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Comfort Zone

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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby psykokid » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:54 am

Even with acclimation for a night or two be prepared to go slow and suck wind a bit once you make it across the plain from the army passes to where the mega cairns begin and you begin to climb the peak in earnest.

I just looked back at my GPS track from last year and it took me 4 hours to make it the 3.3 miles from the top end of Cottonwood Lake 4, up Old Army Pass, and to the Summit of Langley. Of those 4 hours, 1.5 hours was spent moving according to my track. It took me 2:20 min to make it back down to the bottom of Old Army Pass from the summit of Langley. At the time I was in decent shape, I was working on hiking more and trying to loose some weight. I'm 39, 6'2" and at the time I weighed 255.

The trails in that area are in really good shape and it would be really hard to get off track. Once you make the scramble up the small class 3 bit there are a bunch of use trails that pick their way up to the summit. Just follow the path of least resistance and soldier on continuing up. It's a really nice hike and the views from the summit are great.

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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby sambieni » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:52 pm

Completely understand your perspective as someone who eager get back into backpacking with only limited experience and fearful of solo travel, altitude, etc. Think its all about managing your fears and keeping things in perspective. Go for it and if for some reason you need to turn around and not complete your mission it should not read as a failure. I know I have bailed on a few peak bagging or short cut trail experiences from prior trips/youth. But just gotta keep putting one fut forward.

Have fun!
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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby toejam » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:39 am

the FB Aclimitization group

Take what those guys say with a grain of salt. Bugs me how much drug pushing they do. 14,000' is a long way below the death zone and people aren't getting HAPE & HACE at that altitude. As psykokid said, a night at Horseshoe Meadow and another at Cottonwood Lakes is plenty of aclimitization for almost everybody.
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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby Matthewkphx » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:57 am

Tell that to the 16 year old basketball player who got HAPE and choppered out of Guitar Lake as we headed up towards the Trail Crest.

But yeah I hear you. I'm inclined to go sans Diamox and see if I have problems.
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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:43 pm

If you have an allergy to sulfa drugs, steer clear of diamox. I have had some difficulties with elevation -- but diamox would kill me faster. I cannot take sulfa anything.

STAY HYDRATED. I tend to be dehydrated -- I know that I do. I drink and drink and drink, make tea in the middle of the day, drink water constantly, and do my best to listen to my body. If more people listened to their bodies there would be fewer problems out there. it's a very dry environment and when you work harder -- you'll never take in enough calories or water to offset the amount of work you'll do -- you'll be more prone to things like hypothermia, heat stroke, altitude issues, etc if you aren't really making a big effort to drink enough. You need to be peeing pale yellow and if you aren't peeing at all during the day, there's a huge sign you're probably not hydrated enough. Dark yellow means you're on the way to trouble.

Never let your ego push you harder than is safe.

When you think you might be lost or having some sort of issue STOP IMMEDIATELY and sit down. Have a drink, a snack, and take a minute. There is nothing in the world, nothing at all, so urgent that you cannot stop and take stock of the situation. Don't let your head attempt to tell you that you must push on. Your head is stupid if it's dehydrated. This is supposed to be enjoyable. Don't let SHOULD or MUST rule you. The only MUST is for you to take care of yourself first. Once you are breathing evenly and slowly, have had a little to drink and eat, and your pulse is not racing, start to think a little. Have a look at the map, the time of day, the situation, and then decide what to do. It'll be easier and more rational, and likely much less of a mistake, if you are relaxed and thinking instead of in a huge hurry.

You only fail if you allow yourself to decide you are failing. I just got back from a week long trip. I do not feel a shred of shame in saying that we modified our route because some injury to my foot was acting up -- it was a fantastic trip regardless, because my only failure was in NOT setting unrealistic expectations -- at home, I had an expectation, when I got out there the situation was different and the reality was that this expectation of mine was STUPID -- so I changed it. There is no one on the planet who can tell me I "failed" -- I was out there in a gorgeous place without another soul around, except for a couple of them I brought with me, and how idiotic would it be of me to feel like a failure because I chose to sit next to a deep blue lake full of fish listening to the Clarks nutcrackers harassing each other and the lapping of the water and the sigh of the cool breezes, instead of butchering my foot in block talus? I had enough talus the following day to more than make up for that anyway.
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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby seanr » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:09 am

Matthewkphx wrote:Tell that to the 16 year old basketball player who got HAPE and choppered out of Guitar Lake as we headed up towards the Trail Crest.

But yeah I hear you. I'm inclined to go sans Diamox and see if I have problems.

I'll try to keep my response brief as I could come up with much to share in regard to several posts in this thread. I am aware of at least one person dying from HACE/HAPE on a Langley attempt while not even much above Army Pass. I once had severe AMS on my way to Langley. Signs of HAPE began to develop. I was solo, dehydrated, starting my day from Owens Valley, going way too fast, and determined to experience this 14er thing some peakbaggers focus on. Besides better acclimatization strategies, I figured out a few things about myself:

1. I don't care about 14ers, 13ers, lists etc.
2. I do enjoy goals and challenges, but let them ebb, flow, and lead me to fun and interesting places (both physical and mental).
3. I care about, fun, adventure, and beauty.
4. I am willing to push boundaries yet need to stay on top of when to draw the line and change course for safety's sake. Experience has helped me with this, but has also made me more willing to confidently enter potentially riskier environments.

I have considered diamox only to be able to have fun with friends who acclimatize more easily than I. While solo, I just don't care how high a peak is, which peak I end up visiting, or if I just hit some scenic lower terrain when AMS has me feeling off kilter.

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Re: Comfort Zone

Postby rcymbala » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:28 pm

My experience is that doing solo hikes in the High Country over about a 10 year period GRADUALLY silenced the voice(s) of fear in my mind. As they say, "it's a process." It's a combination of "reasoning" with the fears, and a lot of experience over many years. * warmly, Robert C.
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