Thursday, December 12, 2019

5 Tips to Prevent Hypothermia while Climbing

Spectr News Theme Isny Dewi R.
26, March 2019

Earlier in March we’ve heard bad news about the deaths of three young climbers when they were about to hiking Mount Tampomas in West Java. Allegedly, the three young men died from hypothermia, and their bodies were found a day later in a very inappropriate tent. To prevent hypothermia, there are at least five things that must be considered by climbers. The following are tips to prevent hypothermia while climbing mountain as Check In Jakarta reported from

1. Recognize Hypothermia Symptoms
Generally, Hypothermia does not come suddenly and directly result in death. There were also climbers who were attacked by hypothermia and were rescued. The climbers must recognize the symptoms, so it won’t get worse and fatal. Hypothermia symptoms include not stopping shivering, hallucination, vomiting, speech slurred, gray skin, weakened heart rate, and decreased blood pressure.

The shivering condition is due to muscle contraction as the body attempts to produce heat. Many climbers, especially beginner climbers are not aware of hypothermia symptoms. They are usually ambitious to arrive at the top mountain, even though their skin color has changed and their body starts shivering.

2. Body Temperature
According to senior mountaineer from Mapala UI as well as the famous Indonesian rock climber, Adi Seno, hypothermia attacks do not only occur in iceberg climbers. Hypothermia can also attack climbers who climb mountain in tropical regions such as Indonesia. But you need to know, hypothermia does not only occur due to ambient temperature and altitude, but also the climber body temperature.

According to Adi, hypothermia is a condition when the temperature inside of your body is below 35ºC. The temperature inside is different from the temperature outside your body or skin temperature. Normal body temperature is 36.5 - 37.5ºC. If not, the body's response to regulating temperature will actively balance heat production and heat loss in the body. That's why, if your body temperature drops dramatically, it's better to end your climb or at least rest in the right ways.

3. Food Supply
Lack of food supply is also a factor in the occurrences of severe hypothermia. Even though you are enjoying climbing and enjoying the beauty of the nature, climbers should not forget to keep their food supply so they won’t get tired easily and prevent hypothermia.

Therefore, climbers are highly recommended to bring bread or other sweet foods and store them in a bag or pocket that is easily accessible. Not only that, if hypothermia comes, climbers must drink warm water. If they have less shivering, they should eat warm food.

4. Clothes Condition
Climbing uses wet clothes can also cause hypothermia. Adi added, if hypothermia symptoms occur, climbers are advised to change their clothes with clean and dry clothes. After that, immediately rest in sleeping bag to warming their body. Although it seems simple, but these things are actually very important to avoid more severe hypothermia attacks.

5. Preparation
Another equally important factor which also causes fatal hypothermia is the lack of preparation. Normally, climbers learn first the terrain to be traversed, check the weather conditions to know what equipment they have to carry.

Besides being lacking in preparation, many beginner climbers lack knowledge of non-technical things when climbing such as hypothermia. Hypothermia usually occurs due to wet and windy conditions in a cold place, the terrain is not too decisive, it is precisely the preparation and knowledge of the climber that is very decisive.

Isny Dewi R.
Isny Dewi R.