Aconcagua Photo Essay and Gear List
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: thanks on 09/09/2010 14:21:09 MDT Print View

The people who seemed to have the most problems with the iron oxide warmers had them stuck on their socks, inside their boots. However, I don't use them, so I can't say.

I have found the sodium acetate phase change warmers to be pretty good, primarily because they are reusable.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: How light is light? on 09/09/2010 20:41:18 MDT Print View

"Acclimatization: Most of what we've heard is old wives tales; the science is different."

Buzz, I think there are many people who would like to see your references on this.

--B.G.--

Buzz Burrell
(BBolder) - F
re: How light is right? on 09/09/2010 21:08:59 MDT Print View

"... many people who would like to see your references."

OK. Here's one:

"It takes 19 days to make a red blood cell."
- Dr Tom Hornbein
First ascent Everest West Ridge, first traverse of 8,000M peak, highest bivouac ever; Professor University of Washington School of Medicine, leading authority on high-altitude physiology. Direct personal quote.

Your turn.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: How light is right? on 09/09/2010 21:21:40 MDT Print View

I thought it was an average of 21 days. However, that is not in dispute. Sure, red blood cells transport oxygen, and it takes 19 or 21 days to produce one, on the average. But, what is your point? Red blood cells do not a mountaineer make. Production of extra red blood cells is important only for long term acclimatization and has nothing at all to do with short term acclimatization (to altitude).

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I got the impression that you were suggesting that rushing up Aconcagua (like you apparently did) was a safer way to go than to climb it in a traditional fashion. I got the impression that your understanding of the science agreed with your way. By "safer," I meant less chance of a serious medical problem.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: re: How light is right? on 09/09/2010 23:57:22 MDT Print View

Buzz, let me see if I can crystalize my thought here. In reference to Aconcagua, you stated that the climbing is easy.

(Yes, relatively so, but surface conditions can change pretty rapidly up there.)

You stated that the danger on this mountain is the camping.

(That's a pretty silly statement, if you think about it.)

If spending nights up high is what makes you sick, tired, and dehydrated, then you are doing several things wrong.

What I think maybe you meant was that the danger on this mountain is in sleeping overnight. If you are going up so terribly fast as you were, then spending a night up very high would be dangerous. However, that kind of a stunt is done successfully by only a tiny percentage of people who go there. In other words, if you are a "Viesturs" kind of guy, then I say "more power to you." However, for the remaining 99% of us, doing the rush ascent like that is extremely risky, at least from a medical risk point of view.

It has often been said that most of the severe forms of high altitude illness take 12-24 hours to set in, and they take at least 24-36 hours to become fatal. I think your strategy was to run up and down the mountain and escape before the bad problems could set in. I've only done a little of that myself, but never this seriously, and never this high. I mean, the summit is approximately 80% the height of Everest, so it is a no-fooling-around mountain.

Despite all of this, there are some forms of high-altitude illness that can be fatal in single-digit hours (ex., HACE). If you had the bad luck to get hit with something like this when you were topping out on the Canaleta, rescue would be almost impossible, and fatal consequences follow. I've been up on high mountains before when climbers got sick like that, and I would personally strive to avoid those situations as much as possible.

So, I suspect that you ought to get tested by some physiology lab. Maybe you have the same genes as Ed Viesturs. If so, that would explain a few things. The rest of us mortals may have to continue to plod up the big peaks in the traditional fashion or else risk meeting our Maker.

--B.G.--

Buzz Burrell
(BBolder) - F
re: How Light is Right on 09/10/2010 07:47:18 MDT Print View

Again, no argument Bob, just offering another perspective, and suggesting people review newer medical knowledge of the acclimatization process, a full citation of which is beyond my scope in this discussion.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: How Light is Right on 09/10/2010 11:50:17 MDT Print View

Buzz, I was hoping that you had some references to share on this newer medical knowledge. We understand Houston and Hornbein and all of that, but newer stuff would be good.

--B.G.--

Kristin Tennessen
(ktenness) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevadas
RE: Aconcagua Photo Essay and Gear List on 09/23/2010 02:18:44 MDT Print View

I love love love reading about your summit excursions! What's next on your list- Elbrus? I had lunch at the base last week and it's a beautiful mountain.

Michael Richey
(beaverboymike) - M

Locale: Southern Utah
Re: How light is light? on 12/08/2010 10:10:05 MST Print View

2) It takes 19 days to make a red blood cell.


Real answer: Roughly 7 days to make a red blood cell.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell#Artificially_grown_red_blood_cells

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
wkipedia on 12/08/2010 11:00:36 MST Print View

Wikipedia isn't a reliable source of information, that why you cant use it for post secondary research. Anyone can put anything down and who can really dispute it then. also that's artificially grown in a lab from a stem cell. That's now how the human body creates red blood cells.