View Full Version : How high? Part 2

20-07-2016, 01:06:46
Long post, but I can now answer with some accuracy.

Dead Woman’s pass is 4215 metres. But we also got out of the bus at the pass between Cusco to Puno and walked around for a bit. This pass, La Raya, is a bit higher, at 4,335 m. It was one of those big tourist buses with about a 2 m. of steps down off the bus, so I will take credit for 4,337 m.

The hike to Dead Woman’s pass was not as bad as I feared. There is less oxygen so you have to breathe a bit more and hike a bit more slowly. None of the nine of us ran into trouble that day, but at night when we were camping down at about 3,600 m., two of our party became very ill with altitude sickness. It was so random. A Swedish man aged 65, but in excellent shape, and an American woman in her early 30s and of average fitness were impacted. A women, late 30s, not in very good shape with no hiking or altitude experience did not have any problems.

After the Inca trail we stayed/toured in the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo) at 2,900 m., Cusco (3,400 m.), Puno (3,830 m.), one night in Lima (sea level), then back up to Quito (2,850 m.) then off to the Galapagos (sea level).

I am not exactly sure how my FitBit measures “resting” heart rate. Seems odd when it typically says 62 or 63 but if I am sitting it goes down to 59 or 60. In any case, it gradually increased from 62 to 69 during the two week period at altitude, dipping briefly at Lima. It dropped rapidly each day in the Galapagos and each subsequent day on the journey home. It has now leveled off at 54 bpm. Since my wife’s pattern was similar, I theorize that we were slowly adjusting to the altitude. All the extra red blood cells produced during that period meant that our hearts have to work less now we are at sea level.

My wife is now a bit overenthusiastic and talking about Kilimanjaro (5,900 m.) as our next challenge. :nervous:

20-07-2016, 15:51:26
Kilimanjaro sounds like fun!

20-07-2016, 20:39:29
Anywhere in Africa sounds scary.:nervous:

20-07-2016, 20:48:29
Do you really want to climb something with kil-a-man in it's name?

The Mad Monk
21-07-2016, 04:14:22
My wife is now a bit overenthusiastic


28-07-2016, 08:56:06