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Kilimanjaro 2015

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby fleetmack » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:43 am

What are people doing or have done as far as physically preparing? I was going to try and do a 14er or 13er every weekend if possible, maybe Incline x2 with a weighted backpack.


We climbed 10 14ers that summer, including 2 very long days:
Day hike of Snowmass (standard route)
Day hike of Uncompaghre & Wetterhorn

Additionally, right before we left, we drove up and camped at the top of Guanella pass for a night (dunno how high, probably 11K or so), then climbed Bierstadt in the morning. We were fine.
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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby MountainHiker » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:19 pm

Cheli-K wrote:What are people doing or have done as far as physically preparing? I was going to try and do a 14er or 13er every weekend if possible, maybe Incline x2 with a weighted backpack.

Hiking each weekend will have you better prepared than most. No need to train with an extra-heavy pack. Your pack on Kili will be like a fourteener day pack because the porters lug the camp each day. It’s pointed out that acclimation wears off in a few weeks. But heading up high each weekend is still more than the physical training. It gets you used to doing all the right things – how to eat, drink, pace yourself and deal with all the little stuff. And all those little things will help you with the altitude. One advantage of the longer Lemosho Route is spending more days on the mountain before getting above Colorado elevations. http://www.summitpost.org/kilimanjaro-machame-route-7-day-utm/493811
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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby douglas » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:32 pm

I did the Lemosho route last October and had a fantastic time. We signed up for the 8 day trip, but ended up skipping a day and making it in 7 days. The hiking days before summit day were pretty short and 8 days was a little excessive. All five of us in our group summited (with one guy starting to get some AMS at summit but just booked it down and did fine). I did 3 fourteeners the previous season (Holy Cross, Wilson Peak, and Pikes), and I felt all of those were more physically challenging than any day on Klii. Here's my TR. I got great advice from different posts - there's a wealth of Kili knowledge here.

http://dougandmelaniechristensen.blogspot.com/

And here's a lot of advice...
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41788

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby djkest » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:44 am

matt pierce wrote:People seem to equate physical fitness with chances you will suffer from AMS. While cardiovascular health etc can play a role - everyone should understand that if you are prone to altitude sickness you will always be prone to altitude sickness.

I am surprised to see that the CMC are again using the itinerary from the past. Going from 13,000ft (Barranco) to over 19,000ft (Uhuru) in under 24 hours is hard.

To answer your question - the affects/benefits of acclimatization wear off so if you are doing 13ers and 14ers to acclimatize - it only benefits you in the time period RIGHT before you leave.


I've heard that acclimitization benefits wear off in 1-2 weeks... is that not correct?

If you live at 6,500' , climb a bunch of 14ers, and then go to Africa, only at lower elevations for a couple days of travel, should maintain some degree of acclimitization yes?
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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby andrewhamilton » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:56 pm

djkest wrote:I've heard that acclimitization benefits wear off in 1-2 weeks... is that not correct?

If you live at 6,500' , climb a bunch of 14ers, and then go to Africa, only at lower elevations for a couple days of travel, should maintain some degree of acclimitization yes?


First, I am not an expert on this! However, I really think the benefits last even longer than 2 weeks. I mean technically, a red blood cell has a life cycle of 120 days http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell. So it just seems to me that if your body is producing more red blood cells, then the benefits are going to last for more than a couple of weeks.

In my own personal experience I have noticed that in the late spring when I climb a 14er I will always get that standard 14er pounding headache in my temples. But as time goes by and even if I am not climbing much I just don't seem to get those headaches later in the summer. If I am not better acclimated because of red blood cells, then certainly my cardiovascular system is in better shape, and either way it makes the altitude easier to deal with.

So I maintain that there is a huge benefit to getting out and climbing a bunch of 14ers before you go to Africa!

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby jbchalk » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:39 pm

andrewhamilton wrote:
djkest wrote:I've heard that acclimitization benefits wear off in 1-2 weeks... is that not correct?

If you live at 6,500' , climb a bunch of 14ers, and then go to Africa, only at lower elevations for a couple days of travel, should maintain some degree of acclimitization yes?


First, I am not an expert on this! However, I really think the benefits last even longer than 2 weeks. I mean technically, a red blood cell has a life cycle of 120 days http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell. So it just seems to me that if your body is producing more red blood cells, then the benefits are going to last for more than a couple of weeks.

In my own personal experience I have noticed that in the late spring when I climb a 14er I will always get that standard 14er pounding headache in my temples. But as time goes by and even if I am not climbing much I just don't seem to get those headaches later in the summer. If I am not better acclimated because of red blood cells, then certainly my cardiovascular system is in better shape, and either way it makes the altitude easier to deal with.

So I maintain that there is a huge benefit to getting out and climbing a bunch of 14ers before you go to Africa!


