features that travelers could appreciate – a Free Trip Planner and a Free Travel Blog, which both of the features are essential for a savvy traveler. A trip planner can help you save on your travel budget and a blog can be a good platform to write a journal about your trip.

When I came across a website like this, I can become really curious about what other travelers wrote about Mount Kinabalu. I looked into their blog archive and find an exclusive article about climbing Mount Kinabalu by Iris. Nicely done with their free blog platform.

The design for the free blog looks really professional. You can write your journal entry as soon as you register, and if your story is interesting, you may have the chance to get featured in the Editor’s Pick column. The blog even have a geo-tagging – a features that put a live journal earth map on the place you visited!

So, if you still do not have a travel blog/journal, I would recommend you to register with RealTravel free travel blog. Write your story in, and track your destination on the go.

This is a sponsored post. 

ReatTravel Free Blog

5 free personal financial software for you

I would like to share with you 5 free and open source personal financial software / personal money management software which I find it suitable for us who don’t really have a solid financial knowledge and background (like me). I used Quicken Money before, but I feel it a bit bloated and I don’t like using it illegally (yes, I use pirated copy. But that’s few years back).

If you are:

  1. A blogger who earn money from your blog, then you can use this software to record all the income and expanses incurred.
  2. A budget traveler who travel around backpacking, then some of the software also have the budget feature, which you can use to tailor your trip to fit your budget.

The good news is that all the software are free, no limitation, no adware and no spyware. All runs in Windows. However, as all of the software are ‘open source‘, you might face some ‘bugs‘ along the way of using it.

These are 5 most recommended personal financial software for you:

Buddi Buddi

Buddi is a simple budgeting program targeted for users with little or no financial background. It allows users to set up accounts and categories, record transactions, check spending habits, etc.


jGnash jGnash

jGnash is a cross platform personal finance application written in Java. jGnash is a double entry system with support for multiple currencies. jGnash can import Gnucash and QIF files. jGnash - screenshot

Money Manager Ex Money Manager Ex
Money Manager Ex is an easy to use, money management application. It is a personal finance manager. It can be used to track your net worth, income vs expenses etc. It runs on Windows and Linux currently with more ports planned. Money Manager Ex - screenshot
GrisbiGrisbi is a very functional personal financial management program with a lot of features. Brisbi - screenshot
Monex Monex
Personal finance manager based on double entry bookkeeping principles. Features: account tree view, transaction filtering, multiple currencies, multiple exchange rates, transaction scheduling and download of financial data. Monex -screenshot

How to choose which one?

Well, personally I like and use jGnash, as it is the closest to Quicken Money. Although it has less feature than Quicken, it still could give me what I want. I can track all my bank account (including my E-trade and Paypal) and can organize all my income/expenses with jGnash.

Money Manager Ex will be my second choice, as it is very similar to jGnash and the application is smaller.

Grisbi would become my third choice if jGnash and Money Manager Ex could not give what I want. I feel that Grisbi is a bit ‘sparse’…

Both Monex and Buddi is actually more to budgeting. I think those two are suitable for budget travelers who want to work out their budget for any trip.


Recommended book – No Shortcuts To The Top

There are 14 mountain peaks in the world that tower to 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), and when Ed Viesturs finally conquered Annapurna, a peak on which one climber dies for every two who try, he joined an elite group of five people who have accomplished that feat without using supplemental oxygen.

He’s the only American to have done so. It took 18 years and 30 expeditions to the 8,000ers; on 10 trips he turned back short of the summit, once when he was only 100 feet away, exercising extraordinary willpower to follow his “deepest article of faith” that “getting to the top is optional; getting down is mandatory.”

Not bad for a man who in 1992 at the age of 33 had quit his practice as a vetinarian, was living in a windowless basement apartment, had $25,000 of school debt, and was banging nails as a construction worker to make ends meet.

