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Basic Minimum Standards will apply specifically to commercial trekking expeditions in high altitude areas.


2.1 These Basic Minimum Standards will apply specifically to commercial trekking expeditions in high altitude areas above 2000m



2.2 Lead guides and instructors who are leading trekking activities should either be qualified to lead mountaineering groups OR hold valid certificates the following;

a) A minimum 16 hour (2 days) first aid course provided by a recognised and qualified provider

b) Completed the Basic Mountaineering Course from any of the National Mountaineering Institutes and carry a certificate duly authenticated by a IMF recognized body OR IMF accredited tour operator stating that the individual “has experience of 3 years in assisting trekking expeditions at altitudes of 2000 m and above and is independently capable guiding trekking groups and carrying out rescue operations”

c) Maintain a log book containing authenticated records of trekking experience.



2.3 The correct use and proper maintenance of climbing equipment is essential for conducting trekking activities and should never be taken lightly.


2.4 Trekking equipment such as Tents etc should be appropriate to the terrain in which they are being used.


2.5 All equipment is subject to wear and tear and must be checked before every use. Incorrect storage, use and monitoring of rated and approved equipment is usually the cause of equipment failure. Operators and leaders must have a sound knowledge of this and have systems in place in order to control and manage their equipment.
Inspection and maintenance procedures


2.6 Inspections and maintenance require a sound knowledge of the systems and equipment themselves and therefore must be carried out by qualified persons as a minimum the inspector must be qualified to be a guide/instructor. Basic inspections must be carried out before every use with complete and detailed inspections carried out on a regular basis in accordance with their operations procedures and risk assessments.
SOP’s and operating instructions


2.7 All Trekking Tour Operators must maintain and update a Standard Operating Procedure for their operations and get the same vetted from IMF from time to time.


2.8 Besides covering the methodologies that are adopted by the agency in organizing the trek, such as assessing of members qualification, medical condition and experience, procedures for obtaining of various permissions, travel to the trekking area, maintenance of camps including hygiene, avoidance of high altitude sickness, safety precautions, communication, weather reports, procedure for emergencies, casualty evacuation, incident and accident reporting, feedback mechanism the following must be included in the SOPS:

a) The guiding and porter staff for the trek and the material supplied must be adequate for the aims of the party and stated level of service offered.

b) Advance arrangements must be known for medical help. Advance arrangements must also be made for evacuation assistance in case of emergency.

c) Advertising must give a true picture of all the difficulties and dangers involved, and avoid promising the impossible. If an expedition is commercially launched by an operator, then the Biographical information about the guiding team should be included.

d) The client must truthfully reveal his experience, supported by documentation/photograph, medical history etc to the organiser so that the organiser can make an informed choice about the potential client.

e) Information supplied in advance will include a clear statement of the guiding, porterage and equipment which will be supplied by the organiser, together with details of the clothing and equipment to be supplied by the client. This is not in the context of the operators assisting trekking expeditions with logistics alone.


2.9 The tour operator must maintain, at the minimum the following documentation:

a) Details of all Guides and Instructors including, copies of certifications, a record of expedition experience and feedback from clients.

b) Copies of all Permits and Permissions of current expeditions.

c) Copies of identification documents, Insurance cover and details of next of kin for all participants, guides and instructors.

d) Copy of SOP.



2.10 In order to mitigate the risk of high altitude, the following is advised:
a) To get participants medically examined before starting on the journey.

b) Unless guided by a highly experienced guide, at least one or two members of the party have experience of high altitude trekking.

c) Ensure that environmental safeguards are implemented in their programme so that the area and peak visited by them suffer no damage, and is left clean for subsequent expeditions. Carryback all non-biodegradable waste.
Emergencies and rescues


2.11 In addition;

a) Adequate first aid medical equipment must be available with the party.

b) Evacuation routes must be identified and known to participants, guides and instructors,

c) A detailed and documented evacuation/emergency procedure must be available with the party along with closest available emergency services which can be called upon as required.