Joe good to know you aiming for a 7k.
I have that ambition too.
Which one are yiu considering. And when ?
In my prep for going to 7000m I have been learning about how to adapt to altitude. Thanks to the UA podcast I feel I have a pretty good understanding of this now. What I find interesting though is how professional cyclists altitude training seems to be the complete opposite approach.
Acclimatizing for altitude is test yourself high and sleep low whereas training at altitude is train low and sleep high. A former professional cyclist has gone so far as to build a hotel that simulates altitude in the rooms while training. Are these approaches at logger heads with each other or are they completely different things?
Just thought it would make for interesting discussion.
Posted In: PRIVATE Mountaineering Training Group
Huge topic here and more opinions than data! The goals of a training cycle and the goals of a climb are somewhat different so the tactics can at times seem to be opposite and not make sense. Your primary goal with training is to make sure you’re recovering from the training load so sleeping quite high can be problematic. That is one of a few reasons why athletes will train up high but sleep lower to get really good quality recovery. (Doing high intensity work is a common exception, many times athletes will actually drop down to be able to do super high quality intensity training) Once youre on the mountain and climbing, your goal isn’t training any more but to acclimated enough to go to the top safely. Theres a ton of factors here but slowly sleeping higher and higher to get used to the altitude is obviously one tactic. You need to get your body ready to sleep at the altitude of the high camp so you don’t get altitude sickness. On high peaks this is very much at odds with the ability to recover which is why you need a really big aerobic capacity and work capacity to be able to absorb the hardship. Double carrying where you carry some gear to the next camp and drop back down before moving the next day can be helpful with this method.
I live at sea level, Vancouver BC. A few days ago my wife and I flew from Vancouver to Denver, rented a car, sped to Pikes Peak before they closed and drove to the top at 4300m. So in a matter of 6 hours we went from sea level to 4300m.
My wife was nauseous, vomiting, and headache. Myself felt cloudy and a bit nauseous. We took a photo or two and headed back down.
Spent next two days in Leadville where walking up a flight of stairs left us breathing hard.
This is our first experience at altitude.
Will the fact that my wife felt a lot worse than me be indicative that her body has more trouble adapting to altitude? Can we assume that she will have a lot harder time with higher ascents than me based on this one experience?
Sadly there is a lot of variability with acclimatization but in my experience folks do tend to follow a bit of a pattern. If you have historically done well or poorly with a certain rate of ascent it is likely that you will be similar in the future. I wouldn’t draw super broad conclusions from this one data point but it may be that your wife doesn’t do as well with going from 0 to 14k’ in a very short time frame. Given a more leisurely rate of ascent she may do just fine comparatively. I tend not to think of it so much in terms of whether folks acclimate well or poorly but more in terms of how fast do they acclimate and trying to pace trips accordingly. Most climbers will acclimate well given the proper rate of ascent. Conversely athlete that historically do amazing at altitude need to always be on their toes a bit and be alert to signs of altitude sickness as there are never any guarantees. I really encourage everyone to expose themselves to different altitudes and get to know how their body reacts, how quickly it adjusts, whether diamox can be helpful etc.