Thanks to Joseph for his story about Ama Dablam and his advice on evacuation insurance. It turns out a member of his group needed an emergency evacuation from pretty high up, and fortunately he was covered through his membership with the American Alpine Club (AAC). Of course that only covers the expenses directly related to getting you off the mountain (dead or alive) and no further medial or travel mishaps. Their basic policy limits to an elevation of 6,000 meters, with steep premiums beyond. The highlight of our trek will be Island Peak, which is at 6,189 meters, and for some reason the insurance company feels that the extra 190 meters is a much greater actuarial risk. That reminds me of Becky’s story about whittling down the height of Gyalgen Peak with a clerk from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation to mitigate the cost of her hiking permit. Perhaps I can find a dusty old map somewhere that lists Island Peak at 5,999 meters.
I spoke with Dana at the AAC about membership and their evac insurance, and we came up with a quote of about $275. (I think I saw something about a 50% late fee for enrolling under four weeks from departure.) She recommended another insurance provider CSA Travel Protection to cover the rest of the travelers insurance, but I found out from them that: #1 They don’t offer emergency evac; and #2 BTW they completely exclude mountain climbing, so with any injuries or illness during the time that I’m hiking (duh, the whole trip) they’ll turn a cold shoulder. If I can actually find medical coverage for the trek, I’m sure I’ll still have to pay separately for the evac insurance, but a quick sanity check reveals that it is still cheap compared to the cost of calling out the cavalry on your own dime; make that your own fifty thousand dimes. Next for me is to call our international travel agency Third Eye Travel or get ahold of Pema, wherever he is now.acclimatization American Alpine Club hiking insurance Mt. Everest Trekking in Nepal