rules of Mountain trekking and precautions and science in trekking

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#1 Apr 24th, 2006, 00:05
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#1
I have compiled a list of guidelines to be followed on Mountains. Copied from an african co. organizing Mount Kilimanjaro treks. I did some editing with my limited time . delete any african references, if found. I just thought my excercise can provide some reading material to a serious climber who would like to bring in a professional touch. any forum member is welcome to modify the text.

pl publish your comments
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TEAM LEADERSHIP - GUIDE ETC

Contrary to popular belief, a good climb team is simply one which is made up of friends from the same village who have a history of working together. Whilst it is true that this type of team will typically be more fun on the mountain, we have found that people from the same tribe and village background simply do not have the breath of different skills to make a good team."

"Each team needs a clear leader. He is the overall boss, but generally will concentrate his efforts on the climbers themselves. He will typically have good communication skills, excellent mountain knowledge and a deep understanding of the ways and means of getting climbers to the top of the mountain and back safely and happily. It is he who will usually lead the climb each day on mountain. Most importantly, it is he who will make the decisions when times get tough. The best guides are the ones who have the balls to tell climbers that he will not take them to the top because he does not think it is safe.

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BRIEFING
there has to be pre-climbing and post climbing brief

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Packing and handling of luggage

Climbers are reminded that there is a 15 kg limit on personal luggage for all climbs. This gear should be contained in a duffle bag or soft kitbag which will be carried inside specially made waterproof bags by a porter. Extra weight can be carried if the climber is prepared to pay for additional porter. This should be advised in advance where possible.

Luggage not needed on the climb can be left in hotel storeroom for a modest charge. Get a detailed written receipt.

On the mountain climbers carry only a light daysack, to contain everything that you might need before the next camp ...

wet weather gear drinking water camera
spare clothing layers snacks notebook
gloves lip salve map
hat sun cream
sunglasses other small essentials
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Food

Diet on the mountain can be critical and should be carefully controlled and monitored. A high liquid and carbohydrate content is essential, with fresh ingredients wherever possible.



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Insurance


You must keep your proof of insurance on your person at all times.

We will also require you to complete a form with details including your passport number, next of kin and their contact details.



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Altitude sickness and acclimatisation

The briefing will contain a detailed section on altitude sickness and other medical issues ...

A general mountain rule is that you should not generally ascend more than 300 metres per day and for each 1000 metres that you do ascend you should take a rest day.

In climbing terminology, mountain altitudes are divided into three zones ... high, very high and extreme. As you can see below, this climb involves extreme altitudes and is therefore a serious and potentially dangerous undertaking ...

High altitude 2400m to 4200m 2400m to 4200m
Very high altitude 4200m to 5400m
Extreme altitude above 5400m

AMS : Acute Mountain Sickness : During the trek it is likely that more than 75% of climbers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness. This is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude. There are many different symptoms but the most common are headaches, light headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the extremities (toes, fingers) and a mild swelling of the face, ankles and fingers. These symptoms in a mild form are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours, the result of poor circulation or a small leakages of fluids within the body.

HAPE : High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema : "water in the lungs" : This more serious sickness has very clear symptoms ... breathlessness at rest, very high pulse, crackling sound in the chest leading to coughing of fluid (sputum). This condition is rapidly fatal unless the casualty experiences immediate descent. There are no drugs to cure and no possibility of re-ascent on this trip.

HACE : High Altitude Cerebral Oedema : "swelling in the brain" : Again there are clear symptoms ... a COMBINATION of two or more of the following : Very severe headache, severe loss of balance, mental confusion, repeated nausea. This condition is rapidly fatal unless the casualty experiences immediate descent. There are no drugs to cure and no possibility of re-ascent on this trip.

Climbers should not be scared by all this talk, but it is essential that they understand that if they push on or stay at same altitude with HAPE or HACE they will die. People do. Even serious cases of altitude sickness can only be treated by immediate descent. Our Western leaders and local guides are all experienced in dealing with the problems of altitude. It may be neccessary for you to descend to a lower altitude until you recover or even to abandon the climb in the interests of safety. The decision of the Western leader or the Senior guide in such situations will be final.

