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24

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. ...


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 ...


12

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, ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


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

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.


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

To deal with low oxygen environments you need more red blood cells. To get more red blood cells you have very few options. Blood doping Low pressure chamber treatments Actually going into higher altitudes on a regular basis (I recommend this one) Make sure your diet has enough iron to support the red blood cell production. However, iron by itself is ...


7

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 ...


7

Personally I do not know of any deterministic way judging acclimatization. Right now, the actions to be taken are more "Reactive". i.e, in case one feels the symptoms of AMS, then one can take a call of going down or camping at the current altitude to get acclimatized. As a thumb rule, if you climb higher, and sleep lower, your body should get adjusted to ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

The standard expedition stove for extreme conditions would be an MSR XGK. You will likely want to bring a pair of them, along with a repair kit, on the assumption that due to the cold or poor quality fuel you'll break a pump or need to make other repairs. Now, you may be thinking "what are all those people doing with canister stoves on ...


6

Snow blindness in simple terms is burning of the cornea and conjunctiva due to UV rays. At higher altitudes, the UV rays are more as less atmosphere is there to absorb these UV rays. Hence there is a higher chance of snow blindness at higher altitudes. Symptoms: Intense pain in the eyes. Huge amount of tears. Preventive Measures: Wear a protective ...


6

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. ...


6

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 ...


6

Other tidbits I've heard from local** guides: Wearing red increases your risk of being struck by lightning Burning egg shells will anger forest spirits and cause nightmares and illness The quickest way to heal a compound fracture is to wrap it with raw chicken Sticking tobacco in your socks will ward off leeches (this may have some validity). That's half ...


6

If it's a nice summer's day at lowest avalanche warning level in mid altitude you can still be hit by an avalanche and die. That being said in reference to the answer of @BenCrowell and the comments, it's just a matter of chances which are relatively low to get AMS (which are effecting your body in a serious matter) in regions up to 3000 m or even slightly ...



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