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#18245 - 09/11/11 03:35 PM Re: A case of HAPE [Re: Bee]
Harvey Lankford Offline

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
That's hard to say, Bee.

The official definition of minimum altitude enough to cause altitude illnesses is 8,000 ft.

Some other factors for AMS are; state of acclimatization to begin with, time ascending, workload getting there, activity while there, how long a stay, etc.

This is not your normal hiking scenario, but if an unacclimatized person takes a helicopter from sea level and stays at:
*8,000, then I doubt 100% of people get AMS.

*to Whitney 14,500? Still not 100%, although I bet very close.

*18,000 ft (the height of Kalapattar above Everest Basecamp)- I am told that you would pass out after 30 minutes, maybe even before you felt AMS!

There are studies from various peaks like Whitney, Rainier, reporting the incidence of AMS. Not sure about a height where 100% are affected, but it is above that. Here is the link to Ken's study on Whitney

#18259 - 09/11/11 07:58 PM Re: A case of HAPE [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Akichow Offline

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I am beginning to wonder if this (i.e., susceptibility to AMS, etc.) is static in people. It does not seem entirely static to me, but I only have my own anecdotal experience to go on.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, I regularly got headaches and weakness at 8-9,000 feet. I recall that, for the first 2-3 days on trips to Snowbird or Alta (in Utah), I always felt like crap (headaches, malaise, weakness), and then it would all suddenly clear and I would feel great. I assumed I was someone with a poor ability to adapt to altitude.

Now, I regularly go from sea level to 10,000 feet in a day, on my trips to Tioga Pass, the East Side, etc. So far, I have not experienced the headaches, weakness, malaise, etc., on any of my trips. While I sometimes use Diamox for Cheyne Stokes, I only do that for trips with sleeping altitude above 11,000. I don't use anything for day trips, or for overnight trips with sleeping altitudes below 11,000.

I wonder if a combination of some things intrinsic (age) and some things not (behavior, unconscious adaptation) has made the difference for me. My suspicion is that, with more experience at altitude, I now drink more, and breathe more deeply, without thinking about it. I will be closing in on 50 in a few years, so maybe that is also a factor.

These issues were vividly brought home to me on a backpacking trip last weekend in Yellowstone. Five clients, two guides, and all four of the other clients got sick at 7,000-9,000 feet -- indeed, two had to be walked out and finish the trip early after suffering through two days of sickness and misery. Watching them, I remembered what 8,000 feet used to feel like to me. But now, with all the Whitney experience, 8,000 feet no longer feels like high altitude to me. I'm not about to get cocky ... will continue to be careful and build in acclimatization ... but I am finding that there is real difference in how I adapt in the present.

#18373 - 09/14/11 06:12 PM Re: The best week - 8/28 - 9/3 [Re: wazzu]
lynn-a-roo Offline

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty

I loved reading your TR. I anxiously awaited you posting it. Congratulations on a successful summit. I'm envious over your 30 lb. pack, how in the heck did you get it so light. Tell me quickly because my friends and I head out Friday morning for Lone Pine. Did you have a tent with you? What in the heck did you eat....air...our food normally weighs about 10 lbs....did you take any cocktail hour, you're amazing. You look thinner than when we were at Cindy Abott's presentation. You shot some good photos of the wildlife. From your TR I now know the type of bird I saw last year on the main trail, the bird I thought was a wild turkey is actually a grouse, wow, you're well versed on your wildlife, nice job. Now tell us what the names of all the plants are.

Again, Congratulations, now I better get home to my 5 pets before they eat me alive when I walk in the door...I heard that happened to a man in Indonesia recently, he left for several weeks on vacation but didn't leave any food for his pets so they ate him alive when he walked in the door.

I'll post my TR as soon as I can when we return home..... looks awfully cold up there on the mountain from what I saw in the webcam photo, burrrr, I'll need to bring lots of hot tottie drinks to keep us warm in the evenings. TTFN, Lynn

Edited by lynn-a-roo (09/14/11 06:14 PM)

#18389 - 09/15/11 11:54 AM Re: The best week - 8/28 - 9/3 [Re: lynn-a-roo]
wazzu Offline

Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA

The 30lb pack was a little heavier than I wanted. I was trying to get closer to 25 lbs.

The way to keep the pack weight down is to use a smaller pack. I used my Gregory Z30, which is a marketed as a beefy day pack. There just isn't room to load it up with extra weight. I was pushing the limits for weight & bulk on this pack.

I was able to load the following in the main compartment of the bag:

sleeping bag & liner
air mattress sleeping pad
bear canister full of food (Bear Boxer 101)
.6L pot (held stove & fuel canister inside)
rain gear (pants & jacket)
patagonia nano puff pull over jacket
long underwear
beanie & balaclava
4 pairs socks
water bladder (only used on summit day)

Other pockets contained:
wag bags
empty trash bag
first aid kit
headlamp & extra batteries
map & compass
wind screen for the stove
note book & pencil
sierra cup
1 L water bottle
pack cover (for rain)
2 pair gloves (fleece & waterproof)
hiking buddy
lip balm
spare boot laces
1 pair toe warmers
1 pair hand warmers

I was able to strap my 2 person tent using to the outside center of the pack. I rolled up the tent, with poles, rainfly, stakes, and footprint in the middle, then rolled the closed cell foam pad around the tent and then stuffed everything into the tent bag.

I wore the same pants and shirt for 3 days of hiking.

There is no water filter. I realized about 1.5 miles up the trail that I forgot to put the filter in the side pocket. There was no way I was going back down after starting.

So far, no indication of any repercussions to drinking non-treated water.

Good luck on your trip. Stay warm!

#18412 - 09/15/11 03:47 PM Re: The best week - 8/28 - 9/3 [Re: wazzu]
lynn-a-roo Offline

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty

Thank you for your list of pack items. I printed it out and will use it as a check-off list to make sure I have everything. I amazed that all that gear plus your pack only weight 30 lbs. I'm going to sleep under the stars in my sleeping bag and emergency bivvy. Hope I stay warm. My friends are going to sleep in a three-man tent. I don't want to carry two tents, I'm tired of carrying lots of gear. The first time I summited Mt. Whitney I spent two nights on the mountain under the stars in June with some snow on the ground, I was very comfortable, but I was also 28 years old and not 58 years old like now.

My friends and I have been trading emails all day teasing each other about praying for snow, rain, wind and hail...we figure we'll just have to stay at the Dow Villa if the weather turns for the worse...but I don't think it's going to turn for the worse...the weather forecast appears to be sunny and clear this entire weekend...the Gods have blessed us once again.

Thank you for everything,

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