At Rimo we evaluate all clients before signing up for a trip based on their past trekking and climbing experience. However there can still be cases where one can suffer from any of the sickness mentioned earlier. In cases like those the only cure is DESCENT. 

While on a trek in a remote area if any client suffers from altitude sickness or any other serious injury, the sirdar/guide sends a runner to the nearest telephone/army post/road head to ask for help. 
Emergency evacuation becomes necessary in the following cases:

High Altitude Sickness – If the client suffers from High Altitude Sickness, he/she needs to descend immediately.

Injury – In case the client is badly injured – broken bones/fractures or sickness like thrombolysis (blood clotting), paralysis, loss of eyesight – in these cases as well he/she needs to be evacuated/descend immediately.

In the above cases evacuation by a chopper/helicopter becomes necessary if the clients are in remote areas.

Clients are constantly monitored from the arrival and anyone with any symptoms of altitude sickness is not sent on the trek. If anyone is slightly ill in Leh a doctor is called and the person assessed. Visiting charges for doctors is US$15/- to US$20/- per visit. If a client requires oxygen then he/she is taken to the SNM hospital in Leh, charges are very nominal and the hospital has a ward dedicated to tourists visiting Ladakh.

IF the symptoms of altitude sickness persist then the person is flown out on the next flight. We ask clients to get in touch with their insurance company in such cases and explain the situation. Our telephone numbers / fax numbers given to the Insurance company for further contact is: (+ 91 9810067952 / + 919810009291; fax: +91 124 2806030)

No person with symptoms of altitude sickness is taken on a trek.

On all our treks, oxygen cylinder is always carried out for any emergency. And Gamow bags are sent out on high altitude treks and mountaineering expeditions. Our leaders carry pulse oximeters, and it is the leader's decision if anyone is not well is sent back immediately with support staff. We cannot have satellite phones on our trips in India as these are legally not permissible by the Government of India. However we would expect the leader to have one to deal with emergencies.

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Procedure for helicopter evacuation

Helicopter evacuation process varies in the Indian sub-continent. While in Nepal and Bhutan it is a fairly easy process to get a helicopter for evacuation, same is not the case for India. In India helicopter evacuation is not done immediately though we have been able to get helicopter for rescue within 2 hrs notice in Ladakh, where it is still easier than the rest of the Indian Himalaya as the Indian Air Force have a huge base in Leh.

In case of an evacuation by helicopter the concerned insurance company of the client is informed by us. We also have to inform the concerned Embassy/Consulate office in India as clearance from various ministries, including that from the District Commissioner of Leh, is required for same.

Rimo stand as a guarantee of payment to the concerned department of the Indian Air Force. Two choppers are always sent in Ladakh as this is a sensitive area and the charges of 2 choppers from hangar to hangar are charged between US$2000/- to US$2500/- per hour, so about US$5000/- per hour.

Due to the difficulties and long process in getting choppers, we do not call one unless there is such an emergency.

The hospitals in Ladakh cannot cater to critical care conditions. The Army hospital in Leh can cater to such requirements. However, anyone requiring immediate medical attention is flown out to Delhi – 1 hrs flight and 3-5 flights a day. Before doing this we would have contacted the insurance provider of the client and they usually have a representative in Delhi who then take over and handle everything.

We find that East West Medical Centre, who also conduct rescue operations, act fast in emergency cases (we’ve dealt with 2 critical conditions in Sikkim and Kumaon). The contact doctor is Dr.Chawla - +91 9811029283. He contacts the medical insurance company and takes over totally.

Each member should share their medical / emergency insurance policy numbers and a copy each of everyone’s passport and India Visa as the same is required for emergency. 

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