Questions tagged [high-altitude]

Questions referring to everything related to mountaineering in higher altitudes (generally 10.000ft+/3000m+) like concerns about your health because of the thin air.

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Is it possible to sleep at an altitude more than 500m above last night?

On a high altitude climb or hike, there is famous safety rule for acclimatization "you should never sleep at an altitude more than 500m above the last night" One of my hike require to me ...
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3 votes
2 answers
244 views

Risk of permanent damage from high to extreme (6000m) ascents

I'd be grateful for any views on the risk of sustaining permanent structural and cognitive changes from a climbing trip to high altitude (5000-6000m) if acclimatisation is reasonable and no HACE/HAPE ...
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9 votes
2 answers
796 views

Why do Everest climbers go up, down and up again, instead of acclimatizing by simply staying in a camp longer?

To acclimatize to extreme altitude oxygen levels, why do Everest (Chomolungma) climbers go first up and then back down before going up again, instead of staying at say Camp II (21,000 ft; 6,400 m) for ...
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8 votes
3 answers
191 views

How do you distinguish mild altitude sickness from mere exhaustion?

Is there a way to discern exhaustion due to altitude sickness from exhaustion due to the climb itself? Of course they go hand in hand but the lower oxygen levels would make you feel even more ...
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8 votes
2 answers
655 views

When is first light when you are far above the terrain?

Normally you would just look it up for your location--but I'm thinking of a peak where the horizon will be at least a mile lower and I would think that would have some effect.
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2 votes
2 answers
302 views

Risk of category three sunglasses when skiing

I am going skiing for one to three days next week. I have some category three sunglasses I am planning to use instead of goggles. Long term I would definitely use goggles but for just a few days am I ...
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13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there any evidence that the small canisters (10 liters) of 95% oxygen actually help with altitude sickness?

In Colorado outdoor stores its not uncommon to see these small canisters of 95% percent oxygen that's sold to help people cope with high altitude. Is there any evidence that these actually help with ...
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8 votes
4 answers
833 views

Is there really no way to rescue a climber from the death zone?

I have watched many documentaries about accidents on Everest and what I learned is, that it is impossible to rescue anybody from the death zone. It is simply too hard for the sherpas, or anybody else ...
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7 votes
2 answers
243 views

Is there evidence to support or refute the hypothesis that frequent trips to high altitude aid acclimatization?

Many years ago, I was reading a book in which the Chamonix guides of the 1940s and 1950s were featured. It could have possibly been Annapurna by Maurice Herzog, but I just don't remember. Several ...
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9 votes
2 answers
264 views

What is the impact/risks of high altitude walking on individuals suffering from High Blood Pressure?

Setting aside the benefits of cardiocavascular exercise in general, what are the risks to hikers/climbers with high blood pressure at various altitudes? Is there an upper ceilling/threshold that ...
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10 votes
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Does body need to re-acclimatize after a few days out of altitude?

We will be in Peru visiting Machu Pichu (altitude 7,972 ft or 2,430 m). Then we'll go down to the jungle (essentially sea level) for 4 days and then to Cuzco (altitude 11,152 feet or 3,399 meters). ...
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9 votes
1 answer
121 views

Is there any measurable effect on acclimatization rate for people living in middle mountains?

Do people living in middle mountains (500-1000 m.asl) have any measurable advantage against lowlanders when it comes to acclimatization? Are there measurable differences in blood cells density? I'...
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5 votes
1 answer
211 views

Climbing Mt. Kazbek - Hiring a Guide from the Meteo Station

I am planning to climb Mt. Kazbek, from the Georgian side, in August, but I am not really keen on the idea of booking a whole package all the way from Kazbegi. I've read elsewhere that you can hike to ...
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6 votes
2 answers
279 views

Is altitude tent helpful in preparation for climbing 7000-8000m mountains?

Climbing extremely high mountains requires a long time (weeks together) to acclimatisation to the altitude. Is it possible to reduce this time by adding sleeping in Altitude tent to the preparation ...
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Can I use ear plugs while ascending or descending a mountain?

Can I use ear plugs to block out noise or will my ears need to pop because of the altitude? I don’t want to get sick by using the ear plugs.
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2 votes
3 answers
238 views

What are the possible risks of exercising at high altitudes?

