Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a change in a body due to high altitude, a decrease in atmospheric pressure makes breathing difficult due to less oxygen. Mainly, it happens above 3300 m (10,000 ft). This is a dangerous hazard that threatens the lives of trekkers if symptoms are ignored.

Signs and symptoms

  1. Headache/Dizziness
  2. Nausea/vomiting
  3. Tiredness/fatigue
  4. Sleepy but can’t sleep
  5. Drunken Gait, Delirious
  6. Loss of Appetite
  7. Confusion
  8. Disorientation
  9. Reduced urine output


Avoiding high altitude sickness is always preferred. A trekker needs to follow these steps:

  1. Acclimatization
  2. Do not make a rapid ascent
  3. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking
  4. Drink plenty of water
  5. Do not carry more than 10 kg
  6. Climb higher, sleep lower
  7. If Over 3000 m, ascend only 330 m a day
  8. Never travel alone


  1. Decent immediately
  2. Provide oxygen cylinders
  3. Gamow bags
  4. Diamox (125g) before dinner

Four Golden Rules

These are the rules for preventing altitude sickness:

  1. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  2. If you have mild symptoms do not proceed higher.
  3. If there are worsening symptoms descend immediately.
  4. Do not leave your team member behind if attempting a climb.