Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

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Water
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by Water » August 5th, 2019, 10:29 am

Sounds like you ARE good to go. Just maintain your mindfulness of what you encounter and listen to your gut/make sure your companions feel comfortable to say if they don't feel good about anything on the route.

Cuzco is 11,000k..people fly there from sea level all the time (thousands and thousands of tourists). Yes people experience side effects (headaches, shortness of breath), but HACE and HAPE are pretty uncommon unless you're actually pushing things climbing at high altitudes for extended time. Some people are more susceptible. And if you've run yourself totally ragged in the days and weeks before a climb, and it's taking everything you've got, surely you've physiologically stacked the deck against yourself vs being rested, hydrated, etc.

I had a double negative in my opening about altitude and time spent at elevation. So what, 1 night at 2-6k from sea level, on one's way to a quick foray to 10k for a few hours is...? I guess is this simply the time function that it reduces the likelihood of altitude sickness by slightly spreading out the elevation gain over time? I guess I hadn't encountered any empirical data about the physiological changes (of benefit) of doing this. Maybe it's simply a probability thing and it lowers the likelihood (which would indicate a physiological change but not necessarily a 'benefit' so to speak?).

I'm no doctor. I did spend a few hours talking with Ph.D. researchers from Nike (physiologists, biologists) about altitude training. Basically if you aren't sleeping at high elevation for extended time to build up the red blood cell count, you're not really doing much of anything, including training for an hour at 'elevation' in an altitude chamber. It's good cardio I guess, or something, helps you test how you might be at altitude, though I think they do those by reducing oxygen, vs reducing partial pressure of it, which isn't the same thing exactly. Again, no doctor.. someone else can take that if they wish.


report back when you get back. Would like to hear how it goes.
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McCarter
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by McCarter » August 5th, 2019, 10:36 am

Most importantly, bring scree gaiters and load up on water down low. Otherwise the Green Lakes route is pretty straightforward and you'll definitely avoid the main "conga" line until you meet up with the summit trail. However, I wouldn't be surprised if you ran into a number of people on your route as it is a very popular area.

Steve20050
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by Steve20050 » August 15th, 2019, 3:14 am

Water: I found your Cuzco reference funny. I've flown into La Paz, Bolivia near Cuzco, relatively several times from Portland. The airport is the highest international airport in the world. It's on the Altiplano at 13,400 feet. You used to have to get off the plane and walk over the tarmac to the terminal. People would sometimes pass out. They kept oxygen in the terminal for those folks. Now days they are more modern and you can de plane into the terminal, LOL. My experience would be a slight feeling of a little woozy but I don't think it life threatening. However, hiking up the side of a volcano it could pose safety problems , as I found walking up and down La Paz stairwells would do the same. For what its worth, there is a climbers remedy called Diamox, that acidifies the blood and makes you breath more. Thou you need to start it before you go to altitude. I tried it on one trip to La Paz and it did definitely help. The old coca drink remedy has no medical backing, but hey, where else can you go to a restaurant and drink coca tea?

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Water
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by Water » August 15th, 2019, 6:35 pm

Steve,

I brought it up because I too have traveled to Cuzco and La Paz and around in between. It's high. Sure if you try to sprint or vigorously move uphill, you do get winded. But you'll see tourists from all over the world, of all ages, and plenty will mention headaches or shortness of breath. Basic Altitude sickness symptoms. While they're on the Inca trail, or visiting ruins, alti-plano adventures etc, doing active stuff. But they're not getting HACE or HAPE and dropping like flies. So it's kind of comical when I hear people hand wring about basic meh feelings climbing to 10k. People live in Leadville and Crested Butte at that elevation and go there all the time for vigorous activities after all. I know folks mean well though I suppose.
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Water
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by Water » September 10th, 2019, 9:26 am

hisdudeness47 wrote:
August 4th, 2019, 12:18 pm
I know I can do this Eastern route, but it's bringing others to a place I don't know that concerns me. I hope you guys say it's totally fine!

Thanks!
Any update on how this went?
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drm
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Re: Thoughts on the route climbing South Sister from Green Lakes?

Post by drm » September 11th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Solution: I took the public bus from Lima to Cusco. Didn't get any altitude sickness, but there was still some recuperation required. :roll:

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