Hot answers tagged

27

I personally had a similar sort of a question when I first went through similar kind of stats about these mountains. Getting introduced with these stats is different than totally understanding the mountain and the pandora box it opens. For getting acquainted with the reasons for so many failed attempts, one needs to read tactical data and expedition reports. ...


26

Hot soup mostly, it does depend on the individual diets of the climbers, not everybody eats the same thing, but most carry hot soup with them. Despite the massive amounts of energy needed to summit Everest, the truth is most climbers don't eat much on summit day, and that's simply because they don't have an appetite due to the high elevation. Many climbers ...


15

Apart from the practical advantages mentioned in practicality of beards, there's also some aspects that are special to remote and/or high altitude trekking: Melting snow to obtain water costs a lot of fuel (and time) which makes water quite a valuable good. You don't want to spend 10% or more of your expensively molten water just to pollute it with shaving ...


14

The idea that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you or "don't count" toward your body's water requirement is a myth. Laboratory studies have shown that caffeinated soda is just as hydrating as water, i.e., the diuretic effect of the caffeine is too small to measure.[Grandjean 2000] Even in the case of coffee, which has much higher concentrations of caffeine than ...


13

Headaches are common symptoms of altitude sickness. It's a sign your brain is not getting enough oxygen. As with lots of mountain issues it's down to judgement. If the headache is impairing your ability to perform at altitude, then yes, it's dangerous. If you can't concentrate on what your doing then your a danger to yourself and others. Bear in mind, ...


12

In 1996, they seemed to enjoy chocolate bars and candies. From some of the accounts of the infamous 1996 season related by the 2015 movie, apart for the classic soup, tea and fluids, we can consider "junk food" on summit day: Matt Dickinson (the other side of Everest) eats Muesli and pistachio nuts. Lou Kasischke (After the wind) was very fond of ...


11

Either option is acceptable, particularly since you aren't going very high. There are rare instances where people get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or worse even at relatively low altitudes, and these are more common when there is no acclimatization. However, it is very rare for such problems to suddenly arise and not be fixable (through rapid descent). Each ...


11

There is no documented scientific relationship between individual blood pressure and AMS. Furthermore, your guide appears to be completely mis-informed as to the mechanics of AMS. The most common symptom of AMS - a roaring headache - is caused by swelling of the brain as the body attempts to make up for reduced oxygen in the blood by pumping harder and ...


11

Three thoughts: If the snow is thigh-high, then you should be either using touring skis or snowshoes to "float" over the snow. You'll expend way less energy. Seriously, I can cover probably 10x-50x the distance (or more) with alpine touring gear or snowshoes in the same amount of time as someone without, and that's regardless of the angle of slope. ...


11

I had always assumed that after you adapted to the thin air, the risk to your body was how thick your blood got with the production of extra red blood cells to compensate for the lack of oxygen. an increase of red blood cells will only happen after a long period of time. This is why athletes often train at high altitude. this is a very gradual ...


11

As with clothes you were wearing while you climbed, the liner boots are damp - if not wet from the days activity. Energy is required to evaporate the moisture - this cools you down, including your feet. You get cold from it very easily. Also as most people will feel cold if they have cold feet, so you will feel cold even if you are actually warm enough. In ...


11

It has to go down to all the High-Altitude diets, and not just specific to Mt. Everest. Anywhere above 23,000 feet / 7,000 meters most of the mountaineers lose their appetite to a considerable level. So, at that altitude losing weight is a common observation. Thats where the fats come in picture. Body starts consuming these bodily fats and worst case muscles ...


10

Anecdotally, the only three factors which may cause you problems are: supplies running out losing fitness boredom And these are really only an issue if you are stuck for extended periods of time. Your solutions are: exercises you can do in your tent, or just outside - stretches, press-ups, sit-ups, basic cardio - will help you maintain a level of ...


10

Several things kill people on mountains, many of these are within the individuals control (ensuring they have the right kit, etc.) I'm going to ignore these because all things being equal these should be relatively static (i.e. the mountain itself doesn't make a person more or less well prepared) So here are some factors that affect how dangerous or not a ...


10

The first thing you need to ask yourself is why is there so much rubbish? Getting things up and down to Everest base camp is exhausting! The Sherpas (who do the vast majority of the lifting and carrying, and are typically not paid well) have no incentive to carry down things that the majority of their western clients don't ask about. Clients typically don't ...


