No Doubt, Mount Aconcagua comes with its own set of risks and hidden dangers which makes climbing Mount Aconcagua a challenging experience for the mountaineers. However, there is a provision for free medication and treatments at the base camps of Mount Aconcagua which help the climbers to complete their trek successfully. There are English-speaking doctors who have in-depth knowledge about wilderness medicines and experience in handling high-altitude circumstances and wilderness medicine. These top-notch doctors have the authority to strictly prohibit you from climbing Mount Aconcagua if they are doubtful about your health conditions. If it’s necessary, they might even call for a helicopter to take the patient and this service charge will be covered in the cost of Mount Aconcagua climb permit.
As a rule, by the National Park, it is required that every mountaineer should undergo three medical checkups before climbing the mountain. The first checkup will be conducted as soon as you reach the base camp, the second one after a few days of acclimatization process and lastly prior to the beginning of your summit cycle. The doctors are very strict about health checkups and it is wise to have your medical checkup, especially if you’re having high blood pressure.
Know How to Handle
When climbing high mountains, you may encounter a potential medical emergency. Although there are Rangers at Nido de Condores which contain important and useful rescue and survival equipment for trekkers, along with team members around, your travel guides must know how to handle any medical conditions and should conduct its own rescue and evacuation procedures. This includes helping climbers on the mountains and carrying own safety and medical kit to the mountains. Individual climbers should also carry their own first aid kit to prevent scarcity of medicines, ointments or gear. It is with the help of these stations, climbing on Aconcagua has become an easy and safe trek experience for the trekkers. However, ‘Prevention is the best cure’, and this holds true when it comes to climbing on Mount Aconcagua. Make sure you carry all the necessary safety gear and a personal first aid kit with yourself before you leave home. You should also be mentally prepared for the trip, changing weather conditions, and your ability to cope up with the extreme situations on the mountains.
What to Do in Case of an Emergency
In case of an emergency, the travel guides, with the help of rescue teams such as the Aconcagua National Park Rangers, will handle the situation and descend the mountain for further treatment of the patient. These teams may also use a stretcher in case of serious accidents or illnesses. The Rangers work with a team of top-notch medical staff and provide medical facilities at both base camps.
Additionally, there is also a helicopter rescue service that goes as high as Nido de Condores. However, this generally picks up patients at base camps and drops them at the park gate. This cost is included in the park permit; and therefore, you are required to cover this service cost with your insurance policy. Once you reach the park gate, you may either head to your hotel to take rest or the nearest hospital in Mendoza for further medications. Meanwhile, the travel guide will inform your family and contact an insurance company as early as possible to get assistance from their Emergency Assistance Team. You must always carry your insurance policy documents and a credit card to meet future expenses and claim later.
What to Do in Case of Altitude Sickness
In the event that your body does not acclimatize well to altitude, you must stop continuing trekking as it may result in more serious health problems. Therefore, make sure you take enough time to acclimatize your body properly to mitigate the risks of high-altitude sickness. You may rely on your travel guides and tell them your problems so that they can take necessary measures for your health or may even abandon the climb if they deem it necessary.
Do Not Hide Anything from Travel Guides or Doctors
When planning to climb Mount Aconcagua, you must go for a pre-medical checkup to learn about your health conditions and other potential health issues. Once you reach the base camps, you should consider going for a pre-climb medical checkup. The doctors will diagnose your health conditions by taking heart rate, blood pressure, and arterial oxygen saturation measurements. They will also ask you about any prevailing medical problem or altitude symptom that you may be experiencing at that time.
If the doctors are suspicious of your health condition, they won’t allow you to climb the mountains. You must also inform your travel guide about your health issues so that they’ll know what to do in case you fall ill.
With all these things in mind, you can mitigate the risk of potential altitude sickness and be ready to face the Aconcagua challenges ahead.