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#2974 - 03/13/10 05:47 PM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: CaT]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 372
Loc: Wildomar
SOCAL's GOAL is to summit Whitney. SOCAL has only attempted it as an overnight. Knowing that Mount Whitney is day hikable by almost anyone who puts the effort forth, I suggest she rethink the overnight and try that.

If I thought her GOAL was overnighting at altitude, then I would not have suggested a day hike.

I would also add that almost no one makes a Whitney summit bid WELL rested. There are those who hike/climb/play altitude often and sleep well in those conditions. A few things get in the way of a good nights sleep prior to summiting Whitney -

1. Day hikers have to sleep fairly close by. Portal camp ground, in the car, Hostel, maybe Horseshoe Meadows. Most are going to be nervous, excited, etc and the early start time is outside of their normal sleep schedule. There are exceptions, but I would bet a high percentage of folks attempt their day hike on less sleep than they normally get.

2. Multi day hikers sleep at Outpost, Trail Camp or Guitar Lake prior to making a bid for the top. The east side is a crappy place to camp - period. Loud and overused with plenty of traffic. (during the time frame I assume SOCAL will be making her attempt) If you are coming from the west and have been hiking awhile, you might very well be well rested and on your A game. Coming from the more popular east side, I doubt you are at your best.

A CPAP machine is going to add weight, worry and just generally be a PITA on the trail. My guess is that with the machine on the trail Mr. SOCAL will be in much worse shape for a summit bid than if they trained and prepared for a day hike.

That's why I suggested a day hike.

I actually use sleep deprivation training for Whitney. Since it's not too tough of a hike it falls second on the list every year. I start in Yosemite doing Cloud's Rest and/or Half Dome in late May. If someone wants to do Whitney with me, I take them to Yosemite. We leave home at 8 pm or so and drive 8 hours to the park. I drive, but it's hard to sleep in the car for whoever else is making the trip. Once at the park I try to get an hour or so nap, depending on the ranger danger. We hit the trail at 0500ish. No one is well rested. That gets them ready for Whitney, when we are sleeping in a tent, car or camper and everyone is excited, nervous, etc. No one is well rested.

It works for me - your milage may vary. I take responsibilty for everyone in my party and I have no problem calling off a hike if I don't think they are up to it. I'm not lucky, I'm careful. When I was sick, dehydrated and exhausted on the 72 mile/48 hour hike in Kings Canyon I played it safe and came in 12 hours late so I could rest.

I stand by my "sleep is over rated" quip. If you train for it and plan for it, you can do a lot with little sleep. It's not for everyone, but it works for some.

So Chrissy - Day Hike it. I'll help you and your man every step of the way.

And there was NEVER a challange between Moose and I. We have plans for some big miles together, but not as a race.

I would like to think that I would do ok against a lot of people starting at midnight and going for at least 24 straight hours. With or without chocolate. Then again - food is over rated too...........................................DUG

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#2980 - 03/14/10 10:39 AM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: SoCalGirl]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Reno, Nevada
My usual advice is to bring Diamox if you think you might need it, but only take it if you develop symptoms. I only suggest taking it before symptoms develop if you have a history of altitude problems. This is a case where I think taking Diamox could help. Sleep apnea on top of Cheyne-Stokes breathing wouldn't be nice.

I prefer to camp as high as possible, but I would recommend camping lower if it won't put the summit out of reach. Doing it in a day would get around the sleep apnea at altitude issue, but that may not be an option.

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#2984 - 03/14/10 09:32 PM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: DUG]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
Sleep: I don't sleep worth crap when on one of these overnighters unless I've passed out from total and complete exhaustion (see TR from first attempt). A day hike would not deprive me of sleep anymore then a multiday trip... on a multiday trip there will be cumulative sleep deprivation (which makes for a very cranky Chris)...

DUG: I know who and where my friends are and are very much going to tap them for help on this. I don't know if "Mr. SOCAL" is going to be able to 1-get the time off work, 2- be able to make summit, 3-care about this as much as I do. I might need a team just to start the hike (you know I won't do it alone).

ALL ELSE: Thank you for the information about sleep apnea. I know the CPAP machine is cumbersome and will add weight to any packing we have to do (regardless of it's ability to function on some sort of battery backup for a night or two). It is also an expensive machine that we can't afford to have busted because one of us dropped a pack or something. These are all things that will be taken into consideration.

