Why did I get altitude sickness?

Posted by: Whitney Zone

Why did I get altitude sickness? - 08/21/03 05:58 PM

Posted by whhs, 08-21-03
I hiked Mt. Langley 3 days before taking the Whitney trail. No problem on Langley and was already somewhat acclimatized from hike a couple days earlier on Griffith Peak. Spent a night at Alabama Inn then went up to the portal to do a full moon hike on Mt. Whitney. By Outpost I had moderate nausea which followed me all the way to the top. Drank copiously, ate gu and powergel. I've hiked Mt. Whitney many times. I felt fine back in the parking lot. I thought I did everything right but got mildly sick anyway. Any thoughts?
_________________________
Marty


Posted by Richard P. 08-21-2003
Just curious, was the nausea accompanied by headache? Another question: have you used the gel and sports drinks before? Sometimes these have been known to cause minor stomach problems.

Posted by XC-runner, 08-21-2003
How was you breathing? When I am hiking at high altitude I really concentrate on my breathing. It makes sense, because the more concentration on your breathing the more oxygen you body gets and the more carbon dioxide you can release. That's why running is great training for whitney, so your lungs open up more and you can concentrate on breathing.
That's just one case.

Matt


Posted by Georgiaonmymind, 8-21-2003
Maybe it was all those PBR's you guzzled before hitting the trail.

Posted by ClamberAbout, 08-21-2003
Fatigue?? How tired were you from previous hikes? How much (and how well) did you sleep prior to departure? Fatigue's a factor in altitude sickness.

An aside: XC-Runner makes a good point. In all the discussions about conditioning hikes, I don't recall much said in the way of other methods of conditioning. Any kind of aerobic conditioning is important. Running on flat ground is great; running up hills even better.

My brother-in-law who swims laps every day was SKIPPING gleefully on the trail from Trail Crest to the summit. Very annoying!



Posted by AZclimber, 08-21-2003
whhs,

It sounds to me that you did a great job getting ready for the climb, and were probably in exceptional condition. It all depends on a variety of factors, and I wonder if you possibly hydrated to much which can lead to nausea.


Posted by wbtravis5152, 08-22-2003
I'm a sufferer of AMS and have come to the conclusion there is no rhyme or reason to it.

I've had it at 7,500' and not at 14,000'.

Bill


Posted by whhs, 08-22-2003
Thanks for your comments. Clamberabout mentioned fatigue and sleep. That might have been it as I didn't sleep at all before leaving for the hike at midnight. XC-runner: I run to get ready but I tend to focus on balance and foot placement as I generally hike at a brisk pace. I think I will trying to focus on breath control next time - thanks for the tip. Richard P: I didn't have a headache and I've never had a problem with gel before. wbTravis: I've heard that despite all their traning they can't predict which astronauts will get motion sickness in space. Maybe there is no 'rhyme or reason'. Thanks one and all for your thoughts.
_________________________
Marty


Posted by Reiksgib, 08-22-2003
whhs,
Any advice for the Langley climb? I'm going to climb it tomorrow or Sunday. I'm planning on taking Army Pass to the north of New Army Pass.

Is the route pretty easy to find above the pass?
Thanks


Posted by diegohiker, 08-22-2003
I made it to the top of Langley on 8/14, via Old Army Pass. The route is easy to find. You can't miss the trail that begins along the north side of the lake, then heads up the pass. Just after getting to the top of the pass, look for a side trail branching off to the north and up the slope toward Langley. You should be able to follow it all the way. The only part you may find confusing is the final summit rise through some boulders.

Posted by Sierra Sam, 08-22-2003
AMS varies by a number of factors, many of which have been listed above: altitude change per day is number one, with hydration, conditioning, acclimitization and age (for example, Hilary never had any altitude problems even when he climber Everest with limited oxygen, then very suddenly lost the ability to go to high altitudes when he got older) all known factors. I know people that usually climb without any problems, but sometimes get sick at lower altitudes.
You should also look at the postings about Diamox and Gingko Biloba to see possible treatments that have been shown to be effective in the medical literature.

1061513880.7216