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#33278 - 09/16/13 09:33 AM China opens world's highest civilian airport
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7581
Loc: Fresno, CA
NBC News: China opens world's highest civilian airport

Quote:
BEIJING- China opened the world's highest civilian airport on Monday, in a restive and remote Tibetan region of southwestern Sichuan province, which will cut journey times from the provincial capital from two days to a little more than one hour.

Daocheng Yading airport in Garzi, a heavily ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan, is 4,411 meters (14,472 feet) above sea level, and overtakes Qamdo airport in Tibet, which sits at 4,334 meters above sea level, for the title of world's highest.
...more in the article...

Picture from the article:


There are going to be a lot of AMS victims when people start using that airport!

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#33279 - 09/16/13 10:20 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Steve C]
sm0421 Offline


Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hi Steve,

Yes you are correct. I come from China and moved to the US in 2007 for graudate school. My parents have flown into LaSa (airport at 3,570meters), the capital of Tibet back in 2006 and they had AMS symptoms.

The commercial flights opened huge tourism markets for regular Chinese people. Previously most people would visit Lasa by train or by bus, it takes 4 days from Beijing to Lasa. All the travel agencies have been educating tourists to prevent AMS.

I have not visited Tibet yet! I have climbed 45 state highpoints in the US but not much in China! I miss home.

-Alex


Edited by sm0421 (09/16/13 10:23 AM)

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#33280 - 09/16/13 11:51 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 498
Loc: Saugus, CA
Interesting!
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#33287 - 09/16/13 10:22 PM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Snacking Bear]
Iantrevor Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1
Loc: USA
Its a great news for the people living there and who usually travel to Lasa, as it has become more convinient to them and the main thing is that the time will be required very less to travel.
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#33293 - 09/17/13 06:54 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Iantrevor]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Iantrevor
Its a great news for the people living there and who usually travel to Lasa, as it has become more convinient to them and the main thing is that the time will be required very less to travel.


Not so sure that's such great news for Lhasa.
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#33294 - 09/17/13 08:44 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: saltydog]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1015
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Not so sure that's such great news for Lhasa.

Probably mostly Chinese there anyway as China began systematically destroying the Tibetan culture decades ago.

The flight lands one at a very high altitude, over 14,000 ft.

The 24hr-long TRAIN that goes there is mostly above 4,000m/ 13,000 ft and has one 5,072m / 16,640 ft pass. They have (or had) some oxygen-supplemented rail cars because of the problem. There were medical articles written about it. Here is one, with interesting stats:
AMS on the Tibetan train

As a comparison, the Syangboche airstrip 3780m /12,400 ft in Nepal is closer than the Lukla airstrip for those going to the Everest region. However, it is rarely used commercially any longer in part because of AMS problems. In the past, typical users of this airstrip were mostly sedentary tourists who visited the former(?) Hotel Everest View that has or had oxygen available, or who were going lower to Namche.
Syangboche

The major Everest region airport is Lukla, now paved, is much lower at
Lukla

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#33312 - 09/17/13 07:24 PM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Everest View Hotel still there. Had tea and cookies there in May.

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#33345 - 09/20/13 07:41 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Steve C]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
I think a Mount Whitney day hike to acclimatize would be a good idea before getting on that flight...

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#33357 - 09/21/13 07:11 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Glenn]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
No, a day hike to Whitney will not acclimate you to that high altitude at the end of that flight. The topic of acclimatization has been frequently discussed on this forum, but you may have missed some of that discussion. If you could spend several days at high altitude and then take that flight soon after, before your acclimatization wears off, then you might have some advantage over the other passengers.

A day hike to the summit of Whitney might give you some idea how you might feel when stepping off the plane, but that's about all. Acclimatization to high altitude takes at least several days, if not longer, and begins to wear off fairly rapidly after returning to low altitude.

