Monday, June 18, 2007

Mountain Climbing

Mountaineering is the age-old activity of climbing up the steep slopes of a mountainside in hopes of reaching the summit. Mountain climbing encompasses numerous activities including snow, ice and rock climbing as well as backpacking and snow camping.

Basic mountaineering
generally entails climbing steep snow slopes with the aid of crampons and an ice axe. A majority of introductory mountaineering is comprised mostly of hiking. This is one reason why many people start with mountaineering. It seems less intimidating than climbing vertical rock walls. The difficulties of mountaineering lie not only in the distance covered and elevation gained, but in the environmental conditions encountered. A single day of mountaineering can include subzero temperatures to extreme highs. Because the elements can turn a moderate slope into a great challenge, prudent decision making skills and the proper gear is needed. Ropes and other technical climbing equipment are required once the slope angle and potential for a fall increases.

Many people begin mountaineering to add the spice of adventure to their modern day lives in a culture obsessed with safety. The rewards of climbing a mountain are many, and for this reason, people dedicate their lives to the pursuit of taller and more difficult peaks.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hints For Mountaineering Trekking Gears And Equipments

Mountain hiking demands great gear and more education than your typical trail hike. Why? Because as you ascend breathing becomes less efficient, passage grows rugged, and rescue becomes more challenging. So consider your mountain equipment to be your life support system.

Where in day hiking you may be able to get away with wearing light-weight boots or shoes, in remote mountain hiking it's a good idea to wear heavier supportive boots to protect your ankles and feet. Walking with a sprained ankle on a day hike is inconvenient compared to trying to limp out of the back-country mountains with the same problem and a heavy pack. Thinking ahead and being prepared with the right mountain gear, guides, and information can literally mean the difference between a minor mishap and at times death. Take your safety seriously.

As elevation increases the atmospheric pressure decreases (amount of oxygen doesn't actually drop until over 50,000 feet) which means there's less pressure to 'push' the air into and fill your lungs. Because there is less air going into your lungs you'll fatigue more quickly. How much does the pressure really change? According to an article (that can be applied to mountain hiking) the barometric pressure can drop by 40% between sea level (average 760 millimeters of mercury) and 12,000 feet (483 millimeters of mercury). Obviously having 40% less oxygen available to your body (because of the pressure drop) will impact you.

Now if you had a 40% decrease in your ability to deliver oxygen to your body during an average day wouldn't you be concerned? Add in the fact you're asking more of your body in terms of keeping you warm in a cooler/cold environment, you are constantly losing water from your system, your reactions are slowed, and your not around the corner from the nearest hospital. Your mountain hiking equipment becomes a more important consideration the higher the altitude and the more remote your location.

Depending on how cold the temperatures you might encounter are you'll probably want some good insulated hiking boots (depending on the altitude and temperature you may need mountaineering boots), hiking clothes, sleeping bags, camping tents, and other equipment used for hiking rated for lower temperature than what you think you'll actually experience. This will give you an extra margin of safety. Also keep in mind that mildly uncomfortable mountain hiking gear will become a bigger problem...

Mountaineering Hiking Tips To Consider

Mountain hiking is a little different from mountain climbing. In mountain Hiking with stick
a) you use hands less or does not use hands at all to go up.
b) it is usually a day round trip.

Benefit of mountain hiking:
1) Fresh air.
2) Exercise.
3) Get to know your friends more.
4) Get to know new friends.
5) Build up team spirit.
6) Total breakaway from being busy on this and that.
7) Get to see some special fauna and flora.
8) Shower in natural water. Back massage under waterfall.

Do not go yet if
a) you are alone.
b) you miss your meal or you forget to bring along some food.
c) your leg muscle is still painful after the last physical exercise.

The team should not be big (not more than 20 people) so that:
a) when there is someone missing from the team it can noticed quickly.
b) you can mingle with each of your team member other more.

