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Frequently Asked Questions


Questions about activities Cicerone guides cover?


I want to go to the Himalayas. How does it differ from walking and trekking in Europe?

Its bigger, higher, through a different culture and you are much more likely to be on an organised trek.

The actual walking itself is probably no harder that at home. Trails tend to be reasonable. In a group you will probably have a porter team to carry your heavy bag, leaving you with a day sack only to carry.

The main difference is the altitude. Go steady, read everything you can to understand the physiological changes your body needs to go through and understand the symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE). Look out for possible symptoms in trek-mates and yourself.

The other main challenge is likely to be staying fit and healthy in a totally different environment to home. Eat carefully, wash carefully and look after yourself is the best advice.

Our Nepal and India guides are full of more detailed, sound advice on this. Don’t be put off, however; nearly everyone adapts and has a great time amongst some of the world’s highest and most beautiful mountains (and people).

Before you go:

  • have a medical and dental check, plus inoculations.
  • Register your personal details and route plan with your embassy.
  • Ensure you are mentally and physically fit.

On Trek:

  • Carry a first aid kit, plus your own medications.
  • Watch where you walk and remain alert to hazards.
  • Protect your skin from effects of sun and dry air.
  • Drink plenty of safe, purified water, to help with hydration and acclimatisation.
  • Carry energy food.
  • Watch for early signs of AMS among your group, and take immediate action if shown.
  • Choose camping sites with care, away from landslides, rockfall and flood risk.
  • Do not trek alone. If no companion, hire a guide.

Next: How can I prepare for walking at altitude?

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