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Mountain sickness or just fatigue?

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Mountain sickness or just fatigue?

Postby bisleybum » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:01 pm

Still analyzing my July week in the Front Range. Arrived Fri July 13th; rested until Sunday, when I climbed Mt Sniktau as a warm up. No problems with altitude at all. Monday tried Gray's Peak, hydrated constantly, ate energy food, tried to keep the pace slow and steady. Just past the turn off to Kelso Ridge, my leg muscles gave out. No pain, no headaches- I felt fine, except that my legs just stopped working. I didn't have the strength to go another foot. I rested Tuesday, then got within 300 feet of Bierstadt's summit when bad weather chased me off. I would have otherwise made it with no problem.

So, was the mistake not resting a day between climbs, or could I have possibly had an episode of mountain sickness? I've heard that it can be a pretty arbitrary and sporadic thing that can effect climbers of any ability.
Let our walking be as breathing,
and our breathing be as walking.

Postby jimlup » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:26 pm

Though not AMS, as a fellow lowlander, I can relate to feelings of fatigue on the first week in the CO mountains. It does sound like you just bonked but it was probably helped along by altitude adjustment problems.

I was on the verg of a bonk on my way up Belford my first week in CO last summer. Fortunately, a fellow climber gave me the added encouragement to get me on to the top.

robinmnts - that is a really cool avatar you have! When and where is that from?
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...

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Postby Tory Wells » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:41 am

robinmtns wrote:
jimlup wrote:robinmnts - that is a really cool avatar you have! When and where is that from?
Thanks... That's Moi on the summit ridge of Denali, heading down (photo by my pal Jeff).


Is there a larger version of that picture you can post?
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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Postby Tomboh_6 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:02 am

Here it is over on summitpost. Saw it when I was perusing a little bit ago.

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.p ... _id=150199

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Postby Tory Wells » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:27 am

Those clouds are amazing, especially the way they complement the mountain.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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Fatigue

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:55 am

Don't worry about it. Just keep up the hydration, eat a good breakfast and keep the carbs and protein going. I like trail mix with chocolate, dried fruit and a lot of nuts. Finally figured out that protein is also needed with the carbs. Also are you using treking poles? That takes a load off the tired legs.

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Re: Mountain sickness or just fatigue?

Postby BeamMeUp » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:45 am

bisleybum wrote:
So, was the mistake not resting a day between climbs, or could I have possibly had an episode of mountain sickness? I've heard that it can be a pretty arbitrary and sporadic thing that can effect climbers of any ability.


Make sure to drink/eat lots of potassium i.e. gatoraid, bananas, pistachios (or any nut.) If you have muscle weakness or cramps then you may have also depleted your potassium.

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Lucky to be alive

Postby SandstoneSmitty » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:53 am

. I encountered altitude sickness during my assent of Crestone Peak in August 2007. I summated the Peak, and signed the register. (Did Bill you get the register plug from ‘Chick-fil-a’?)
These are the things I did wrong:
1. Accumulation to altitude was to fast. From 500’ to Westclif in one day, 1 night sleep in Westclif, Jeep ride to LTH, 1 night sleep at South Colony Lakes.
2. Pushed to hard on the slog before the climb. I did not take enough rest breaks on during the egress. I am 50 while my two buddies were much younger. They would stop and wait for me; I would catch up get a short break and take off.
.
Things I did right:
1. Hydrated, hydrate, hydrate. Large camel-back is good!
2. Kept electrolytes level. GU (God-awful Ugly) really works.
3. Did not fall asleep at the top of the Red Couloir. I read about the ‘Death Sleep’. This is a true symptom of Altitude Sickness. Oh how nice it would have been to lay down on that flat rock at 14,000’ and take a little refreshing nap. The problem is that you either wake up during the afternoon lighting storm, or after sundown. I have even heard of sleep apnea where you do not wake up at all!!!!
.
. I must give thanks to ‘Catz’, a 30 year old who kicked my butt all the way up and down the trek. “Old Man” what the nicest thing he called me. All is in good humor.

. After this trip in August 2007 I swore off climbing, thinking that I need another sport, maybe a boat. By late November 2007 I am thinking about bagging another. Maybe I should stop doing the ‘Black Diamond’ routes, something ‘Green’, like ‘Torreys Peak’. Damn omnipotent behavior, the Needle and those South Colony Lakes keep calling me!!!