Make sure you have been exercising regularly if the trip has a fixed destination and the team will be reluctant to turn back even when you cannot make it. Exercises suitable for mountain hiking should have less impact on knees such as cycling, swimming and going UP the stairs. The exercise should be done daily for at least one month to increase the lactic acid tolerance of your leg muscles. Sore legs are caused by low tolerance towards sudden increase of lactic acid.

If the team or a part of the team can turn back anytime, you can go even you have not been exercising regularly and you can regard this trip as a good start to exercise.

Make sure you will not panic easily and will not think that you are lost.

Do not wear
a) jeans because they will be really heavy when they are wet. Plus you legs are not that agile in jeans.
b) sandals because when they get wet you cannot walk steadily and it is not that safe. Light-weight sandals can be brought along as backup though.

Start the journey early, preferably latest by daybreak.

Things to have for one day round trip
Shoes with the following criteria:
1) Light weight.
2) Good grip, for example basketball shoes are bad. Do not overdo it though by wearing spike shoes. Spike shoes are bad on rocky surface.
3) Can be tied tight on your foot. Slackened shoes are bad idea for mountain hiking.
4) Waterproof.
5) Preferably brown in color (like color of mud).
6) In good condition.
7) It is even better if the shoes are of high cut (above ankle):
a) Will not get wet when you walk over small stream or water puddle.
b) Protection for your ankle against rocks and sticks.
c) The dirt and sand will not get into your shoes easily.
d) The size can be bigger by 2 than your usual size (my size is 42, so 42+2=44) so that when you come down from the mountain the shoes will not make your toes painful. Also after a few hours of hiking the foot may swell and needs space to expand. This is applicable for shoes with high cut only. You cannot walk steadily in bigger shoes with low cut.

A walking stick
a) reduces the vertical impact on the legs so the knees will not hurt.
b) reduces the energy needed by leg muscles to maintain balance.
c) assists in balancing your body when walking on the stepping stones across a stream.
d) lets your arm exercise too.

The walking stick should have the following criteria:
a) Light weight.
b) As tall as your shoulder.
c) Optional: can be used for self-defense.

If you choose to buy trekking pole (telescopic and shock-absorbing compared to walking stick), it should have the following extra criteria:
a) Not vulnerable to accidental bending.
b) Rounded top for supporting palm.
c) Minimum telescoped length is short enough that it can be hung to backpack.
d) Can be used as a camera support.

I am an adult and I take at least 2 liters of water for one day round trip. My combination: 1.5 liter of isotonic drink and 0.5 liter of plain water. Be careful on how the bottle is put in your knapsack. You do not want it to drip along the way and the next thing you discover is there is no water in the bottle. Even a new bottle of isotonic drink that you have not opened yet may drip because the moving friction on the cap somehow loosens the cap a little.

Some food that can make you full. It is also good to bring fruit such as apple.

Shirt in eye-catching color.

Swimming trunks (wear the trunks) in case you want to take a shower in the water. Do not bring soap and shampoo. If you wear shorts, you do not even need swimming trunks. Just get into the water with your shirt and shorts (the sweat on your clothing is washed away). Bring along swimming goggles if you want.

Raincoat. Umbrella is not recommended because you will need both of your hands during the hiking. Also, the umbrella may be obstructed by branches.

Mobile phone fully charged.

Sticking plaster (band-aid), iodine, something to wrap up wound. Tissue paper, plastic bag, rubber bands, safety pins.

Rescue whistle (lanyard is not needed) and a small mirror.

I personally do not like leech repellant because it contains chemicals. If you want to wear long trousers, make sure the bottom end of the trouser leg is securable (with tie string or elastic band that wraps around your leg).

Name cards, blank papers and pen in case you want to keep in touch with friends you make on the mountain.

Contact lenses. Glasses can get foggy in the jungle because of the heat from your body. They my also be picked away by branches. If there is clean water at the start point, wear the contact lenses there.

