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Altitude prep and management - Page 2

post #31 of 49
For dealing with AMS, I have had good luck dealing with the altitude out west with Ginkgo.

BUT, I seem to have issues with my quads burning. I am in really good shape. I typically ski single days out east with no problems. Sometimes I can get out two days in a row, and still not really have a problem. But when I ski out west, starting on the second day my quads are having major issues.

Does anyone else get this? Anyone have any suggestions? (yes, I know, get in even better shape, but I already work out 3-4 times per week all year, and do 4-5 times per week leading up to my yearly trip out west)
post #32 of 49
The outcomes of my mini-sized ginkgo biloba field trial are (not surprisingly) inconclusive. One ginkgo taker (my husband) had a shocking altitude experience and was very close to having to descend to Denver after three very bad nights. He was still battling for breath at 9,000 two weeks later. By contrast one of the ginkgo-free rats breezed through the whole experience with nothing more than a mild headache for the first 24 hrs. All of us had disturbed sleep, skin irritations, swollen body parts, and couldn't drink near enough water to replace what we were losing into the air.

Right at the end of the trip we found this product which might have been helpful:
Quote:

BlueAir contains near 90% of oxygen enriched air and has a specially
designed "spray-mask" making the canister very easy to use. Simply take the
green cap off the can and attach it to the top of the can. Then place the green
cap (large open end) over your nose and mouth, press down on the "spray
connector" and breath in for about 3-5 seconds. You can repeat this process
about 3-5 times to enrich your body with oxygen enriched air.

Each 8 liter canister weighs less than a pound for easy carrying. You'll receive
about 50 to 75 breaths or about 4 - 4 1/2 minutes of oxygen with this 10" tall
can. More than enough for a trip to the mountains.
I think if we go back to Colorado (which I hope we do) we'll have to start with two nights in Denver or perhaps precede it with a week in Park City. And get a lot fitter, cos those are some big mountains.
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmcleary
Well I have returned from Breck and I sucked wind the whole time there. Not sure if theginseng had any effect or not. I did use a blood oxygen saturation test while there and it was about 91%. I was told that was average for that altitude.
No chance of any effect from ginseng -- do you mean Gingko?

Even if you use Diamox or Gingko they aren't going to help you with the "sucking wind" part. You're going to get that no matter what. What the meds help with is the headache/nausea/sleeplessness etc of AMS. Just sucking wind isn't AMS.

By the way, great presentation at ESA, DP
post #34 of 49
what about H.A.F.E. and hemis?
post #35 of 49
I took both ginseng and gingko I had some headaches but was caused by my back/neck going out. I trained 3 times a week on a tread mill 3 months before trip. Next year I think I will wear a piece of duck tape with a pin whole in it over my mouth while training.
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by eblackwelder
BUT, I seem to have issues with my quads burning. I am in really good shape. I typically ski single days out east with no problems. Sometimes I can get out two days in a row, and still not really have a problem. But when I ski out west, starting on the second day my quads are having major issues.
Burning quads is a classic symptom of skiing with your balance too far back. You may not notice it skiing in the East because of easier terrain and less vertical skied. Try skiing a difficult run with your hands behind your back. If you find yourself being forced to bring your hands forward, this is your problem. An exercise to work on is to try tapping and holding just the tips of your skis on the snow. If this is hard to do, focus on doing this with your uphill ski while traversing. Find easier terrain until you can do this. Then work to harder terrain and then lifting your downhill ski.

Be careful not to overtrain your quads relative to your hamstrings. This is a contributing factor to knee injuries.
post #37 of 49
I found on BMJ a "Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled comparison of ginkgo biloba and acetazolamide for prevention of acute mountain sickness among Himalayan trekkers: the prevention of high altitude illness trial"
Quote:
Conclusions When compared with placebo, ginkgo is not effective at preventing acute mountain sickness. Acetazolamide 250 mg twice daily afforded robust protection against symptoms of acute mountain sickness.
Abstract: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/conte...t/328/7443/797
post #38 of 49
When I venture out West, I'd down 15 beers and sleep like a baby- nooo problems
post #39 of 49
Thank you to the Board for keeping this a sticky thread. My wife (who was born in--and lived the first 24 years of her life in--Colorado, and who visited Colorado every year for the next 13 years, went to Breck three years ago to ski. We flew into Denver and drove straight up (like we always do). Without going into all of the details, she felt lousy starting the second day and got progressively worse. She thought she just had a bug. On the third night, at around 2:00 a.m., she woke me up because on top of feeling like hell, she thought there was a mouse in the room. I woke up and sure enough, I heard a "crackle crackle crackle" sound, which sounded like a mouse trying to chew on a candy wrapper. Except that, it wasn't a mouse. It was the alveoli in my wife's lungs expelling fluid every time she exhaled. It only took about a minute to figure out that the sound was not coming from a mouse but from her mouth.

