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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4 votes
1 answer
197 views

At what elevation do 50% or higher percentages of mountaineers report symptoms of altitude sickness?

I've read somewhere that above 2500 meters (8,202 ft) 20% of climbers report having had altitude sickness. IIRC they also wrote that 40% of climbers report altitude sickness above 3500 meters (11,500 ...
3 votes
3 answers
296 views

Is hypoxia a safety concern when driving from low elevation to 14,000 ft (4270 m) or more?

FAA rules require that pilots flying above 12,500 ft for more than half an hour need to be on supplemental oxygen, and pilots flying above 14,000 ft need to be on oxygen all the time. Therefore, isn't ...
2 votes
1 answer
139 views

What is the record for the longest amount of time someone spent on the summits of Denali and Aconcagua?

Babu Chiri Sherpa holds the record for the longest time spent on the summit of Mt Everest, about 21 hours. He did so on purpose, and people usually don't spend more than about half an hour at the ...
8 votes
1 answer
312 views

Can anyone recommend a compass that doesn't develop a bubble at high altitude?

I have three compasses and each developed bubbles at 4000m elevation (photo below). Even the nifty Suunto had a bubble on the first trip. The best was the Silva (on the right of the photo), which ...
10 votes
8 answers
4k views

How high can one go from sea level without having to worry about altitude sickness?

If you're an average-healthy person from (near) sea level, how high may you climb a mountain before needing to stay at the altitude to acclimatise? Is it alright to go/drive up a 9000 ft (2750 m) ...
2 votes
0 answers
107 views

What was the highest mountain climbed without supplemental oxygen, and the lowest one climbed with oxygen, before Messner's 1970 Nanga Parba ascent?

I wonder what the highest mountain (or highest elevation above sea level, not necessarily a summit) had been that was climbed without oxygen and the lowest one that was climbed with oxygen out of fear ...
4 votes
1 answer
597 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
309 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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
279 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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
256 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 ...
30 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
407 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 ...
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

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. ...
9 votes
2 answers
352 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?
21 votes
6 answers
1k views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips at high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
8 votes
2 answers
702 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.
11 votes
9 answers
5k views

Climbing Mount Teide from sea-level

Is it possible to climb Mount Teide from sea-level in 2 days for a reasonably fit person? Essentially, I was thinking of walking up to the Altavista mountain refuge on the first day (can that be done ...
2 votes
2 answers
731 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 ...
19 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
236 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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
13 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
909 views

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). ...
9 votes
2 answers
307 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
134 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'...
6 votes
2 answers
407 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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
6k views

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.
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Suitable Food for moderate to High altitude trekking

I am preparing for an expedition which is going to be in Mid-July next year. I am quite aware about the level of physical fitness that we require for such a trek, and I am preparing for it as well. ...
2 votes
3 answers
263 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 ...
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....
24 votes
3 answers
542 views

A little bit of acclimatisation or no acclimatisation at all?

This summer I'm planning to mount my first 4000 m mountain in Switzerland. So far I only got around 3300 meters while hiking and had no problems. However 4000 meter an above is definitively a ...
8 votes
1 answer
210 views

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 ...
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

Are headaches a bad sign at altitude?

Last weekend, we had a nice hike up Price Peak in the Sierras. We went from sea level to above 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in about 6 hours. And I had a ROARING headache. I could hear my heart beat in my ...
19 votes
4 answers
9k views

Altitude sickness when going from sea level to 14,000 ft (4,200m) in a single day

My sister lives at sea level -- Baltimore and Chicago. She is coming to visit me in Denver (5280 ft or 1600m). She wishes to climb Mt Bierstadt (14,065 ft or 4200m) the same day she arrives. I have ...
11 votes
1 answer
330 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 ...
30 votes
3 answers
1k views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
12 votes
3 answers
636 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 ...
15 votes
3 answers
17k views

Does low blood pressure have an effect on Acute Mountain Sickness?

This question in some ways is related to this question asked by JollySin. When I did my first Himalayan trek, my guide there had told me that those with a low blood pressure (BP) are more susceptible ...
16 votes
1 answer
954 views

What would be a safe ascent rate when mountaineering?

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?
11 votes
1 answer
243 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
219 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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
285 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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
300 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 ...
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does drinking alcohol cause problems at altitude?

If I'm going to be climbing a mountain, would drinking a small amount at altitude have any negative effects (besides general alcohol effects)?
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does drinking tea cause problems at altitude?

I've heard from a tour leader that you shouldn't drink tea in high altitude because it makes you thirsty and cause problem in blood circulation. Is this true? Should'nt we drink tea in high altitude?
14 votes
1 answer
833 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
86 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....
26 votes
3 answers
7k views

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? ...
9 votes
2 answers
7k views

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 ...