Heavy duty backpack or rucksack preferably designed for mountaineering. Do not bring:
a) normal backpack. It will tear.
b) backpack that has unsecured opening and you have to worry about something dropping off the bag while you walk.
c) single-strap backpack. Stress on one side of the shoulder will make you uncomfortable and you will switch side frequently.

A used toothbrush, if you want to brush off the mud on your shoes before going home.

Towel and clothes for change if you do not want to dirty your car seat.

In the jungle
Try evade branches because there may be:
a) some ants or some other wildlife on the branch that will give you nasty bites.
b) something sharp scratching you.

Do not yell. Remember that is not your territory. And yelling may make other jungle trekkers think that you need help.

Leeches can only be found in rainforest. However you can rarely see leeches. Leeches only come out when the ground is wet and there have been many people walking by. Leeches response to vibration. If a leech sucks on you, do not pull it, burn it or salt it or else it regurgitates into your wound and may cause infection. Just use your thumbnail to very slowly push its sucker mouth away. The wound will bleed without pain because the leech releases anticoagulant and anesthesia.

Although it is difficult for minor wound e.g. scratches or leech bite to get infected, it is always a good practice to disinfect the wound.

When you stand at a place long enough, some honey bees may come to lick your sweat for salt, do not panic. You can let them continue licking or just blow them away and wipe your sweat dry. When you start walking again, they will not follow you.

Before putting your stuff down, watch if there are ants. You do not want the ants to crawl all over and into your stuff. Also make sure your bag is zipped up because some faunas may like to have some adventure together with you by getting into your bag.

People start to get lost when they think they are lost. So do not ever think that you are lost.

Because this article is about tips I am not going to talk about environmental ethic (for example take all litter home, do not simply light a fire and so on). It should be common sense and you should know. I deeply respect people who exercise it.

Coming down (descending a hill)
To avoid hurting your knees:
a) Do not walk with heavy steps.
b) When the stair is high, squat down and land one foot on the next stair first. Do not jump or stride down.
c) Learn to walk by softly landing the heels first than the toes.

Royalty for Mountaineering In Nepal

The Royalty fees that we need to pay for Mountaineering to Mt. Everest In Nepal. Below is the list of Fee Structure to be paid as Royalty to Nepal Government.


Royalty and Garbage deposit for Mt. Everest

Group Size
Single Person
2 person
3 person
4 person
5 person
7 person
Royalty US$ 25000/- US$ 40,000/- US$ 48,000/- US$ 56,000/- US$ 60,000/- US$ 66,000/- US$ 70,000/-
Garbage deposit (Refundable) US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/- US$ 4,000/-
Total US$ 29,000/- US$ 44,000/- US$ 52,000/- US$ 60,000/- US$ 64,000/- US$ 70,000/- US$ 74,000/-

Royally and Garbage deposit for other Expedition except Mt. Everest
Garbage deposit Refundable

1-7 Person

Addition charge Above

7 person

Peak above 8000m
US$ 10,000/-
US$ 1,500/-
US$ 3,000/-
7501-8000m Peaks
US$ 4,000/-
US$ 500/-
US$ 2,000/-
7001-7500m Peaks
US$ 3,000/-
US$ 400/-
US$ 2,000/-
6501-7000m Peaks
US$ 2,000/-
US$ 300/-
US$ 1,000 /-
Bellow 6501 m
US$ 1000/-
US$ 200/-
US$ 500/-


If there is any change in the royalty amount before receiving the
briefing from the Ministry even after one has already paid the
royalty under this Regulation, the mountaineering expedition
team shall pay the changed amount of the royalty.

Document for Expedition permit process

1. Name of the mountaineering expedition team:

2. Name list with passport details of expedition team:

3. Leader of the mountaineering expedition team:

4..Sponsor of the mountaineering expedition:

5. Purpose of the mountaineering expedition:

6. Name and height of the peak to be climbed:

7. Caravan route of the mountaineering expedition:

8. Time and duration of the mountaineering

9. Estimated expenditure and financial source

10.Other Necessary details: