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Altitude Sickness - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post
I had a friend staying with me, had never been above 4000 feet in his life, has smoked for 9 years and is not in the best shape. He gets drunk enough to have a hangover. I drive him up loveland pass once the hangover wore off, he decides to start hiking up on the west side. We kept going till we were looking in on loveland, he walks the whole thing like he is at sea level. I guess some people are just lucky.

Every time your friend climbs, will be different...maybe the next time he won't make it. People never know when they'll get altitude sickness...just look at those folks that climb Everest!
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Just curious, how high is Westminster?
It's about 5,200 feet.
post #33 of 60

More on Whitney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post
My wife and I climbed Whitney a few (20) years ago in two days and had similar experiences. We spent the night in Lone Pine (9,000) before starting out. By the time we reached the camp at 13,500 it was all I could do to set up my tent and lay down. I couldn't even fight off the marmot that kept trying to get into our tent to steal the food out of my pack. My wife felt great and went to play in the snow up the slope. Big mistake. By evening she was so sick she couldn't even move. I remember looking up the steep snow covered wall we were going to have the climb the next day to get to the summit and thinking it was impossible. The next morning we had acclimated though and had no problems whatsoever, except for those darn Marmots who dragged my pack off that I had left off the trail on the way up.
It's actually worse than you thought...Lone Pine's elevation is at 3,733-feet. The trailhead is at 8,361-feet. Round trip from the trailhead to the top, 14,497.61-feet is 22 miles...whew-we!





Watch out for those pesky bears too!
post #34 of 60
I had it in Utah years ago...not fun at all. But luckily, it kicked in when we left the mountain for a day. With me, I found staying hydrated was critical.
post #35 of 60
ginkgoginkgogingkoginkgogingko biloba......
post #36 of 60
Dr. Dave Polaner gave a highly informative presentation on altitude acclimation at ESA 06 at Snowbird. Dave also posted some excellent info here:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ain+si ckness
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Vertigo?
no, blond
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Just curious, how high is Westminster?
5,384
post #39 of 60
I am not sure if this counts as altitude sicknes, but this past august in Chile (hotel was at 9k) I was unable to sleep for my first two nights on the mountain. On night 3 I took dramamine and finally passed out.
post #40 of 60
TheGnar: If you live in Westminster, I'm officially worried.

I've seen my flatland buddies hit hard by altitude sickness - or some degree of it.

I've always presumed I'm immune because I live in Broomfield (same altitude as Westminster).

But, if you can get nailed, so can I.

For tomorrow's A-Basin trip, I'm going to bed at 9:00, hyper-hydrating, and eating a Buffalo for breakfast.
post #41 of 60
I live in Denver and the most I have ever dealt with is a headache (although I live with headaches nearly daily so I can't say whether they're altitude induced) and trouble sleeping if I'm sleeping in the mountains. But, I'm always very careful to hydrate well the day before heading up and keep water in the car to continue during the time I'm up in the mountains.
post #42 of 60
The first time we stayed at Vail (a thousand years ago!) my husband didn't sleep the entire week. I slept OK but was headachy and got out of breath climbing the stairs to the cafeteria in Eagle's Nest.

Prior to that we had mainly skied in the East.

Now that we live in CA and ski 60 plus days a year, we don't have a problem with altitude sickness. Nonetheless, we take it fairly easy the first couple of days. We do sometimes have trouble sleeping the first night or 2 at altitude, even after all these years.
post #43 of 60
I didnt get sick at all my last trip(Steamboat) but even when on ohter trips I did get sick I managed to ski all day , but had to go straight to bed after skiing... I drove up to Steamboat in April from Houston, just for the fun of it and had no problems at all , so I am not to worried about the upcoming trip . Last time I went out in the gulf in a small boat , got sick as a dog and will not go out there again.
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosen View Post
I am not sure if this counts as altitude sicknes, but this past august in Chile (hotel was at 9k) I was unable to sleep for my first two nights on the mountain. On night 3 I took dramamine and finally passed out.
Very late to this thread....but here are some responses:

By definition, acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a headache at altitude in combination with at least one of the following:
- loss of appetite, nausea, or other stomach symptoms
- difficulty sleeping
- dizziness, lightneadedness
- fatigue, weakness

About 25% of those who live at or near sea level will develop AMS on ascent to 8000ft, although most will get better in a couple of days. So yes, I suspect that prosen did have AMS.

