Posts Tagged ‘The Altitude Experience’
February 13th, 2011
I found out a few weeks ago that I had giardiasis, an intestinal parasite. I have no idea where I got it or how long I’ve had it. Maybe since this fall, or this summer, or since I’ve been back from Everest, or from K2—who knows? It certainly wasn’t a typical case; most cases of Giardia start ‘explosively’ but about 20% don’t follow the standard symptoms. One dose of drugs (Tinidazole 2 grams) took care of it and I feel like a new person. I’m thinking that I’ve had a subclinical case for quite some time. I blamed my constant fatigue on the frostbite injuries, but maybe the little critters deserve some credit as well.
My big project right now is the revision of my rock climbing guidebook. Once that’s done in June I’ll likely have some surgery to improve my fingertips. I have a bunch of topics in mind to talk about here so I’ll do my best to get started on those.
Here’s one little thing that I know I’ve touched on before. If you’re going to work on any stationary aerobic machine other than a recumbent bike, don’t read! I see people every day trying to read on an elliptical machine or treadmill and their biomechanics are completely screwed up. Put away the books and magazines, and while you’re at it, turn off your phone and quit fiddling with your music player. Keep your head up and look out at eye level. Your whole body will respond positively in your workout will be much more effective.
December 31st, 2009
Best wishes to all in 2010! Be happy, be safe.
Here’s an interesting article from Wired Magazine on the science of screwing up. Since proper decision making is critical at any altitude, I thought you might enjoy it.
November 9th, 2009
I urge you to avoid supporting the Walmart-Amazon-Target price war over books and DVDs. You might save a couple of bucks, but authors lose, publishers lose, and other booksellers lose. Do you really want the big-retailers to control what you can read and watch? Allowing these large corporations to kill off competition is a step in that direction. Please support your local independent book and video stores this holiday season!
October 13th, 2009
Dr. Charles Houston died recently at the age of 96. I first started learning about high-altitude physiology from his book Going Higher. He was the godfather of high-altitude medicine and climbed in Alaska and Asia. My book wouldn’t have been possible without the research he conducted and inspired over the years.
Read a fitting tribute by journalist Bill Moyers. Watch the 1953 K2 film there too!
August 7th, 2009
Neil Heil’s ‘Dark Summit’ and Lincoln Hall’s ‘Dead Lucky’ both describe events on the northside of Everest in 2006. Hall’s book talks about his person experiences (surviving a night out high on the north ridge after developing cerebral edema) while Heil covers the entire tragic season (11 deaths I think).
Also, famed Italian alpinist Ricardo Cassin died yesterday at the age of 100. Ciao, baby.
Photos: Namche Bazaar is the capital of Sherpaland This horse had to wait nerly 15 minutes to get into the Danfe Bar, Namche Bazaar
February 8th, 2009
If you’ve read my book, you know that I talk a lot about your uniqueness, and how that affects your response to altitude, training, etc. Here’s another study which confirms this.
Researchers at Tufts University published a study that examined differences among people’s glycemic index (GI) for white bread. Recall that the GI measures the degree to which a food changes blood sugar levels. Low GI foods (most fruits, pasta) have little effect on your blood sugar, while high GI foods (potatoes, carrots) cause a spike in blood sugar.
While white bread has a published GI of 72, the fourteen test subjects had average GI values that ranged between 44 and 132! And, the measured GI of white bread varied a lot within some individuals (they measured GI three times in each person).
So your response to a food might be quite different than you would expect, based on the published values. Knowing how your body responds to food, dehydration, altitude, etc. will allow you to tune your approach for better performance.
Citation: Vega-Lopez, S., L. M. Ausman, et al. (2007). Interindividual variability and intra-individual reproducibility of glycemic index values for commercial white bread. Diabetes Care 30(6): 1412-7
January 22nd, 2009
As we start the new year, I have a few suggestions for resolutions that you might want to adopt this year:
- Strive for quality in your activities. It does no good to lift big weights if you’re out of control, or climb ice by thrashing and dangling. Strive for excellence and control.
- Train your smaller muscles. Work the shoulder stabilizers, ankle stabilizers, and your pushing muscles (if you’re a climber).
- Don’t look for shortcuts. There is no simple way to succeed at altitude (or elsewhere). Understanding your mind and body is the key, and nobody (including me) can do that for you.
- In your training, emphasize things you’re not good at, especially if it has to do with your mind. If you get bored after 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer, you need to train your mind. Can’t go for a run/ski/walk without your iPod? You need to train your mind.
- Re-evaluate your training approach regularly. If you’re doing the same old routine, maybe it’s time to change. What works for a novice isn’t necessarily appropriate for a veteran, and vice versa.
In Chapter 12 of The Altitude Experience, I have a bunch of suggestions for training that apply even to low altitude activities.
November 25th, 2008
I will be out of the country until December 3. Any book orders that come in will be shipped on December 4. I get to lay on the beach a few days!
August 23rd, 2008
August 23: Finally, something to post about other than K2.
The Altitude Experience should be available in the next week or so. After I return from Pakistan, I’ll set up a link for you to get signed copies directly from me.
I’ve actually re-read parts of it in relation to the K2 accidents, and I’m still happy with what I wrote. I hope you are too!
June 13th, 2008
Ok, we’re back in business (I hope). If you previously signed up to get an email when a post was made, you’ll have to sign up again (sorry).
I hope I’ll actually be able to post a real update today. But for now, I need to make sure all computer systems are operating properly before we cast loose from the internet.