ROCK CLIMBING

ROCK CLIMBING
Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Due to the length and extended endurance required and because accidents are more likely to happen on the descent than the ascent, rock climbers do not usually climb back down the route. It is very rare for a climber to downclimb, especially on the larger multiple pitches (class III- IV and /or multi-day grades IV-VI climbs). Professional rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the quickest possible time or attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route. Scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations, is similar to rock climbing. However, rock climbing is generally differentiated by its sustained use of hands to support the climber’s weight as well as to provide balance.
Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. It can be a dangerous activity and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines.
types of climbing Most of the climbing done in modern times is considered free climbing—climbing using one’s own physical strength, with equipment used solely as protection and not as support—as opposed to aid climbing, the gear-dependent form of climbing that was dominant in the sport’s earlier days. Free climbing is typically divided into several styles that differ from one another depending on the choice of equipment used and the configurations of their belay, rope and anchor systems.
As routes get higher off the ground, the increased risk of life-threatening injuries necessitates additional safety measures. A variety of specialized climbing techniques and climbing equipment exists to provide that safety. Climbers will usually work in pairs and utilize a system of ropes and anchorsdesigned to catch falls. Ropes and anchors can be configured in different ways to suit many styles of climbing, and roped climbing are thus divided into further sub-types that vary based on how their belay systems are set up. Generally speaking, beginners will start with top roping and/or easy bouldering and work their way up to lead climbing and beyond.
Article By : Ranabir Aditya
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ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS (AMS)

ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS (AMS)
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is the effect on the body of being in a high altitude environment. AMS is common at high altitudes, that is above 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Three-quarters of people have mild symptoms of AMS over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The occurrence of AMS depends on the altitude, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility.
Mild AMS: Many people experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process (the first 1 to 3 days at a given altitude). Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise. These symptoms tend to be worse at night when respiratory drive is decreased.
Mild AMS does not usually interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within 2-4 days as the body acclimatizes. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate. When hiking, it is essential to communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to others on your trip. AMS is considered to be a neurological problem caused by changes in the central nervous system. It is basically a mild form of high altitude cerebral edema.
Mild AMS is usually treated with pain medications for headache and a drug called DIAMOX which allows one to breathe faster and so metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation. This is especially helpful at night when respiratory drive is decreased. Since it takes a while for DIAMOX to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before going to altitude and continue it for at least 5 days at higher altitude.
Article By : Ranabir Aditya
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HIKING : SOME PERILS, THEIR PREVENTION & SOLUTION

HIKING : SOME PERILS, THEIR PREVENTION & SOLUTION

We all love to travel and explore new places. Attraction to new and exciting experiences are undeniable. For mountain lovers like me it is impossible to ignore the call of the mesmerising beauty of the Himalayas. The magnetic allure of living life on the edge thrill most of the people. But sometimes,one’s physical health comes as an obstruction in the path of fulfilling their dreams..

Mr.DiptenduDutta, fondly known as Tutun Da, an avid trekker,nature lover and a person who calls The Himalayas as his “girlfriend”, the founder of Charonik, shared his story of how he saved a man’s life who suffered sudden Pulmonary Edema while on a hiking trip. Had he not been aware of the ways that can saved that man’s life at that crucial time, it could have been fatal. But now, he has been hiking and trekking for years now. He knows the trekking routes like the back of his hands!!

But what about the amateur trekkers? Being a doctor myself and a travel lover, this incident made me realise that travelling is not always fun and adventure.The Himalayas can be beautiful and deadly at the same time. So we better be prepared to face the adversities.

This article is about some basic precautions that a person can take before going on a hiking trip to the mountains because we all know “ Prevention is better than cure”!!

STEP 1

Eat healthy,Stay healthy

If you are trekking, physical fitness is very important. Avoid eating loads of junk food, drink lots of water and EXERCISE. This makes sure that your muscles do not fatigue easily. Otherwise those long uphill walks can lead to cramps and take a toll on your body. Altitude sickness and acclamatization problems in high altitudes can be a big hazard if you are not healthy and fit enough.

STEP 2

Immunization

Discuss with your doctor about the pros and cons of going on a trekking trip about 6-7 weeks in advance. Immunize yourself from deadly diseases if not already done.

