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How young....
#17612 08/18/11 05:27 AM
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7 Year old Summits in a Day

Now.. I know that this tends to be quite a controversial topic of conversation... but I'd like to ask "how young is too young"? Not from a moral or ethical or bad parent stand point... but to all those medical people out there.

I gave birth to my BoyChild while I lived in Colorado. I had wanted to go up Pikes Peak (14,110 I believe)and was warned by doctors that it was inadvisable to take either of my children to the summit because their bodies weren't equipped to deal with the thin oxygen.(GirlChild is about a year older then BoyChild.. so they were both very young when we lived in CO. We moved when they were two and three).

So... People with medical experience... in your PROFESSIONAL opinions... what do you think? How young is too young?

Re: How young....
SoCalGirl #17622 08/18/11 08:04 AM
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I am not a doctor, but I watch them on TV ;-) Regardless of when the doctors say the child can physically handle high altitude, I would suggest that a child who can't articulate the signs of AMS is too young. Reading the spectacular trail reports from July when the monsoon and flash flood hit, I was shocked to hear about someone summitting in the hail with a 1-year old baby in a backpack. Even if the average 1 year old can physiologically handle altitude, you would never know if an individual infant can or can't handle the altitude except to try to interpret crankiness or tiredness (normal symptoms for a 1 year old) which may or may not also be their way of manifesting AMS symptoms.

In my non-professional opinion (but as a father of 4 and as one who is cursed with AMS), no child should go up at AMS susceptible altitudes unless they are reliably capable of articulating symptoms or maybe if they have been acclimatized on the most conservative of schedules that all risk and doubt have been removed.

Brent N

Re: How young....
Brent N #17623 08/18/11 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: Brent N
In my non-professional opinion (but as a father of 4 and as one who is cursed with AMS), no child should go up at AMS susceptible altitudes unless they are reliably capable of articulating symptoms . . .


Chris, Brent, ditto on that. I'm not an experienced pro or a doctor, but I would think that has got to be the absolute minimum baseline in any discussion about children and recreation at higher elevations.

Re: How young....
Bulldog34 #17626 08/18/11 09:51 AM
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Several things come to mind. You have to consider the motivation of the child, how much physical activity has the child done, and especially how much hiking, climbing, trail walking etc has the child done.

When we lived at almost 7,500' in 1971 our family did alot of hiking with minor elevations up to maybe 10,000'. My youngest, daughter aged 5, climbed Pikes Peak with my wife, son, age 8 and myself. This involved a 7 mile backpack to 10,000' + and the next day 6 more miles to the summit, 14,110' and then 13 miles back to the car at the trailhead. True this was not a 1 day hike as the overnight broke up the trip, but still quite an accomplishment in my opinion for a 5 year old. especially the last day with 19 miles.

Chris you were given good advice in my opinion as your two were a little young probably for that high an altitude, but others may have a different opinion, ie the Drs on this site.

Re: How young....
CMC2 #17638 08/18/11 12:54 PM
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SoCalGirl wrote:
I gave birth to my BoyChild while I lived in Colorado. I had wanted to go up Pikes Peak (14,110 I believe)and was warned by doctors that it was inadvisable to take either of my children to the summit because their bodies weren't equipped to deal with the thin oxygen.

CMC2 wrote:
When we lived at almost 7,500' in 1971 our family did alot of hiking with minor elevations up to maybe 10,000'. My youngest, daughter aged 5, climbed Pikes Peak with my wife, son, age 8 and myself.

And BobPickering writes in the Diamox thread:
I live at 5,000 feet. I think that helps a little, but it's not a big deal.

Anyone living at elevation has a significant advantage over sea-level people when they hike at altitude. I think SoCalGirl might have been ok taking her children to Pikes Peak. If she was living at 5k, taking the children to Pikes Peak would be like people in Calif driving up to Tioga Pass in Yosemite.

...interestingly, I had some friends who took their 2-Y-O son years ago on a camping trip to Virginia Lakes, at 9,500 ft. The poor kid spent the night tossing cookies. He was fine when they got back down. And today, he's a ranger in Kings Canyon N.P. :-)

Re: How young....
Steve C #17663 08/20/11 05:36 AM
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I think the safest thing to do is to contact the Institute for High Altiude Medicine and ask them. I have contacted them many times about various issues and they are very helpful.

http://www.altitudemedicine.org/

Last edited by Cindy Abbott; 08/20/11 09:18 AM. Reason: spelling - as usual
Re: How young....
SoCalGirl #17666 08/20/11 08:45 AM
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This boy has received a lot of publicity about being the youngest to dayhike Whitney. Will there now be a mania of child hikers trying to break his "record"? We have already had a series of these youngest things: sailing around the world and flying a plane cross country.

Re: How young....
RichardK #17667 08/20/11 01:20 PM
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Do we really know that he is the youngest to climb Mt Whitney? I have previously posted that my friend Rosie Heid (Rosabella) was also 7 when she, her Father and some of her siblings did Mt Whitney way back in 1959.

I do not know if it was a one day ascent or if they came in from the West via Crabtree Meadows, but I think they did a one day from the Portal.

Re: How young....
RichardK #17668 08/20/11 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: RichardK
This boy has received a lot of publicity about being the youngest to dayhike Whitney. Will there now be a mania of child hikers trying to break his "record"? We have already had a series of these youngest things: sailing around the world and flying a plane cross country.


Yep. This is why I oppose such things. There will be a series of such things, until something bad happens.

Re: How young....
Ken #17674 08/20/11 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ken
Originally Posted By: RichardK
This boy has received a lot of publicity about being the youngest to dayhike Whitney. Will there now be a mania of child hikers trying to break his "record"? We have already had a series of these youngest things: sailing around the world and flying a plane cross country.


Yep. This is why I oppose such things. There will be a series of such things, until something bad happens.


It just gets crazier each year. Last year Jordan Romero summitted Everest at the age of 13, and a couple of months ago a 16 year-old Brit became the youngest to reach the Seven Summits.


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