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A Tech CEO Suing His Guide Could Change Everest Travel

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There are definitely plenty of underprepared people trekking in Nepal. They don't understand the risks of ams. I think the mindset is "I'm only trekking, not climbing up the big mountains so it's not a problem". Well it is a problem when trekking in Nepal often goes over 5000m! I was talking to two hikers at ledar last year, they had some mild ams symptoms due to taking way too big jumps in altitude. I suggested they take an extra day in ledar or even go down until they felt a little better, but no they had to push on to phedi and cross thorung la (5400m) tomorrow because they don't have enough time. They would be fine because if things got worse they had altitude sickness medication, when asked what medication they said "I'm not sure we bought it in Kathmandu", someone pointed out the diamox is very different to dexa which shouldn't be used lightly.

For each one of them there is the equal and opposite overly prepared person. Dressed head to toe in brand new north face gear. The biggest down jacket you have ever seen. Gaiters. Map, two guidebooks, GPS, and emergency beacon. Always part of a guided group.

For those that have not been the trekking in Nepal is fairly straightforward. Altitude presents a problem, but trails are good and easy to follow. Doing the major treks it would be impossible to get lost, and theres often people around. Tea houses where you can buy cooked food and sleep are fairly regular. You just need some warm clothes, sleeping bag, a map/guidebook, and a basic understanding of altitude sickness (while ascending don't sleep more than 500m higher than before, take an acclimatisation day every 3-4 days, know the symptoms of ams, if you get symptoms stop ascending and if things don't improve descend.). You don't have to be a rocket scientist or wilderness expert to trek independently there safely. But if you are stupid and chose to ignore the risks of ams it can be very dangerous
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

You just need some warm clothes, sleeping bag, a map/guidebook, and a basic understanding of altitude sickness (while ascending don't sleep more than 500m higher than before, take an acclimatisation day every 3-4 days, know the symptoms of ams, if you get symptoms stop ascending and if things don't improve descend.). You don't have to be a rocket scientist or wilderness expert to trek independently there safely.

It's still some basic knowledge, which some just wouldn't bother to acquire. The fact it's extremely critical knowledge to have, is lost to those who didn't bother to begin with.

A lot of preparedness isn't difficult. It just takes knowing about it.

Quote:

I was talking to two hikers at ledar last year, they had some mild ams symptoms due to taking way too big jumps in altitude. I suggested they take an extra day in ledar or even go down until they felt a little better, but no they had to push on to phedi and cross thorung la (5400m) tomorrow because they don't have enough time.

It's the "modern day curse" of "we've got to keep to a schedule"!

How many would drive cross mountain passes in the mist of a major snow storm, "because we've got to be there" at a certain date?

Just watching the questions being posted on snowheads, how many people planned their 3 week holidays down to each single day, with no regard for winter weather in the mountains! Only for the reason it's cheaper to book in advance of non-refundable lodging. rolling eyes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yeah the time thing is a big issue. It used to be much higher percentage of those on group tours with a guide getting ams than independent trekkers. Some of that was the guides want to do the trip as fast as possible (more groups per season = more money), so it was more aggressive in terms of acclimatisation (or lack thereof). There is also the peer pressure element of being in a group and the difficulty of splitting guides if someone needs to stay behind for extra acclimatisation. The independent trekkers tend to to have more days and are not trying to rush through it.

Also some of the Nepali guides will always pick the clockwise route over the anti-clockwise route due to religious beliefs. There are a few cases like thorong la and renjo la where this is clearly a much worse option as you have to make big altitude jumps.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Isn't the same problem exist in guides working the Alps?

They book client groups one after another. So if the weather turns south and they have to sit out a storm, even if the clients he's with don't mind the delay, the guide is going to miss his next group of client...
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