No Shortcuts is a fun read because it is about more than mountain climbing, which, of course, almost none of his readers will ever attempt. But everyone has their personal Annapurna, as he says in the final pages of the book, whether battling cancer or conquering a fear. Failure, perseverance, passion, patience, risk management, teamwork, self-sacrifice for others, endurance and death are all life lessons that easily emerge from the book.

His chapter on the 1996 disasters on Mount Everest when a dozen people died, including world class mountaineers Scott Fischer and Rob Hall, ads his personal perspective to Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. In the last few pages Viesturs reflects upon whether his pursuit was selfish, adventure addiction, growing older and realizing he cannot climb like he could twenty years ago, feeling letdown after such a remarkable accomplishment, and how climbing has impacted his marriage.

For movie versions see the IMAX film Everest (the highest grossing IMAX movie ever made) or the documentary NOVA – Everest: The Death Zone.

Book review by Daniel B. Clendenin “Phd”, courtesy of

Travel Europe with 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. 

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2006 video from YouTube

This year’s Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 21st edition will be held earlier than usual, on 25-26 August 2007. I check out their official website and found a very good video on the events from YouTube. Check it out:

If you think of participating, go to their website and fill in the registration form. A US$33,400 in total prize money to be won.

However, if the grueling events made you feel sick, why not watch Kinabalu climbing from a regular climber point of view…

Porters of Mount Kinabalu photos…

I received an email from our good friend, Cikgu Ismail few weeks back. He emailed me a photo of one of the porter, who climb Mount Kinabalu – day in, day out – to live. It’s really extraordinary, as the load of the packages that they bring are sometimes unimaginable.

Updated photo on 25 July 2007: CIkgu Ismail with one of the porters who showed him his well formed calf, lugging a 14kg cooking gas tank.

Porter lugging a cooking gas tank

Below are the earlier photos:

Porter with PVC sewage pipe

The next 7 photos were send by Cikgu Ismail a month earlier. He even made a special Power Point file (which then burned on a cdrom) with all the photos inside.

Mount Kinabalu Porter

Mount Kinabalu Porter

Mount Kinabalu Porter

Mount Kinabalu Porter

Mount Kinabalu Porter

The last 2 photos are really…

Mount Kinabalu Porter

Mount Kinabalu Porter

So, you think you can do like them???
I have helped thousands of climbers of Mount Kinabalu to book their climbing spot since 2006. If you want me to help you, just fill in the form below and send it to me. Thank you very much!

Can we sleep at Laban Rata Resthouse restaurant floor?

Laban Rata ResthouseI received and email yesterday asking about sleeping at Laban Rata Resthouse restaurant floor if climbers did not be able to secure a place to stay at any huts in Laban Rata area for the night. This is the email:

Hi Ruhaizad,

Could you please help us as you seem to know all about Mt Kinabalu! We are
planning a visit to Kota Kinabalu from the 27th July to 3rd august and are
very keen to do the Mount Kinabalu hike especially after reading your reviews.

We are having problems booking accommodation as everything appears to be
booked out. We have heard that you can actually sleep on the Laba Rata Restaurant
floor, do you know if this is possible and if so how do we go about organizing
this?? Your help would be much appreciated as we really want to do this

We aim to climb on the 30th July but could also to the 31st July, 1 or 2nd August.

Look forward to hearing from you and hope you can help!


D & J

And this is my answer:

Hi D & J,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to tell you that Sutera Sanctuary Lodges is right, as there are no more places for you to stay in Laban Rata at that time. Its too short notice. I usually advice climbers to book at least 6 months in advance, to make sure that you place is secure.

At the moment, the rules and regulations by the Sabah Parks has not changed. Climbers are not allowed to sleep at the Laban Rata restaurant. It is prohibited, and they also will not allow you to camp around Laban Rata.

Maybe the best way is to call SSL directly and ask for any last minute cancellation. I would not advice you to just pop in at the park the morning before your climb to look for last minute cancellation, as you may risk of not getting any chance to climb if there were none.

I am sorry for your inconvenience. Hope the explanation helps.