Govt. License No.88721/068/069, Tourism Industry Division Lisence No. 1477 / 069.  Remember us for: Adventure Specialist and Authorized Travel Agent of Nepal for Trekking, Hiking, Peak climbing, Mountain Expedition, and various trekking packages

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness information

Attitude sickness is known as acute mountain sickness (A.M.S.) and this may occur when people ascend too quickly normally in altitudes of over 3,000 m. We strongly recommend trekkers to include some rest days into their trekking itineraries for minimal risk. Most people will feel some affect of altitude, shortness of breath and possibly light-headedness, which is fairly common. Acute mountain sickness is very different and normally involves a severe headache, sickness and loss of awareness. In almost every potential case there are enough warning signs to take appropriate action.

Our expert and trained guides from Apex Himalaya will advise you about any health requirements and also altitude sickness while you are trekking, so you should not worry about it, we do, however, recommend you get advice from you travel doctor or health advisor before you leave. The following information gives you further information about high altitude sickness and how to minimize its affects.

There are three stages of altitude sickness and symptoms.

1. Normal AMS symptoms ? Expected but not serious.

Every trekker will experience some if not all of these symptoms, no matter how slowly they ascend. Periods of drowsiness (need more sleep than normal; at least 10 hours)

  •  Occasional loss of appetite
  •  Vivid, wild dreams especially at around 2,500-3,000 meters.
  •  Periodic breathing.
  •  The need to rest/catch my breath frequently while trekking, esp. above 3,500 m.
  •  Runny nose & Dizziness.
  •  Increasing urination while moving to/at higher altitudes (a good sign).

2. Mild AMS Symptoms ? Don?t Go Higher

Many trekkers in the high valleys of the Himalaya get mild AMS, admit or acknowledge that you are having symptoms. You need have only one of the following symptoms to be getting altitude sickness.

  •  Mild headache.
  •  Nausea & Dizziness
  •  Weakness & Fatigue / Tired
  •  Dry Raspy cough.
  •  Loss of appetite.
  •  Runny nose & hard to breathe.

3. Serious AMS Symptoms ? Immediate Descent

  •  Persistent, severe headache
  •  Persistent vomitine
  •  Ataxia (loss of coordination, an inability to walk in a straight line
  •  Losing consciousness (inability to stay awake or understand instructions)
  •  Mental confusion or hallucinations
  •  Liquid sounds in lungs & very persistent, sometimes watery cough.
  •  Difficulty breathing (rapid breathing or feeling breathless at rest).
  •  Severe lethargy / fatigue
  •  Marked blueness of face & lips.
  •  High resting heartbeat (over 130 beats per minute)


Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Related items

  • Responsible Toursim

    Responsible tourism is the treating others the way they wish to be treated. Respect for difference is essential; it’s also a matter of common sense and good manners. Our environment that just cannot be left addressed for too long before it will start having repercussions in a magnitude that will be unmanageable and devastating, the time has come for Nepal as well as the entire world to start accepting this fact. 

    Apex Himalaya Treks & Expedition Pvt.Ltd. is an ecological tour operator with an objective to improve, protect and conserve  the environment of the Himalayan Mountains. We are members of Kathmandu Environmental Education Program (KEEP), The International Eco-tourism Society,  Trekking Agencies’ association of Nepal (TAAN), which are environmental organizations that promote responsible tourism. 

    Nepal, for all its massive mountain peaks and impressive geography, is actually an incredibly fragile environment. The mountains areas in Nepal are among the world’s richest regions in terms of biodiversity and pristine landscapes. As such they hold huge potential for nature-based tourism. Apex Himalaya Treks has taken the initiative for the responsible tourism. Conserving, protecting, improving nature resources and local culture, better facilities for employees, trekking and mountaineering staffers minimizing negative economic, environmental and social impacts are some of the efforts, we are doing for the responsible tourism. 

    We strongly follow the five guide line of (International Porter Protection Group) trekking Ethics  "Working towards a Sustainable and Ethical Trekking Industry."

    A) Adequate clothing should be provided to porters for their protection in bad weather and at altitude. This means windproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, long johns, suitable footwear (leather boots in snow), socks, hat, gloves and sunglasses.

    B) Above the tree line, porters should have a dedicated shelter, either a room in a lodge or a tent (the trekkers' mess tent is not good enough as it is not usually available till late evening), a sleeping pad and a blanket (or sleeping bag). They should also be provided with food and warm drinks, or cooking equipment and fuel.

    C) Porters should be provided with the same standard of medical care as you would expect for yourself, including insurance.

    D) Porters should not be paid off because of illness/injury without the leader or the trekkers assessing their condition carefully. The person in charge of the porters must let their trek leader or the trekkers know if a porter is about to be paid off; failure to do this has resulted in many deaths. Sick/injured porters should never be sent down alone, but with someone who speaks their language and understands their problem, along with a letter describing their complaint. Sufficient funds should be provided to cover cost of rescue and treatment.