Are there any possible risks of exercising (body weight, calisthenics only) at high altitudes? I'm talking of altitudes above 4500m. The whole premise is not to lose muscle mass. Background: I'll be ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Is acute mountain sickness repeatable?

Several month ago me and my climbing partner were climbing a mountain over 7000m. In first few day my climbing partner got AMS. It was high-altitude pulmonary edema (he felt very bad, he had strong ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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Can you get permanent brain damage by spending a day at 10,000ft (~3000m) altitude?

I read some articles that suggested that even moderately high altitudes can lead to some irreversible brain damage. Thus, I was wondering whether that is actually possible and what is its likelihood? ...
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5 votes
2 answers
197 views

What is the lowest altitude where the effect of lack of acclimatization can be observed?

What is the lowest altitude where the effect of lack of acclimatization can be observed? I've heard that generally we speak about the need for acclimatization over 3000 meters (9800 feet). Are the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
367 views

Can overexertion cause AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?

Recently I did a trek in the Himalayan region and one of the group members was affected by what we believed was AMS at around 4600m. We had to evacuate the person from there and get to around 4100m ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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Should one remove their boots in an emergency bivvy situation?

Is there an argument for removing your boots to prevent frostbitten toes. Lets say you are at 4000m in the winter in a snow cave with no sleeping bag and frostbite is probable, but death is unlikely. ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Has Joe Simpson ever explained why he did not cut the rope himself?

I have just watched the docudrama "Touching the void" for the umpteenth time. I am a climber and mountaineer and have a great deal of respect for Simon Yates and his efforts to save Joe Simpson and ...
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11 votes
1 answer
204 views

Does the altitude you live at influence the time required for acclimatization?

Let's say that two persons are going to attempt to climb a mountain that is 6 000 metres high. These persons are equal in every way, except that one lives at sea level and one lives at 2 500 metres ...
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  • 287
8 votes
1 answer
431 views

How can people survive really cold nights outside with minimal equipment?

There are people who had to survive one or more nights in altitudes above 7000 m at temperatures far below zero, without tent, sometimes without sleeping bag or even a proper jacket. Some examples are ...
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15 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it normal for a compass to develop an air bubble at high altitude?

I live in Denver, Colorado. Going above 10,000 ft. (3,000 metre) always results in an air bubble large enough for me to want to tilt the compass to prevent the bubble from interfering with the needle....
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4 votes
2 answers
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What affects the acclimatization process? [closed]

We know we need "Climb High and Sleep low" to prevent Altitude Sickness. Now the question is what can affect the acclimatization process? Example: Bring luggage/bag/etc when climbing high. Will ...
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13 votes
1 answer
243 views

Why would people descend to sleep while acclimatizing?

I am watching a video about a climb of Annapurna. To acclimate the climbers head up from base camp to another camp higher up, stay for a day or two, then return to base camp. They repeat this ...
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7 votes
1 answer
235 views

Acclimatization Question

While climbing Killi (Mount Kilimanjaro), we were reminded to drink constantly until we reach the summit. I noticed that when I did stop and take some sips of water on the final push, I initially ...
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11 votes
1 answer
269 views

Is there a breathing technique to conserve bottled oxygen?

We all know when people run out of O2 up there, trouble follows. Is there a breathing technique to get more mileage out of bottled oxygen? Let's stick to the basic scenario of the need of bottled ...
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11 votes
1 answer
297 views

Can you pre-identify the risk of severe Altitude sickness?

This BBC news article Mount Everest: Altitude sickness claims third death in four days caught my attention. From what I understand the best cure for Altitude sickness is to get lower, fast. This is ...
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12 votes
3 answers
583 views

Case example on Altitude Mountain Sickness: How to detect and react properly?

I know the theory behind effects of high altitudes on the human body is not entirely understood and because of cross-influence it is a difficult topic. It's not an exact science. Having said that I ...
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9 votes
2 answers
343 views

How do you diagnose severe altitude illness?

If someone is feeling bad at high altitude, how do you tell if their condition is so severe that it threatens their life unless they descend immediately?
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11 votes
2 answers
531 views

Acclimitization: Would 20 min at an "oxygen bar" deliver more than an ephermal boost to a healthy person?

