How to Avoid Helicopter Rescue Scams in Nepal

  • Last Updated on Jun 27, 2022

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In recent days, Helicopter Rescue Scam in Nepal has become the most colossal topic of discussion among the mountain lovers from around the world. Hundreds of media coverage, reports and allegations along with counter-allegations have been published regarding this issue.

However, this article doesn’t take this colossal topic into considerations instead it focuses on how to avoid such scams.

Not all Trekking Companies are involved in the scam.

Saying that Helicopter rescue scams in Nepal are being common doesn’t mean that every trekking companies in Nepal are involved in it. There are many trekking agencies that offers the authentic rescue flights in case of emergency in the mountains. Just know how to find these good ones.

While selecting the perfect trekking companies, we strongly recommend you to go through the ratings of trekking agencies on the online booking platforms such as Trip advisor. However, be selective while going through the reviews, sometimes the reviews are reported to be fake. Likewise, good companies should have all the government registered licenses to operate tourism related activities in the mountains of Nepal.

Moreover, it is always good to stick with the references of trustworthy people who have been to Nepal before. Alternately, you can approach to reputed bloggers like David Ways of The Longest Way Home for recommendation. Otherwise, go through the official websites of Lonely Planet and scan the blog regarding trekking in Nepal to choose best trekking agency.

This way, you can choose the reputed trekking agencies with authentic and scam free trekking services in Nepal.

Some Insurance Companies are easier to Scan than others.

You might be wondering, how to find out if the insurance company is best or the worst. The answer is as simple as ABC, the best insurance company are those that provide solid ground support, doesn’t follow the policy of pay first and claim later arrangements, and functions on the basis of calls from agencies or trekker before scheduling a rescue helicopter flight.

Having solid ground support is very significant. As having trained medical personnel in a rescue helicopter ensures quick reaction and treatment in case of severe health issue in the high altitudes.

The pay first and claim later arrangement policy demands a patient to pay first for the helicopter rescue and then settle the payment with the insurance companies later. On the one hand this policy is very risky for the trekkers, whereas on the other hand, a lot of insurance companies does not accept this kind of policy.

However, the most significant distinguisher is the requirement that the responsible party must call the insurance company prior to calling a rescue helicopter flight. You might be wondering; this requirement rather increases lag time in case of severe health illness. However, be clear, one call doesn’t make any difference while arranging the rescue flight. In fact, if you had to call the insurance company many times, they might actually arrange a rescue flight themselves.

There are a lot of great insurance companies around Nepal, however Global Rescue is simply outstanding when it comes to providing insurance and recue services in Nepal.

Operate your trek yourself

While operating your trek yourself, you not only decrease the chance of getting sick, but also prevents the possibility of scams.

According to a research paper published in the Journals of Travel Medicine, about 94% of evacuated patients were trekking in the group and they were still continuing their rigid ascent because of peer pressure to continue the trek despite their illness. In accordance with that paper, we can assume that trekking in the group to be another factor responsible for illness seen in the Everest region.

Actually, making booking on your own or choosing right agency is really simple. Whether you are looking to book lodges, flight tickets or guides and porter, most of the services are just a click away if you go through trekking agency.

Otherwise, you can make all the bookings for Trekking in Nepal through Dream Heaven Adventure at very affordable cost.

Mountains are Tough. Plan accordingly!

Everest base camp trek requires certain amount of effort and dedication for its completion. As it is higher than the highest point in the continent of Europe or America, it is definitely hard to complete.

You must avoid a scammer who claims that the Everest base camp can be completed in 10 days or less. Everest base camp trek cannot be completed in such a less span of time by any means. Anyone believing it is asking for trouble.

Make sure your itinerary has the provision for acclimatization for every 1,000m ascent above 2,500m. As a result, acclimatization at Namche Bazar, Dingboche, and Pheriche is significant for healthy trek. Correspondingly on Everest Gokyo Lake trek, make sure you acclimatize at Machhermo and Namche Bazzar.

Moreover, when you trek to higher altitude you must come back to lower altitude for sleep. This way, your body can adapt better to the changing environment and prevents the chance of altitude sickness to some extent. That’s why we say, “Climb High, Sleep Low”.

Remember, any trek itinerary that does not have such rest are dangerous and problematic.

Anyway, the main focus is that you should not ascend further if you notice any symptoms of altitude sickness. If the symptoms get worse, descent is the only option left. Most of the times you will be perfectly fine if you make the descent of 500m. Once you feel better, you can restart your trek from the exact point where you left earlier.

This precaution not only saves your vacation, but also prevents the unnecessary helicopter rescue.

Expensive treks are not always safe

It is believed that the major cause of the helicopter rescue scams in Nepal is hyper-competitive tourism market. At such market, cheap treks are the suspects of scams. However, cunning scammers make sure that their trek does not seem too cheap. Thus, you must research upon the background of company you are trekking with.

Hence, price is always not a good indicator to determine weather the company is trustworthy or not.

Suman Aryal

Suman Aryal

Suman Aryal is Travel and Tour operator in the Himalaya since long. He organizes tours, trekking, hiking and climbing in Nepal. He loves writing related to travel and trekking in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.