We woke up her brother who was with us on the trip and as luck would have it, is a cardiologist. He immediately diagnosed her as having High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and told us to leave immediately and drive to Denver. We did. Amazingly, though we had both grown up in Colorado, we had never heard of HAPE and had no idea how serious it was. My wife ended up spending 3 days in the hospital with an irregular EKG, had to wear a portable heart monitor for a month, and is still suffering form some long-term effects of HAPE. We can no longer sleep above 8000 feet in the Winter time (for some reason, it is much more difficult for her to be at altitude in the Winter than Summer).

Needless to say, this was one of the scariest episodes to ever happen to us, and I wish we had been more educated about symptoms before hand.
post #40 of 49
Great thread... Thanks

I've known people who live in NJ (50' above sea level) to carry a humidifier for use in their bedrooms while sleeping at altitude.
Do you think this would be of value as ambient conditions may impact the degree or level of dehydration? Or maybe it only helps the day get off to a better start?
post #41 of 49
Question/Comment for DP if he's out there. On a climb of a 5900M peak last year, one of the gang in our team took Viagra and Levitra (no kidding) to aid in aclimitization after reading of some study that was published suggesting positive results from the use of these drugs. He climbed and aclimatized as well as the best in our group. Are you aware of any such study?
post #42 of 49
I have been using Ginkgo for years with great success after moderate altitude problems. Dizzyness, headache, innability to sleep at night. When using the gingko, I have nearly no symptons. I have had several people try it with similar issues, all reported either no symptoms or very little symptoms. Michael Barrett was a witness I use 180 BID.

Regarding standards, Look for a 50:1 ratio, standardized to 24% as regulated by European Quality Standards. You can find this info on the back of almost any high-quality brand.
post #43 of 49

Correct or not?

It seems to me that there are two contradicting strategies:
(i) climb/ski high, sleep low
(ii) high altitude workout incl. the simulation in oxygen tents (= „sleep high“)
I know that a mountain training camp as a part of pre-season training is not the same as the real performance in high altitudes but I´m at a loss which philosophy to prefer.

I have never had any issues with altitude. I live at about 800 ft and spend 50 – 60 days/season skiing between 10,500 and 9,000 ft. I don´t mind coming early after 8 hours of driving with no sleep and starting to ski 30 or 60 minutes after the arrival. Lucke me.
Normally you sleep in the valley (about 4,200 ft.) and drive up and down each day, covering those 4,200 to 9,200 ft. in about 30 minutes. If you drive the same mountain road 50 to 60 days/season for 5 or 10 years you begin to hate it. At least I did. At the same time I started to follow the example of some skiers sleeping up the hill at 9,200 ft. in their vans.

I came to love the method. Not only do I save everyday packing and unpacking, more than an hour of mountain driving of more than 30 miles (time and fuel, not to speak about the diesel engine running cold most of the downhill drive) but I have always had the impression my body enjoys staying high without altitude changes. I even do some intentional condition training there with the impression I´m organizing a private high-altitude training camp there – something the athletes have to pay for heavily. (Besides, I don´t need any oxygen tent set at 9,200 ft – that´s where I sleep.)

I usually spend 5 or 6 days there. The sixth day, when there was intensive skiing (mostly GS and some free skiing) plus my special conditioning, is mostly the last I still have power enough and am really eager to ski. Four days (happened twice) were a cinch.
It may be an accident but I only once changed my habit and used the „ski high sleep low“ strategy because the third day I had to go to Munich (2 * 3 hours´ drive at low altitudes). This was my worst week and I have never been so tired: altitude changes and driving?