Trekchick's husand's herbal remedy sounds like baloney to me, but there is some evidence (not without considerable controversy, however) that 160mg twice a day of gingko biloba is an effective preventive measure. It has NOT been shown to be effective as a treatment- you need to start a couple of days before ascent.

I will try and go over my sticky post and update it in the next couple of weeks (right after I finish the 3 abstracts that are due on Dec 1 and get started on a grant!)
post #45 of 60
dp, I read your posts about altitude sickness with considerable insterest. Thanks for posting them. I do have one question about the AMS definition however...I sometimes get acute migraine headaches which would seem to satisfy the AMS definition (they tick off most if not all of the symptoms you list). I'm fairly sure that they are not AMS symptoms since they have almost always happened with no change of elevation and, before I moved to CO, were always at altitudes less than 1000 ft.

So, is there some additional definition that you've left off for simplicity and clarity or am I missing something?

Thanks again for the info.
post #46 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
I know that it is derived from mushrooms.
It clearly says in the packaging that you should not take it if you are allergic to mushrooms.

True story:
First day at Copper last winter, Mr TC could barely walk accross the parking lot, and I had to carry his skis for him. Pounding head ache and sick to his stomach.
He'd been drinking water, but it was not doing the trick.
Someone in our group suggested that we go to the health food store and get a product called Altitude Adjust.
When we walked into the health food store, this hippy looking dood says....."Dooood, I got sumthin soooooooooooo much better than that. Try this!"

We were desperate and MrTC was willing to do nearly anything. This stuff worked.
This sounds eerily similar to an experience I had in college except I wasn't sick and I wasn't at altitude but the product was mushroom based. There was a hippy looking dude and he said exactly the same thing when when I was filling up my beer at a kegger and I did feel much better after taking them
post #47 of 60
Taking the people I've traveled with as a limited size sample, there are a lot of very mild cases of altitude effect (I hesitate to elevate it to "sickness"). The most common symptom seemst to be trouble sleeping (more than 1/2) and the next most common is loss of appetite. Only one of my friends had a headache the first night, so that is much less common.

I've been lucky - I sometimes have one evening of loss of appetite, but nothing else.
post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post
This sounds eerily similar to an experience I had in college except I wasn't sick and I wasn't at altitude but the product was mushroom based. There was a hippy looking dude and he said exactly the same thing when when I was filling up my beer at a kegger and I did feel much better after taking them
I was thinking the same thing as it was happening.
post #49 of 60
I grew up in Aspen, and I've even felt it once at A basin after coming straight from 4000 ft. in bozeman.

Stay hydrated, get lots of sleep, and whatever you do, don't drink alcohol. One drink was enough to make me go straight from feeling fine (I was able to go on a little tour just fine the evening before) to just feeling like I needed to sleep for a week.

Alcohol will also slow down your body's ability to acclimatize. Usually I think you've adapted about 80% of the way after a week, and closeto 100% after a month.

If you smoke, you should think about quitting or at least cutting back for a couple weeks before you come. If you're really worried about it, do lots of cardio exercise starting now, and you probably won't have any problems.
post #50 of 60
Interesting thread, also late to it. Like several here, do research in this area, strongly recommend link to DP's longer discussion. Only add-ons would be that:

1) While AMS has no magical threshold, generally below 10,000 feet symptoms resolve without medical intervention or lowering your altitude; just listen to your body

3) As they say, go high and sleep low. But AMS is often triggered not by specific altitude exposure but workload at altitude; I was fine doing leisurely summiting of some minor Andes, but got hit hard after rock climbing all day 500 feet below La Paz, our residence altitude.

3) Olylady is only partially correct; yes, AMS can hit anyone, even after multiple exposures to H.A., but in fact some seem to have higher risk. Not related to conditioning per se, probably related to age, some other physiological variables, definitely to where you were raised and who your grandparents were. If you were born and raised in La Paz (or Leadville), lower risk. If you and your ancestors are Tibetan and you grew up in Lhasa, you're golden.
post #51 of 60
I'm an east coaster, but where I am is very low, I'd say maybe 200 over sea level. Yet somehow, I never feel altitude sickness when I go out to Colorado. I put it to the fact that I've skiied for most of my life, and that I was on a plane at 8weeks old. Or maybe its the huge amounts of water I drink once I get there. Ahh, I guess I'll have to admit it's the water. Drink huge amounts of liquids, it helps tremendously.
~Skierboy
post #52 of 60
Maggot- all very good points.