    E) No porter should be asked to carry a load that is too heavy for their physical abilities. Weight limits may need to be adjusted for altitude, trail and weather conditions; good judgment is needed to make this decision. 30 kg load should be a maximum. 


  • Thamel, Kathmandu

    Thamel is a popular tourist destination in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a full Wi-fi zone in Nepal. This is also known as the heaven for tourist. Its concentration of narrow streets are lined with small shops selling everything from Food and Provisions to clothes, Walking gear, Cafes, Pastries, Music, DVDs, Handicrafts, Travel agents and budget hotels. The area has many very good restaurants. Although prices tend to be significantly higher than non-tourist areas, food hygiene is  generally a lot better too.

  • Grades & Difficulty

    General information on our Nepal treks

    Trek Difficulty Grading

    Our treks vary from easy hikes in the foothills to challenging climbing adventures in the high Himalaya. More often than not, we use trails that have since ancient times been the only link between villages, settlements, and their inhabitants. The trails may take you through a well-inhabited area with many villages and tea-shops, or through a mountain wilderness without a single permanent settlement for days, but one thing is certain: there'll be lots of ups and downs as we walk from one Himalayan valley to another. Treks are graded on the basis of altitude, trails, walking hours per day, and length of trek.

    Grade 1

    Easy Treks in the foothills staying below 6,500ft/2,000m. Trails are relatively gentle & wide, and average walking is 3-4 hours a day.

    Namo Budhda,Ghorepani Poon Hill Trekking, Jomsom Muktinath Trekking, Helambu Trekking,Shivapuri Nagarkot Trek,Obviously easiest trips are designed to be enjoyed by anyone.In Annapurna region the Ghorepani, Ghandruk/ Poon Hill Trekking and Jomsom Muktinaath Trekking Treks are relatively easy, shorter treks and quite popular of diversity in both land escapes and people and you will find terrain and views splendid. The well beaten trail takes you in the heart of central Nepal Himalayas. The tea house along these routes offer 24 hours running solar hot water and western style food.

    Grade 2

    Moderate Treks in the foothills and the middle-hills going up to 10,000ft/3,000m. Trails are mostly gentle and wide, but at times may involve more difficult stretches like a steep stone staircase. Average walking is 5-6 hours a day.

    -Annapurna Base Camp Trekking, Langtang Region, Ganesh Himal Trekking are some of the Grade 2 famous trekking trails.

    Grade 3

    Challenging Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft/4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6-7 hours a day.

    -Annapurna Circuit Trekking, Mt. Everest Region Trekking, Everest Base Camp Trek, Upper Mustang Trekking, Makalu Base Camp Trekking are some of the Grade 3 famous trekking trails.

    Grade 4

    Demanding These treks require participants to be in excellent health. All of them take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000ft/2,800m to often in excess of 16,500ft/5,000m. Trails venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness, and are often ill defined, occasionally on glacial moraines. Average walking is 6-9 hours a day. 

    -Dolpo Trekking, Manaslu Trekking, Kanchanjunga Trekking ,Ganja- La Pass Trekking , Simikot (mt Kailash ) Trekking, Dhaulagiri Trekking, Challenging treks are only for real adventures .The main component at this level is likely to be a long , high altitude trek , uphill mountain with the possibility of some rope climbing that requires physical and mental stamina.

    Note on altitudes: The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the trek. Treks usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 & 4 trek itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take side trips to higher elevations.

  • Medical Matters & Advice


    Trekking in Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. But very little medical care along the trail is available, so make sure you are physically fit and healthy before departing. In case of serious illness or injury, prompt evacuation to Kathmandu is the best remedy. Helicopter rescue service is extremely expensive. Neither the Nepalese government, your embassy or the trekking agency ( if you are trekking with one) is responsible for the bill. Therefore, you are requested to insure for rescue operation also. Take care of yourself along the trail by ensuring that water is boiled. Diarrhea and headaches can be the curse for trekkers. So, bring appropriate medication and use them with caution. Sun burn can also be a problem at altitude, a barrier cream will protect your skin and good sun glasses are also necessary. Blisters are another problem for the trekker and adequate supplies of band aids are advisable.

    Altitude sickness:

    Often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly a important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevation above 3000 m. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following

    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Loss of appetite
    • Insomnia / Sleeplessness
    • Persistent headache
    • Dizziness, light head achness, confusion,
    • Disorientation, drunken gait.
    • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs.
    • Slight swelling of hands and face
    • Breathlessness and breathing irregularity
    • Reduced urine output.

