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Thread: safe to trek alone ?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Jonathan,
    Just came back from Everest Base Camp & Kala Pathar trek, & i'd such a great great time out there. However, i encountered 5 westerners suffering from altitude sickness during different phase of this trip (there might be even more which i wasn't aware of). Although some of us might take it lightly, but it can be life-threatening, as lack of O2 in the brain can lead its cell to take anaerobic respiration, which then can cause major inflammation within the brain cell, leading to severe brain damage, inflammation or even death.
    This shows how vulnerable we are, inspite of our physical fitness (although, not everyone will get it, but some of us might be the unlucky one).
    All those trekkers were later successfully evacuated either by a helicopter, horses and porter; all arranged by their respective guide.

    I am not trying to scare you, but it was the true fact I experienced on my trip.

    In addition, trails from Gorak Shep to Everest Base camp & few other parts of the trail is not straight forward as people make it out to be. You might get injured, sick or anything can happen on such a long trek.

    I would therefore STRONGLY suggest you to spent few more money & take a good guide/porter with you. That way you'll enjoy the trek even more.

    Have a SAFE trek!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    I seem to recall statistics say that group trekkers are more likely to have
    serious problems with AMS than individual trekkers. They don't want to leave
    the group and therefore tend to ignore some symptoms.

    Trekking without a guide means that one has to be more aware of many things
    and take all decisions oneself. This suits some people but not all.
    I have trekked alone and hung out with other single trekkers. As we approach
    higher altitudes I have brought up awareness of AMS and have have talked
    seriously to people about the necessity to assist each other if needed. We
    have more or less promised to come forward if someone should need to be
    helped down to lower altitude, even in the dark.

    Doing it on your own means you have to be more alert.

  3. #13

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars
    I seem to recall statistics say that group trekkers are more likely to have serious problems with AMS than individual trekkers. They don't want to leave the group and therefore tend to ignore some symptoms.
    Plausible, though I think it makes little difference if one has a servant or not. In my experience two things are crucial, i) spending time on altitude, the longer the better, and ii) keeping one´s own pace, or to put it differently, to let the weakest set the pace. The weakest or most heavily loaded should if one does not have to spend energy on breaking the trail in snow walk first and in such a pace that the breathing is slow and the heartbeat not racing. In my experience it helps to just keep going really slow, rather than doing it in a stop-go fashion.

    I have seen an alpha male who just could not stand to be outpaced by a woman (Elisabeth) competitively rush up to the crest of a 4900 metres pass to arrive before her and then right on the pass saddle get a heavy case of AMS. What I am trying to say is that if one tries to walk faster than one´s comfortable pace the likelihood of getting AMS-symptoms increases dramatically. Competitiveness is totally out of place. In groups there is often some competition, sometimes unspoken, few have much experience, and then the weakest are more prone to get AMS as they feel pulled by the strongest and push themselves instead of being encouraged to find a pace that they are comfortable with.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Per
    .. let the weakest set the pace. The weakest or most heavily
    loaded should .. walk first and in such a pace that the breathing is slow and
    the heartbeat not racing.
    In my experience it helps to just keep going really
    slow, rather than doing it in a stop-go fashion.
    That certainly sounds very sensible. But I also find it annoying having to walk
    considerably slower than what is my natural pace, at least when it is for more
    than a little while.

    I think I'd rather stop and go than walking too slow if I am trekking with
    someone who needs to keep a slower pace.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Well I ve decided I m going to the Gokyo - EBC trek alone returning back down from Gokyo , not going over the Cho la.I leave for Jiri tomorrow.
    I just cant afford the 13 - 15 dollars they are quoting per day for a guide. My guide in the annapurna region was not great , I think it was worth it for my first time at altitude but I ve heard and read so much about altitude sickness I m no longer worried.I m fully aware of all symptoms and what to do.I have no rush so I m planning to be extra cautious and take longer than the recommended acclimatisaton schedule anyway.with it being peak season I m sure Ill meet up with some other trekkers along the route and if not Ill be sure to head up to Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar in the early morning ,with others around.
    Obviously I m very inexeprienced at altitude but I m also not a moron who's going to speed up the trial and go off the main trekking route with noone around.

    cheers for all the advice and suggestions.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Do stay at Pheriche and do attend their fine information talk on AMS. They give
    it free every afternoon but also appreciate a donation that helps them giving
    free medical care to the locals in the area.

