Responding to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

everest base camp for teens

April 10, 2018

Our partner company, Trek Climb Ski Nepal, has been operating trekking, climbing and skiing expeditions in the Nepal Himalaya for over 10 years. Many of our guides and trip leaders have worked in this industry for in excess of 25 years.

We attach very little luck to the fact that during our 12 plus years in business, we’ve not experienced any major safety breaches or incidents while out in the mountains. No serious accidents or injuries. Not one. But yes to some occasional Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). It is a fact that a very small percentage (around 5%) of the population is unable to acclimatise to altitudes greater than 3500 metres. In very simple terms, a small segment of the population – due largely to genetics – are physically unable to acclimatise to moderate to high altitudes. Unfortunately, no amount of training, fitness or adherence to sound acclimatisation protocols will assist.

#noshortcuts

Resilience Builders have in place very strict altitude acclimatisation guidelines and protocols. All of our programs conducted at altitudes above 3500m reflect this in their conservative itineraries. It is a fact that all our programs include a very gradual rate of ascent with plenty of rest and contingency days. Add to this lots of healthy food (as much as you can eat!) and fluids and you have the foundation for a well-rounded and successful acclimatisation schedule.

Even with industry best acclimatisation protocols in place, AMS can still strike. When this happens, the response is time-critical. We regularly observe mild AMS related symptoms in our guests while out in the mountains. These may take the form of mild headaches, loss of appetite or mild nausea. These symptoms are quite normal and in the very vast majority of cases are quickly and effectively treated. Rarely if ever will these symptoms cause us to need to delay or interrupt our scheduled program itinerary.