Mount Massive with a 9 month old!

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Re: Mount Massive with a 9 month old!

Postby upndown » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:49 pm

pingen wrote:Recalling several posts about negative experiences with regard to comments from other hikers that people have had while climbing fourteeners with their kids (I recall some comments on Grays & Torreys, etc.), I decided to briefly post about my positive experience.
You opened yourself up to criticism with that post. At this rate, your kid is going to grow up to experience the world from the outside, not from the eyes of network television. Keep going - use your good judgment. my .02c
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Postby Andy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:16 pm

Hey pingen - we hiked Mummy Mania together several years ago. Welcome to the forum. I haven't heard a whole lot from you since. It's good to hear you and your family are still heading out into the hills!
"What a day, eh, Milhouse? The sun is out, birds are singing,
bees are trying to have sex with them - as is my understanding..."

- Bart Simpson

"You are not Steve F-ing House."
- Best Rant Ever
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Postby CG_old » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:34 pm

Awesome, congrats on getting out with your child and showing him the wonderful outdoors!

Until the naysayers start producing peer-reviewed medical journals showing a significant link between taking your child on a hike at altitude and developmental problems, I'm not going to worry about it. I've been taking my son on hikes all over, and he's developing just fine... far ahead of the curve actually.

And yeah...the extra load is a bear! My wife loves it though, because it serves as a great equalizer :-)
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Postby ADKben » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:55 pm

sounds to me like we have some baby bear grylls on our hands..well done
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Postby JHopper » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:18 pm

pingen, can't wait to see pics!!!
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Postby pazoozoo1 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:04 am

Regardless of your positionon the matter, assuming anything is safe because you haven't seen evidence to the contrary in "peer reviewed medical journals" is faulty reasoning. All this means is that no one has studied the matter...that there is no evidence either way. It does not mean it is safe.
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Postby DeepEnd » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:26 am

[quote="jason415"]I am no expert on this, but I would be concerned with developmental issues due to lack of oxygen. Just because the child seems to be OK with the altitude doesnt mean that there isnt something going on within the brain or anything.
There has been studies that show that kids that have spent time at higher elevations are smaller then kids the same age at normal elevations.

So are you saying colorado natives that were born and raised here(5280 ft) are smaller and less developed then those that were raised at sea level?

hmmm, that explains why Im only 2 feet tall and weight 3 lbs! :lol:
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Postby grizz » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:24 am

Viking4Life wrote:Now, I do not have a problem with you taking your child up on those mountains, just be careful. I also imagine he will grow up and be just fine, but, there are definately some risks involved. I am no expert, but, I know a little bit about the body and altitude.

You cannot compare your child to kids from the Andes and Tibet. Alot of that has to do with their ANCESTRY. Most of those kids have generations of their families who lived up there at those high altitudes. It's in their genes.

It is still unclear whether exposing infants and toddlers to altitude when they usually live at much lower levels has anything to do with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), so hopefully it doesn't, but, it's possible that a lack of oxygen can screw up their respiratory system and cause severe problems or death. It does not take long for an oxygen deprived body, of ANY age, yet alone a 9 month old, to start shutting down and permanent damage can happen pretty quickly.

I have read that things such as hypertension caused by high altitude (I forget the long name for it) has been found in children from low, or semi-low altitude ancestry who spend time at altitude quite often, and is known to be a cause of cardiac failure.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, when the lungs fill with liquid when adjusting, can happen even just at 9,000 feet, and the younger you are, the more suscetible one becomes.

I would guess the chances of anything happening are very low, but, their is a risk involved. Infants are fragile, and everything shows they are more suscetible to altitude problems than adults. Whether altitude gain effects a child in the long term, I do not know, but, I know there are many things that can happen quickly that will effect your child forever.

Just be safe, be cautious, and have fun!

Wow! Climbing a 14er has less risk than driving down I-25 to get to the 14er. Relax, be happy, and don't worry about it. Any child at any age is always at risk, same goes for an adult. Anything can happen at anytime on a 14er or not.