    The station is manned by western volunteer doctors and nurses.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    84

    Exclamation Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Missing tourist at Langtang Area

    A 23-year old american girl trekking alone in Langtang region from April 19 is out of contact
    If you trek alone you take risks. You could be crossing a pass or be on a trail above a ravine, become dsioriented because of the altitude or simply trip and you fall off the trail. In some places the growth is so lush and thick if you fall there will no sight of you and you may never be found. Imagine trekking alone in the grand canyon you fall 100s of feet into a narrow area, Add lush vegetation and you are history.
    It doesnt happen often but obvously if your alone nobody can arrange any type of help with info. Its really easy to meet other trekkers along the trail but that doesnt mean you wont be alone for various periods of time. Plans diverge, paces vary. Just know the risks and realize that anything can happen in a moments notice. I can say I felt safer in Nepal than practically anywhere else Ive been and I trekked alone.
    Last edited by mtncanyon; 17th May 2010 at 02:38 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    I am also trying to hire a guide for a trek. I think we could found many guides.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    Guides or porters are an option and not a cheap one but are simply not, by any stretch of the imagination a necessity. On tea house trek routes you will find organised parties, couples, solos, all sorts, and everyone is in it together, all getting a buzz from the mountains. Walkers tend to be quite open and friendly and will often bunch up to chat and watch each other's backs although you may find that on some days it will be best to walk at your own pace because other walkers will be fitter or some slower. You can meet up, string out, meet up on some days trekking but on other days walk in company. If you don't have a companion when you pitch up at the first lodge, the chances are that you won't be a stranger when you set out the following morning.

    Also, the tea house trails are usually SO easy to follow.

    You tweak an ankle with/without a guide? what difference will a guide make? You are never going to be too far from accommodation and warmth (within limits in winter), somewhere friendly to rest up.

    Just watch your pack weight and make sure that you take hiking poles, don't shy away from poles because of some 'walking sticks are for the old' notion. I had to lend one of my hiking poles to a very young guy who had none and who's pack was way overweight on Thorong La last year. And if you do tweak a leg muscle/ligament it's hiking poles that will see you through.

    Have a blast.

    Namaste

    Dain
    Last edited by Dain; 25th November 2011 at 03:30 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pokhara, Nepal
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: safe to trek alone ?

    KATMANDU, Nepal, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy has issued a warning against hiking alone in Nepal where several foreign women have been attacked or are missing.

    American Lena Sessions, 23, was hiking in Langtang National Park Dec. 23 when a local man wearing a black mask approached her with a knife, USA Today reported Wednesday.

    "Either I [sexually assault] you or I kill you," Sessions said the man threatened her.

    Sessions made an escape, but other women haven't been as lucky.

    "Foreigners have also gone missing while trekking alone," the State Department Web site says.

    In 2006, a French woman disappeared in Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park and six weeks later, a German woman, Sabine Gruneklee disappeared in the same area. Gruneklee's body was later found. In the same year, German Kristina Kovacevic disappeared in northern Nepal -- her body was later found in a ravine.

    The family of American Aubrey Sacco, 23, is still searching for her after she vanished in April 2010 in Langtang National Park.

    "We don't know that she's been murdered," Aubrey's mother Connie Sacco said. "We don't feel that she has. But we're on our own -- there's no evidence."

    Sessions told USA Today she immediately notified authorities at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal about her attack.

    "My hope is that, out of this, the national park will make an effort to be realistic about the situation in the park," Sessions said. "I might have made some different decisions had I known."

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