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Old 08-24-2017, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,047 posts, read 11,669,686 times
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Quote:
Susanna (Susie) DeForest from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, was on the popular trail to the Conundrum Hot Spring with friends when she became ill late Aug. 17 and died that night or the morning of Aug. 18.

Her mother, Kate DeForest, posted Tuesday that Susie “suffered acute altitude sickness. Her friends who were with her did all they could to get help to her in time. We have made a trip to Colorado to see her one last time and visit a place she loved here.”
Mother: Daughter died of ‘acute altitude sickness’ on Conundrum trail | AspenTimes.com

So sad. It says an official cause of death hasn't been released yet, so there may have been something that made her more susceptible.

But just a PSA to remind people that altitude sickness is no joke. And particularly to those who post in the Colorado main forum here, and the local subforums, when they are planning trips here, to take the recommendations that people make about adjusting to altitude and making appropriate limitations to their physical exertion truly matters.

http://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000133.htm
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:31 PM
 
1,258 posts, read 1,577,863 times
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Not enough details to actually conclude she died from altitude sickness, but making that hike without getting properly acclimated was not a good idea. Starts at ~8700 ends at ~11,200. No big deal if you've lived in Colorado for a while (like it seems her companions did), but if she came from Pennsylvania the day before, then they rushed into this for sure.

I keep telling everybody from sea level who is visiting me to wait at least a day before going skiing at Keystone or hiking in RMNP. But I have hard time getting through to people what if feels like to be at 11,000 ft the same day you woke up at 4 am in Florida, hopped on a plane, landed in Denver after 5 hours. It's not fun! You may not get altitude sickness, but you won't enjoy your skiing/hiking either!
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,045 posts, read 5,857,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioToCO View Post
<>I keep telling everybody from sea level who is visiting me to wait at least a day before going skiing at Keystone<>
Which is part of why I keep telling people to ski Park City Utah
"Not just for the lower altitude"
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:51 PM
 
1,258 posts, read 1,577,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashj007 View Post
Which is part of why I keep telling people to ski Park City Utah
"Not just for the lower altitude"
Well, I honestly don't get the obsession with Keystone (I mostly ski Copper and Winter Park myself) but people keep wanting to ski and stay there. Then they develop altitude sickness on their 2nd or 3rd night there, because not only they are "training high" but also "sleeping high" (>9000). Doesn't always work well for flatlanders.

I think it goes something like this: "Vail is really the best resort, but too expensive and too far from Denver, what is the closest one to the airport --- Keystone!" I'm kinda thinking if you spend all this money to fly to Colorado, may as well spend a little more on your stay and drive an extra hour to get to Vail or Aspen. Can't stand Vail resorts as a company, but love the mountain in Vail.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:49 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,904 posts, read 102,364,631 times
Reputation: 32967
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Mother: Daughter died of ‘acute altitude sickness’ on Conundrum trail | AspenTimes.com

So sad. It says an official cause of death hasn't been released yet, so there may have been something that made her more susceptible.

But just a PSA to remind people that altitude sickness is no joke. And particularly to those who post in the Colorado main forum here, and the local subforums, when they are planning trips here, to take the recommendations that people make about adjusting to altitude and making appropriate limitations to their physical exertion truly matters.

