High Altitude Hiking Tips 2020
Conquering high mountain peaks is an aspiration for most beginning Hikers, and many more experienced Hikers will find themselves seeking new boundaries when it comes to the altitudes of the peaks they conquer. As explained in our sections on Preparing for High Altitudes and Acute Mountain Sickness High Altitude Hiking poses new challenges that have to do with the lower oxygen content of the air and pressure changes.
In this section, we will focus mostly on the Techniques of High Altitude Hiking, which we will see also plays a big part in preventing AMS. Here are some guidelines on High Altitude Hiking:
- In general, overexertion is the leading cause of High Altitude problems, and it is a significant factor in Acute Mountain Sickness. Overexertion also promotes dehydration, which is another ticket to trouble. Your goal in hiking in higher altitudes is to keep steady progress while minimizing your effort.
- As explained in our section on Hiking Rhythm & Walking Rhythm, a good steady rhythm can help you keep your hiking at the same intensity level and helps you keep yourself from over-exerting yourself. In Higher Altitudes, this principle increases greatly in importance. Try to maintain your walking rhythm at all times and prevent peaks in your efforts
- As explained in our section on Hiking Speed, and increased speed means less effective use of energy. Again this principle becomes even more critical at higher altitudes. Keep your stride very slow and deliberate. Decrease the size of your steps and try to minimize your efforts while maintaining steady progress. Keep to a slow and steady rhythm and adjust both hiking speed and hiking rhythm the moment you notice yourself panting or having a highly increased heart rate.
- Adjust your Breathing likewise to slow, deliberate, and very deep. Deeper breaths will make up for the lack of oxygen. Try to keep your Breathing in rhythm with your walking if you start feeling breathless, increase the speed of your Breathing but keep the breaths deep and deliberate. Avoid getting breathless and check your heartbeat. Your heart should not be pounding, and you should not be panting. Again adjust your tempo if you are.