I am kind of a canary in a coalmine with altitude sickeness. I am 57. I suck. I found this post by KaraKyrgyz to be awesome for me:http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbth...matization-takes-too-damn-long#Post54378
Like in this post, the higher the exertion level, the more likely I will get AMS. I don't get headaches, I vomit.
I "failed" in my last two high elevation mountaineering adventures. Shasta 14k+ and Mt Abbot 13.7k. I was using Diamox in both attempts.
For Shasta, I stupidly tried to summit without enough acclimatization (I drove directly there from sea level after my previous disasterous "where is my hiking clothes bag? %*%&*%$!" attempt). I felt the nausea coming on quite low in elevation and quickly aborted. I think the only way I could do Shasta is Sierra acclimatization, Bunny Flat at 6900 feet does not cut it. Even the on mountain "Helen Lake" basecamp is still only 10.5k (roughly equivalent to MW Outpost Camp).
Mt Abbot was a guided trip and I knew they would push me out of my altitude sickness safe zone. I planned to do 2 days of altitude acclimatization at White Mountain (WM) Trailhead at 11,700 and working there in my "Tesla Office". This is my problem with mountaineering, it just takes too much time to acclimatize. Could I earn while I acclimatize? Well that failed because I had problems with my Tesla while parked at the WM Trailhead (Tesla Support Call: "Wait time is over 15 minutes" on a Sat Phone). So I became concerned as WM is like a $1000 dirt road tow. So I went down to the Mt Abbot trailhead 10,200K.
So my acclimatization nights (all on Diamox) were:
10,000k White Mountain Visitor Center (walked up to ~12k).
10,200k Mosquito Flat Trailhead.
10,200k Mosquito Flat Trailhead.
11.400k Mt Abbot Basecamp
11.400k Mt Abbot Basecamp (Hiked to 11,900)
Unfortunately, on summiting day we awoke to smoke and ash from the Sierra Creek Fire over the crest which probably definitely lowered my lung capacity and exasperated my AMS. Well this time on the summit my body "rope a doped" me. I didn't feel that naseous so I tried to gobble down an old peanut butter sandwich and gulp some water, my body rebelled and I puked up everything in my stomach. Getting down was not fun.
One thing I hate about guided trips is the "never stop" credo. Stop to put on more appropriate shoes for climbing rocks, nope! Don't even bring them. Stop to change your batteries in your headlamp that is dying. Not worth it. Stop to drink water that is in your pack. No time for that. "Never stop" probably contributed to my stupid decision to eat and drink on the summit.
Also, unless there is a storm coming or lightning, I don't understand the need to rush off the mountain. I always hike with my dog, she likes to go go go to get to the summit but coming down she likes to stop and rest. The worst outing for her was when I rushed her down San Gorgonio (after camping on the summit) in the heat to beat LA traffic. Never again.
Take Whitney on a overnight permit, if you are dead tired when you get to your base camp after summiting with night coming, Should you stumble down like zombie in the dark to get to your car which you really should not drive home? Or maybe you should rest up at basecamp and go down rested at the crack of dawn with an enjoyable slow daylight down hike and then drive home? I have done the former (on Whitney) and got myself in trouble.
After the trip, I searched for why my Diamox does seem to be effecting me as it used to. When I first used Diamox it made me want to pee almost uncontrollably and my face numb, etc. My search came up with with this new info:
"In situations where rapid ascent is required, 1000 mg per day can be used."
I was only using the normal 125mg 2 times a day preventative dose.
Given the conservative:
" If you go above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), only increase your altitude by 1,000 feet (305 meters) per day and for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained, take a rest day."
and a post I believe on this board about a hiker who used multiple WM trips to "dial in" his Diamox Dose,
and that I no longer feel any side effects from Diamox I would definitely have doubled by dose for the
11,400->13,700 push day (which on my Diamox instructions is for the non-preventative dose).
I will definitely be combing through every Diamox post on this board.