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Old 11-16-2016, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,079 posts, read 12,458,603 times
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I moved from 800 feet asl to 7,000 feet asl. It took about a week for me to adjust. My favorite fishing spot is 10,300 ft asl, and sometimes I do get dizzy, but not often. At 13,000 ft and above I still tend to get a bit lightheaded and move slower.


I enjoy cooking and the hardest thing for me was baking at altitude. Took a while to figure that out.


Trick is to drink a LOT of water. Lots and lots of water.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port Pitt Ash View Post
Anyone spend a good deal of time living at a high elevation who wasn't from a high elevation to start?

Supposedly it messes with the mixture in your brain and can lead to depression starting at 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Less oxygen and so forth.

I've been at high elevation for a bit, but not really higher than I am at the moment in the long term (about 2,100 to 2,200 ft currently).

Looking at Boise specifically that I believe is somewhere around 2,700 ft. Guess that isn't a big change, but I'd rather not find out the hard way if that study does in fact turn out to be true.
Altitude and depression is a pretty complex topic and there is not a direct correlation of one to the other. There are studies exploring links between the two and altitude may complicate the situation for people who may already have markers for depression, but living at altitude does not automatically lead to depression.

Isolation can also have a significant influence on depression, but again, may not be a direct cause and effect relationship.

FWIW, except for West Virginia, the top ten states for suicides do tend to be western states that are fairly spread out and have less dense population figures as well as higher elevations.

On the flip side, the US Olympic Committee does have a training facility in Colorado Springs Colorado, 6035' elevation, for the positive attributes of elevation on athletes bodies.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,085 posts, read 1,068,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
Altitude and depression is a pretty complex topic and there is not a direct correlation of one to the other. There are studies exploring links between the two and altitude may complicate the situation for people who may already have markers for depression, but living at altitude does not automatically lead to depression.

Isolation can also have a significant influence on depression, but again, may not be a direct cause and effect relationship.

FWIW, except for West Virginia, the top ten states for suicides do tend to be western states that are fairly spread out and have less dense population figures as well as higher elevations.

On the flip side, the US Olympic Committee does have a training facility in Colorado Springs Colorado, 6035' elevation, for the positive attributes of elevation on athletes bodies.
Interesting information, I'd never looked at studies on the topic. When I lived in Denver, a buddy of mine worked with the state of Wyoming on some of their suicide prevention initiatives. As you probably know, WY is often #1- or at least in the top 5- for suicide rates. Anyway, he told me that they believe wind is a strong factor, along with isolation, which touches on your comment and goes along with the most of the top ten being in the west.

CO Springs is used as a high elevation laboratory for athletes, because that's pretty high. And now that I live at sea level, I can tell a little bit of a difference when we get to 4,000'-5,000' - and definitely at 6,000'! But the OP's not asking about a drastic move from low to high. The difference between Asheville's 2100' to Boise's 2700' would be imperceptible.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
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I go to Flagstaff a lot, which hovers around 7k feet and I don't feel any different. Santa Fe didn't either. I live in Tucson which is around 2k and from Phoenix which is 1k. If I can go from 1 to 7k in the span of two hours and feel no different (sometimes I have to pop my ears) then you'll be fine.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:32 PM
 
Location: The Springs
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I was born in Denver (5280 ft), lived along the "bench" in Salt Lake (4900 ft) and now live on Colorado Springs' northwest side (6850 ft). I'm always depressed and cranky. Could be it's just old age.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Personally I think people put too much emphasis on elevation. If you're a healthy human being it should be of no concern. I was shocked when I learned that Flagstaff was higher than Denver. Unless Phoenix and Tucson are considered high elevation cities too... unless oxygen decreases significantly between sea level and 1 k and then becomes a stable less noticeable decrease after that I don't see why it matters.
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:10 PM
 
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I think it's a decrease of somewhere around 1% of oxygen give or take per 1,000 feet. There also seems to be a cutoff between low and medium levels at 2,000.

I will say there was something noticeably different from the low altitudes I've lived in and Western NC and another when I was on vacation in places that were a mile high. Whether that had to do specifically with the elevation I have no clue.