I cross Hampden everyday for lunch. Maybe I should not do that anymore? I'm putting myself in great danger for a taco.

Be real!
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Postby CG_old » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:14 am

pazoozoo1 wrote:Regardless of your positionon the matter, assuming anything is safe because you haven't seen evidence to the contrary in "peer reviewed medical journals" is faulty reasoning. All this means is that no one has studied the matter...that there is no evidence either way. It does not mean it is safe.

I don't make decisions based on the blind assumptions and "gut feelings" of others, especially those assumptions of strangers on the internet... thanks though.
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Postby pingen » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:24 am

Thanks for all the comments on my post!
Let me try to address some of them!

jason415: I do not think that I have taken any unnecessary risks during any of the trips with my son. Including the early snowshoeing trips.

cw: I agree that my pack is pretty heavy. I have a Kelty Pathfinder? I also have a lighter pack for shorter trips, but the straps are not as comfortable. In addition to the pack, my son weights 21 pounds, I had water and food for both of us, a couple of toys, medical pack, a few extra clothes, + some of my wife's stuff, since she broke her foot 2 months ago and cannot carry as much!

Viking4Life: SIDs primarily happens during the first few months when the child cannot move around, turn over, etc.

Andy: Mummy Mania was a great trip. Given the work on my PhD, us having a baby, etc. I have not been able to do as much hiking as I would like. However, I have been "passively" following the 14ers and summitpost posts. I wish I could have come along on your trip up Keiners a while back! Hopefully I find the time and opportunity to make some use of my crampons and ice axe again, soon!

Chris: You are right, the extra weight does even out the playing field with my wife. That's also true for the bike trailer and the jogging stroller!

pazoozoo1: If you always wait until someone give you the okay to do something, you might miss out on the best opportunities. That would mean climbing Longs Peak in August with the crowds instead of in February! Thus, until someone proves to me that it is unsafe and cause my son harm to hike with him, I will continue to do so.

Note: I did read a lot of posts on various forums on the topic of kids and altitude. I also searched the web for anything that I could find on the topic. However, there is not much information from credible sources. Also, most pediatricians will tell you not to hike 14ers with your child. Something can always happen and they simply want to avoid getting blamed.
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Postby Ghigs » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:10 pm

I took my toddler (23 months old) up Huron Peak last month and got nothing but positive comments. My pediatrician had no problem with it. My son had a great time and I have a great picture of him and his big brother (who is seven and walked up himself) at the summit.

Are there risks to doing this? Of course. But there are risks to doing anything, including sitting at home and vegging on the couch. And there are reasonable precautions (that have been well stated in previous posts) that will reduce the risk.

It's kind of like an interview I saw soon after 9/11. Some terrorism expert was asked what people should do to reduce their risk of being victims of terrorism. He gave some of the standard answers, then said "but the best things you can do to maximize your chances of living to a ripe old age are eating right and exercising regularly." Not all risks are equal.

My sons and I will be hiking Redcloud Peak this Sunday. Say “hi” if you see us there.
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Postby gurlyclimber » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:38 pm

Talk to your pediatrician and then decide. I don't think anyone here, including myself is qualified enough to say whether or not it is safe. We don't have medical knowledge of your child. Altitude affects everyone differently.

To the parents who take their babies up, how do you keep them hydrated? My boys always snubbed a bottle or sippy cup full of water. Maybe use Pediasure? I've had many moments in the mountains where I've felt like someone was squeezing my brain so hard that my brain was going to start spilling out of my ears. Since 9 month olds can't talk very well, they lack the ability to tell you that they are in pain. How do you differentiate between altitude sickness crying and teething pain while you're up there? Do you just turn around when they crying gets to be too much? By then I imagine the baby would be in a lot of pain.

I'm not for it or against it because I just don't know. If anyone would like to put me in a baby backpack and carry me up a mountain, maybe I'll have a better answer for you then. I am all about sharing my love for the mountains with my kiddos.
There are some trips you never fully come back from.

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