YHAI Safety SOPs – Each step with care
Following the sudden and completely unexpected COVID-pandemic related lockdown, we at YHAI decided to immediately put the safety and health of our trekkers, staffers and support staff at the centre of our activities. While trekking and moving out of our comfort zones to experience the thrill of adventure is a highlight for many, this year has been severely impacted by the pandemic and related SOPs that were set in place. As such, we put a hold on our programs and requested all our trekkers to Postpone The Trek, Do Not Cancel It.
YHAI partnered with the authorities in every way possible, extending our services where we can. Our Youth Hostel at Delhi was used as a centre for medical staff; we donated medical supplies at various places; local centres initiated projects like blood-donation and tree-plantation drives. And now, when the Unlocking guidelines are set in place, we are back with the much-awaited trekking programs.
We have started with a select range of trekking programs, curated and designed with utmost care, while ensuring that the essence of trekking and the thrill of adventure continue. Explore Himalayan Winter as designed by YHAI for you. Explore Dalhousie Winter Trek or join us while we touch the skies at Kedarkantha
Restricting participation to 30 trekkers per group, we are providing single-person tents. The base-camps at all the starting points are well stocked with air pillows, sanitizers, masks and gloves should one wish to buy for onward trekking journeys. Extra-baggage can be safely kept behind in a well sanitized store. An additional tent is set aside for medical emergencies at all camps. All water taps will be elbow-operated and liquid soap dispensers will be available at all camps. Sanitization of all tents, sleeping bags, rucksacks, woollen blankets will be with UV lights.
Every trek is made successful by the hands that do the back-end work like our trusted guides, hard-working kitchen staff and the camp leaders. All of them will join the expedition only after undergoing medical fitness tests and certified as fit and healthy to carry on. In addition, the camp leaders are trained in basic first aid and health monitoring. Pulse oximeters are made available at every campsite for monitoring oxygen saturation.
Individually, we suggest that every participant carries an adequate amount of masks with them for the expedition. Please note that a new mask must be used every day and the old one appropriately disposed off.
The nature of trekking is such that physical proximity is part and parcel of the entire experience. The coming together at meal-times, late-night campfires, bonhomie of the trekkers all contribute to the joy and camaraderie of trekkers. A quick hi-five to kickstart the day, walking single-file while holding hands, a spontaneous pat on the back to celebrate a difficult turn are all genuine outpourings of our feelings while trekking in rough terrain.
But, in today’s challenging environment, it is necessary that we adapt ourselves to the new conditions for our own safety. YHAI is taking utmost prevention at every step to ensure this by following the above SOPs.
Let’s be together and walk every step with care.
By Sonia Kuncalienker