There are six main factors that affect the incidence and severity of altitude illness ...

1 Rate of ascent
2 Altitude attained
3 Length of exposure
4 Level of exertion
5 Hydration and diet
6 Inherent physiological susceptibility

The following three steps are a guide to achieving acclimatisation:

Water : A fluid intake of 4 - 5 litres per day is recommended. Fluid intake improves circulation and most other bodily functions, but does not increase fluid leakage from the body. Thirst should not be an indicator of proper fluid intake, if your urine is clear then you are drinking enough.

Slow Walk : Pace is a critical factor on all routes. Unless there is a very steep uphill section your breathing rate should be the same as if you were walking down the street. If you cannot hold a conversation you are walking too fast. Breathing through the nose for the first 2 days of the climb will limit the pace. Walk "softly" allowing your knees to gently cushion each pace. "Pole pole" < go slowly > is the phrase that will echo around your head as it is repeated to you by the guides.

Walk high sleep low : If you have enough energy and are not feeling the affects of altitude, then you mights take an afternoon stroll further up the mountain before descending to sleep. Almost all routes offer an extra day for acclimatisation. Taking this day increases your chances of getting to the top by 30% and increases you chances of actually getting some enjoyment out of the experience by much more than that. We do not offer climbs which do not include this extra day.



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Prevention of altutude sickness with drugs : Diamox

Diamox is a drug which can be taken to assist the body by improving the efficiency with which oxygen can be absorbed from the thin air. There is no disputing the efficacy of the drug. There is however a big debate as to whether and how Diamox should be used.

There are three ways to use Diamox on the mountain ...

The first way is to use it as a preventive throughout the trip starting from the day before the climb. The conventional arguement against doing this is that it conceals the symptoms of body underperformance, thus increasing the chances of a failure if one does occur being catastrophic.

The second way is to "listen to your body" until day 3 (6 day climbs) or day 4 (7 day climbs) and then, if you are not demonstrating any severe symptoms, to take Diamox as directed above to boost your performance at higher camps. The arguement against is teh same as previous.

The third way is to only use Diamox as a treatment for altitude illness. This is reasonable, but severe symptoms can only be treated by removal from altitude.

We carry enough Diamox in our medical boxes for the second and third options. This should not be taken as an indication of our advocating this course of action. The choice is yours and we suggest that you consult your doctor and do some background reading on the subject if you remain unsure.

We estimate that of American climbers, perhaps as high as 75% take Diamox in some form during the climb. Of non-American climbers this number probably drops to 25% or below.

Here are some notes from Jim on the subject of Diamox :

"Diamox 750 mg is the proven medical dosage. That is not to say that a lesser doseage will not work, but that for the manufacturers need this doseage to prove its efficacy 100%. Our practical "recommendation" is 500 mg. It seems to work. More importantly you don't need to pee ALL the time (only most of the time) with this dosage. Quite a lot of clients are still recommended only 125mg or 250mg by their doctors."

"As far as we can see and from what the medical literature says, Diamox does not actually disguise serious symptoms of altitude sickness, as is the conventional counter agruement to taking the drug. The consideration of whether or not to take it is more to do with the climber's individual attitude towards taking drugs as preventatives. If you never have been to altitude, the you do not know how your body is going to react. Do you want to take drugs for something that might not even make you sick? This is where the cultural difference comes into play ... Americans are in general more generous in their drug consumption than Europeans, so tend to be more willing to take Diamox just to be sure."

"We do not use Diamox as treatment if the climber is going to descend, but we may recommend it to climbers who are still going up. If our guides suggest that you take Diamox, then you may well wish to take them up on it."

"Last more general comment. Doctors back home might have very little idea about Diamox, therefore the advice that climbers gets varies enormously. If you really want to get the full information, then ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist."

To summarise, The African Walking Company approach to altitude illness is to attempt prevention through pacing, drinking, and good itinerary planning. Medication is available if needed and staff are trained to high levels of knowledge and have good experience on the mountain.



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Other health issues and notes

Aspirin and Paracetamol are highly recommended for headaches because they also thin the blood, so improving circulation & oxygen delivery to the body.

Strong painkillers are not recommended as they can suppress respiration.

