Acclimatize, Acclimatize and Acclimatize

By Mridula Dwivedi July 7, 2007 15 Comments
Chhang– the Local Beer
Spiti is a high altitude region. Kaza, the base of the trek we did this time is situated at 3660 meters. The starting point of the trek is Langza and we were dropped there in a jeep. Langza is at the height of 4400 meters. Langza is beautiful and Chocho Khang Nilda (the mountain below) is a befitting backdrop. You can imagine if we went a little berserk at Langza.

Chocho Khang Nilda (translation: Chocho is princess, Khang is mountain, Nilda is sun facing) at Langza

I head started feeling a slight headache almost within half an hour of reaching there. Still, we had to go to the Gompa and see the fossils at a short distance of a kilometer or two. Sesha and Dilip (my elder nephew) wanted to visit a near by lake too. Our guide Anjan told us it is dry but those two still wanted to go.

A Fossil near Langza- Evidence of Sea Life

After looking at a few fossils I decide to drop out of the lake plan. I was feeling really tired and weird. I told the gang that I would wait for them at the Gompa and headed that way. It was quite windy and I crawled under the staircases of the Gompa to keep the wind out. After quite sometime, Sesha and Anjan came back and Dilip had went back to our home stay. We saw the Gompa leisurely and headed back.

A while later it started. Sesha started complaining of nausea. And soon enough, he started throwing up. It was still evening and we hoped it will stop. He skipped the dinner and went to sleep. At midnight I awoke suddenly and saw Sesha munching on a chocolate cookie. Relieved I thought he is feeling better. But a while later he started throwing up again, anything and everything, including water.

After the fourth time, I was really scared. After all, it feels like being in the middle of nowhere and the last thing I would like is to see Sesha getting really sick. All those horror stories of AMS (acute mountain sickness) started playing in my head. He was much calmer and said if it doesn’t stop by the morning maybe he will go back and Dilip and I could complete the trek. Not a merry thought at all. I had started wondering if Ecosphere had a cancellation policy!

I was also reminded of our Ladakh trip where we tried to trek through Markha Valley but had to turn back after three days because I had a badly upset stomach that showed no sings of getting better. I said to Sesha that it seems our high altitude trek attempts are jinxed. Anyway, he took two Avomines, vomited both, and finally went to sleep. He feel asleep quickly and I was a lot relieved. Because even my head was aching furiously at night and I was not sure if I could take a sleepless night without falling sick myself.

In the morning, it was another day, bright and beautiful. Sesha was much better and the nausea of the night had completely vanished. He was raring to go. And here we are after completing the trek.

Moral of the story- don’t take the altitude lightly, even if we are feeling fit and fine. If you are not used to it, treat it with a lot of respect.

Oh! and Dilip slept peacefully through the night, never even turning in his sleep!

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15 thoughts on “Acclimatize, Acclimatize and Acclimatize”

  1. The photos are lovely! I’m sorry you had to feel ill to get them. What altitude were you at?

  2. I can imagine..I was paranoid when i went to sikkim and arunachal and was worried that I would fall sick …thankfully i didnt…now implanning ladakh and I hope to be in shape …good you guys got back alright …the pics are amazing

  3. Teri, the altitude was more than 4000 meters. Thankfully my husband recovered in one day!Bckpakker, so when are you heading to Ladakh? I loved the place. And yes for the first day there, I had some headache for sure.

  4. Priyank, you and I were writing here at the same time! Sesha doesn’t blog, at least not about travel. he sometimes uploads a few of his violin pieces on Youtube! And it was a relief to finally complete a high altitude trek.

  5. nice to know that you managed to complete the trek even after so much of problems…must have been full of anxiety the night that too with a headache!!

  6. Good thing that your husband recovered fully, the next morning!I know exactly how bad it can feel, because I’ve had several acute bouts of gastroentitis that resulted in severe vomitting and even hospitalisation, especially when I was younger.

  7. You had me worried there for a moment , headaches and nausea before settlig in for the night. Thanx for sharing the great pic´s , hopefully I´ll be in Spiti soon myself. For now , I´ll have to settle with a book : The Dispute Between Tea and Chang should be somewhere around here..

  8. Sidhu, I can imagine how terrible it would have been. But at the altitude you get all the more worried.Backpakker, amen to that!Vistet, truth be told, I was one hell of worried person that night till Sesha actually fell asleep. Good to hear that you will be going to Spiti. Have you been there before? As for Chang, I surprisingly liked it, though I can’t stand beer. But tea still remains my all time favorite.

  9. sorry to hear about the altitude sickness but at least the recovery was over night! btw, that is one perfect fossil, I must say. really, really beautiful and a classic ammonite, i think. i would have picked it up and taken it home with me!

  10. Flygirl, believe me it took a lot of self-discipline not to pick that fossil up. Though I would say you should head there and try for yourself!

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Travel Tales from India

I started 'Travel Tales from India' in 2005. It has become an anchor for my travel writing. My blog was once linked at BBC and The Guardian. All my stories published at Gonomad can be viewed from my writer profile page. In December 2010 I featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video. You can write to me at mridulablog at gmail dot com For advertising queries please check out my advertising page.

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