I think that my strategy works. Doing some high-intensity exercise at 10,000 ft. (3 * 1´ with 1´ break) as well as some lower impact workout, and also just being there should improve my functional values and help my shape – at least I HOPE so.
Am I right?
post #44 of 49
Hi Keoki- yes, there have been some studies on drugs like sildinafil (Viagra) and because they reduce pulmonary artery pressure, they may have value in preventing HAPE. I will find the links and post them when I get a chance.

Checkracer- The seeming contradiction between the climb high/sleep low and train low, sleep high philosophies is that they are looking at different things. The first is looking at most efficient acclimatization and maximal altitude gain, and for that, this works best. The second is looking at how to maximize athletic performance, not necessarily at altitude. With this strategy, you can work out harder at lower altitude (more oxygen available in the air) but reap the benefits of increased hemoglobin levels, muscle capillary proliferation, mitochondrial density in muscle (all which occur with living at higher altitude).
post #45 of 49

High altitude alcohol consumption: a cheap date

Quote:
Originally Posted by dp View Post
Alcohol has increased effect up here- you get drunk much easier at altitude.
Not true- good news or bad news, depending on your perspective (you can drink as much as you do at home, but it’s not cheaper to get drunk).
I have to disagree with you. Oxygen is needed to metabolize alcohol in your liver. High altitude = Less oxygen in your bloodstream = Alcohol hangs out in your system longer. So, fewer drinks have a greater effect for longer.

I moved to Colorado a couple years ago, and I certainly noticed a big difference in my alcohol tolerance. And now I can drink like a fish at sea level.
post #46 of 49
You may be able to drink like a fish, but alcohol dehydrogenase is an NAD dependant anaerobic dehydrogenase. Go back to Physiological Chemistry 101. Furthermore, this has been studied in a controlled trial here:

Collins WE, Mertens HW. Age, alcohol, and simulated altitude: effects on performance and breathalyzer scores. Aviat Space Environ Med 1988;59:1026-33.

Trained men in two age groups, 30-39 (n = 12) and 60-69 (n = 13), each performed at the Multiple Task Performance Battery in four separate full-day sessions with and without alcohol (2.2 ml of 100-proof vodka per kilogram of body weight) at ground level and at a simulated altitude of 12,500 ft (3,810 m). Subjects breathed appropriate gas mixtures through oxygen masks at both ground level and altitude. Mean breathalyzer readings peaked near 88 mg% and did not differ between age groups or altitude conditions. Younger subjects performed better than older subjects; performance of both age groups was significantly impaired by alcohol but these adverse effects were greater for the older subjects. No significant effects on performance were obtained due to altitude or to the interaction of altitude with alcohol. These results and those from several other studies suggest that prevalent views regarding the nature of the combined effects of alcohol and altitude on blood alcohol levels and on performance need to be redefined.
post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meganne View Post
The outcomes of my mini-sized ginkgo biloba field trial are (not surprisingly) inconclusive. One ginkgo taker (my husband) had a shocking altitude experience and was very close to having to descend to Denver after three very bad nights. He was still battling for breath at 9,000 two weeks later. By contrast one of the ginkgo-free rats breezed through the whole experience with nothing more than a mild headache for the first 24 hrs. All of us had disturbed sleep, skin irritations, swollen body parts, and couldn't drink near enough water to replace what we were losing into the air.

Right at the end of the trip we found this product which might have been helpful:

I think if we go back to Colorado (which I hope we do) we'll have to start with two nights in Denver or perhaps precede it with a week in Park City. And get a lot fitter, cos those are some big mountains.
Does anyone know if this can be brought in checked baggage and flown with?

Usually they say only ground shipping on these products due to compressed oxygen.
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by techlogik View Post
Does anyone know if this can be brought in checked baggage and flown with?

Usually they say only ground shipping on these products due to compressed oxygen.

Answer own question...NO!!

Did some searching, plenty of places offer oxygen in Breck, common problem apparently. From the Resort at Breck, to Carters etc...

Should probably invest a few bucks in case.
post #49 of 49
Techlogic- save your money. A few puffs from those little cans are not going to help you. If you really need oxygen you will need it continuously, not for a couple of intermittent breaths, or at the least during sleep. If so, you will need a concentrator or a cylinder with nasal cannulae. If you have had persistent trouble consider a resort with a lower base altitude than Breck (Vail, for example, or the Utah resorts) or try prophylaxis before ascending, graded, ascent, etc. Read my 1st post in this thread.
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