One high altitude problem which is not altitude illness is Cheynes Stokes Breathing, which involves waking up in night gasping for breath. Climbers should not panic about this, it is simply because slow breathing at rest is not able to pull in enough oxygen from the thin air. A period of panting should restore the climber to normality.

Another issue is frostbite. The summit ascent is the only real time that climbers may be at risk from the affects of severe cold. If you have two good pairs of gloves and a couple of chemical handwarmers, then you should have no problem. It is essential however that you make your guides aware of particularly cold hands and feet. We have had only one serious occurrence of frostbite, which occurred when the climber in question told his climbing colleagues that he had cold hands, but did not tell to the guides. As a result he lost three nails and parts of two fingers, all of which should have grown back. This serves as a sanguine reminder of how you should communicate and rely upon your guides.

Ladies please note that altitude may affect the menstrual cycle, so bring appropriate materials.

Contact lenses must be removed at night to allow eyes to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. The rarefied conditions of altitude reduce oxygen levels and in extreme cases a Corneal Oedema can develop.
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Environmental issues

a strict policy of "no trace" camping, as epitomised by the Sierra Club motto of "take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints". Here are some tips to enable you to help us keep the mountain clean ...

All rubbish is carried off the mountain, even vegetable peelings

When between camps please carry your daily personal rubbish to the next camp

Toilets are long drop.
Please use toilets wherever possible to avoid spoiling the campsites
If no toilet is available during the walk, go "behind a bush" and dig a hole with your heel
Bury or burn the paper afterwards using the matches

Avoid polluting streams at camps, especially with toilet waste and washing water



Big temptation when very tired on the summit day to simply throw away rubbish or plastic waterbottles
Please carry down


After your climb, spread the word about our ethical approach on the mountain
That is the best way you can put something back in



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Photography


Cameras, whether video or film, need to be protected against the severe cold either in warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. Do not keep your camera in your backpack at higher elevations.

A selection of lenses will aid the final results although weight and bulk will obviously influence your selection.

A polarizer or neutral density filter is recommended as is slide film rather than print. Bring your own film as it can be hard to find and expensive in Tanzania.

For digital equipment, check with the manufacturer's specifications for temperature range, battery life, water-tightness and general hardiness.
============================== =========================
Personal equipment ( copy from an African trekking co which is used expedition style. pl modify according to your style)

All communal equipment such as tents and cooking gear is provided by the climb teams.

All personal equipment is usually provided by the climbers. Please refer to the equipment lists below.

Total luggage should be kept to a maximum of 15kg on the mountain.

Item qty notes hire
Soft kit bag 1 in which porters will carry your main mountain equipment
Small backpack 1 30 to 40 litre : for your own personal gear
Rain cover for small backpack 1 optional : can use plastic bags for rain protection

Wide brimmed hat 1 for shade against the sun
Balaclava or woolly hat 1 for warmth
Scarf or bandana 1
Sunglasses or goggles 1 pair against snow-blindness , preferrably with side gusset

Poncho 1 optional
Hooded waterproof jacket 1 must be very good quality, waterproof & breathable $ 15
Four seasons duvet jacket 1 $ 30
Warm upper body layers 3 to fit over under layers and each other
Upper body under layers 3 preferably synthetic for easy drying
Sports brassiere 3 not necessary for men

Waterproof outer gloves 1 pair must be very good quality, waterproof & breathable
Thin undergloves 1 pair
Gel-activated hand warmers 2 for summit attempt


Waterproof trousers / pants 1 must be very good quality, waterproof & breathable $ 15
Fleece trousers / pants 1
Llightweight trousers / pants 2 must go on top of each other
Short trousers / pants 2
Thermal under trousers / pants 2 must go on top of each other
Underwear 3

Gaiters 1 pair optional : waterproof & breathable

Thick socks 3 pair woollen or synthetic
Thin socks 6 pair woollen or synthetic
Hiking boots 1 pair must be well-broken-in, leather recommended
wear on plane in case of lost luggage
Spare laces 1 pair
Trainers 1 pair for use around camp

