I'm training to climb large mountains. What kind of ascent should I train for at altitude. Let's say above 12000 feet and carrying up to 60 lbs?
According the the UIAA: International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation
- After 8850 feet a rate of 1250 feet per day above the previous days sleeping altitude is a generally appropriate rate of ascent.
Usually after 2700m, not to climb more than 400m from the previous night’s sleeping altitude would be a reasonable recommendation. Climbing high and sleeping low may help in the acclimatisation process, but it is important not to overexert yourself while trying to accomplish this. A rest day after every two days of gain in altitude may also help. Above all else it is very important to “listen” to your body as you ascend and not push yourself even while following these rough guidelines.
This is of course only a generalization, and individual rates of ascent will be different.
If the following symptoms occur, you are climbing too quickly and should descend. They are symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness "AMS" and could lead to High Altitude Cerebral Edema "HACE", or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema "HAPE", if left unchecked.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid pulse (heart rate)
- Shortness of breath with exertion
More information on common mountain illness and related questions. UIAA - Frequently Asked Questions
AMS Symptoms can elevate to the following.
Symptoms generally associated with more severe acute mountain sickness include:
- Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis)
- Chest tightness or congestion
- Coughing up blood
- Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
- Gray or pale complexion
- Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
- Shortness of breath at rest
For more information see the link below. Medicine Plus: AMS - Symptoms and treatment