Mountain Medicine Course


Course Dates

  • 13 October 2024 18:00 - 30 October 2024 10:00
  • 21 April 2024 18:00 - 08 May 2024 10:00

GBP £3,275.00

The ultimate high-altitude mountain medicine challenge: this 17 day course follows in the footsteps of the greats along the Everest Base Camp Trail.

There’s no substitute for first hand experience when it comes to getting to grips with exactly how altitude impacts on health and wellness.  As you trek along the Khumbu Valley to Base Camp, you’ll be personally encountering all the stresses and strains of being more than 17,000 feet above sea level.

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 24 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The location and trekking was incredible.

“The Namaste team did a brilliant job. Most of the lectures/teaching was very informative and engaging.”
Mountain Medicine course attendee

In the shadow of Mount Everest herself, you’ll test the limits of your own endurance, whilst learning how to support a team battling the elements – and the altitude.


Key facts

Altitude poses a unique challenge for the human body. The impact is never predictable so this immersive mountain medicine training experience under the watchful eye of the Goddess of the Sky herself, takes some beating.

Satisfy your curiosity about this notorious phenomena and discover your own limits as you learn, trek and experience the joy and wonder of high altitude trekking for yourself.

During our mountain medicine course, you’ll spend a full two weeks on the trail, trekking to the famous Base Camp Rock from Lukla, staying in Nepalese tea houses and enjoying the spectacular scenery.

Location: Khumbu Valley, Nepal

You must be either a:

  • Medical or Allied Health Professional OR,
  • A student in your final year of study

We highly recommend that you take our Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Course first, or a similar alternative.

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 24 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

You need:

  • Basic navigation skills
  • A good level of fitness
  • Basic knowledge of expedition planning

What’s included:

  • Tutoring, accommodation and meals
  • Your return flight from Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Safety equipment

What’s not:

  • General travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional drinks and food purchased from teahouses and shops

What to expect

After meeting in Kathmandu and attending some initial lectures, your expedition will begin as you catch a flight to Lukla together with your team.  The mountain medicine course is led by a world-class faculty of expedition medics and a strong local Nepali support team.  Starting and ending in Lukla, the trek will take around 14 days with regular rest days for acclimatisation.

During your expedition you’ll learn the specific techniques you’ll need to care for teams at altitude, in cold weather and at risk of exhaustion or exposure. This includes detailed training on identifying and treating HAPE and HACE, demonstrations of use of the Gamow Bag, as well as briefings on wilderness water treatment, casevac and common medical problems in high altitude activities. Alongside the practical medical training, you’ll also explore the role of expedition medic, discuss psychology and team dynamics.

This course immerses you in a high altitude environment giving first-hand experience of environment specific and common medical issues. You’ll also meet other trekkers, climbers and locals, further building your knowledge of the challenges faced by both travellers and the communities that support them.

You’ll stay in Nepalese tea houses rather than tents and trekking will be at an easy pace, to accommodate all members of the team.

Course content

  • Role and Responsibilities of an Expedition Doctor
  • Personal Trekking and Medical Kit
  • Pre-Expedition Planning and Casevac
  • Acute Mountain Sickness
  • Introduction to HACE & HAPE
  • Personal and Public Health
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Cold Injury
  • Wilderness Water Treatment
  • Wilderness Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • HACE (Detailed)
  • HAPE (Detailed)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Wilderness Fracture Management
  • Improvised Splints Practical
  • HRA Lecture & Gamow Bag Practical
  • Medical Kit Theory
  • Medical Kit Practical
  • Hypothermia
  • Women’s Wilderness Health
  • Psychology & Team Dynamics
  • Debrief and Review of Medical Cases Encountered

What you need to know

Travel to the Himalayas is not always straightforward.  We recommend giving yourself at least one full day in Kathmandu either side of the course start and finish dates to allow for delays and baggage issues.

Travel insurance is absolutely essential and therefore, for your safety and security, we reserve the right to refuse access to an expedition until we have details of adequate insurance cover provided to us.  A suitable policy can be booked through Campbell Irvine Direct. 

Dengue fever can provide a real risk in Kathmandu and participants must let faculty know if they experience symptoms.

To assist with packing, please review and refer to our kit list below:

Luggage can be an issue at KTM airport, we would recommend your trekking boots and any essentials are worn or carried in hand luggage. Kathmandu is served by outdoor gear shops so you can kit yourself up quite well, but you do not want to be without broken in boots.

