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Expedition insurance discussion

When traveling it is always sensible to have some sort of travel insurance and medical insurance. However many policies exclude climbing with ropes so for 8000m expeditions insurance is a lot more difficult to find.

Climbing insurance

The first place to look for insurance is your national Alpine club. Both the American Alpine club (AAC) and the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) have good policies for their members. Beyond this the next best hope is an insurance policy that has no limitations. Most policies specifically exclude so-called dangerous activities, including climbing with ropes. However a few policies do not have such specific exclusions, IHI for example.

It is worth understanding that in Tibet there are no golden hour rescues; basically no helicopter rescue is available. Any evacuation is normally carried out by our sherpas team with the help of some of our climbers to get you off the mountain, and then a yak or horse if you cannot walk to base camp. From there you drive back to Kathmandu where a western-staffed clinic can assist you. In most cases the idea is to get you back to your home country as quickly as possible.

General travel insurance

Sometimes it is worth looking at having separate policies for the travel section of your journey, and sometimes you are able to get different polices for travel and then climbing. Do investigate your options carefully.

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