Why “Altitude Sickness” Is Killing The Spirit Of Exploration

Today, we want to discuss a topic that bothers us  all the time. Tell us, does this bother you too?

There’s this thing called “altitude sickness” that we see in most trekkers.

We’re not talking about anything health-related here.

We’re talking about this tendency amongst trekkers to get hungry for higher and higher altitudes after each trek.

They start with a trek like Kedarkantha at 12,500 ft, jump to Roopkund at 16,000 ft and then it’s suddenly Kanamo Peak at 19,000 ft!

And then what?

Why it bothers us

At Indiahikes we see trekking very differently.

We don’t see trekking as a sport where you progress to more and more difficult treks. In fact, we don’t even look at ‘altitude’ as a criterion while choosing a trek.

We believe every trek is worth exploring — whether in the Himalayas or in the Aravallis, or in the Sahyadris or in the Western Ghats. That’s when you live by the real spirit of exploration.

True, we tag some of our treks as “Best trek for beginners” but that does not mean that it is not meant for experienced trekkers.

In fact, our trek leaders, founders, pro trekkers, they all jump at the idea of a new trek — their ears prick even at the sound of the easiest trek.

So our issue is that of late trekking has become a meaningless chase for higher altitudes, without the true spirit of exploring. You lose out on variety, you lose out on culture and you lose out on nature. All you get is “altitude sickness”! Why all this glory-hunting?

We know we sound a bit disgruntled. Are we wrong in thinking this?

What you do think?

Can you share your thoughts with us in the comments section below?

We really want to see what most trekkers think. Hope to read your comment here.

Cover picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She also runs a video series, Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can. Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

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