Health & Fitness
Trek team members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the trek leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.
A robust acclimatisation program has been incorporated into our itinerary to allow the best opportunity for our body’s to adjust to the reduced atmospheric pressure when travelling high in the Himalayan Mountains. We have included rest days at the relevant elevations to allow our bodies to adjust to the thin air and we carry sufficient medication to deal with most altitude related problems. Experience has shown us that good hydration, rest days at significant elevations and good base fitness help avoid any significant problems during this expedition.
Nonetheless, you will feel the effects of the high altitude. For people who have not previously been to altitude this can sometimes be a cause for concern but please do not worry about this as your guides are trained to assist you through your acclimatisation programme.
Symptoms you may experience include; mild headaches which are similar to the sensation of wearing tight sunglasses for too long. These ‘pressure’ headaches, as they are known, are usually relieved by drinking more water, rest and pressure breathing (blowing out through pursed lips). Should symptoms persist, they can be relieved by Panadol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Tylenol or similar. Taking the time after arriving at a ‘new’ elevation is vital to allow your body to adjust. People who can’t sit still, drink excessive alcohol, or rush around, usually adjust at a slower rate than others.
The feeling when you get to a new altitude has been compared to having a mild hangover. It is important to remember to walk slowly and do not try to keep up with any locals!
We include ‘active’ rest days as part of our acclimatisation programme. By taking a gentle walk on rest days to a slightly higher elevation we exercise the principle of ‘climbing high, sleeping low’, which aids our acclimatisation greatly.
We have the luxury of porter support during the trek. Each day you will carry your day pack containing; rain jacket, fleece, sun block, water, snacks, trekking poles, small personal first aid kit, camera and a few extra personal items. At higher elevations, you add in a warm hat and gloves.
Although the Khumbu Trek is straightforward, you must train prior to departure to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. While the trek is achievable you need to be prepared to hike for the full 14 days for around 4-5 hours on hilly terrain, with some hill climbs of around 600m elevation gain, with over 3000m elevation gain in total.
Training should include regular walking on hills, in combination with swimming, light running or biking and gym work to develop strength. For more information visit our Fitness Training Programs page, or check out our Training Peaks Uphill Athlete 12 Week Everest Trekking Training Program.
From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up