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The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go

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  • #16




    I’ve been training and I’m planning to climb Mount Baker over Labor Day. I have climbed Kilimanjaro, a few mountains in the Alps, Mount Hood as well as a few other mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Pretty amazing that you’ve done Denali! Would love to do that some day, though I do have some concerns about the long term effects of such high altitude on the brain.
    I plan to do Rainier and Mont Blanc as well but with a longer acclimatization for the same reason.
    Have you seen the research?
    I always go with guides as I feel they have more experience to handle hairy situations should they arise.
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    No, but if altitude kills brain cells it's far too late for me. Shoot, my house is a mile high and I routinely exercise at a higher altitude than that.

    I've used guides for various things before, but I wouldn't call myself a "guide person." You can hire a guide to help you do the Cathedral Traverse if you like.

    http://exumguides.com/ublminxportfolios/traverses/

    http://smileysproject.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-teton-grand-traverse-sending-in.html

    I've skied with these guys in the backcountry up there: https://jhmg.com/adventure/grand-teton-climbs/

    Here's my review:

    https://jhmg.com/2018/02/best-worst-review-ever-received/

    Never climbed with them though. I'm sure they're very capable.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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    • #17
      Actually, your house being a mile high probably saved your brain cells because you are already somewhat acclimatized for higher altitudes.

      There have been startling changes on MRI but the study was small. Interestingly, another study of climbers who acclimatized well on Denali showed changes  in only 3/49 climbers. It seems like the key to preventing this damage is careful acclimatization. That's why I am not planning on doing any quickie ascents.

      http://www.boulderweekly.com/adventure/this-is-your-brain-this-is-your-brain-at-altitude/

       

      I think climbing without guides is just fine if you trust your partners and are on the same level (and an appropriate level on the mountain). When you get into these meetup type or hobby groups, with different people you don't know showing up and being on varying skill levels on one rope team, you can run into some major problems. One of my guides' mother actually died that way, unfortunately. It also just makes sense to me that the folks that can best navigate such a potentially dangerous environment are the ones that spend the greatest amount of time in it.

       

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      • #18
        Kilimanjaro was not too bad at all. If you are in halfway decent shape with no serious medical conditions you should be fine. It is basically a long hike at high altitude. Just pick a LONG route, preferably 6 days or longer if possible. I went with Alpine Ascents and they were great, but I think that you can go with a local African company and do just as well. The longer you take to acclimatize on the mountain, the higher your chances of a successful summit attempt. Bring diamox just in case and drink LOTS AND LOTS of water (and get used to peeing behind rocks in semi-public)

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