Moxtain - Trekking Guidelines

Trekking Guidlines

TEAM LEADERSHIP GUIDE

Trekking has always been an adventure usually done in group and every group has a leader.

While choosing a group, every group 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.

 

Packing and handling of luggage

Climbers are reminded that there is a 15 kg limit on personal luggage for all climbs. Luggage not needed on the climb can be left in hotel storeroom. On the mountain climbers carry only a light daysack, to contain everything that you might need before the next camp.

 

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.

 

Altitude sickness and acclimatization

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
  • 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 re­ascent 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 re­ascent 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 necessary 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 your 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.

 

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 water bottles.

 

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.
  • For digital equipment, check with the manufacturer's specifications for temperature range, battery life, water­ tightness and general hardiness.

 

Personal Gear / Equipment

We always recommend you to pack as light as possible however the specific requirement for your trip and it varies according to trek itinerary and conditions which vary trek to trek. Please find the common list we suggest you as essentials while trekking –

 

Clothing:

  • 1 pair of trekking pants
  • Thermal underwear (top/bottom)
  • 3 short-sleeved t-shirts, Preferably quick-dry or regular cotton
  • 1 long-sleeved travel/trekking shirt
  • Pajama/sleeping pants
  • Underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Flip flops or river shoes
  • Rain Coat / Quancho
  • Gloves

Other Trekking Gear:

  • Head Lamp
  • Rucksack
  • Quick-Drying Travel Towel
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
  • Water Bottle / Thermal Bottle
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • Walking stick
  • Hand sanitizer gel and/or soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries, memory cards

Personal Medical Kit:

  • Band-Aids
  • Aspirin/Tylenol
  • Cipro (or other stomach antibiotic)
  • Amoxicillin (or other basic antibiotic to treat sinus infections) 
  • Rehydration packets
  • Duct tape (magical in preventing and managing blisters)