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Tragedy struck recently when a 20-year-old college student died during a mountain expedition. Nazri, together with a group of students and a trainer, had camped the night before at the base of the 1463-meter Gunung Nuang. They made the ascent the next morning and reached the peak by noon. After a short rest and light meal, they began their descent. A few of the including Nazri, slipped and fell but none were injured. Two hours into the descent, Nazri complained of feeling dizzy. He collapsed soon after and never regained consciousness. The post-mortem carried out at the hospital some five hours later revealed that Nazri had died of an inflammation of the heart muscle.

"This condition in young adults is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection," explained a doctor. "A person may have contracted the virus about two weeks earlier. He may think that he has recovered and embarked on a physical activity such as mountain climbing. However, he may experience myocarditis, an inflammation of the lung. Some symptoms of myocardities are breathlessness, fatigue and chest pain. With better medical supervision and awareness, perhaps Nazri's death could have been avoided."

Nazri's case should be a lesson to all mountain-climbing enthusiasts. even though Guning Nuang has a relatively mild terrain with trails well-marked, hikers should not take things for granted. They should have safety precautions and pre-trip planning. It is the duty and responsibility of the organizers of mountain hikes to brief the participants well in advance on trip requirements like physical and mental conditions, gear, cost and time management. "It is advisable for participants to inform the organizers about their medical history like allergies and heart conditions, dietary constraints and fitness level," explained an experienced mountaineer.

"When climbing a mountain that is over 1600 meters high, a person who is asthmatic is likely to have asthma attacks due to lack of oxygen. That's why the first question that I always ask the would-be hikers is whether they are asthmatic. Based on the information given by the participants, the organizers should be able to determine if they are fit enough for the hike. A pre-trip safety briefing is a must. For the expedition proper, the organizers should ensure that the necessary medical aid for emergency cases be brought along. If it is a day trek, there must be at least two people in the group who are experienced hikers and familiar with the trails."

All participants of a mountain expedition should be aware of their physical conditions well enough. Those who have a slight fever, cold, flu or headache are advised to refrain from indulging in vigorous exercise like mountain climbing. Those with a history of heart problems should consult a doctor first before taking part in strenuous activity. Those who experience dizziness or breathlessness when they exercise should take precaution. Even those who think they are healthy enough should ensure that they are medically fit if they want to take part in mountain climbing. Very often, people do not realize that they have heart problems until something happens. First-timers should go on regular hikes on hills and gradually progress from there.

Besides the physical aspect, all mountain climbers must be mentally prepared too. This calls for an attentive and open mind. They also need to have the right gear and sufficient food and water.

From paragraph 1 :
  1.

(a) When did Nazri collapse during a mountain expedition ?

(b) What was the cause of his death ?

   

From paragraph 2 :

  2.

How could have Nazri's death been avoided ? Give two examples.

    From paragraph 3 :
  3.

Give two examples of the safety precautions that mountain-climbers should take.

    From paragraph 4 :
  4.

What safety precautions should organizers of a mountain expedition take before the start of the trip ?

    From paragraph 5 :
  5.

(a) What should first timers do before they take part in a mountain expedition ?

(b) How can they be prepared mentally ?

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Answers
 

1.

(a) He collapsed while descending from Gunung Nuang.

(b) He had died of an inflammation of the heart muscle.

 

2.

(i) He should have informed the organizer about his health.

(ii) There should have been better medical supervision and awareness.

 

3.

(i) They should inform the organizers about their medical history, if any.

(ii) They should have safety precautions and pre-trip planning.

 

4.

They should brief the participants well in advance on trip requirements. they should ensure that necessary medical aid for emergency cases be brought along.

 

5.

(a) They should go on regular hikes on smaller hills before progressing into climbing higher ones.

(b) They should have an attentive and open mind.

 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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