Altitude sickness

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by coolerifyoudid, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2013
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    Heading to Cali on Thursday to climb Mount Whitney with my brother, brother-in-law, and 3 other people. I've been training and have all my gear packed. My biggest concern is altitude sickness.

    It seems like acclimation is the only tried and true method of preparing the body, but I haven't been able to get that accomplished in the lofty mountains of Kansas. We are going to get a mini-hike at 12,000ft the night before the climb to try to help. We are also taking two days to summit and return versus the day trip.

    I've looked into medication, but everything is prescription-based and blurry vision and dizziness were side effects (less than desirable).

    Anyone done this climb or something similar that can offer any pointers? Has anyone suffered from altitude sickness before? How long does it take to recover?
     
  2. cyclonespiker33

    cyclonespiker33 Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
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    It didn't happen to me while hiking, rather driving in the Rockies, but I've gotten altitude sickness more than once. Being really hydrated prevented it on a different occasion.
     
  3. 3TrueFans

    3TrueFans Well-Known Member

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    Post up at base camp for a week before making your way to the summit.
     
  4. ISUME

    ISUME Active Member

    Mar 14, 2012
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    Have you ever been that high before? They used Viagra on Top Gear to fight off altitude sickness once, how well do you know these people?
     
  5. keepngoal

    keepngoal Jobless Jerk
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    Jun 20, 2006
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    Drink three times as much water as you think you need ... and continue that while on the hike. Past that.... time at high altitudes is the best remedy.
     
  6. oldman

    oldman Well-Known Member

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    I did it back in '81, but had been backpacking for about three weeks before that. There was a campground about 8 miles from it that we stayed (maybe 10,000 ft?), and did the hike with daypacks.

    We definitely passed people who had headaches (they had taken the shortcut?), so I would also recommend at least a few days of acclimatizing.
     
  7. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever been that high before? - I'll refrain from my childish answer ! Mt Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48, so no. Been to Pikes Peak a few times with no issue, but always in a car or cog rail, never hiking. No issues any time I've been up there.

    They used Viagra on Top Gear to fight off altitude sickness once, how well do you know these people? - I imagine if I used Viagra, they'd know me much better than I'd like them to.
     
  8. ketelmeister

    ketelmeister Well-Known Member

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    We hiked Long's Peak a couple of years ago in Colorado. A 14,000-plus mountain. Was like running a marathon only worse. No problems with altitude, BUT, you need to do several conditioning hikes to get the O level up in your blood. We were there a week before we attempted the hike. Took us 14 hours round trip.
     
  9. dtlantz

    dtlantz Member

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    I have no advice but I am jealous. Post some pictures!
     
  10. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

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    We are camping at trail camp at 12,000 ft and using day packs for the summit. I wish I could spend more time getting accustomed to the altitude, but I'm doing this trip sans family and am trying to squeeze in what I can with minimal vacation days. It's not ideal at all, but I'm giving it a shot.
     
  11. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2013
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    Just curious, how does it rival a nasty hangover? Did you get nauseous as well?

    From what I hear, the headaches are pretty brutal. I'm pretty damn stubborn and I've spent a lot more money in gear than I originally intended, so I'm planning on pushing through if at all possible. I just didn't know if it's a crippling kinda pain or just a real big pain in the *** that you can cope with.
     
  12. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
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    #12 Wesley, Jul 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    Take enough oxygen cyclinders in a pinch.:wideeyed:

    Seriously, drinking water is a must. Once you get a headache, it takes a long time to get rid of.
     
  13. DurangoCy

    DurangoCy Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2010
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    First you get sleepy, then headaches, and finally you start cramping really bad. If you just get to the headache stage, slow down and drink a **** load of water. If it gets bad, you're done.

    Good luck! Sounds like a fun time.

    All you driving or flying to Cali? If you drive, that would be better than nothing to get accustomed to the altitude.
     
  14. BeachAve

    BeachAve Active Member

    Apr 22, 2014
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    Lived in CO and I already have motion sickness issues when traveling eleswhere--mostly on an intermediate size boat, mooring in wavy water the worst, for example.

    - drink a lot of water
    -do not drink any caffeinated beverages--coffee or soda for several hours prior to a hike or drive
    -take a couple aspirin with a glass of milk prior

    If I'm on a sugar or caffeine high, the aspirin and milk makes me normal almost immediately
     
  15. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

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    #15 coolerifyoudid, Jul 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    Flying to Vegas and then driving to Lone Pine. We are camping at 12000 the night prior to going on the actual trail, so I'm hoping that any altitude sickness I get takes place that first night
     
  16. coolerifyoudid

    coolerifyoudid Well-Known Member

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    #16 coolerifyoudid, Jul 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    I get motion sickness pretty easily, but from what I've read, there's not a lot of correlation of susceptibility between the two. If altitude sickness has the same effect on me that my whale watching excursion had, I can pretty much forget toughing through it. That was horrible.

    I've pretty much eliminated most caffeine from my diet for the past 3 months. I'll maybe have an occassional tea, maybe a soda once a week. Otherwise, I've been filling myself with water.
     
  17. BeachAve

    BeachAve Active Member

    Apr 22, 2014
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    I hear ya.

    In Colorado I didn't any issues hiking, etc. It was the winding curves of a mountain road--if I'm a passenger. I'm a terrible passenger

    After a few meltdowns riding in car or biking after drinking caffeine/ingesting sugar, I realized a glass of milk and two aspirin reverses the effects

    I also cut out the pop/coffee by 98% since last summer. feel much better...
     
  18. Tri4Cy

    Tri4Cy Active Member

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    I suffer from altitude sickness frequently. It takes about three days for the symptoms to start to go away. I would chug an electrolyte drink with a couple Tylenol in the morning to get rid of the headache. Then stay on top of hydration throughout the day.
     
  19. blizzisu

    blizzisu Member

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  20. cyclonespiker33

    cyclonespiker33 Well-Known Member

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    For me, I got a headache and then threw up. After that I was okay for an hour maybe and it came back. When I was well hydrated there were no effects.
     

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