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  1. #1
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    Altitude sickness

    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Clearly you will be in the looney bin within a month. It was good knowing you...

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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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.



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    Re: Altitude sickness

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



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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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?



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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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.


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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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.


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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUME View Post
    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?
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Clearly you will be in the looney bin within a month. It was good knowing you...

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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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.



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    Re: Altitude sickness

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



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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by oldman View Post
    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.
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Clearly you will be in the looney bin within a month. It was good knowing you...

  11. #11
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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclonespiker33 View Post
    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.

    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Clearly you will be in the looney bin within a month. It was good knowing you...

  12. #12
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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by coolerifyoudid View Post
    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.
    Take enough oxygen cyclinders in a pinch.

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


    Last edited by Wesley; 07-14-2014 at 04:38 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by coolerifyoudid View Post
    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.

    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. #14
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    Re: Altitude sickness

    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



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    Re: Altitude sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by DurangoCy View Post
    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.
    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


    Last edited by coolerifyoudid; 07-14-2014 at 12:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    Clearly you will be in the looney bin within a month. It was good knowing you...

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