Fired up by the Gung-ho stories of adventurous travelers, it is also easy to forget that mountainous terrain carries an inherent risk. There are posters plastered around Kathmandu with the faces of missing trekkers and travelers – several of whom go missing every year on Nepal/s trekking trails.
In rural areas of Nepal rescue services are limited and medical facilities are primitive or nonexistent. Helicopter evacuations are possible but the costs into the thousands of US dollars.
Only a tiny minority of trekkers end up in trouble, but accidents can often be avoided or risk minimized if people have a realistic understanding of trekking requirements. Don’t take a Himalayan trek lightly; the end of the first week is not the time to discover that you’re not that keen on walking.
Several basic rules should be followed: don’t trek alone, don’t make ostentatious displays of valuable possessions and don’t leave lodge doors unlocked or valuables unattended.
Mountain trial conditions
- Walking at high altitudes on rough trials can be dangerous. Watch your footing on narrow, slippery trails and never underestimate the changeability of the weather-at any time of the year.
- If you are crossing high passes where snow is possibility, never walk with less than 3 people.
- Carry a supply of emergency rations, have a map and compass and have sufficient clothing and equipment to deal with cold, wet, and blizzard condition.
- You will be sharing the trails with porters, mules and yaks, all usually carrying heavy loads. So give them the right of way. If a mule or yak train approaches, always move to the high side of the trail to avoid being knocked over the edge.
Mountain high Altitude sickness
Walking the trails of Nepal often entails a great deal of altitude gain and loss; even the base camps of Nepal’s great peaks ca n be very high. Most treks that g through populated areas stick to between 1000m and 3000m, although The Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit trek both reach over 5000m. On high treks like these, ensure adequate acclimatization by limiting altitude gain above 3000m to 500m per day. The maxim of ‘walking high, sleeping low’ is good advice; your night halt should be at a lower level than the highest point reached in the day.