How To Prevent Altitude Sickness On Island Peak Climbing?

Altitude Sickness On Island Peak Climbing

As you are preparing for the Island Peak(6189 meters) climb, all climbers need to know the risk of having altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a major concern that every climber needs to be aware of to make climbing safe, comfortable, and more enjoyable.

Island Peak Climbing takes you to an altitude above 6000 meters. Climbing at such an altitude is a challenging job. You need to prepare in advance before embarking on this beautiful journey. Preparing ahead will help to overcome the challenges that may arise during the Island Peak Climbing journey.

In today’s blog, we will give you detailed information regarding altitude sickness. Read thoroughly so that your preparation can be effective. 

Let’s explore more about altitude sickness.

What Is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is also known as “mountain sickness” which happens when you climb at a high altitude. At the high altitude due to low air pressure and the less oxygen available, there is a high chance of having altitude sickness. The possibility of having altitude sickness is higher as you go higher altitude above the 3000-4000m above sea level. 

Island peak climbing takes you to the altitude of 6,189m/20,306ft so there is a high chance for the climber to get altitude sickness. It can be cured easily at the initial stage but if the symptoms get worse then it can be dangerous or fatal. So you need to know well about altitude sickness before attempting any high-altitude trekking or climbing in mountain regions.

Types Of Altitude Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS)

It is the most common and least severe form of this condition. It can be cured easily if you follow the preventive measures. Symptoms of AMS typically appear within 12 to 24 hours after reaching a higher altitude. You can see the improvement within a day or two as your body adapts to the change in altitude.

Symptoms of AMS

  • a headache
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling or being sick
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping

High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

HAPE is a serious condition characterized by fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. It stands as the primary cause of death resulting from altitude sickness.

Symptoms of HAPE

  • Difficulty walking straight and coordinating movements.
  • Strong, unrelenting headache.
  • Feeling tightness or pressure in the chest.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)

HACE is the most serious type of altitude sickness. In this stage when there’s fluid in the brain it can cause seizures, coma, and death. It’s very dangerous and requires immediate medical help.

Symptoms of HACE

  • Feeling confused or disoriented.
  • Breathing difficulties even when resting.
  • Inability to walk.
  • Coughing up a white or pink frothy substance.
  • Loss of consciousness or coma.

How To Reduce Risk Of Altitude Sickness

Things To Do 

  • Ascend gradually to allow your body to adjust to high altitude.
  • Before ascending further, spend a few days at an altitude below 2,500 meters.
  • Take rest days at the same altitude every 3 to 4 days, especially if you’re above 3,000 meters.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water to prevent dehydration.
  • If you have experienced altitude sickness before traveling to a high altitude, consult with a doctor first before attempting Island Peak 

Things You Shouldn’t Do 

  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke while traveling or climbing
  • Avoid ascending to high altitudes too quickly.
  • Do not ignore symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • Avoid skipping rest days during ascents to acclimate.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of staying hydrated.
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion at high altitudes.

Treatment For Altitude Sickness

When a climber experiences the initial symptoms of altitude sickness, the first action to take is to descend to a lower altitude area. If treated in time altitude sickness can be cured easily but if the symptoms get worse or not treated in time it can be dangerous.

If your symptoms are more serious, you may be given:

  • Steroid medication may be prescribed.
  • Medication to lower blood pressure could be administered.
  • Oxygen therapy may be provided through a mask.

What To Do If You Get Altitude Sickness?

  • Inform your Guides if you are not feeling well.
  • Rest at the current altitude until symptoms improve; refrain from ascending further.
  • If the symptoms ask for immediate medical evacuation
  • Consider taking medications like acetazolamide, dexamethasone, or nifedipine

When To Seek Immediate Help?

  • Experiencing severe symptoms of altitude sickness and feeling extremely unwell.
  • Feeling confused or disoriented.
  • Experiencing difficulties with balance or coordination.
  • Hallucinations or seeing/hearing things that are not real.
  • Feeling short of breath, even while at rest.
  • Having a cough or coughing up frothy or bloody sputum.
  • Noticing blue or grey discoloration of the skin, lips, tongue, or nails (particularly visible on the palms of hands or soles of feet for individuals with brown or black skin).
  • Feeling excessively sleepy or difficult to awaken.

How Crucial Is Acclimatization In Preventing Altitude Sickness?

Island Peak Summit takes you to an incredible altitude of 6189 meters. On our 19-day itinerary from the High Route Adventure, you will be spending more than two weeks in the mountain region. We have crafted this itinerary so well that there are enough days for acclimatization, ensuring that you can adapt to the altitude effectively. 

Acclimatization helps to reduce the chance of getting altitude sickness. Make sure to take rest and sleep well during rest days at high altitudes. Also don’t forget to eat healthy food and keep your body hydrated all the time. You need to take care of your health all the time.

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To make your Island Peak journey safe, comfortable, and enjoyable you need to follow all the safety guidance. Understand well about the potential risks of this climbing and seek immediate help if you find any symptoms of altitude sickness. It’s essential to start preparing at least 3-4 months in advance before you embark on this climbing journey.

To fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and savor the jaw-dropping view of Island Peak, prepare yourself for the adventure ahead. Make a booking with us, as we are here to provide you with all the assistance you need, from arranging the climbing permit to ensuring you have everything necessary for this trek.

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