Altitude Sickness

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ker0uac
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by ker0uac »

I agree that one day of acclimatization hikes won't make much difference but if you respect your body limits it shouldn't hurt either. If that was your routine in previous trips, then most likely your body is able to acclimatize without noticeable side effects, but don't bet on it. Also if you drive to CO, your acclimatization is way smoother than if you fly here.

The people of the Andes swear by coca leaf tea to help with acclimatization. So if you believe them, try to procure some coca leaves.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
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Barnold41
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by Barnold41 »

A friend of mine came out from Chicago two days before we were trying to get up Notch a few summers ago but didn't drink much except whiskey before the hike. He got altitude sickness right before we got to the shelter.
ker0uac wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:49 pm The people of the Andes swear by coca leaf tea to help with acclimatization. So if you believe them, try to procure some coca leaves.
I know a guy.
peter303
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by peter303 »

Pikes Peak has a road to the top. Though I think most people are required to take a shuttle from Devils Playground due to construction at the summit. Alternatively the hike from Devils Playground to the summit is one of the easier 14ers and could be a warmup.
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ARY
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by ARY »

We always just drive to CO. It is exhausting enough but I feel better than the one time I flew to Denver. It usually takes a couple days for us to get ready for 13-14K hikes. It was kinda our tradition to drive to the Mt.Evans and spend a lazy day walking on talus up there then do the second day at Sniktau and move on. But this year tradition is broken due to Mt.Evans closed so I was wondering if there is a close driveable substitute. We will be base camping in Dillon. I'm not anywhere new to hypoxia. What we were taught in our boot camp is to supplement with vitamin C, iron, lots of fluid, potassium and magnesium but we usually sneaked out to get green apple, local herbs similar to spinach and pan bread with goat cheese. Vodka is OK but in a very small dose, hard pork lard works awesome but I guess one has to get used to it.
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Trotter
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by Trotter »

mtree wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:57 pm There is nothing you can do to acclimate to high altitude in one day. What you CAN do is get your body to start adapting to the physiological stress high altitude will put on it. A quick hike the day before will help "wake up" your heart, lungs, and muscles before tackling a big hike. Plus, it'll help you prepare mentally for what's ahead. Driving to the top of Mt. Evans road and sleeping the night before does virtually nothing for acclimating. Its a placebo. Maybe you'll get the placebo effect, but that's all. Have fun!
disagree strongly.

Going to altitude a day early before a climb WILL help. Will it fully acclimatize you, not at all. But it will help.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by pvnisher »

Driving to Evans/Pikes then right back probably has negligible benefit. Do it if you want (for reasons other than acclimating), and spend as much time up there as you can. A few hours, some benefit. Sleeping at 8-9k, definitely some benefit.
I've flown in from sea level, drove to the trailhead same day, and did Humboldt the next day. Definitely had a headache, both at night and also while hiking.

Haven't tried coca leaves but my guess is they don't help with acclimation but probably mask the effects.
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brichardsson
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by brichardsson »

Trotter wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:42 pm
disagree strongly.

Going to altitude a day early before a climb WILL help. Will it fully acclimatize you, not at all. But it will help.
pretty much this, 100%.

acclimatization is a process, not an event. the sooner you start it, the sooner it happens. we always make sure we arrive even part of a day early, and get a chance to sleep at altitude before hiking the next day. the first day usually isn't super fun, but manageable.
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by nunns »

Urban Snowshoer wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:56 pm As far as physical fitness is concerned, there doesn't seem to be a correlation between susceptibility to and physical fitness: i.e. being in good shape isn't a guarantee you won't be affected by altitude sickness. However, altitude sickness isn't completely understood, especially with respect to who gets (or doesn't) and why.
+1. That is a common misconception. I had a runner who was 10:00 for 2 miles, so obviously pretty fit. He was terribly suseptible to altitude sickness in his younger days.
He got sick just from taking the train to the summit of Pikes's Peak, even though we had been at 7000' for several days and we were only on the summit for an hour or so.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
nunns
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by nunns »

Trotter wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:42 pm
mtree wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:57 pm There is nothing you can do to acclimate to high altitude in one day. What you CAN do is get your body to start adapting to the physiological stress high altitude will put on it. A quick hike the day before will help "wake up" your heart, lungs, and muscles before tackling a big hike. Plus, it'll help you prepare mentally for what's ahead. Driving to the top of Mt. Evans road and sleeping the night before does virtually nothing for acclimating. Its a placebo. Maybe you'll get the placebo effect, but that's all. Have fun!
disagree strongly.

Going to altitude a day early before a climb WILL help. Will it fully acclimatize you, not at all. But it will help.
+1. There is a reference on here to an army study, and that study showed that one day at altitude can result in significant acclimation. I seem to remember that one key was to get some mild (not hard) exercise on that day at altitude. Even better (according to the study) was to "stairstep" up (e.g., sea level to 4000' for a day, then to 8000', etc.)

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
nunns
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by nunns »

ARY wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:39 pm We are "out of state" hikers so every time visiting we would drive to Mt.Evans on the next day after arriva. Justl walk out for 400 yards and drink tea somewhere on a talus near the top. Next day we would be doing some 13-er like one at Loveland pass. This year the road to Evans is closed according to authorities. What would local gurus recommend for easy drive to altitude place doing the first day of acclimatization (I really don't like Pikes peak but i guess might go there if nothing else).
Personally what has worked better for me is some low level exercise (in my case a short, slow, easy run) at a moderate altitude.
I am not local and not a guru, but I have done that 25-30x, always coming from Missouri (near sea level). Our first climb is always on day 3 (day 1 travel to 4000' and sleep, day 2 easy morning exercise and travel to "base camp"). IMO it would be tougher to climb on day 2; I've never even tried it so I don't know for sure.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
nunns
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by nunns »

Stratosfearsome wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:43 pm
palikona44 wrote: Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:58 pm
I misread :)

Is 400g a day, once a week ok? Yes, right?
Surely you mean 400mg? Milligrams. 400g is 400 grams, or one thousand times that amount, which almost half a kilo of Advil. This is definitely a question for your doctor, not an internet forum. :)
Oh that metric system: so confusing!!! :lol:

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
ker0uac
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by ker0uac »

As others have pointed out, the science of altitude sickness isn't completely understood, so what worked for one person won't necessarily work for others. Some can climb after one day at high altitude. Some are gasping for air after one day at high altitude. It was pointed out that acclimatization is a process. While this process is ongoing, some people can carry on with physical exercise without much problem while others can barely move. For the former, one day rest is barely needed while for the latter, one day rest has negligible impact. Given so many unknowns, my advice is to err on the conservative side. Do what you can to help your body - water, minerals, vitamins, healthy diet, edibles, etc - and pay attention to what your body is telling you at all times. Start slow and don't force it. If you feel fine, then keep going. Stop the moment you stop feeling good.

Now, regarding close substitute to Mt Evans. I assume you want to drive to very high altitudes. If you need paved roads, then Pikes is obviously the closes substitute, followed by mountain passes but I think the highest is ~12k. Guanella Pass and Loveland are good options. If you are ok with rougher roads, and depending on the direction you are coming from, you could try other mountain passes further away from Denver. If you are looking for other "acclimatization" hikes, then you could consider the foothill parks. Higher than Denver but below 10k. Evergreen is a good option. Across from Loveland, there's also Herman Gultch, beautiful easy hike.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
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