Check this out, especially the topic "Travel to altitude":

http://www.altituderesearch.org/

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#33359 - 09/21/13 10:43 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Bob West]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
Bob - I guess my post was a little flippant. Your comments are right on. And thanks for the Altitude Research Center link.

I was faced with something like this in July on a trip to Bolivia. We would be climbing to 20,800', and our gradual day-to-day acclimatization plan was solid. But I was concerned about the flight there. The airport in La Paz is at 13,300' and our hotel for the first few nights was at 12,000'. Coming from 760' where I live, that's a big jump! So to get ready, I went to Colorado for four nights at 9,600' and hiked up two fourteeners, Quandary Peak and Mount Democrat. Two days later I was on the plane to Bolivia. I took 125mg of Diamox when I first got there. Happily, I experienced no symptoms of AMS. It's hard to say for sure that I would have been sick had I done nothing beforehand, and what impact the Diamox vs the Colorado trip had, but I'm familiar with how I react to altitude and I believe I would have been hurting.

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#33366 - 09/21/13 04:11 PM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Glenn]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
No, you didn't seem flippant. Hey, how about a report from your trip to Bolivia? What altitude was the snow line?

My wife and I were hiking in the Ecuadorian highlands in November, but only up to about 12,500 feet. Snow on the volcanoes began at about 14,000. When we deplaned at the old, downtown Quito airport, some of our fellow passengers were really feeling the altitude, even at 9,200. The new Quito airport is at 7,500, which makes life a little more bearable (longer runway too...).

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#33378 - 09/22/13 06:41 AM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Bob West]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
I flew to Quito in December, 2010, and suffered from symptoms of AMS for the better part of my first 24 hours there - not the best way to start off on a big adventure! I wasn't aware that there is now a new airport in Quito. It could be better to stay near there for the first night or two.

This is an interesting topic and the tips on the website you referenced are good. Staying hydrated to keep AMS at bay seems important, especially with the tendency to get dehydrated on a long flight. And light activity but not heavy exertion after arriving. Maybe a little Diamox in the evening to help with nighttime breathing.

What I remember about Ecuador is eating great unusual fruits and staying in the classic haciendas between climbs. And the wonderful people too, of course.

In Bolivia, July being winter, we got snowed on almost down to 12,000'. But winter also corresponds to their dry season, so the snow was light. Where the mountains were glacier covered, the snow on the ground was similar to what you saw in Ecuador. On the day we left, it had snowed through the night in El Alto where the airport is, but down in La Paz it was cold rain. It was funny to board the plane with fresh snow on the ground and arrive home to evening temperatures in the upper 90's!

We spent 20 days in Bolivia, starting with a trek in the highlands to acclimatize. By the end we had summited Huayna Potosi (19,974') and Parinacota (20,827'). We attempted Sajama (21,463') but from high camp the conditions were such that, well, we had to save that one for another time. I did have some minor AMS in the morning at high camp (18,600') on Sajama which kept me from going higher, but that was well into the trip and didn't have anything to do with flying there, the subject of this thread. As for a trip report, I couldn't top what our guide, Joe Stock, posted about the trip on his web site: http://www.stockalpine.com/posts/bolivia.html .

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#33392 - 09/22/13 10:04 PM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Glenn]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7581
Loc: Fresno, CA
Glenn's trip report thread is here: High Peaks in Bolivia, July 2013

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#33404 - 09/23/13 03:53 PM Re: China opens world's highest civilian airport [Re: Steve C]
Brent N Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 278
Loc: Orange County, CA
I get altitude sickness fairly predictably, but I took a train from Interlaken to Murren to Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps this summer, summiting at 11,322 feet. I experienced no altitude symptoms. Harvey suggested that the ease of sitting on my haunches while scaling the mountain would likely make the ascent easier and without AMS symptoms. He was right. 14K would worry me a lot more, but my experience taking a train to 11,322 feet makes me wonder if my reaction to flying into an airport like this would be less traumatic than hoofing it up a 14teener.

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