Walking poles 1 pair can be purchased at gate $ 10

Sleeping bag 1 must be four seasons : fleece liner optional $ 30
Inflatable sleeping mat 1 repair kit essential
Foam sleeping mat : thin 1 can bring two for comfort $ 6
Foam sleeping mat : 75mm / 3" 1 available for hire only : expensive due to porterage $ 20

Water bottles, 1 litre 2 / 3 preferred formats ...
1 metallic SIGG type for double use as hot water
1 bladder Platypus type for drinking whilst walking
must have insulated tube against freezing

Water purification pump 1 optional
Water purification tablets iodine, not chlorine
Cordial or water flavouring recommend Redoxon type vitamin C tablets
Favourite snacks
High-energy bars

Head torch 1 as powerful as possible but light weight : mini Petzl okay
Spare torch batteries 4 sets allow for lots of reading
Spare torch bulb 2

Pocket knife 1
Plastic bags & bin liners for keeping various things dry

Pencil & paper for the trip log
Camera plus film and batteries check temperature ratings
Video camera and batteries check temperature ratings

Reading material
Games & cards

Towel can be the lightweight quick-dry type
Toiletries
Lip balm
Ear plugs
Soft toilet paper 2 rolls
Wet wipes
Spare contact lenses or glasses

Paperwork route guide
pre-climb briefing
insurance documentation with 24hr medical emergency number
invoice paperwork from us
mountain map : usually available at trailhead


============================== ============================

regards

infinion
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Sep 7th, 2012 at 20:41.. Reason: Merged science in trekking thread with this one
#2 May 13th, 2006, 10:36
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  • himadventures is offline
#2

Homework should be done !

Besides such a good post there is one most important thing which I have seen since my years of trekking and climbing in India.

1. There are different rules about camera. In some places-ONE CAMERA / TEAM is allowed by state Govt. but central govt. does not cast any light on it. You can not operate VIDEO CAMERA in closer to border areas. This is highly risky thing to do and one can be in trouble.

2. if you are climbing in INNER LINE- do your home work and see if booking is required from IMF. I have heard changed rules in UTTARANCHAL. Now they want deposit of 10,000 as security for ec0-friendly expedition.

You have to produce evidence that you have burnt all garbage or you have carried all with you to show them. Some climbing rules seems to be changed also. SIKKIM state govt. does not obey IMF paper work and wants there own royalty and I have heard that UTTARANCHAL also is doing in same pattern.

3. Operations of radio sets/ settelite phones should be carried out in well planned manner. You have to have permissions to carry these things but I think that role of IMF is there. So better check with them first.

4. Do not enter in areas where INNER LINE PERMIT is required and this line is imaginery and keep on changing. So,better to plan well in advance and get proper paper work completed. INNER LINE PERMIT was not mandatory for PHAWARANG in KINNAUR but now even INDIANS need to have INNER LINE from PEO. No one has informed anywhere...on websites or while you enter in KINNAUR but this in unwrriten rule....but it will be me and you who will be paying hard for this when ITBP stops your team in middle of the trek and asks to go back....
#3 Jul 27th, 2007, 23:48
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  • VSK Sharma is offline
#3
Good job and should benefit people planning to visit mountains.
There is a great deal of confusion regarding permissions etc since the rules keep changing and there is no one to inform. It will be great to start a thread where all such info can be posted by trekkers visiting the area.
#4 Aug 5th, 2007, 01:01
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  • himadventures is offline
#4
Just to add more to confusion...SIKKIM has opened 3 more peaks for climbing and here role of IMF is confused. SIKKIM charges it's own royalty and does not follow rules set by IMF.
Few news are also coming from UTTARANCHAL where forest fee is asked for climbing and now even a fee is being charged from trekking teams also.

There is nothing to do- civil servants are not easy to find in main towns. It is hard to hanlde these forest officials who are making good money on trails. They charge with strange method..
Per tent
Per Pony
Per Halt
and total becomes very handsome.
#5 Sep 15th, 2007, 18:42
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  • gobbledegeek is offline
#5
I was in Kinaaur in 2003 and it was not required.

Is this new rule?

