We feel that it is an ethical obligation for us to educate our guests to the potential risks and hazards inherent in all outdoor programs and activities. We believe that it is our responsibility to provide quality curricula, skilled staff and sound risk management plans and procedures.
Our guests and our reputation are extremely valuable to us. We are honored to work with quality people and maintain an excellent reputation. Toward that end, risk management and safety is of paramount importance at Above 14000ft. Our safety record is excellent.
Staff competence and sound operational procedures are the core of our risk management system at Above 14000ft. We are proud of the overall quality of our staff screening, training, evaluation, operating, emergency response and evacuation procedures. Consistent emphasis is placed on accident prevention, judgment and decision-making that occur during planning of our programs. Our risk management procedures and practices meet or exceed industry standards and are constantly re-evaluated and improved as needed.
All outdoor programs contain inherent risks to participants with the potential to cause personal property loss or damage, illness, injury and even death. While Above 1400ft provides professional staff and quality risk management, we cannot completely eradicate all risks or hazards. No matter how well-managed, all outdoor activities involve unforeseen hazards (rockfall, sudden illness, being bitten or stung by a wild animal or insect, cold air and water temperatures, even other participants) that can present risks to participants and even to skilled instructors. Life is unpredictable so is Mother nature.
The community of Above 14000ft instructors is comprised of experienced outdoor educators and professional mountaineers that are informed of our emergency response procedures. In addition, all have current first aid certification.
It is a standard practice on every Above 14000ft program for guides to cover applicable risk management issues and rules designed to prevent accidents; for guests adherence to the rules and a positive mental attitude are essential.
Above 14000ft conducts a reconnaissance of each program area prior to bringing guests. This means that someone from Above 14000ft has been to the program site to look at the facilities, talk with the locals, check travel distances / times, locate the nearest medical facilities, and generally get an overview of the challenge level of the area.
Minor medical incidents (e.g. minor allergies, upset stomach, diarrhea, minor sprains, bruises, and blisters) may be treated in the field by basic first aid, over-the-counter remedies, medications or rest. More serious injuries and illnesses (e.g. fractures, severe allergic reactions etc) will require evacuation of the patient to the nearest medical facility, in which case we attempt to contact client administrators and parents.
The remoteness of some of the areas in which we travel combines a good news-bad news situation: they are among the most beautiful places on the planet and they can create complex evacuation and communication problems in the event of an emergency. While we carry a communication device (radio or cell phones) on all of our courses for emergencies, this does not guarantee reliable communication to support teams or rescue. Radios and cell phone reliability is effected by atmospheric and rugged terrain conditions. Sometimes groups may be separated from the radio or phone for several hours or more than a day.
While Above1 4000ft provides professional staff and practices quality risk management techniques we make no claim to completely eradicate all risks. If we did, we could not call our programs "adventure", nor would the benefits be as great, because after all, risk is an integral part of adventure. In the best sense, to participate in an adventure is to engage in an exciting or remarkable undertaking, in which risks are encountered, dealt with, and successfully negotiated.