How to Adjust to Higher Altitudes While Climbing

How to Adjust to Higher Altitudes While Climbing
Ascending too quickly above 8,000 feet can lead to serious illness. You can help prevent the most serious degrees of altitude illness by taking a few precautions.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Carry a topographic map of the area you're trekking in and wear an altimeter so that you know the elevation of each of your planned camp spots along your ascent.
Step 2
Ascend gradually above 8,000 feet, spending at least one night at a camp spot after each 1,000 to 2,000 feet of gain.
Step 3
Spend at least two or three nights at camp spots below 10,000 feet before ascending above 10,000 feet.
Step 4
Don't sleep more than 1,000 to 2,000 feet above where you slept the night before. Shuttle some gear up to a higher camp, then hike back down and sleep at a lower camp until your body has acclimatized.
Step 5
Exercise moderately to get the heart pumping. Shuttling gear up to higher points is a great way to get moderate exercise, as is playing light recreational sports on rest days - for example, playing with a flying disk or a foot bag.
Step 6
When you reach altitudes above 14,000 feet, limit ascents to a gain of 500 to 1,000 feet per day.

Tips & Warnings

Individuals vary in their acclimatization needs. Exercise caution when ascending as a group: What may seem like adequate time at one elevation for most of the group may not be enough time for certain group members.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

Article Written By eHow


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