Experts alert new hikers after Spiti tragedy kills two in Bengal | Calcutta News

Two Bengal hikers lost their lives due to bad weather conditions near the Khamenger Glacier in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday. As their bodies and those of the other survivors were brought back by authorities to Kaza, two other Bengali climbers – Moloy Mukherjee and Debraj Dutta – were sent there by the trekking club on Thursday to help with the rescue work. Speaking to CT by phone, Moloy told us, “Although the autopsy is due, it appears the reason for their deaths was extreme exhaustion. If a very experienced group like this can meet such an unfortunate fate, I’m afraid for new hikers who take tough routes without proper research, support and times because they think it’s a cool thing to do ” , did he declare.
In the wake of the latest incident, the entire Bengal mountaineering and trekking community has sounded the alarm against the risky trend, which is gaining popularity ahead of Puja.

Social networks are fueling the trend
According to veteran mountaineer Basanta Kumar Singha Roy, trekking and mountaineering in India is still dominated by the Bengalis. “In recent times, I have seen several people in the state carrying out dangerous expeditions without the proper knowledge and experience,” he said.
Moloy, who agreed with Basanta, said that in recent years hundreds of trekking and mountaineering clubs have been formed on social media with no concern for authenticity. “People with little or no experience take adventurers to the mountains. Those who sign up for the treks don’t know each other and go ahead without proper research. So when a crisis strikes, no one knows what to do and they don’t even help each other. In the past year alone, I have received several complaints about such incidents, ”he said, adding that you need to talk to experienced hikers and mountaineers when planning such trips to get an understanding. real picture.

Research is the key
Famous hiker and writer Ratanlal Biswas said that over 90% of trekking-related accidents are due to errors on the part of hikers, and the most common of these is lack of research – the first and foremost step in the preparation of a trek. “In this part a person has to learn everything about where they are going. Choose an experienced group with like-minded people, as your group members are all you will have in these inaccessible areas. In addition, in addition to the knowledge of alternative routes, it is necessary to learn about the altitude and the geography of the place. It is important to have information on weather conditions, including average precipitation and snowfall. You can be better prepared to deal with unforeseen situations by having all of these details at hand, ”said Ratanlal.
Acclimatization and choosing the right equipment
When going to places at such high altitudes, it is of the utmost importance to acclimate your body to the height that is rising. “Your body has to get used to the lower air pressure, oxygen levels and increased cold, which can take days or even weeks. Unfortunately, inexperienced hikers do not consider this point when planning. Maybe it’s because they don’t have enough days off or something, but hundreds of accidents happen because people tend to ignore that part, ”climber Satyarup Siddhanta said. . Choosing the best trekking and mountaineering gear that one can afford is also a must.

Communication and rescue options
Most trekking and mountaineering routes have poor mobile connectivity and hikers often find themselves in situations of powerlessness. “Satellite communication systems are your only savior in such a time of crisis. Despite the fact that hikers all over the world use satellite phones, this is not allowed in India for safety reasons. I use a small satellite GPS system that can send text messages and emails and advise any hiker to use it. How else would they alert people in an emergency, ”Satyarup added.
When it comes to the rescue part, Indian hikers and mountaineers are known to overwhelmingly ignore it, as most private rescue services charge dearly for a helicopter rescue. “I was once asked to pay $ 50,000 for a helicopter rescue and it’s not possible for everyone to shell out such a large amount,” Basanta said. However, you should try to take out helicopter rescue insurance that fits your budget.
The essentials of trekking

  • Research the location and the group thoroughly
  • Maintain a basic level of fitness
  • Undergo a thorough medical examination before travel
  • Pack the best communication devices and hiking gear you can afford
  • Try to get helicopter rescue insurance
  • Plan your trip so that your body has enough time to acclimate to the increasing altitude

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