My last trip was just a hiking trip, so I stayed at a hotel. For $35, the hotel offered 20 min at their "oxygen bar". I was tempted, but did not succumb. I didn't have a headache, or feel nauseated,...
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8 votes
1 answer
113 views

Is there a connection between stress and difficulty in acclimatizing?

In the experience of users of this site, does intense stress hamper acclimatization? I recently experienced much more difficulty in acclimatizing in an area where I frequently visit. The only ...
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33 votes
4 answers
11k views

What do mountaineers eat and drink on the day of an Everest summit?

I was watching Everest (2015) on the weekend and was wondering what the mountaineers do for sustenance on the day they attempt to summit. It appeared they left around midnight, aiming for a 2pm ...
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6 votes
1 answer
981 views

Backpacking with a dog

Please note, this question covers different material than that in Camping with a dog for the first time. I've often seen ...
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7 votes
1 answer
330 views

Properly using a Gamow Bag

I was just informed that our group is going to have a Gam-off, technically known as a Gamow Bag. While I have never seen one such thing and so I don't have any experience with them, I browsed the ...
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  • 31.5k
8 votes
2 answers
219 views

Does sleeping with liner shoes make you feel colder?

While reading this article about mountaineering boots I found following quote by Ian Nicholson quite interesting: "When climbing in a double boot, bring the liner in your sleeping bag at night to ...
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3 votes
0 answers
84 views

High Altitude Cooking - Most efficient fuel and stove type [duplicate]

We are planning a hike that will have us above the tree line for several days. I am interested in recommendations regarding stove and fuel types under the reduced oxygen constraints as well as weight....
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Donating blood at higher altitudes and Acclimatization

While I was re-reading this question where there is a lot discussed about impact of higher altitude on the physiology, acclimatization and things around it. Though, I have had put in an answer in the ...
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13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

We already have topics on fuels here and here which give quite an overview. Also REI gives some info how to choose your stove and fuel properly. Still I would like to know what are the best options ...
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12 votes
2 answers
850 views

Acclimatization strategies

While reading Hermann Buhl's tour book* of the Nanga Parbat expedition in 1953 (yielding to the first ascent on third of July, Buhl did the final ascent solo) I got curious about the height difference ...
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18 votes
2 answers
9k views

For how long afterwards do we benefit from acclimatization?

Consider we are trying to pre-acclimate for an expedition in Himalaya to shorten the actual timespan on site. As an example, I am expecting a benefit if I go in the Alps for several days above 4000m ...
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3 votes
1 answer
651 views

How much would a base camp shower cost in the Himalayas?

It's about -30°C this morning, and a couple random thoughts popped into my head while enjoying a nice hot shower. The first was how terrible would it be to get out of a shower at -30°C in a tent. The ...
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  • 53k
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the real dangers of climbing at high altitude?

I had a campfire discussion not long ago with a man that got pulmonary edema while attempting the summit of Aconcagua, and we got into the discussion of the effects of high elevation. I had always ...
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  • 53k
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

During high-altitude lengthy expedition: To shave or not shave? [duplicate]

"Should one be shaving on a lengthy high altitude trek?" shall be the question that I'd like to ask to great mountaineers with wisdom in high-altitude mountaineering. If you have observed, there are ...
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  • 31.5k
14 votes
1 answer
803 views

Managing the garbage over a lengthy trek at higher altitudes

Following the thread about Everest Base Camp related questions, its almost a globally known fact that the Everest Base Camp is very much crowded and consequently very much into garbage disposal ...
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30 votes
2 answers
4k views

What makes certain mountains more dangerous than others?

Why do mountains like K2, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna (36 successful attempts, 47 failed) have higher fatality rates than, say, Everest or Cho Oyu (79 successful attempts, 28 failed)? (source) Can I ...
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  • 648
8 votes
1 answer
495 views

Is "altitude" an absolute measure of air "thinness"?

I am wondering if altitude is the only thing you need to know in order to evaluate the "thinness of air" at certain point on Earth. For instance, will climbing a 6000 m peak in the Andes or a 6000 m ...
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6 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why is it unsafe to handle metallic equipment with bare hand at higher altitude?

I have seen a few documentaries where the high altitude mountaineers constantly keep the hand-gloves ON. Is it really because handling the metallic equipment with bare hands can cause a Frostbite? ...
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