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Purna answered all our questions, took an active interest in our respective well beings and was excellent company whilst trekking.
George Pitt (UK) Kopra Ridge

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Risk assessments and BS8848

British Standard 8848 has been designed to help operators like The Mountain Company run safer adventurous trips outside of the UK. This standard places a greater emphasis on planning and risk assessment, it also details good practice to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone joining a trip.

BS8848 requires participants to be given clear information so that they can make informed decisions about risks to their own safety. It also ensures that more information is provided to the participants about their responsibilities on the trip.

As a result of our preliminary review of this standard The Mountain Company has already implemented a number of practical changes to our procedures, as listed below:

  • review of itineraries to ensure sufficient time for acclimatisation to high altitude i.e by following Wilderness Medical Society Consensus Guidelines for prevention of Acute Altitude Illness.
  • summary of our trip risk assessments for public view i.e published on our website in each Trip Dossier under see Threat and Risk Assessment paragraph.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan. We have developed a communications policy for both our Western and Nepali leaders and this has been designed to enhance the safety for both crew and trekking group.
  • enhanced pre trip screening of trekkers (experience, fitness and health) to ensure the trip is a reasonable objective for that person
  • further medical training for our trek guides in Nepal and Bhutan
  • professional weather forecasts from throughout the trekking seasons in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Pakistan
  • GPS SPOT for regular check ins to track the location of our groups in the field
  • contingency and emergency planning

At The Mountain Company we have always taken the safety of our groups very seriously and we have reviewed all of our trips to ensure compliance with BS8848.

Of course with treks and expeditions in remote places like the Himalaya there will always be a certain amount of inherent risk although by careful and detailed planning this can be reduced to an acceptable level.

For more information on you can download the BSI Consumer guide to BS8848