10

I'll try and be brief but specific towards answering your question: What exactly happens to your body at high altitude? Disclaimer: A lot of data is from Wiki Pages and definitions from Human Anatomy and Physiology Books. Breathlessness and Hyperventilation: Does it start with one panting for breathe? Yes it does! We all know that Atmospheric pressure ...


10

Altitude acclimatization is not just a single change in your body but a long list of different things that are going on. There is a nice chart on p. 326 of House and Johnston, Training for the New Alpinism, which gives a list of the following adaptations (they label #6 as two items): increased ventilation rate increased heart rate and blood pressure blood ...


10

To answer your first question,"If the situation asks for it, should a mountaineer be donating blood at higher altitude?" I'm assuming you're referring to a life and death situation on the mountain where someone desperately needs an emergency transfusion to survive an accident, and whether or not it is safe to offer your blood. My answer would be yes, you ...


10

Lemon juice and tinned fruit From Tenzing's autobiography Man of Everest We started pitching the highest camp that has ever been made. And it took us almost until it was dark. First we chopped away at the ice to try and make our sleeping-place a little more level. Then we struggled with frozen ropes and canvas, and tied the ropes around the ...


9

An unhurdled slip-and-drop would be fatal without a doubt. If this is the case, then maybe you need a belay. However, if the snow is sufficiently deep and soft that you're sinking up to your knees, why is it the case that slipping and being unable to self-arrest is so dangerous? In these conditions, typically you can't even intentionally get going fast ...


9

There isn't necessarily a way to prepare your body for the altitude. You should however: Be in good condition overall, i.e. able to handle at sea level more than you are planning to do at altitude. Try to spend several days at a lower altitude (like 7000 feet) doing some aerobic activity before trying to go higher. Drink more water than usual. Take ...


9

Aerobic conditioning will help a little with the altitude. You can practice walking / running on a treadmill at 15% incline. You can practice walking with a loaded backpack. Bonus points for doing it on an inclined treadmill.


9

In my opinion the best would be to have a couple of more advanced friends who are able to teach or even know guides or groups and go with them for fun and to learn. Unfortunately I am not having this opportunity (yet?). How that, when you are already a member of the DAV? It is first and foremost an club of mountain enthusiasts, not a provider of ...


9

The Problem with metallic equipment and cold temperatures is that your hands are moist, if you touch a very cold metallic surface (or any other smooth surface), your moisture will freeze to the surface which causes the top layer of your skin to get stuck on the surface. For Example: it's freezing cold outside and you put your tongue (which is very moist, ...


8

I wouldn't recommend gaining 3700+ meters in 2 days. It's not about fitness. It's just about how well your body adapts to altitude. I agree that 3700 meters is not too high to get severely sick due to AMS, but then, it's not recommended to gain more than 1000 meters of vertical distance per day. Also, I know friends who have suffered from altitude sickness ...


8

Sounds like a myth to me. The only thing that could possibly come into play is the pressure inside your head. But in order to hold the pressure inside your head constant, you would have to plug your ears with something air-tight, not open your mouth, et cetera. I can’t see how a beanie hat or something like that could prevent the outside and inside pressures ...


8

The key to survival of any species in any part of the world is having a sustainable source of food. This applies to snakes as well. For snakes, humans are not food. For them, rats, lizards, scorpions, frogs etc act as food. When you specifically talk of snow covered areas, it is impossible for a snake to live. Or any cold blooded animal for that matter. I ...


8

Acclimatization is the most common technique. Altitude sickness occurs at 2,400 m, so you go to a base camp (for example Cuzco if you're doing the Incan trail, or the South/North Base camps for Everest) and you let your body adjust to the altitude over a few days although it can easily take a week. However, acclimatizing has its limits, somewhere between ...


8

If you'd lost, broken or simply didn't have any googles, I know in the days before effective UV protective eyewear, explorers would wear goggles with thin slits cut into them to reduce the amount of light entering the eye. In an emergency situation you could probably knock this up with a knife and some simple materials. How effective it would be, I don't ...


8

The other answers already gave lots of information about altitude adaption, so I will focus on one certain point: AMS (acute mountain sickness) evolves when staying at high altitudes. It is a pathologic disease with potential severe consequences. This should not be mixed up with the immediate influences of high altitude on the body like decrease of physical ...



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