Monday, February 10, 2014

Malaysia: German Climber, 22, Falls 30 Meters from Mount Kinabalu in Sabah

According to AFP, Victoria Paulsen, 22, a German mountain climber died on Monday (February 10) after falling some 30 meters (98 feet) from the peak of Mount Kinabalu, one of Southeast Asia's highest mountains (13,435 feet or 4,095 meters).

District police officer Rahman Kassim said Ms. Paulsen fell some 30 meters down a rocky surface from the peak of Kinabalu, a major tourist attraction in the eastern state of Sabah.
COMMENT: Paulsen had climbed the peak to see the sunrise with other tourists including a guide and at least one male friend, Rahman said. Her body has been scheduled for an autopsy.
The guide said Paulsen had climbed over a rope into a cordoned-off area when she slipped, Rahman told AFP, but added that the police were still investigating the incident.
Every year tens of thousands of locals and foreigners climb the mountain, which rises 4095 metres high above Sabah's thick rainforests. Fatal accidents are rare.

Having climbed a number of peaks during my life I have learned that it is not the height of a mountain that can take your life, but fatigue and altitude sickness, both of which can be masked by elation and excitement.

It is unknown as to what Ms. Paulsen's climbing experience encompassed, but our condolences and sympathies go out to her family.

As a side note, all foreign travelers engaged in high-risk activities should always ensure that the repatriation of their remains back home is covered under international medical treatment and evacuation insurance.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.