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#2985 - 03/14/10 10:13 PM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: DUG]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: DUG

I would also add that almost no one makes a Whitney summit bid WELL rested. DUG


I had to laugh when I read this, because I don't know if I have EVER done a hike -- dayhike - backpack - multi day -- on more than 4 hours sleep! It always seems like I am putzing around the night before, so that bedtime and waketime run together. Clouds Rest starting at 5:00am? Wow -- that is early! When I did Cloud's Rest (as a dayhike from Sunrise Trail head) I think that we started at some obnoxiously late time after a 3 hour drive, like 10:00am or so....it was summer, so we still got back in time before dark, but then again, we were being chased the last 4 mile mile (def: "4 mile mile is when the last 1 mile feels like 4 miles) by killer mosquitoes!

B
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#2987 - 03/14/10 11:12 PM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: Bee]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
I have been able to sleep several hours in the car at the portal. Slept well at outpost twice and not gotten one wink of sleep at Trail Camp which is 12k. I have heard that 12K seems to be the breaking point for sleep and AMS.

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#2989 - 03/15/10 06:53 AM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: Bee]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 372
Loc: Wildomar
Bee- Where did you start your Cloud's Rest hike from? Coming out of Happy Isles and adding in Half Dome (I end up doing both about every third trip) makes for a longish day, hence the 0500 start. IIRC the gain to Cloud's Rest from Happy Isles is over 6000 feet - similar to Whitney but with more oxygen.................................DUG

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#2993 - 03/15/10 09:14 AM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: Bee]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 459
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I'm one of those lucky (explicative deleted) who sleeps well at altitude. I even slept decently in a bivy at the Russell-Carillon Saddle (~13,200) before doing a winter summit on Russell. It's my wife's snoring that I can't sleep through.

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#2997 - 03/15/10 05:40 PM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: DUG]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: DUG
Bee- Where did you start your Cloud's Rest hike from? Coming out of Happy Isles and adding in Half Dome (I end up doing both about every third trip) makes for a longish day, hence the 0500 start. IIRC the gain to Cloud's Rest from Happy Isles is over 6000 feet - similar to Whitney but with more oxygen.................................DUG


Oh, No, no, no - I definitely did not do THAT hike! (although my buddies have) I did the more novice friendly start from Lake Tanaya creek (Sunrise trailhead) off of Tioga, and did the up and back to Clouds Rest. I think that the distance from truck to truck is maybe a little over 10 miles. I have done the local "Whitney hike" around here, which is called Warren Lake (there is a 4500ft total altitude gain due to the 1000ft drop into a lake basin)and it is 16 miles round trip. I am trying to up my strength and stamina, but I don't think that am a "natural" like some of the others are (Moosie, Blooty, etc.)

B
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#3008 - 03/16/10 11:38 AM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: SoCalGirl]
DobeMom Offline


Registered: 10/16/09
Posts: 29
Loc: Palmdale, California
For what it's worth, I fell asleep during a dayhike, on two separate trips! sleep

Back in 2008, my friends and I were training for a dayhike, and the first attempt we started at 12:30am. I was SOOOO tired that I just laid down on a big rock before Mirror Lake and dozed off, sleep sleep twice! We turned back about 1/3 of the way up the switchers due to weather (snowing in Sept)...

Then two weeks later my buddy and I tried it again, this time starting at 1:00am. By the time we got to Mirror Lake, I asked him to give me 5 minutes and just slept like a baby on a big boulder! sleep sleep sleep We turned back at Trail Crest because he got sick...

So a week later, I went up by myself (early Oct). This time, I woke up and drank a whole can of Monster Java before jumping into the shower. Guess the caffeine worked! Or the fact that I was by myself, I actually got a quicker pace. Started at 2:00am and summited before 10. grin
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#3036 - 03/17/10 09:51 AM Re: Altitude and Sleep apnea [Re: DobeMom]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1029
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Ken has already replied with medical info, I will add some:

If you do a sleep study (polysomnogram) on people at high altitude, those with high-altitude periodic breathing have a print-out that look like sleep apnea patients. Give Diamox and it improves because Diamox is a central (brain) respiratory stimulant. I don't have a reference handy at the moment, but I recall it was part of a lecture I gave a few years ago.

The link below is to a different interesting article- says if you study sleep apnea patients at altitude you will see it, but if they descend to a lower altitude to do the study, their condition improves, thus altering the results. Importantly, their episodes of central apnea (rather than obstructive apnea) improve the most, just what you would expect with lower altitude. This is applicable to the understanding of high altitude illness.

high altitude polysomnography

Harvey

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