Screen for illnesses like Hypertension, Diabetes, Anemia, Ulcers and most importantly Asthma and Cardiovascular Diaseases.

Always remember that you don’t want to fall ill in a place where you will not get proper medical attendance. You do not want to spoil your trip and the others’ as well!!

STEP 3

Dental Check Up

Dental problems are not to be ignored or considered trivial. You don’t wat to come back from a hike simply because your “tooth hurts” !! Get a treatment done if the little pearls in your mouth are bothering you.

STEP 4

Medical Kit

Your medical kit/first aid box should contain these basic items :

  • Sunscreen
  • Bandages
  • Scissors and adhesive tapes
  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Water purifier solutions
  • Painkillers
  • Oral Antibiotics
  • Anti-Emetics( Domperidone)
  • Hydrocortisone/ Prednisolone tablets
  • Nasal decongestant spray
  • Hand sanitizers

Packing is an integral part of going on a trip. Be sure to pack your necessary belongings well in advance for the trip. Last minute effort may lead to injury or over-training.

Now, coming to an important but simple medical procedure that everyone should know. You never know when it might come handy where you get to save a life.It is a simple procedure called CPR or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. CPR is a life saving technique used in medical emergencies such as heart attack or cardiac arrest. To know more about CPR, Internet is your best friend! Just go to Youtube and learn about the procedure.

 

All these medical precautions may be hard to follow but a little bit of discipline will not only get you ready for the trek but will also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

HAPPY HIKING!! 😊

 

 

ARTICLE BY : Dr. Debarati Kundu

 

WHY ONE SHOULD GO FOR HIMALAYAS ?

WHY ONE SHOULD GO FOR HIMALAYAS ?

People wonder why people trek to Himalayas? All of us might have seen those who trek, return to trek again and again. They keep trekking till they can, they get restless; some leave their jobs, some fight with their bosses to get leaves, they fight with their parents or loved ones to be there and trek to the mountains.

But why is this restlessness for trek to Himalayas?

Almost every walk in the Himalaya has the potential to turn into a hike. Almost every village in the mountains especially around the higher himalayan ranges will have trek-able peaks. And most of these have streams flowing by the side, with flocks of sheep grazing on grass. Even the stray dogs and cows are almost non disturbing here. You can truly experience the pristine rural beauty you have seen in the pictures since your childhood days.

A large part of the Himalayas are surrounded by small villages, luxury in staying is hardly available all around. Which means, if you decide to hike up the mountains, you got the opportunity to Talk to the locals, stay at their places and eat the foods they cook. Honesty & simplicity of their hospitality freshened up your mind & mood.

A trek to the Himalaya changes a human mind.  It refines human mind, and with each trek one does, he or she emerges out of the mountains as a new person all together. The massive, strong and dangerous  looking gigantic mountains standing in front of him or her softens heart and makes one realize that he or she is just a human being – Nature’s own creation, like any other being, No big,  No small, but certainly The special one. You may feel like a Nature’s Child. How big you might be for the society, Mother Nature teaches and preaches equality like no one else can.

Trekking in the Himalayas takes one deeper and higher into the mountains, a fairyland. with all its natural or super natural versatility, in forms of rivers, meadows, vast snowfield, glaciers, rains, snowfalls, clouds, sunrise, sunset, days, nights and variety of floras and faunas … everything performs a different play each day.    

Trekking in the Himalayas involves a lot of hard work, physical & mental strength and efforts. A mountain, which seems un-climbable, after sometime one realizes he or she is on the top of it. It’s a result of one’s effort, determination, patience and courage. Something, which was never realized earlier. Trekking purify human souls, boosts up spirits & morals, pumps positivity.

And finally, in the words of Reinhold Messner…

“From a hostile world, we brought nothing back but our experiences. And at the end of every journey to the limits, when we were back again among human beings, all we had left was our lives – lives that had been saved and now called out to be filled again, with challenges, goals and tasks.”

So it is the eternal spirit, which drives the human mind. And that Mind needs to be refuelled time to time for which we go for the trek to Himalayas.

 

 

ARTICLE BY : SUBHAS CHANDA

 

 

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