Sunday, May 12, 2013


From Wikipedia: 
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness , hypobaropathy, "the altitude bends", or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet).  It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without difficulty.
Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), which are potentially fatal."

For the next two days, the ascent was more pronounced. From 3800m we went up to 4200m and then next to 4900m.AMS or Acute mountain sickness is something to avoid to the best of our body. It is during this few camps that casualties will come. That was our situation starting off from Debouche. Saf who was sick the whole night improved a bit with Diamox. Ninti was not at his best and we were willing to let him have a go. Raj was worried about Saf but based on his experience, it looked like she would be OK but definitely we do have a low treshold for her.
What is AMS? It is an interesting physiological challenge; a popular physiology question as the ability to answer this correctly would relect upon the full understanding of how the body works in terms of pressure and hypoxia.
The weather was perfect for trekking, It rained the night before and the result was a clear morning after. The picturesque view of the Himalayas were getting more prominent. Trekking with a canvas-like scenery in all 360o view was simply exhilarating.

 Arriving in Pangboche, we were delayed for about an hour because the team had to make a decision. Saf was in fact improving but Ninti was getting worse. His fever and shortness of breath is getting more prominent.He looked very sick and at this point, Raj pointed out to me that Ninti cannot go forward but descend. It was something none of us expected, and Jasmin his girlfriend was kind enough to abandon this trip to accompany Ninti down. He was not too keen to do that but he was too breathless to say anything. Raj arranged City ( one of the porters) to follow them down. The group which started with 12 had been reduced to 10. 

It was cold when we arrived in Periche. Being at more than 4000m, would you expect less? The health condition and moral was a bit down. Everybody was worried if they were to be the next victim of AMS. At this juncture, the whole team moral was lifted when Deeno and Pak Am joined us by surprise! The FELDA team was in Dingbouche, as they were just back from climbing Island Peak. Saf was overjoyed to be reunited with his husband! It was a blessing at least Saf was now clear of the steps in admin for Puncak Event. And interesting story to tell about Periche was the water in the toilet became icy at night! I guess the temperature must have dropped to below 0 conditions that it happened! Imagine the surprise when going toilet in the middle of the night! haha
THe trek from Periche to Labuche i reckon is the highlight of this trip. Subhanallah.. I was so amazed by my view and the weather was simply super perfect. It was cold.. temperature ranging from 0-5oC but the sun was out. You could see the himalayan mountains on your whole view and Masya Allah.. I was simply thankful to be able to enjoy this creation of Allah.

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