Why we Wild Women Stay Safe in the Wilderness

By Di Westaway | CEO Wild Women On Top

Almost 500 people —including trekkers, guides, porters, and locals have now been rescued as a result of a massive blizzard in the popular trekking region of Annapurna, in Nepal. As of Monday, nearly 40 people are dead and up to 40 people are still unaccounted for.

So why did so many people die in Nepal on October 14th?

There is no simple answer to this question – those with access to weather reports knew of the cyclone and impending blizzard. The victims were either not aware, not equipped or chose to ignore the weather forecast.

Our sincere condolences and thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased.

This storm and the ensuing situation is a good reminder to our Wild Women On Top community that wilderness environments are not to be underestimated.  Particularly in the mountains, the weather patterns can be unpredictable and fierce storms, such as the blizzards that struck these high areas, while rare, can occur without much notice.

Independent trekkers are particularly vulnerable and should be extremely careful in their planning and with decisions taken when crossing high mountain passes, in back country or trekking into remote terrain.

However, no matter how much thought, experience, local knowledge and planning go into your trek, there is still an element of risk involved; just like riding a bike or crossing the road.

Our philosophy is to manage the risk. And the best way to do this is to:

  1. Choose the best adventure travel company for your trek – we partner with World Expeditions because they select and invest in the best local operators around the world. Their guides carry comprehensive medical kits and safety equipment , space blankets, bivouac tents, portable altitude chambers and satellites phones. They are highly adept in high altitude conditions and allow weather contingency days and time to acclimatise.
  2. Prepare physically and mentally – that’s why we do Trek Training, Wild Walks and Wild Weekends … to make sure you’re fit, healthy and prepared to expect the unexpected
  3. Shop for and train in the best possible gear for the conditions – that’s why we go to Trek & Travel to get awesome advice from the experts
  4. Upskill yourself in any other unique features of the trek – for scrambling challenges, we practice rock scrambling, for altitude we do high intensity interval training and for endurance walks we take on local challenges like Sydney Coastrek
  5. Go with an equally prepared team, including trained trekkers and an experienced coach who has wilderness first aid and guiding experience to assist in an extreme emergency

Our treks are unique wilderness experiences that are carefully planned and executed by the experts. But, the more prepared you are, including training in challenging weather and on difficult terrain, the more fun you’ll have.

So, whether it’s our Mt Anne Wild Weekend Escape in remote South West Tassie, the Dolomites in the Italian Alps, snow shoeing in the Aussie Alps or Mt Ama Dablam Base Camp in the Everest region of Nepal, you can minimise the risk by joining a Wild Women On Top Adventure.

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