General Expedition and Preparing
General expedition and preparing - Mountaineering in Nepal first came into world focus when Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal and Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand conquered Mt. Everest in 1953. Ever since, there have been countless expeditions heading off to the Himalayas. With eight of world’s highest peaks within Nepal’s boundaries, there is tremendous interest in the Nepal Himalaya. Most of the peaks over 8000 meters high were conquered during the Golden Decade of Climbing in the 1950s. Climbing by then had become a national affair with various nations vying with each other to be the first to climb. Today it is all about breaking records. There are some 326 peaks in Nepal open for mountaineering today.
Climbing permits for peaks in the Nepal Himalayas are issued for all seasons by the Mountaineering Section of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. The requisite official documents must be furnished when seeking permission to climb. Around 121 peaks do not require liaison officers for expedition while the rest must be accompanied by one. Nepal Adventure Point (P). Ltd. takes great pleasure to provide relevant information and make arrangement of your adventure journey to the highest point of your destination. If you are a single person or have a separate group and willing to join or own expedition plan for any expedition please choose your expedition and feel free to write us your requirements and we shall forward to you more details.
Climbing gear and equipments can be bought or rented in Kathmandu or the whole expedition can be handled by mountaineering and trekking agencies. All logistics are taken care of by these agencies including gear, food, transportation, guide and porter services. They also arrange for insurance coverage. Always choose an agency that has a good track record
Mountaineering Seasons: There are 4 mountaineering seasons: Spring (March-May), summer (June-August), autumn (September-November) and winter (December-February). A total of 153 Himalayan peaks are open to mountaineers. Climbing permits are issued by the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation (MOTCA) for 135 peaks known as mountaineering peaks, and by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) for 18 smaller peaks, known as trekking peaks, which range from 5,587 to 6,654 meters in altitude.
Meals & Logistic arrangement on our full supported climb: We provide 3 tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. Dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
Administration team from office carry out all necessary logistics, such as getting climbing permit, help you get your expeditions goods thru Nepal custom, arrange local transfers, book hotels, flight etc. We allocate best climbing guide and assistants who have proven record in climbing high Himalayas, they speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to communicate with you on any mater.
Climbing Grade: To enjoying the trekking holidays, peak climbing or expedition trips in Nepal, it’s important to prepare yourself physically and to choose an itinerary that suits you. A number of our adventures include an element of climbing, usually on snow, where ropes and other items of mountaineering equipment will normally be used. These trips have each been given a trekking grade to reflect their overall difficulty and it is this grade which is shown on their grade symbol. Additionally, each of these trips has a climbing grade which is intended to indicate the technical difficulty of the ascent(s) involved and takes into account factors such as overall steepness, exposure and objective dangers.
- Low angle snow or straightforward scrambling on rocks. Ropes are not usually required. Previous climbing experience is not essential.
- Ropes are used principally for glacier travel and low angle snow or ice slopes. Ice axe and crampon experience necessary.
- Short, steep sections of snow or ice up to about 50 degrees. Previous snow and ice climbing experience of Scottish III/Alpine PD is essential.
- Long, steep snow and ice slopes with short steps of very steep ice or low grade rock climbing. Good all-round climbing ability required to Scottish III/Alpine AD.
- Very steep ice (Scottish III/IV or harder) or rock (Hard Severe or harder). Suitable for competent mountaineers who have climbed consistently at these standards.
A. Good basic fitness, as for Munro-bagging. Average rucksack weight: 6-8 kg.
B. Good cardio-vascular fitness which for most people requires some training, by running, hiking and perhaps some gym work. Average rucksack weight: 8-12 kg.
C. High level of fitness coupled with physical toughness and the ability to carry a heavy rucksack for long periods. Average rucksack weight: 12-18 kg.
D. As for 'C', but tougher. Climbs of this grade are exceptionally strenuous and some weight loss is inevitable. Train hard, but take along some spare calories!
E. Hard physical effort at extreme altitude which requires thorough preparation based on your experience of previous trips. Comments for 'D' also apply. May cause long-term fatigue after the trip.
Altitude Sickness: Altitude sickness if a serious consideration if you are trekking or climbing in Nepal and it's essential that you investigate the causes, symptoms and treatment of altitude sickness before you travel to Nepal. There are approximately three deaths per year in Nepal from altitude sickness, but with the right precautions there is no reason why you should become one of these statistics.
Acclimatization's the word used to describe the adjustments your body makes as it ascends. You should adjust your schedule so that you average no more than 400 meters per day of ascent above 3,000 meters. If you fail to allow time for acclimatization, you may develop symptoms of Attitude mountaineering System. The AMS may be mild enough to go away with a day's rest or if ignored may lead to death. All that is required to ensure a safe trekking is basic awareness of AMS, and a willingness to rest or descend if you develop symptoms. As a result of the growing awareness of altitude problems there is only one death from AMS in Nepal out of every 30,000 trekker’s and climbers. Even these deaths would be avoidable if everyone knew how to respond to AMS. There are no reliable figures for casualties among porters.
