While the topic on safety is very good and relevant, the answer can span pages and pages. The short answer is, "it depends". Without knowing your exact experience and personal situation, it's hard to answer this question. Usually this is covered in detail by the chief guide during your briefing. But let me try my best :)
So the first step of safety is having a strong guide and team. Our chief guides have summited at least 100+ times. With many pushing 500+ summits. So our chief guides lead one of the most experienced and safe teams on the mountain.
As a company, we are one of largest. Which means we have thousands of trekkers climbing with us each year. This means we have experience with every situation and we are up to date with the real-time condition on the mountain. We have groups one day ahead of us and we have groups one day behind us. This gives us unmatched insight of the live conditions of the mountain. Compare this to companies who take a group one in 3 months, which is a lifetime when it comes to conditions on the mountain.
Next up is safety checks. All of guides pulse oxymeters to measure blood saturation levels. Even before that, for our guides, it's very easy to spot that a trekker is in distress.
We don't usually climb with oxygen cylinders. Which makes us a very conservative team. We would much rather abort the trek than take huge risk like using supplemental oxygen. In fact we don't offer oxygen as an aid to climb, only as an aid before rescue. We do offer them an optional add ons, depending on the personal situation on the mountain. For e.g. if someone has any past respiratory issues, we usually opt for it.
Food is an extremely important component. If you read our reviews, everyone mentions the high quality of food we serve on the mountain.
All of the above points are passive. In the sense, they are about being more prepared rather than reactive when things go wrong. But believe a well prepared team means we are a safe team.
In terms of what happens when things go wrong. For which, it's better to get on a call. Because the scenarios are hundreds which I can't run through over email. Are we dealing with AMS? Or broken leg? Or twisted ankle? Or bad stomach? Or heartburn? Which camp are we at? Which route as we on? Do we think it will resolve itself? Does it need active intervention? What is the rest of the group up to? So on and so on.
Safety procedures are not effective if you don't continously practice them. That's why our team takes every oppurtunity to review and train in the latest developments when it comes to safety on the mountain. We reguarly attend training sessions and practice our skills during the low season.
If you could give me your high altitude trekking experience, and specifically which part or topic of the safety measure you want me to cover, I would be happy to address those issues.
First Aid Kit
All guides carry a first aid kit. Every kit is personalised based on the guides preference. You can discuss about first aid kit during the briefing session with your guide.
Usually the first aid kit has the following items, but it's not neccessary that your guide would be carrying all the items on this list :
- Water purification tablets
- Hands Sanitizer
- Razor Blades
Last updated on February 14, 2019.