  • Trekking bag (will be strapped to yak – North Face 90l holdall type – waterproof)
  • Daysack (30l minimum)
  • 4 season sleeping bag (or combine 2 lighter sleeping bags as needed)
  • Lightweight boots – These MUST have been bought and worn pre-departure!
  • Crocs or old trainers with the laces removed are useful for the tea-houses
  • Down jacket for evenings – can be bought in KTM at the same price (or cheaper) for top brands or good quality local versions for half the price
  • Trekking trousers
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts (not cotton)
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket – Gore-Tex, or similar
  • Waterproof over-trousers – good quality
  • Thermal top and bottoms
  • Gloves – at least 2 pairs
  • Mittens – it can be very cold on Kala Patar at 4 in the morning!
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Buff – keeps warmth in and dust out
  • Warm top or fleece
  • Sunglasses   these must be wrap-around Category 3 or 4
  • Toiletries and towel
  • Toilet paper – can be bought in KTM
  • Sunscreen at least SPF 30 – can be bought in KTM
  • Hand gel – can be bought in KTM
  • Wet wipes – can be bought in KTM
  • Lipsalve SPF50 – can be bought in KTM
  • Vicks nasal inhaler
  • Waterproof liners (strong, nylon) for both Trekking bag & Day Sack
  • Lightweight walking poles – recommended even if you have not tried them before – cheap pairs can be bought in KTM
  • Earplugs
  • Spare socks and underwear
  • Camera and spare battery
  • Phone – consider buying a local SIM card
  • Headtorch
  • Penknife (don’t pack in hand luggage)
  • Personal medication
  • Spare glasses
  • First Aid Kit
  • Chlorine dioxide tablets or suitable water treatment device to treat a minimum of 60 litres of water
  • Water bottles – 2 x 1 litre Nalgene recommended, rather than a Camelback system, but this is a personal preference
  • Zip lock bags, or similar – lots of! Hard to find in KTM
  • Passport, ticket and money
  • 4 x passport photos (for visa & trekking permits)
  • 2 x copy of photo page of passport
  • Credit cards
  • Insurance policy & emergency contact numbers (personal and of insurance company)

When packing, please do not strap items such as boots or sleeping bags to the outside of your bags. There is a good chance that they will be ripped off while in transit. They also make handling the bags more difficult when loading buses (and yaks!) on the trek. It is much better to bring a larger bag that is big enough for all your kit rather than a smaller one onto which you have to strap extra equipment.

Consider also: Solar charger for battery powered items

If you have specific vital chargers/cables for electrical items consider taking spares.

As mentioned, many of the items can be bought in Kathmandu.  With the exception of Boots and Day Sack you may consider this – but only if you have sufficient time before the course starts – once started the days are very busy!!


  • Simple oral analgesic
  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory
  • Loperamide
  • Re-hydration mix such as Dioralyte
  • Azithromycin – can be bought in KTM
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Plasters
  • Gauze pads
  • Co-plus/vert bandage or similar
  • Zinc oxide tape
  • Compeed or similar hydrocolloid blister dressing
  • Tweezers & scissors (not in hand luggage on flight)
  • Safety pins (not in hand luggage on flight)
  • Anti-emetic
  • Cigarette lighter (to heat tape) – can be bought in Lukla or Namche
  • Mosquito repellent

Please add to this as you feel is necessary and to cover any personal requirements.

Feedback from previous courses

What went well on your Mountain Medicine course?

“Great teaching, enthusiastic staff, excellent administration, Namaste were fantastic.”

“Faculty and in country support team were fantastic and very helpful pre and during.”

“Support team and their excellent hospitality, careers talk, medical support during course.”

What was the single most valuable thing you learnt from your Mountain Medicine course?

“How quickly a group can get sick with Gastro. How to prioritize the group when multiple members get sick. What the roll of the medic looks like at that time.”

“Importance of caring for yourself before caring for others, step by step and with help of others you get where you have to be if you dare to dream”

“Go slowly, respect the Nepalese guide team, look out for each other, communicate.”

About us

World Extreme Medicine trains, supports and informs medics looking to expand their skills and tackle new challenges.

A chance conversation about the impossibility of finding good expedition medics resulted in our Founding Director, Mark Hannaford creating the very first, bespoke Expedition Medicine course in the UK – over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve spent the last two decades providing on-demand education, on-location training, international conferences, and expedition support for people outside normal medical environments.

Our network of around a quarter of a million experts, practitioners and instructors is here for you – inspiring, informing and connecting you with like-minded people and new opportunities.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist, vet, paramedic, medical student or allied health professional, you can join us and discover new frontiers of your practice both at home or in the field.

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