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Re: Lucky to be alive

Postby CorduroyCalves » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:11 pm

SandstoneSmitty wrote:. I encountered altitude sickness during my assent of Crestone Peak in August 2007. I summated the Peak, and signed the register. (Did Bill you get the register plug from ‘Chick-fil-a’?)
These are the things I did wrong:
1. Accumulation to altitude was to fast. From 500’ to Westclif in one day, 1 night sleep in Westclif, Jeep ride to LTH, 1 night sleep at South Colony Lakes.
2. Pushed to hard on the slog before the climb. I did not take enough rest breaks on during the egress. I am 50 while my two buddies were much younger. They would stop and wait for me; I would catch up get a short break and take off.
.
Things I did right:
1. Hydrated, hydrate, hydrate. Large camel-back is good!
2. Kept electrolytes level. GU (God-awful Ugly) really works.
3. Did not fall asleep at the top of the Red Couloir. I read about the ‘Death Sleep’. This is a true symptom of Altitude Sickness. Oh how nice it would have been to lay down on that flat rock at 14,000’ and take a little refreshing nap. The problem is that you either wake up during the afternoon lighting storm, or after sundown. I have even heard of sleep apnea where you do not wake up at all!!!!
.
. I must give thanks to ‘Catz’, a 30 year old who kicked my butt all the way up and down the trek. “Old Man” what the nicest thing he called me. All is in good humor.

. After this trip in August 2007 I swore off climbing, thinking that I need another sport, maybe a boat. By late November 2007 I am thinking about bagging another. Maybe I should stop doing the ‘Black Diamond’ routes, something ‘Green’, like ‘Torreys Peak’. Damn omnipotent behavior, the Needle and those South Colony Lakes keep calling me!!!


Holy S#!T!!! Can that really happen? Didn't one of the guys from season one of Everest: Beyond the Limit do that on an acclimation hike? Wasn't it that big guy, Tim?
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Postby Bobo » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:21 pm

Not likely to be AMS...here's the simple AMS diagnosis rules of thumb:

The diagnosis of AMS is made when a headache, with any one or more of the following symptoms is present after a recent ascent above 2500 meters (8000 feet):

- Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
- Fatigue or weakness
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Difficulty sleeping

All of these symptoms may vary from mild to severe. A scoring system has been developed based on the Lake Louise criteria; look at the AMS questionnaire for a simple method to evaluate an individual's AMS severity.

AMS has been likened to a bad hangover, or worse. However, because the symptoms of mild AMS can be somewhat vague, a useful rule-of-thumb is: if you feel unwell at altitude, it is altitude sickness unless there is another obvious explanation (such as diarrhea).

more here: http://www.ismmed.org/np_altitude_tutorial.htm


I agree with robinmnts, you bonked, maybe exacerbated by altitude.
"At this point the runner might philosophize a and consider just where he or she is in the Imogene Pass Run. You've climbed 1945 ft of elevation in 5.45 mi, at an average of 356 ft./mi., 6.8% gradient. To reach Imogene Pass you must climb 3365 ft in the next 4.60 mi, at an average of 731 ft./mi., or 13.85% gradient. Your effort so far has simply been a warmup. The steep gradients of the named hills below are now less than the average gradient ahead." - IPR course description

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Re: Mountain sickness or just fatigue?

Postby Gary Brady » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:42 pm

bisleybum wrote:Still analyzing my July week in the Front Range. Arrived Fri July 13th; rested until Sunday, when I climbed Mt Sniktau as a warm up. No problems with altitude at all. Monday tried Gray's Peak, hydrated constantly, ate energy food, tried to keep the pace slow and steady. Just past the turn off to Kelso Ridge, my leg muscles gave out. No pain, no headaches- I felt fine, except that my legs just stopped working. I didn't have the strength to go another foot. I rested Tuesday, then got within 300 feet of Bierstadt's summit when bad weather chased me off. I would have otherwise made it with no problem.

So, was the mistake not resting a day between climbs, or could I have possibly had an episode of mountain sickness? I've heard that it can be a pretty arbitrary and sporadic thing that can effect climbers of any ability.


What did you do to train for your climbs? I am flatlander who has experinced fatigue every time I go climbing. Obviously, there is less oxygen, so just the simple matter of walking once you are at 12,000 feet is difficult for me. Add the incline nature to the hike and things start to really get strenuous. Then there is just the simple fact that you might not be used to this much exertion. These 3 things altitude, incline, and hours of walking, make climbing 14ers a big deal for anyone. Especially someone who is not used to this altitude.
You guys have fun climbing this weekend. I can't go. Lumbergh's gonna have me come in on Saturday, I just know it.

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Postby bisleybum » Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:59 pm

Based on the responses thus far, I'm suspecting maybe a potassium deficiency. Three out of four climbing days (at altitudes over 13,000 feet) went fine, with no fatigue or symptoms of anything. I train in the Smokies with typical elevation gains of two to four thousand feet, though not at CO altitudes. I was in good shape in July, I wasn't out of breath... the leg muscles simply turned off. Really frustrating, as I was looking forward to traversing the saddle to Torrey's. A one day mystery, but it was still the greatest trip of my life. I'll be back in June to complete the unfinished business. And the view from Sniktau's summit at sunrise, looking towards Torrey's, with the summit to myself... priceless.
Let our walking be as breathing,
and our breathing be as walking.

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