Expedition in high mountains

Anyone who is seriously thinking about going to the high mountains, regardless of whether kind of trip will be, recreation or sports, should use the principles of altitude acclimatization. The rules of acclimatization should be use when we plan to stay at a height above 2500 m of sea level. Not following the rules of acclimatization could result in unpleasant symptoms, such as:

  • headache,
  • nausea / vomiting,
  • insomnia,
  • weakness,
  • lack of appetite.

Statistics show that as much as about 60% of the candidates to summit Five-Thousanders not end their struggle because of poor acclimatization to altitude.




Acclimatization with LOXYS

LOXYS gives you a tool with which it is possible to acclimatise to the altitude before moving to the mountains. This significantly lowers the cost of such a trip. This tool is a program we prepared to adapt to the height at simulated high altitude. This program allows you to perform the initial acclimatization to the altitude in 10 two-hour training cycle, under conditions of gradually increasing height, from 2500 to 6000 m asl. Each session starts on a new height. Special treadmills are set at a high angle (up to 45 degrees!), and climbers are trained in their shoes for climbing, backpacking burdened about 20 pounds. Slow climbing in such conditions for optimal activation of the key mechanisms responsible for the effect of adaptation to reside in height.

With this preparation under normobaric hypoxic conditions, before you leave, you can get the appropriate physiological response from our body in the form of:

  • increase in EPO – erythropoietin,
  • increase in the number of erythrocytes,
  • increase in hemoglobin level,
  • increase in hematocrit,
  • larger amounts of myoglobin in the muscle,
  • more mitochondria in muscle,
  • expansion of the capillary network, so that the muscles are better oxygenated (Beidleman BA. et al 2004).

In addition to the full cycle of pre-acclimatization observed:

  • increase in VO2max (maximal ability to absorb oxygen through the body),
  • alignment heart rate,
  • increase the level of blood oxygen saturation (rates determine oxygen saturation SaO2).

These phenomena observed are characteristic of the changes observed during simulated altitude training (Czuba M. et al 2013).




Acclimation under natural conditions

Of course, if we talk about altitude, you can also settle in the high mountains, according to the general principles set out below:

  1. After crossing the height of 2500 m above sea level further hike / climb, the first night should be planned below 3000 m asl.
  2. In the following days, we should not get more than 1000 m altitude during the day.
  3. Overnight however, resting should be 300 meters higher than the previous place to stay. In this respect, it should be guided by the general principle that says „climb high, sleep low”.
  4. At the same time, avoid direct transport (for example, by a cable car) to a height of over 3000 meters above sea level.
  5. If necessary, before continuing a journey to the mountains you have to spend two night on this altitude (Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing Guidelines – UIAA).

Such acclimatization to altitude, by its gradual acquisition is very slow and takes a lot of time. But the failure to comply with the rules of acclimatization and the absence of prior pre-acclimatization can lead to an „acute mountain sickness”, including to high altitude pulmonary edema and / or brain, and even death. That is why – in the case of short trips in the high mountains – is highly desirable training under intermittent hypoxia.




More info: HERE