Want to book an expedition? It is quite simple. We run trips to the best of our abilities but without ANY liability, except the cost price of the trip, and participants can't sue the operator (us), our contractors or sue each other. However due to increasing legal absurdities we ask that you read (have a laugh/cry?) over this. And sign it!
Jamie McGuinness of Project Himalaya has done everything possible within the budget of the trip to ensure that our trips give clients and members a rewarding and relatively safe experience. However you must acknowledge that adventure travel, treks, trek-climbs and expeditions are all inherently dangerous. The same elements that contribute to the adventure of trekking or climbing such as the physical exertion or the risk can also cause loss or damage to gear, injury, illness, or in extreme cases, death.
While travelling, trekking and/or climbing, there are risks to be encountered which you should be aware of:
We travel in local transport that will not be up to developed country standards. Buses are old and rough, even our hired transport. The roads are rough and sometimes non-existent. Driving standards are very different - much worse - than western standards, but vehicles travel at much lower speeds. Where possible we minimize these risks by taking domestic flights. Domestic flights are mostly in small 16-19 seater twin-engined propeller aircraft with local pilots. The rural airstrips are rough, rarely flat and have no radar facilities. All flying is visual. There is an extremely low risk of snapped undercarriages and flying into a mountain in the clouds. Occasionally domestic flights are delayed several days by bad weather.
While trekking, climbing and camping you should carry adequate water, sun protection and clothing appropriate to the conditions. We provide equipment lists and will answer any questions about gear that you may have prior to the trek and on the trail. We also inspect your equipment prior to leaving for the trek.
While trekking you will be traversing rugged terrain: high mountain passes, snow and ice, exposed and rough trails, routes threatened by avalanches and landslides and crossing streams and rivers by rough bridges or slippery rocks. There are risks of falling, rock fall, landslides, collapsing bridges and exposure. The trails we use are mostly unmaintained.
Climbing mountains is inherently dangerous. There are unavoidable risks of avalanche, rock fall, serac and icefall collapses, climbing protection failing, falling in crevasses, falling, hypothermia and extreme weather conditions. You may be climbing on ropes that are old with strength degraded, ropes that have been fixed by amateurs, ropes and protection that may have been placed incorrectly according to best practice. You may be crossing hidden or open crevasses without protection.
There are also dangerous animals, dangerous plants, and dangerous insects. Any wild and domestic animal you encounter can be dangerous, including the yaks, yak crossbreeds and horses that carry our bags on some treks. Nepal and India have dangerous bears, tigers, leopards and other animals however the risk of an incident is extremely low, for example bears are rarely encountered, unlike in the USA. In Nepal stinging nettles are a problem and we will point them out at the first opportunity. There are a variety of bees and wasps. Hornets are rare but aggressive and multiple stings are life-threatening.
Water should be purified or treated before drinking. This includes ALL tap water in cities, towns and villages, and all stream water. On glaciers and with snow melt we will advise. Cleaning your hands before eating and after toilet functions is critical in maintaining good health.
You will travel, trek and/or climb to extreme altitudes. Altitude sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness: AMS) is a significant risk. Altitude sickness occurs when your body cannot properly adapt to the lower amounts of oxygen found in the air at high and extreme altitudes. Acclimatization is the process by which the body adapts. Most people suffer some form of mild altitude sickness and most people can acclimatize to high altitudes, but not everyone. The key is to ascent slowly, over a period of days and to drink plenty of water. Altitude sickness can develop into High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which can be fatal if not treated quickly. Treatment is rapid descent to a lower altitude.
Traveling, trekking and climbing at high (above 2400m) and extreme altitudes carries numerous risks not yet fully understood. It does affect men's fertility for a period of at least several months, making them less fertile or infertile. It does thicken the blood increasing the risk of blood clots, even if you stay fully hydrated. The lower levels of oxygen in the bloodstream do affect the brain, heart and other organs in ways not yet understood.
In an emergency situation western-standard hospital care is often not available although there are some professional clinics in Kathmandu and Delhi. While trekking and travelling you may be several days from any medical facility. Helicopter evacuation is available in Nepal; in India it is at the army's discretion. The helicopter will not take off until payment for services is arranged. Helicopter evacuation is unavailable in Tibet.
Decisions made by the leader and participants (team members/clients) in a wildness setting are based on a variety of factors, perceptions and evaluations which by their nature are imprecise and subject to errors in judgment. Throughout the tour participants are responsible for their own safety and must show consideration for the safety of other members of their group.
This list is not an exhaustive list of possible injuries, or accidents that may occur while traveling, trekking or climbing. Most of these injuries are rare and you are not likely to encounter them, however they have occurred and you must be aware of the risks.
In the following agreement 'The Organizers' means your foreign agent (if any), Jamie McGuinness of Project Himalaya their agents and employees.
I certify that I am fully capable of participating in a travel, trekking or trek-climb program. I state that I have read the above statement on some of the possible risks.
** Therefore, I assume full responsibility for myself for bodily injury, death and loss of personal property and any expenses as a result of my negligence, or the negligence of The Organizers. **
I also understand that The Organizers reserves the right to refuse any person it judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in travel, trekking or trek-climbs. I are in good physical condition and able to undertake this trekking.
I certify that to my knowledge I do not have any medical condition that would prevent my participation in this travel, trekking or trek-climb. I hereby give permission for transportation to any medical facility or hospital and I authorize any guide or medical personnel to render emergency medical care for myself.
I and my heirs agree to indemnify and hold harmless The Organizers and other participants, from all claims, damages, losses, injuries and expenses arising out of or resulting from my participation in these activities. I further agree to release, acquit and covenant not to sue The Organizers and/or other participants for all actions, causes of action, claims or damages, of whatever kind, including the negligence of The Organizers and/or other participants, arising out of participation in this program. In short, I cannot prosecute or sue The Organizers and/or other participants, and if I do, I cannot collect any money.
I agree to the site of any lawsuit and the law governing any such lawsuit shall be Nepal and governed by Nepalese law. The terms of this agreement shall continue and be in effect after the trip has ended.
I agree that if The Organizers are forced to defend any action, lawsuit or litigation by myself, my executors, or my heirs, on my family's or my behalf, my heirs or executors and I agree to pay The Organizers all costs and legal fees if they successfully defend such action, lawsuit or litigation.
This is a legal document. Please read and understand this document before signing.
last updated 18 April 2014