For the vast majority of people who come to the kanchenjunga, trekking is a safe, exhilarating, and life enhancing pursuit. The mountain environment is both challenging and enriching but also comes with a variety of dangers that need to be recognised.
Unstable, narrow, exposed paths, unsteady bridges, landslides, rock falls, crevasses, avalanches, hazardous river crossings, and even wayward yaks with sharp horns may all be encountered at one time or another. The steep ascents and descents that occur on almost every route require a good level of both physical and mental fitness. A lack of concentration could result in serious consequences.
And then there is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). AMS is a potentially life threatening condition caused by ascending too high without proper acclimatization. It is essential for you to learn the signs and symptoms of AMS and how to deal with them.
AMS and its more serious associated conditions, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) can strike at any time. HAPE and HACE are considered life threatening and immediate medical evacuation is usually called for. If at any time during the trek, especially at higher altitudes you feel difficulty in breathing, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, vomiting, sore muscles, and an aching back or stiff shoulder tell your guide immediately.
Symptoms of acute mountain sickness in early stage
Most health hazards can generally be avoided by common sense and following the safety do’s and don’t listed below.