The following are recommended to achieving acclimatization:
- Pre-acclimatize prior to your trip by using a high altitude training system.
- Ascend Slowly. Your guides will tell you, "Pole, pole" (slowly, slowly) throughout your climb. Because it takes time to acclimatize, your ascension should be slow. Taking rest days will help. Taking a day increases your chances of getting to the top by up to 30% and increases your chances of actually getting some enjoyment out of the experience by much more than that.
- Do not overexert yourself. Mild exercise may help altitude acclimatization, but strenuous activity may promote HAPE.
- Take slow deliberate deep breaths.
- Climb high, sleep low. Climb to a higher altitude during the day, then sleep at a lower altitude at night. Most routes comply with this principle and additional acclimatization hikes can be incorporated into your itinerary.
- Eat enough food and drink enough water while on your climb. It is recommended that you drink from four to five liters of fluid per day. Also, eat a high calorie diet while at altitude, even if your appetite is diminished.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillizers, sleeping pills and opiates. These further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of altitude sickness.
- If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude sickness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease. If symptoms increase, descend.
Our guides are all experienced in identifying altitude sickness and dealing with the problems it causes with climbers. They will constantly monitor your well-being on the climb by watching you and speaking with you. Twice daily, our guides will conduct tests with a pulse oximeter to measure your oxygen saturation and pulse rate. Additionally, our guides will administer the Lake Louise Scoring System (LLSS) to help determine whether you have any symptoms of altitude sickness and the severity.
It is important that you be open, active and honest with your guide. If you do not feel well, do not try to pretend you are fine. Do not mask your symptoms and say you feel OK. Only with accurate information can your guide best treat you.
Of course, there is always the chance that you will have to abandon your climb. In these situations, the guide will tell you to descend. It is not a request, but an order. The guide's decision is final. Do not try to convince him with words, threats or money to continue your climb. The guide wants you to succeed on your climb, but will not jeopardize your health. Respect the decision of the guide.