24 accidents involving climbers on Mount Kinabalu this year


KOTA KINABALU: Twenty-four cases of minor accidents involving climbers on Mount Kinabalu have been recorded thus far this year.

Sabah Parks Dr Jamili Nais said the figure included this week’s incident where an injured Canadian climber was rescued after sustaining an injury while doing via-ferrata activity.

"Minor accidents occur every year on the mountain. Accidents usually happen when climbers come unprepared with low levels of physical fitness, apart from one's own negligence.

"Many climbers, especially first-timers, underestimate the difficulty of climbing Mount Kinabalu and do not equip themselves with knowledge of acute mountain sickness (AMS)," he said when contacted.

Singling out AMS as the main injury among climbers, Jamili said mountain sickness occurs when the human body is unable to adjust to the low pressure of oxygen at high altitude.

"Climbers suffering AMS will experience headache, loss of appetite, insomnia, and vomiting. They require immediate attention.

"Other minor incidents are climbers falling down and spraining their ankles, climbers unable to descend the mountain due to knee pain and also those who are just too tired to walk."

In the recent incident, Jamili said the Canadian climber, a first-timer, was unable to walk due to injury. The Mountain Search and Rescue Unit was mobilised to assist the climber.