Absolutely! I honestly believe there is a great benefit as well to climbing 14ers and getting elevation under your belt up until you leave for Africa. From personal experience, I think acclimatization (at least for my wife and I) lasts a few weeks. I'm talking 3 weeks. I'm sure it varies person to person, but it doesn't wear off in a matter of days.

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby valleygirl » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:01 pm

I'm on that CMC Kili trip this July, so I really enjoyed reading the trip reports that were posted. It's great to have all that information and advice, to cut down on surprises! I definitely plan on trying to get some 14ers in before the trip. It sure can't hurt, and it might help. Probably also going to use Diamox.
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby Pops921 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:17 am

Look at the itineray closely. The longer you take on the ascent, the greater your chances to summit. The cost will also be higher, because you are paying the guides and porters for more days. I went the Lemosho route across the Shira plateau and then through the Western Breach (which has a little easy scrambling on it) to the summit crater, spent the night in the crater and summited the next day. It was awesome. All the porters and guides have to a special certification for this route so it more expensive. If you have the money it is worth it. We used Wilderness Travel, they were great.

My experience is that at least some of the acclimation benefits last longer then 1-2 weeks. I climbed in Ecuador (over 19,000') last June and I thought I had a clear benefit on Colorado 14er for several weeks.

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby uwe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:52 pm

Valleygirl, DIAMOX - It is an interesting drug. Aspirin is a good way to start - 1 a day. Start a few days before you go. If you can acclimatize without DIAMOX, that is the first route to try. I used it on Aconcagua - hated the way it did me. Used it less in Ecuador, and hated the way it did me. For Denali, took a half tab and that was that - no more. Spent an extra day or two at 14,200 and never looked back or had any altitude issues. Of course, this is a personal story devoid of any medical expertise, etc. I just know that folks tend to be pretty causal about taking it. I'd use it as a last resort if nothing was working and it was the last option in my options kit. Of course, you may have experience with it and it does the trick. Great! Some folks swear by it.

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby matt pierce » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:31 am

djkest wrote:
matt pierce wrote:People seem to equate physical fitness with chances you will suffer from AMS. While cardiovascular health etc can play a role - everyone should understand that if you are prone to altitude sickness you will always be prone to altitude sickness.

I am surprised to see that the CMC are again using the itinerary from the past. Going from 13,000ft (Barranco) to over 19,000ft (Uhuru) in under 24 hours is hard.

To answer your question - the affects/benefits of acclimatization wear off so if you are doing 13ers and 14ers to acclimatize - it only benefits you in the time period RIGHT before you leave.


I've heard that acclimatization benefits wear off in 1-2 weeks... is that not correct?

If you live at 6,500' , climb a bunch of 14ers, and then go to Africa, only at lower elevations for a couple days of travel, should maintain some degree of acclimatization yes?


It's not an exact science.

I believe it doesnt wear off in days - more likely a few weeks at most - for MOST PEOPLE

There's a reason Ed V says in 1 of his books that he did back to back 8,000 meter peaks once (can't remember which one's) - when you are that acclimated it's good to keep up the momentum...

I'm not saying don't do 14ers to acclimatize...

What I am saying is this: If you are "acclimated" to say 12,000 - 14,000 ft (Colorado) and go to Africa you will not see many benefits until reaching that elevation. Barranco camp is ~ 13,000 so at that camp you are still properly acclimated. But then you are going to make a mad dash (without further acclimatization) to over 19K - in less than 24 hours - which many people don't have a problem with - good luck :wink:

Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby Jon Frohlich » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:09 am

matt pierce wrote:I am surprised to see that the CMC are again using the itinerary from the past. Going from 13,000ft (Barranco) to over 19,000ft (Uhuru) in under 24 hours is hard.


I went in 2005 with the CMC and we had 19/20 people summit (and the one that didn't got an illness that had nothing to do with altitude). I'll admit I was completely physically done after summit day. I crashed when we got to camp, missed dinner, and slept for 12 hours. We only had one person have slight issues with the altitude and he was fine after we came back down from the summit. It's a rough 24 hours but most people can handle it so I guess they figure skipping the extra day (and the associated extra costs) is worth the risk.

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Re: Kilimanjaro 2015

Postby matt pierce » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:51 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:
matt pierce wrote:I am surprised to see that the CMC are again using the itinerary from the past. Going from 13,000ft (Barranco) to over 19,000ft (Uhuru) in under 24 hours is hard.


I went in 2005 with the CMC and we had 19/20 people summit (and the one that didn't got an illness that had nothing to do with altitude). I'll admit I was completely physically done after summit day. I crashed when we got to camp, missed dinner, and slept for 12 hours. We only had one person have slight issues with the altitude and he was fine after we came back down from the summit. It's a rough 24 hours but most people can handle it so I guess they figure skipping the extra day (and the associated extra costs) is worth the risk.


Exactly right Jon

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