Wannabe- your post points out the problem with diagnosing AMS. There is no definitive test, but rather the diagnosis rests on meeting certain criteria that were defined at the 7th Lake Louise Symposium on Hypoxia in 1991. It is the most common, but not the only, scale used for this, but in the case you describe it's limitations are apparent. SInce this is a clinical diagnosis, you need to add some subjective judgements when a situation like yours arises.
post #53 of 60
Makes sense dp. I think I know when I feel something from altitude as opposed to other sources. I guess it's a bit of a Strom Thurmond - "I know it when I see it."
post #54 of 60
Take Viagra. It helps the body process O2 at high elevations. "Not Jokeing"
post #55 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezorburn View Post
Take Viagra. It helps the body process O2 at high elevations. "Not Jokeing"
Try explaining that one to your wife as you leave her at home while you go skiing.

"Really honey, it's to prevent altitude sickness and has nothing to do with hot ski bunnies."
post #56 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezorburn View Post
Take Viagra. It helps the body process O2 at high elevations. "Not Jokeing"
Can this be validated by anyone in the medical profession?

If so, I'll see my doctor, and add "sliming" foundation garments.
post #57 of 60
Finn knows his shit. Ginko works wonder for the mind, and altitude sickness. Combined with water, gatorade or pedialite will solve all your problems
post #58 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Can this be validated by anyone in the medical profession?

If so, I'll see my doctor, and add "sliming" foundation garments.

It has been in use for years among high alt mountaineers to help prevent pulmonary edema. Yes People are climbing Everest with stiffy's.

Google it Be-otch!

http://outside.away.com/outside/body...-altitude.html
post #59 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezorburn View Post
It has been in use for years among high alt mountaineers to help prevent pulmonary edema. Yes People are climbing Everest with stiffy's.

Google it Be-otch!

http://outside.away.com/outside/body...-altitude.html
I just read the article. The author concludes that Viagra is of limited or no value.

The final line of the article states:

"If I ever come back to Everest, I thought, the Viagra is staying at home, where someday—far in the future—it might do some real good."
post #60 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel
I had a friend staying with me, had never been above 4000 feet in his life, has smoked for 9 years and is not in the best shape. He gets drunk enough to have a hangover. I drive him up loveland pass once the hangover wore off, he decides to start hiking up on the west side. We kept going till we were looking in on loveland, he walks the whole thing like he is at sea level. I guess some people are just lucky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
Every time your friend climbs, will be different...maybe the next time he won't make it. People never know when they'll get altitude sickness...just look at those folks that climb Everest!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp View Post
Very late to this thread....but here are some responses:

By definition, acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a headache at altitude in combination with at least one of the following:
- loss of appetite, nausea, or other stomach symptoms
- difficulty sleeping
- dizziness, lightneadedness
- fatigue, weakness

About 25% of those who live at or near sea level will develop AMS on ascent to 8000ft...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I grew up in Aspen, and I've even felt it once at A basin after coming straight from 4000 ft. in bozeman.

Stay hydrated, get lots of sleep, and whatever you do, don't drink alcohol...

If you smoke, you should think about quitting or at least cutting back for a couple weeks before you come. If you're really worried about it, do lots of cardio exercise starting now, and you probably won't have any problems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
3) Olylady is only partially correct; yes, AMS can hit anyone, even after multiple exposures to H.A., but in fact some seem to have higher risk. Not related to conditioning per se, probably related to age, some other physiological variables, definitely to where you were raised and who your grandparents were. If you were born and raised in La Paz (or Leadville), lower risk. If you and your ancestors are Tibetan and you grew up in Lhasa, you're golden.
beyond, I wasn't saying that everyone gets AMS. As you stated above, age, physiological variables, and ancestry make a huge difference. karpiel only mentioned that his friend had never been above 4,000-feet, smoked, was not in the best of shape, and he had a hangover. Hey, maybe the guy's ancestors were from La Paz, better yet, the Himalayas! I just wanted to point out that he might not be so lucky next time.

I have lived at 7,000-feet for many years and was in good physical condition when I climbed Whitney. I had climbed other peaks over 14,000-feet and never had a problem. I got AMS when I climbed Whitney because I did not take the time to properly acclimate or hydrate myself. It didn't help that six months earlier my son had died in an avalanche. Thanks dp for your medical perspective and expertise on the subject.
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