What is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness occurs when someone has been unable to acclimatize to the point to which they have ascended. As ascent increases, then levels of oxygen decrease. It is asserted that there is half the amount of oxygen above 5000m like Everest Base camp, Annapurna Circuit as there is there is in the sea. During ascents in Nepal an individual will typically find that their breathing increases to account for the decrease in oxygen. This is a positive response by the body and seems to be genetic as individuals who are more prone to altitude sickness typically manifest this response less readily than those who are less prone to altitude sickness. Altitude sickness in Nepal happens when fluid collects in cells around the body as the result of failure to acclimatize. More severe forms of Altitude sickness occur when this fluid buildup subsequently builds up in the lungs and brain - the two most susceptible parts of the body.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Altitude sickness in Nepal are nausea, irritability, headaches, a dry cough and in more severe cases of Altitude sickness the victim may start to cough up a pink frothy substance and lose their balance as though drunk.
What is the prevention?
It is essential that you give your body time to acclimatize as you ascend. If you fly into high altitudes during your trip to Nepal, then you should spend two to three nights at that place enjoying the local attractions and resting. This should give you time to acclimatize. You should take great note of your body at all times and if you feel the slightest of Altitude sickness symptoms then you should remain where you are until these have passed. As you ascend take frequent breaks at each 1000 meters and, again do not continue to ascend if you are feeling the slightest of Altitude sickness symptoms.
What is the treatment?
- If you are experiencing Altitude sickness during your trip to Nepal then it is essential that you ascend immediately and do not attempt to climb again until your body has acclimatized.
- Severe cases may need to be flown out, so ensure that you have adequate travel insurance during your Nepal trip
Three golden rules to avoid dying from altitude illness:
- Learn the early symptoms of altitude illness and recognize when you have them. Remember, you may be the only person in a group with symptoms.
- Never ascend to sleep at a new altitude with any symptoms of AMS.
- Descend if your symptoms are getting worse while resting at the same altitude.
Normal AMS Symptoms: Should expect but not worry. Following are the normal altitude symptoms that you should expect but not worry about. Every trekker will experience some or all of these, no matter how slowly they ascend.
- Periods of sleeplessness
- Need more sleep than normal (often 10 hours or more)
- Occasional loss of appetite
- Vivid, wild dreams especially at around 2500-3800 meters in altitude
- Periodic breathing
- The need to rest/catch your breath frequently while trekking, especially above 3500 meters
- Runny nose
- Increasing urination while moving to/at higher altitudes (a good sign) Dizziness.
Mild AMS Symptoms – Never go higher: Many trekkers in the high valleys of the Himalaya get mild AMS, admit or acknowledge that you are having symptoms. You need have only one of the following symptoms to be getting altitude sickness.
- Mild headache.
- Nausea Dizziness
- Dry Raspy cough
- Loss of apatite
- Runny nose
- Hard to breath
Dangerous cases of AMS: High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) this is a build-up of fluid around the brain. It cases the first five symptoms on the mild and severe lists previously. Coma from HACE can lead to unconsciousness are death within 12 hours from the onset of symptoms, but normally takes 1-2 days to develop. At the first sign of ataxia begin treatment with medication, oxygen and descent. Usually 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first does, then 4mg every six hours, Diamox every 12 hours and 2-4 liters /minute oxygen. Descent is necessary but a PAC (portable altitude chamber) bag will often be used first if available. High
Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): This is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and is very serious. It is responsible for all the other mild and serious symptoms and it is often accompanied by a mild fever. By far the treatment is oxygen at 4 liters a minute but using PAC (portable altitude chamber) bag treatment is a good substitute. If there is no PAC bag or oxygen then descent will be life saving. HAPE can lead to unconsciousness are death very quick.
- Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- Allow sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters)
- Don’t make rapid Ascent. Don’t go too far too fast
- No Alcohol, Sleeping pills and Smoking
- Drink more fluid 3-4 Liters a day, clean water-boiled or treated / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
- Climb high and sleep low
- Do not trek/travel alone, take guide/porter
- Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local, guide book
- Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
- Never leave or descent sick person along.
- Avoid getting cold.
- Take easy and comfortable trekking rout even it is longer.
First Aid Kit: This is the basic list to cover the more common ailments that afflict trekkers. Climbing group, expeditions and trekkers going to isolated areas will need a more comprehensive kit.
- Bandage for sprains
- Lodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin - for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/Paracetamol - general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhea stopper (Imodium - optional)
- Antibiotic for Guardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox 250/500mg (for altitude sickness - can be bought in Kathmandu)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- Gel hand cleaner
Other treatment modalities to help during descent: Diamox - Diamox is generally useful for mild to moderate AMS. Dosage: One 250 mg tablet two or three times a day. Dexamethasone - is a very potent steroid used in HACE temporarily to facilitate descent. This drug improves the symptoms but does not help acclimatization. It is not recommended to ascend while still taking this drug even if one is symptom free. Dosage: 4 mg every 6 hours. Nifedipine - is useful in HAPE by lowering pressure in the pulmonary blood vessels and thereby decreasing fluid in the lungs. This drug also lowers blood pressure. Sildenafil (Viagra) is increasingly being used in treating HAPE. Oxygen - is very useful particularly for HAPE.
Rescue/ Emergency Evacuation: In the case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; you shall be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back in Kathmandu. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. While asking for the helicopter, you are required to send name of the sick person and exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. Do not leave the place although you are getting better once you have ordered Helicopter.