    These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered, otherwise more serious problem can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for the altitude sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately and it has no other cure or substitute. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS. Literature and pamphlet published by "Himalayan Rescue Association" consists of detailed information on AMS .The central Immigration office and all trekking agencies in Kathmandu distribute this pamphlet free of cost. Since these documents also give information on the list of suggested medical supplies for trekkers it is a compulsory item for every trekkers' medical kit.

    CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center

    CIWEC Clinic Building The Travel Medicine Center is one of the most famous destination travel clinics in the world. The clinic was established in 1982 to meet the need for a Western standard clinic to treat foreign tourists, diplomats and aid workers in Nepal. The clinic is known internationally both for the high level of care afforded to patients, and for its reliable research and information about health risks in Nepal. The Travel Medicine Center was the first clinic situated in a developing country that was selected by the International Society of Travel Medicine to participate in its global surveillance program for emerging diseases among travelers. The clinic also serves as a Family Practice Center for the resident foreign and Nepalese communities. 

    The clinic's focus on the health problems of foreigners in Nepal, has led to the discovery of a new cause of diarrhea, the publication of over 30 original research papers, and the receipt of two international awards for research in travel and wilderness medicine.

    Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA)

    HRA is a Nepalese voluntary organization registered with His Majesty's Government to run a mountain rescue service in the mountain tourist areas. The Association's major role is the prevention and treatment of mountain sickness. The Association's medical research work is undertaken by a team of mainly American doctors at present. The trekkers aid posts are stuffed by the western doctors.

    The Kathmandu office and Information centre of the HRA is located within the premises of Kathmandu Guest House at Thamel. They open on weekdays from 10 to 5. They also have a Trekking book in which travellers write about trekking experiences and a small library of travel books. The HRA information centre has expert and up- to -date information on all aspects of altitude sickness. All those intending to trek above 10,000 ft. are advised to visit the information centre.The HRA operates two-Trekkers' Aid posts - at Pheriche on the main trail to Everest Base camp and at Chindi about an hour walk East of Manang.


  • TIMS

     Nepal, a Trekker's Paradise, offers some of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world. Passing through the diverse culture and nature, trekking in Nepal is a life-time experience which involves a certain degree of physical strength due to the rugged topography. With the distinction of Nepal as a trekking destination and its growing charm, a provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented to control illegal trekking operations and ensure safety and security of the trekkers in general trekking areas through the mechanism of Prompt Information Service when required. Past experiences have shown that difficulties have been faced while carrying out rescue operations promptly during times of accidents and natural calamities. Because of a lack of proper record system of trekkers, their exact whereabouts and the information about trekking routes, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spotting trekkers who were missing. The provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been effective from Jan. 1, 2008. Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) have started recording trekkers’ details and issuing TIMS Card to trekkers. The visiting tourists, who are interested to general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card. To obtain TIMS Card you need copy of Passport and two copies of Passport-size Photographs.

    Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 18, 2010 to implement the TIMS system in a new format from April 1, 2010. NTB and TAAN have introduced separate TIMS Cards for FITs and organized groups. FITs need to have Green TIMS cards by paying US $20 per person, while those travelling in groups need to have Blue TIMS cards by paying US $10 per person.

    Sample of Our TIMS Registration Card.( click to view in large. )

    Why is TIMS Necessary?

    The following considerations have been taken into account when issuing TIMS cards:

    All important details of trekkers and trekking routes are maintained on a computerized Database Management System that may be useful for the safety and security of trekkers. To help carry out search and rescue operations for trekkers in case of natural calamities and other accidents by means of Authentic Information Service .

     To maintain a record system that includes personal details of trekkers, trekking area, trekking routes, handling agencies, duration, etc. The data generated from the system will be useful to all stakeholders: tourism organizations, Government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour operators, research institute, etc.

     Unauthorized trekking operations will be controlled, thus, resulting in better management of trekking services and in benefit of all concerned: trekkers, agencies, field staff, Government, etc. and also occasional untoward incidents will be better prevented.

    To upgrade service standards and contribute to better management of sustainable mountain tourism development of Nepal.

    TIMS will not be required for:

    • The expedition members permitted to climb the mountains.
    • The visitors in the controlled areas permitted by the Department of Immigration.
    • The foreign guests invited by the Government of Nepal.
    • The authorities from different diplomatic missions in the country, who are holding official letter/s.
    • Visitors on certain mission recommended by the concerned department of the Government.
    • Foreign Nationals having a residential visa.



Trekking Regions

RizVN Support

Find us on Facebook

India is a great country. It is known for its rich culture, tradition, history and heritage. It...
With the mesmerizing beauty, Nepal is no doubt an unique country with the popular saying unity in...
Bhutan often revered as the "Land of the Thunder Dragon" or 'Druk Yul', is still regarded as one...
Budget Tibet Tour is operated by local Tibetans.With any budget, you can get a Tibet tour of...




Send your email a newsletter.

Contact us

Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal. P.O.Box: 12947

   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: +977-1-4257635