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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32
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
29
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2answers
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 ...
28
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3answers
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 ...
25
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3answers
6k 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? ...
24
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3answers
446 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 ...
20
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3answers
1k 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 ...
19
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4answers
8k 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 ...
19
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6answers
862 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.
19
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3answers
4k 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. ...
18
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5answers
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 ...
18
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2answers
7k 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 ...
16
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1answer
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?
16
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1answer
770 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?
15
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2answers
3k 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....
15
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3answers
14k 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 ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Is it safe to sleep for more than 16 hrs a day at altitudes above 6000m?

I am planning for a trek at the Advance Base Camp or if possible up to Camp II of Saser Kangri. The region is so deserted of people and expeditionists/mountaineers that there are usually only two to ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Training to prepare for oxygen deficiency in the high mountains

I would like to prepare myself for the climb in the high mountains (for now by "high mountains" I mean elevation 4000 m and more, but eventually eight-thousanders). What can I do to improve my ...
14
votes
1answer
773 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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Walking through a Thigh-high snow

I have far less experience in trekking where there is snow. I believe walking through snow and through ice are two different techniques. Is there some sort of safe technique to walk on such snow ...
13
votes
3answers
945 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
13
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3answers
3k 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)?
12
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4answers
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 ...
12
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3answers
469 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 ...
12
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2answers
770 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 ...
11
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9answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
286 views

How to begin in alpine tours

I know it's probably too risky to make alpine tours alone, especially when you go over glaciers. I joined DAV to be insured while in the mountains and to be able to use the offerings like courses and ...
11
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2answers
274 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
262 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
489 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,...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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.
10
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3answers
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
669 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). ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Sizing up high altitude boots

I currently use La Sportiva WildCat Trail Running Shoes size 43 for trail running/light hiking and Nepal EVO's size 44 for Ice Climbing and Alpine adventures. The Nepal EVO's fit me perfectly with a ...
10
votes
1answer
632 views

Are nutrition bars/energy bars good for high altitude treks?

In this question Suitable food for high altitude trekking Wedapashi asks about food for high altitude trekking. Also, in this question, there is a discussion about engergy bars. One of the answers ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
168 views

Fine tuning the Warm-up routines at Higher altitude

Warm-up routines are very important for most of the activities that involve rapid and/or vigorous body movements. Trekking too is not an exception to that. I am planning for a trek which goes through ...
9
votes
1answer
117 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'...
9
votes
2answers
248 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
609 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
300 views

Covering up ears at higher altitudes

Recently I went on a trek to a placed named "Har ki Doon". The trek took us around an altitude of 3500 meters(15000 ft). When we were there, our guide advised us not to cover up our ears. According to ...
8
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
248 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?
8
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
390 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
119 views

How to realize/judge/assume if one has now fully acclimatized?

I have an expedition planned in Himalayas, around the Mt. Kanchenjunga region. I believe at higher altitudes, apart from preparation (both physical and psychological), one has to be sure about a ...
8
votes
1answer
107 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 ...