http://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000133.htm
There is nothing that makes one more or less susceptible to altitude sickness. It's possible she had some other health condition, yes.
Altitude.org | Altitude Sickness
"There are a number of factors that are linked to a higher risk of developing the condition. The higher the altitude you reach and the faster your rate of ascent, the more likely you are to get acute mountain sickness. On the Apex high altitude research expeditions, flying from sea level to the Bolivian capital, La Paz (3600m), caused over half of the expedition members to have acute mountain sickness on the day after they arrived. If you have a previous history of suffering from acute mountain sickness, then you are probably more likely to get it again. Older people tend to get less acute mountain sickness – but this could be because they have more common sense and ascend less quickly. "
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:51 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,904 posts, read 102,364,631 times
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Add: "Two things are certain to make altitude sickness very likely - ascending faster than 500m per day, and exercising vigourously. Physically fit individuals are not protected - even Olympic athletes get altitude sickness. Altitude sickness happens because there is less oxygen in the air that you breathe at high altitudes."
Op cit
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,846,559 times
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I remember my initial camping experience at 10,500. Even on day one I was fine hiking as high as 12,500 though I did get winded quite easily and had to rest often. The first night however, I woke up gasping for air. Scared the living crap out of me! I had to get up and walk around a bit to calm down. Second night I woke up gasping once again, but this time I was able to simply sit up and breathe deeply for a few minutes. By the third night I was fine. Took my body 3 days to adjust from 4500 to 10,500. I was about 60 at the time.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:11 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,155 posts, read 70,049,185 times
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Santa Fe has an oxygen bar downtown, that serves herbal teas and herbal remedies, as well as oxygen. Turns out that a fair number of visitors come for the oxygen. Several of the hotels in town refer clients there. Do the Colorado towns have anything like that? Sounds like it would be a good idea. Of course, in the case cited here, she needed the oxygen out on her hike, not in town. But still, it's a good amenity to have in high-altitude towns that are tourist meccas.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale
1,112 posts, read 543,825 times
Reputation: 1970
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioToCO View Post
Not enough details to actually conclude she died from altitude sickness, but making that hike without getting properly acclimated was not a good idea. Starts at ~8700 ends at ~11,200. No big deal if you've lived in Colorado for a while (like it seems her companions did), but if she came from Pennsylvania the day before, then they rushed into this for sure.

I keep telling everybody from sea level who is visiting me to wait at least a day before going skiing at Keystone or hiking in RMNP. But I have hard time getting through to people what if feels like to be at 11,000 ft the same day you woke up at 4 am in Florida, hopped on a plane, landed in Denver after 5 hours. It's not fun! You may not get altitude sickness, but you won't enjoy your skiing/hiking either!
I lived in Colorado from 1998-2002 and hiked many of the "14ers" - the mountains above 14,000 ft.
My favorite was Longs Peak via the "Keyhole Route". In my prime, after many years of hiking I could
go up Longs Peak in < 3 hours with a heavy backpack from the Ranger Station. Then I could go
back down and run from the Keyhole back for a total round trip of about 5.5 hours.

But I was a software tester, and the "Dot Com Bust" and stock market crash of 2000 destroyed many
software jobs in Colorado in 2001-2002. So I had to move to Florida to find a new job. While there,
I lost all the years of acclimatization. I learned from many trips back to Colorado that it takes
about a week to acclimatize enough to hike a 14er like Longs Peak just for the sake of finishing.
But the speed is definitely gone.

Back in 2004 I took a flight from Orlando, FL to Denver in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. It
was hot and humid in Orlando at sea level. Then I went up a 14er five days later and it snowed at
the summit in August. That was really extreme.

So hiking from sea-level is dangerous and needs acclimatization. The fast way to do it is use the
"Alpine" method. Go up quickly to some place like Dylan and hike maybe just for 10-30 minutes.
Then quickly go back down to Denver. Wait about 2 days and try again - the acclimatization will
be noticeably stronger. Repeat this a couple of times then a long rigorous mountain hike is more
doable after about a week of acclimatization with the "Alpine" method - go high then quickly come
back down and rest 1-2 days. I learned that from many hiking expeditions coming back to CO from
FL.

I have since returned to AZ and hike every weekend. I am getting ready for another 14er but it's
far easier from AZ - Flagstaff is just up the road (LOL). In Florida the closest "mountain" was in North GA and a 7 hour drive. FL was too flat and low.
A competitive mountain runner in CO needs to live there year-round. Marathon champions from sea level have been known to not finish the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon because of the altitude. That 5, 6, 7 min pace per mile goes out the door above 11,000 feet for someone from sea level.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:17 AM
 
1,565 posts, read 2,821,643 times
Reputation: 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Santa Fe has an oxygen bar downtown, that serves herbal teas and herbal remedies, as well as oxygen.
Several years ago I was in Cuzco, Peru, which sits above 11000 ft. Many of the hotels will pipe extra oxygen into the rooms, for an extra charge; and served coca tea, which is an old Inca folk remedy for altitude issues (it has no hallucinogenic effect.)
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