Himalayan Climbing and Mountaineering School (HCMS) management endeavors to identify what might cause harm to the participants and staffs who train together in the mountains and the management takes reasonable precautionary steps to prevent harms and hazards. The mountains themselves seldom pose any threat but the variation in atmospheric conditions causes surrounding environmental changes and hazards. In order to cope in the mountains, it is necessary to be aware of potential unseen hazards. HCMS will take sensible measure to control risk both at workplace and outdoor training venues. When it comes to Health, Safety and Environment of the participants and training staffs, while at indoor training facilities and in nature, HCMS will not hesitate to execute a less risky option; preventing access to the hazards; organizing courses and programs to reduce exposure to the hazard; issuing protective equipment; providing welfare facilities such as first aid and washing facilities; involving and consulting with workers for safe practice.
Additionally, HCMS cares and concentrates without compromising the following for all participants and training staffs:
- Health and Fitness without putting anyone at risk in high altitudes and technically challenging terrains – The activities in the mountain can be different for a normal hiker or trekker and adventure enthusiasts. Some activities can be relatively easy or moderate and some demand skills and strength. An individual in perfect physical shape in sea level or at 4500 ft may perhaps find the activities at high altitude physically demanding. HCMS will carefully examine individuals to ensure they are properly acclimatized and performing at optimum level to be safe in the high altitude. For example, prolong exposure and physically demanding training in very high altitude exceeding two weeks time could result in exertion of the participants as well as their inability to perform at high level. The high altitude atmospheric pressure and environmental conditions are not favorable for human physiology. HCMS courses are designed to make sure that human limitations are never compromised or crossed to achieve a mountaineering feat.
- Social and Cultural Awareness orientation – Participants will receive orientation about the course, location, people and culture to have better understanding of local norms. HCMS values having proper information prior to the commencement of the training in order to harmonize the relation between participants, training staffs, people, culture and importantly the natural environment in which we interact. It will certainly avoid conflicts or mitigate situations that can trigger conflict or human crisis.
- Nutrition – HCMS carefully advise participants to consume Suitable Nutrition essential to keep everyone strong and healthy throughout the duration of course. There are varieties of locally grown organic foods such as buckwheat, millet, wheat, rice, lentils, fresh green vegetables, dairy and meat products available enjoyed by the natives. HCMS will craft food menu suitable for all the participants. For participants who are allergic to certain food and dairy products, HCMS management and training staff will make alternative arrangement.
- Instructor/Trainer – The quality of any training depends on the teaching methodology of instructors/ trainers and the size of the group. All instructors are qualified personnel and HCMS continually evaluates its performance as well as compliance with required certification. In order to give individual attention, we will conduct training at the ratio of 1:3 guide instructor to trainee in Alpine training, Introductory intermediate level rock climbing training. The ratio of guide instructor to trainee is 1:4 guide instructor to trainee for advance level rock climbing. Instrutors are selected based on their experience, qualification, competency and communication skill.
- Equipments – For Trekking, Mountain Climbing and Mountaineering Activities, proper gears and equipments can be the difference between safety and success. As such, HCMS properly inspects the quality of gears and equipments used by participants and training staffs for the overall safety. We use tested and certified equipments and replace them as and when required. We make strong recommendation to the participants to purchase such tested equipments. In order to save on expenses, it is certainly advisable to rent or purchase used equipment as long as our qualfied trainers are satisfied with the existing condition upon inspection of those gears and equipment.
- High Altitude and Outdoor Hazards – Participants and Training staff will receive proper information about both subjective and objective dangers as well as health problembs in high altitude enviroenment and outdoor nature such as high altitude sickness HAPE, HACE , AMS Snow blind, Forstbite, Hypothermia, Heat sroke, and mountain dangers (Rock fal, Avalanches, Land slide, Sonw storm, Active glaciers, Crevasses and Bad weather) and precautionary measures to ensure safety. The participants and staffs will travel with First aid kit at all time. Instructors are nationally and internationally certified individuals who can perform first responder medical duties.
- Training Method – Modules for the courses are enjoyable and not stressful. 80% of our trainings are designed for practical purposes and not to reach the finish line in a competetive marathon. To ensure the well being of participants in a fun-filled smaller groups, our training modules are flexible as well as accomodating of individual needs. Our professionally trained staffs are caring and easy going.
- Evacuation Plan – If and when a participant or training staff needs to be evacuated from training location in the classroom or the mountain, HCMS will have comprehensive emergency evacuation plan that can be executed quickly and efficiently to avail best medical care. After quick assessment of the situation, we can immediately mobilize Ambulance and Helicopter with Medic and Rescue Guides. Participants are required to mandatorily carry Travel Insurance for Personal Accident, Medical Treatment and Repatriation sufficient to cover Helicopter rescue for evacuation from Alpine Areas.
- Raise and promote awareness in overall mountain safety – HCMS is a responsible organization and has obligation to inform and alert the citizens living under the threatening hazards such as harsh weather, drought, forest-fire, landslide, snow-storm avalanche earthquake and flood for safe living. HCMS will partner and work with the Government and stakeholder associations for the free-of-cost training of locals on survival skills, basic first aid and various use of rope techniques to traverse in technically challenging terrains and cliffs to perform first-responder duties during emergency situation.
- Training Staffs – Most of our training staffs are profesionally trained natives who are well adapted in challening mountain terrains. They are born, bred and raised in their native village with extensive local knowledge of surrounding environment, vegetations, animals. As local natives, they are the actual guardians of the mountains, rivers and forests. It is not just an individual but a regional and social interest group and everyone associated with HCMS will work hard to improve trail maintenance & marking, maps & navigations, keeping the trails and environment safe and clean before, during and after the training. The staffs will ensure that the wildlife and plant habitats are not disturbed and harmed with ongoing training. HCMS will also organize and coordinate Clean Air Campaign to remove and reduce man-made waste that has polluted the mountains for decades.
- Code of Conduct – HCMS has zero tolerance policy against Sexual Harrasment, abuse of drugs and alcohol, disregard of local and state norms, unacceptable and aggressive behaviour etc. Participants and instructor found guilty of such misconducts will be terminated from the program on the spot and will not be given refunds. Any wilful misconduct and detrimental behavior resulting in injury of people and damage of property and environment will be held liable in the court of law and subjected to payment of the caused damages.
- Environmental protection and preservation of Natural Habitats – Pemba himself is a strong advocate who passionately speaks about preservation of culture, nature and natural habitats in the mountains, home to many ethnic groups of people, plants and distinct birds and animals of Nepal. HCMS, the school he founded will strongly resonate his awareness campaign to discourage and stop any activities threatens or inflicts harm to the environment and status-quo. Pemba firmly believes that the new generation should not be deprived of the same natural wonders and wealth enjoyed by our ancestors. Everyone is entitled to clean air and water but equally important is the protection and preservation of our nature and environment so that the gift of nature exists for free to our children and grandchildren and their grandchildren. For this, both the locals and visitors should be educated to cause minimal or virtually no harm while working in the natural settings of the mountains. The nature can reward us with spirituality and happiness but can also punish us with severe destruction if we simply start digging deep. The only way of safe mountaineering is by being respectful to the nature, the core value of “Risk Management & Safety”.
Himalayan Climbing & Mountaineering School (HCMS) Pvt. Ltd. © 2021. All rights reserved.