Regards
#6 Oct 14th, 2007, 11:09
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  • himadventures is offline
#6
infinion !

briefing is also required for trekking teams which are going to high altitude. A leader and a good agency/company should see that members arenot having any serious health issues andif they are having high blood pressure/heart disease/kidney issues...these should be taken care while in mountains as rescue system in Indian himalayas is not as PRO as seen in other countries and even if we take out a trekker/climber from mountain...still good medical support is miles away from main cities of himalayas.
#7 May 15th, 2008, 15:32
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by himadventures View Post infinion !

briefing is also required for trekking teams which are going to high altitude. A leader and a good agency/company should see that members arenot having any serious health issues andif they are having high blood pressure/heart disease/kidney issues...these should be taken care while in mountains as rescue system in Indian himalayas is not as PRO as seen in other countries and even if we take out a trekker/climber from mountain...still good medical support is miles away from main cities of himalayas.
is there any precaution from HAS
THANKS & REGARDS
KOUSHIK GUPTA
#8 Jul 24th, 2008, 23:03
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  • moajiz is offline
#8
Yes there is a Precaution for Altitude Sickness..

DONT GO HIGH ON UR SUPPLY

Take is slowly
#9 Jul 29th, 2009, 14:32
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  • trooooon is offline
#9
take it slowly is the best advice for mountain sickness.
also ascending for height gain and sleeping at a lower altitude works wonders . . . take a rest day and climb as far above your camp as possible, returning to the camp to sleep. this has always worked for me. i have never even carried diamox on a trek!i remember reading boukreev's description of the tragedy on everest in '96 he fixed the ropes to camp 2 and then descended almost to namche bazaar for a couple of rest days. acclamatised and rejuvenated he then climbed up and down twice in 24 hours!
what if . . . maybe . . . say . . . suppose!
#10 Oct 12th, 2009, 02:12
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  • ac100 is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooooon View Post take it slowly is the best advice for mountain sickness.
also ascending for height gain and sleeping at a lower altitude works wonders . . . take a rest day and climb as far above your camp as possible, returning to the camp to sleep. this has always worked for me.
same here...
i also have my reservations regarding popping up diamox (which has to be taken 48 hrs prior to the trek to effect) just like that...
why unnessesarily pop pills when one can, with a little bit of precaution avoid AMS.
I have always carried Coca-30 (homeopathy) just in case...

@ higher altitude dos:

a. drink lots of water/fluid (4-5 lit/day min.)
b. go slow (do not gain considerable altitude in a single day)
c. climb high sleep low
d. keep an day of acclamatization for every 3 trekking days or as necessary. do not hurry your himalayan trip & cut down on acclamatization days which can result in AMS & the trip getting over.
e. garlic in any food/soup helps
f. tea works wonders @ high altitude

till then
happy trekking...
cheers
Solitude sharpens awareness of small pleasures otherwise lost.

http://picasaweb.google.com/ashishchanda
#11 May 2nd, 2010, 00:59
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  • vasudeosingh is offline
#11

Post

Hi,I am new member & the reason is to explore possibility of a trip to panch kedars.I have already been to badrinath & kedarnathin 2004 when we drove from Jaipur.It was an excellent trip though not planned in advance.Now I would like to seek help to complete 5 kedars with a group if it is feasible.you can reach me on "vasudeosingh@ymail.com".I am v. impressed with the info.available & the quality of people.Keep up the good work.
#12 May 18th, 2010, 20:17
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  • incognito6174 is offline
#12
Good info, made a note.

Thanks, infinion.
#13 May 23rd, 2010, 12:22
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  • gagcydhiman is offline
#13
i wanna join mountaing institute tell me sum number where i can call n get information./
#14 May 25th, 2010, 18:21
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  • mountain lover is offline
#14
[QUOTE=ac100;835661]same here...
i also have my reservations regarding popping up diamox (which has to be taken 48 hrs prior to the trek to effect) just like that...
why unnessesarily pop pills when one can, with a little bit of precaution avoid AMS.
I have always carried Coca-30 (homeopathy) just in case...

ac100
is coca30 is to be use only in AMS or can be taken safely during climbing also (as i know homoepathy medicine have no or very less side effects)
#15 Jun 8th, 2010, 03:03
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  • Bisa is offline
#15
Really a very helpful thread for new trekkers like me.

regards
Bisa
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