Still it's odd how there's that strip straight down the mountain states of having the highest rates. Others seem to be places with a lot of darkness like Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. WV is the outlier, but if you'd ever been to that state for longer than a vacation it makes a lot of sense (crushing poverty, high crime rates, high drug rates, etc. all add up to someplace less than ideal).
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I agree that the OP's change from Asheville to Boise should be imperceptible, but they did ask. To some of us, 2100 ft is low altitude and we thrive in it. Based on some of the studies on altitude and suicide, 3000' is up there far enough to create a divide for analysis.


For most people, altitude in a minor inconvenience that can adapted to. However, there is a small % of population that cannot adapt to life above 5000'. Perhaps the thinner air highlights some other physiological issue that was unknown at lower altitudes. Dunno. I never thought about it at all until joining C-D.com and seeing people who shared their experiences after living in Colorado. Some just can't do it, even if they seem to be fine at lower elevations and are of otherwise decent health. Some medical studies I've read tend to say 7000' is where marked changes in the bodies ability to oxygenate occur.


FWIW, here are the top ten in suicides. Yes, Wyoming is up there. West Virginia, with is location in the Appalachians, is actually more like the western states than most of its eastern state neighbors. It has the highest average elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River and tends to be less densely populated than many of its neighbors as well. So the combining effects of altitude and isolation do seem to have an influence.Oregon does seem like a bit of an anomaly since it touches sea Level, but with its mountain ranges, it does have an fairly high mean average elevation and eastern Oregon population density is more like the rest of the western US than the coastal US.

10. Oregon: 15.2 suicides per 100,000
9. Utah: 15.4 suicides per 100,000
8. West Virginia: 15.9 suicides per 100,000
7. Arizona: 16.1 suicides per 100,000
6. Colorado: 16.4 suicides per 100,000
5. Nevada: 18.3 suicides per 100,000
4. Montana: 19.4 suicides per 100,000
3. Wyoming: 19.7 suicides per 100,000
2. New Mexico: 20.4 suicides per 100,000
1. Alaska: 22.1 suicides per 100,000
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,085 posts, read 1,068,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
I agree that the OP's change from Asheville to Boise should be imperceptible, but they did ask. To some of us, 2100 ft is low altitude and we thrive in it. Based on some of the studies on altitude and suicide, 3000' is up there far enough to create a divide for analysis.
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was taking issue with what you wrote. Again, I used to live at 6,000' and felt fine but now I live at sea level and feel it a little bit when we go up several thousand feet. My comment was directed more to others on the thread who may be unaware of Asheville's elevation- or how close it is to Boise's. I could see 3,000' being a sort of dividing line, though...

It's an interesting top ten list; clearly there are several variables at play and perhaps isolation plays an even bigger role. You mentioned Oregon as an anomaly but AK is even more of an outlier. Despite the high mountains in the state and relatively high mean elevation, almost no one in the state lives above 1,500'- and those who do are likely very, very isolated.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:46 AM
 
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I've also heard there are health benefits to living at elevation. It's why a number of prominent athletes sleep in altitude tents, and if you look at Colorado, it is the fittest state in the nation and home to the USOTC. I find the air to be clearer up at altitude and that there's generally a more relaxed vibe and more moderate temperatures depending on latitude. Look at places like Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Quito, Bogota, etc that all formed at elevation, along the equator. They must have had some reason for doing so, since I'm sure there are places at lower elevations in those countries also. Granted, I haven't lived at altitude for extended periods of time, so some of what you say may be true, but I would say that a lot of times there are other factors that contribute in those cases. Boise is certainly isolated though, so consider that if that bothers you. Like more isolated than Asheville even since you can get to Charlotte in 2 hrs, Atlanta in 3-4, the Atlantic in 4-5, AND metro areas as diverse as Indianapolis, Washington and Central Florida, ALL in less time driving than it would take you to get to Seattle from Boise. So, that isolation may factor in, not trying to convince you out of it, just pointing that out.
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