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#51633 - 08/15/17 11:41 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: + @ti2d]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
> aka endurance athlete!

Yeah, I wish! Far past my prime. And there are many who have far surpassed anything I might have even hoped to do.

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#51636 - 08/15/17 12:01 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 805
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Look at the bright side, at your "age" you are doing things other people your age dream about or sit in front of a television wishing they could do that...
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#51743 - 08/19/17 11:16 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: + @ti2d]
over1812 Offline


Registered: 07/24/16
Posts: 33
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: + @ti2d

I am also curious...could nitrogen be lower as well at higher elevation? Air is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Decompression sickness (the bends). Altitude and altitude decompression sickness.


Ratios of elements stay the same. As Harvey pointed out, lower pressure means the molecules are further apart, so you get less oxygen than you would in a normal breath at sea level.

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#51747 - 08/20/17 10:58 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: over1812]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Same percent O and N at higher mountain altitude, only the pressure changes

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#51764 - 08/21/17 07:50 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Harvey Lankford]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 805
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Interesting...

Thank you for the information!
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#51774 - 08/21/17 02:12 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Glendale, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C


"After 8+ months of planning ..." I skimmed, but didn't see mention of prep hikes before setting off solo at 10,000, which seems negligent.

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#51783 - 08/21/17 10:55 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: david_garza]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: david_garza
"After 8+ months of planning ..." I skimmed, but didn't see mention of prep hikes before setting off solo at 10,000, which seems negligent.

If a person is in relatively good shape (regular workouts), and starts out relatively slowly (shorter mileage the first few days), prep hikes aren't mandatory.

His problem was a major susceptibility to the altitude -- far greater than most people.

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#51797 - 08/22/17 03:04 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Glendale, California
That's what I meant -- he didn't know how susceptible to altitude he was until it was too late. If he'd at least done an overnight with a clear and easy bailout, a helicopter wouldn't have been needed.

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#51803 - 08/22/17 09:10 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Marcus]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Marcus

What possibly made it worse was that we had visited Bad Water and Death Valley a couple of days previous to the hike up Whitney.

So we effectively went from the lowest point in the USA to the highest - that probably didn't help! grin


I did that as a lark two years ago when I did my first summit of Whitney. Fortunately, didn't keep me from successfully summitting, but it was probably a bad choice.

But I was young and foolish back then. smile

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#51806 - 08/22/17 11:15 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: WanderingJim
I did that as a lark two years ago when I did my first summit of Whitney. Fortunately, didn't keep me from successfully summitting, but it was probably a bad choice.

But I was young and foolish back then. smile

Here's the right way: 7 years ago, now, Bob R organized an 80th anniversary of Norman Clyde's Highest-to-Lowest in a day. We camped on the summit, then hiked down and drove to Death Valley to watch the sunset from Badwater. Fun times!

      Links: Sunrise, Sunset -- 80 years after Norman Clyde

      Bob Rockwell's album: 2010-09-28 Whitney to Badwater

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#51811 - 08/23/17 08:38 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Another current story from Colorado:

Altitude sickness kills college student on hiking trip



From the article:
A Pennsylvania college student died last week from altitude sickness during a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains, according to relatives....
... the 20-year-old started vomiting on the Conundrum Creek Trailhead. ...which begins at 8,765 ft. and reaches an elevation more than 11,000 ft. ....student had already died by when they finally reached her at 5 a.m. Friday.


Vomiting at the trail head is a NO GO situation!!!

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#51813 - 08/23/17 09:34 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
rFan Offline


Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
wow.. the altitude is not even that high.. I wonder if they could have somehow "forced" her to descend vs. staying there waiting for help..

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#51814 - 08/23/17 09:47 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Although the "rule" is that " illness at altitude is altitude illness until proven otherwise", I do not see enough evidence in that limited report to be sure of the diagnosis. Vomiting alone does not kill quickly unless, say, it is a manifestation of HACE, rare at that altitude to begin with. Above 8000 ft does at least fit with the threshold for altitude ilnesses, usually mild. An autopsy would be useful.

The most famous abdominal-symptom death at (extreme) altiude was the daughter of famous climber Willi unsoeld. He had named his daughter Nanda Devi after the mountain. When she was about 19 or so, she accompanied him to her namesake mountain and died there . There were medical clues in her case that suggested a bowel obstruction or other intraabdominal catastrophe that just coincidentally occurred on the mountain

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#51818 - 08/23/17 10:48 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Harvey Lankford]
futbol Online


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 15
Loc: San Diego, CA
I vomited at Upper Boy Scout Lake early July, but ~45 minutes later I felt great and we continued up Mt. Russell.

I had acclimated the night before at the portal campground.

Are there any tell tale signs that you should turn around and descend?

A guy in a group that went up Mt. Whitney last year brought along a device that measures altitude sickness but I forget what it was called or how it works.

edit: I asked him. It was a pulse oximeter.


Edited by futbol (08/23/17 10:57 AM)

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#51822 - 08/23/17 12:43 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
I think the first article I linked to above mis-wrote "trailhead" where it should have been "trail".

There are dozens of news reports out now:   Google news: Susanna DeForest

They all report the same thing -- 6-7 miles into the hike, she started vomiting, and felt dizzy.

Harvey could be right -- some other issue may have caused her death.

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#51823 - 08/23/17 01:40 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: futbol]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 41
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: futbol

A guy in a group that went up Mt. Whitney last year brought along a device that measures altitude sickness but I forget what it was called or how it works.

edit: I asked him. It was a pulse oximeter.


A pulse oximeter does not measure altitude sickness. It measures your pulse rate and your blood oxygen saturation.

Many people have an unreasonably high pulse rate when at high elevation, but it never stops them. Also, many people have an unreasonably low blood oxygen saturation, but it never stops them. It probably slows them down a lot. The oximeter can give you some indication of how close to collapse you are getting.

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#51827 - 08/23/17 02:59 PM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: Bobby49]
futbol Online


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 15
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Bobby49
Originally Posted By: futbol

A guy in a group that went up Mt. Whitney last year brought along a device that measures altitude sickness but I forget what it was called or how it works.

edit: I asked him. It was a pulse oximeter.


A pulse oximeter does not measure altitude sickness. It measures your pulse rate and your blood oxygen saturation.

Many people have an unreasonably high pulse rate when at high elevation, but it never stops them. Also, many people have an unreasonably low blood oxygen saturation, but it never stops them. It probably slows them down a lot. The oximeter can give you some indication of how close to collapse you are getting.


Good info. Thanks!

The one person in question (he expressed difficulty) was measured and was getting close to the unconscious level -- so he was promptly escorted down the trail. I forget what that level was.

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#51862 - 08/25/17 10:50 AM Re: AMS at 10,000 feet [Re: futbol]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 41
Loc: California

There is no such level, at least not a standard one. Everybody has their own level. You need to use a pulse/oximeter a few times in order to get a calibration check. One person might be ready to collapse at 90%. Some might be at 80%. A few might go to 70%. And then there is Ed Viesturs.

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