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34 votes

Can you get permanent brain damage by spending a day at 10,000ft (~3000m) altitude?

TLDR: Yes, it can happen at that altitude, but the odds are extremely low. Long answer High-altitude cerebral edema has happened at lower than 10,000 ft. The condition is seldom seen below 3,000 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
19 votes

Should one remove their boots in an emergency bivvy situation?

I only see an advantage if your boots are wet: Then I would advise to remove the wet shoes and socks. Maybe you are in the lucky position to have some dry spare socks in your backpack. If not you may ...
Wills's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

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

People react differently to altitude, and it is not always those you would predict who have trouble at altitude. Thus, my advice is to take it slower than zero to 9,000 feet in one day unless you ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
16 votes

Can I use ear plugs while ascending or descending a mountain?

Ear popping is due to the difference in the pressure between the outer and the middle ear. Popping of ear occurs at high altitude to allow for the two pressures to equalize. Now, there's no ...
Ricketyship's user avatar
  • 7,805
15 votes
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Why do Everest climbers go up, down and up again, instead of acclimatizing by simply staying in a camp longer?

Basically what happens is that the body needs some time to start producing more red blood cells. If you stay at the higher level your body can't cope with the acute lack of oxygen and as a result you ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.6k
14 votes
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Is it normal for a compass to develop an air bubble at high altitude?

I wouldn't call it normal, but it does happen and if the bubble is large enough it will effect your accuracy. In that case you may want to purchase a new one or if possible send it back to the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Should one remove their boots in an emergency bivvy situation?

As an anecdote, I did. I unexpectedly bivied overnight during a snowstorm at 14kft in -15F, 50mph winds with a pack, bivy sack and warm clothes. I had dry feet prior, didn't have an issue getting the ...
Dylan Hettinger's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

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

I could not find evidence of an existing test and there is no widely accepting known cause. The only risk factor commonly noted is having been previously affected by AMS. Other mentioned risk factors ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.7k
11 votes

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

There is some evidence that increasing the concentration oxygen in the air breathed can help with mild symptoms of altitude sickness. Source here looks at long-term increases in oxygen concentration ...
jhch's user avatar
  • 1,119
10 votes
Accepted

Why would people descend to sleep while acclimatizing?

What they are doing is following the maxim "climb high, sleep low". Going too fast will cause altitude sickness. Humans have a lower respiration rate while sleeping, which is why they can be okay at ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
9 votes

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

I that most of the cases in the article you linked are an example of selection bias, most people in those situations would die. In other words, the people in that article became famous by surviving ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
9 votes

Acclimatization Question

A reason could be, that your digestion works worse in altitude. Because your stomach is getting work to do when you drink (or even worse, when you eat), you could feel sick so generally your condition ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
9 votes

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

[Edited after comments and additional research.] Aerobic training will not prepare you for altitude Some of the answers here are misleading. According to the Altitude Research Centre: Being ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Is acute mountain sickness repeatable?

Yes, he can get it again and in fact people with a history of altitude sickness have a higher risk of getting it again. Risk factors for altitude illness include rapid ascent, strenuous physical ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
9 votes

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

As a rule of thumb, high altitude sickness can start at around 2500m. However, for most people this will not be serious yet (maybe except for getting out of breath quickly), especially when only there ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,295
8 votes
Accepted

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

Living or spending time at higher altitudes will increase your performance via the number of red blood cells you have in your blood. Athletes do this to increase their performance (after they ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k
8 votes

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

For cooking at cold and altitude, the pressurised liquid fuel stove is your friend. They're expensive and need some skill and care in use (practise before you take them into challenging situations), ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
8 votes

Can I use ear plugs while ascending or descending a mountain?

Earplugs are usually not 100% vacuum sealed. Even if you have custom-made ones that more or less seal (I have 2 pairs) they usually still lose the seal a bit occasionally. Certainly when you swallow, ...
Sebastiaan van den Broek's user avatar
8 votes

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

The problem with rescuing someone in the death zone is, well, that it is the death zone. Supplemental oxygen helps, but the decreased pressure is also problematic. If you are injured or sick, you are ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
8 votes

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

Acclimatization is like training a muscle. You create a stimulus and recover. If you stay at a high altitude, your recovery will be limited and acclimatization will be slow. Note that while this is ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,295
8 votes
Accepted

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

Is it possible? Yes. Is it advisable? Maybe. If you have to ask, probably not. Some Austrian or Swiss mountain guides even advise against sleeping elevation increase of more than 300-500m per day, ...
Max's user avatar
  • 1,067
7 votes
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Is there a breathing technique to conserve bottled oxygen?

It depends a bit on the system used. If you are being supplied with air or oxygen via demand valve then your consumption will depend on your rate or breathing rather than the amount of oxygen ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,212
7 votes

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

Here is a reliable medical source of the causes, symptoms and advised medical responses for altitude sickness of varying degrees. Cleveland Clinic - Altitude Sickness information Altitude Sickness ...
Eliot G York's user avatar
  • 1,172
7 votes
Accepted

Can overexertion cause AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?

By 'faint' you mean the person lost consciousness or was it just weakness? I was in a similar position but not that severe. I was in the wrong assumption that I was acclimatizing fine because I was ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
6 votes

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

I have observed the same thing with compasses as well as level gauges. I'd say that it's normal unless it is hampering the accuracy beyond an acceptable degree of error. That regular small bubble is ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
6 votes

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

TL;DR summary: There is no evidence that these particular products help with acute mountain sickness. It's difficult to answer the question because the manufacturer for the linked product makes ...
Gabriel's user avatar
  • 5,055
6 votes
Accepted

How do you distinguish mild altitude sickness from mere exhaustion?

The single most obvious indicator is going to be looking at your SpO2 level. If you oxygen saturation is low it is a good indication you are experiencing altitude sickness. The easiest way is with a ...
noah's user avatar
  • 4,053
5 votes

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

As the elevation increases, the boiling point of water drops. This makes cooking times increase enormously. You may want to essentially ignore cooking, and rely on cold food, and warm drinks. The ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar

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