Posted by Boxer427, 05-02-05
Last year my wife got the symptoms of mountain sickness and was not able to get to the summit, she could not make it past about 10,000ft. This year I got her Diamox to help combat this and get her to the summit. Has anyone had experience or heard much about Diamox? I have hear that it works well and is pretty common.

Posted by Steve C, 05-02-05
I have compiled an Altitude Sickness page here, and it gives some info and good links on Diamox.

But if your wife couldn't get past 10,000 feet, I think you need to spend at least three days between 8 and 10,000 before she goes any higher -- even with Diamox.

Was she drinking enough water?

Steve C
Mt. Whitney Hikers Association

Posted by bob d, 05-02-05
I tried Diamox several years ago when I acclimating for my Shasta climb. I didn't care for the tingling in my finger tips nor the constant peeing. My routine for Whitney does not include Diamox but does include an overnight in Tuolumne Meadows, a jaunt up Mt. Dana on the way to Onion Valley. Three nights at Onion Valley with a number of day hike in that area. Then over to White Mt. where I spend the night at the trailhead (12,000') then summit the next morning. I have done this three years in a row and have concluded each trip with a summit of Whitney. It is imperative to hydrate well and frequently, and keep munching those carbs. And read your body. It is important to be able to pace yourself as you get higher. Good luck and safe hiking!

Posted by BSquared, 05-03-05
The first time I climbed Whitney, probably back in the late 1970s, I had horrible altitude sickness and could hardly complete the climb (even after acclimating by going in over New Army Pass). The second time, last year, I had absolutely no trouble at all at any time during the trip. My secret was similar to bob's, but a little longer. First night in Yosemite Valley (4000'), then a night just above Little Yosemite Valley (about 8000'), another near the same altitude, a third in Tuolumne Meadows, a fourth near Garnet Lake.... a few more high passes, around 200 miles of trail, 22 total days, and then presto! We were on top of Whitney with no ill effects whatever! Definitely the recommended route.

I said "Come to the mountains and get their glad tidings," and they came, oh boy, they came all right!

Posted by Boxer427, 05-03-05
Thank you for your inputs. I am really thinking about spending some time on San Jacinto and maybe a few extra nights in a bit of altitude before we go up. Its strange, she has had minor problems before but its not too consistent. I will look into more carbs for her, maybe changing her hiking diet a bit will make the difference. Have fun in the hills!

Posted by wbtravis5152, 05-04-05
I work with some side a effects, which can be mitigated with dosing.

My Whitney regiment would be something like...

Day before...125 mg./twice
Travel to Portal...125 mg./AM; 250 mg./PM
Day of...250 mg./AM; 125 mg/PM

I might go another dose or two depending on how long I intended to be out and how high I was going.

I found out you have to play with the dosing to get it right. Most doctors aren't going to be able to help you with this one.

Just be aware of the side effects which in some cases can be debilitating, tingling in the extremities, loss of appetite and carbonated beverages tasting like dirty socks.

Mt. Whitney and Eastern Sierra Blog
The Mt. Whitney Day Hike and Backpacking Page

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