acclimatization.. Take it easy!

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet" - W. Blake

Are you preparing for a high altitude hike and are you already celebrationg your success? The sense of freedom you feel when looking at the world from above it's not easy a sensation to compare.

Naturally, training is extremely important in these cases, and since you are going to subject your body to such considerable effort, there is a further and not secondary factor that you will have to consider: acclimatization. With regards to timing, this transition begins about a day after your ascent to high altitude and will be completed under a month from the same.

The good news is that our body is super efficient, and was designed specifically to adapt to variable conditions with the least possible waste of energy.
And this is what acclimatization means: the higher you go, the more weary you feel, this happens because there is a significant and proportional decrease in oxygen pressure, which leads to the well-known "altitude sickness", (malaise, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, lightheadedness, exhaustion.) The way our body deals with this deficiency is trough a process in our blood that involves a series of spontaneous reflexes: breathing becomes deeper and more frequent, more oxygen is introduced in less time and this leads to an increase in our heart rate. Consider that, for an expert athlete it means perceiving a decrease in his own performance of over 25% around 3000 meters above sea level. For the less trained climber, there is a 30% decrease.

How can you acclimatize optimally during an excursion?

  • The acclimatization process is triggered when the body reaches between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level. Getting you to this height is, therefore, the first step to activate it.
    • If you want to reach an altitude of up to 3000 meters, staying overnight around 2000 is almost essential.
    • Is your aim even higher? Step by step! If your goal is 4000 meters, it is essential that you stay overnight at around 3000 meters a.s.l.

Last piece of advice: adequate and constant hydration, the reintegration of liquids along with the intake of food such as broth and energy foods helps you to avoid possible unpleasant situations.

The Queen of Monte Rosa 4554 meters above sea level: today she is still the undisputed queen of Europe: Capanna Margherita. A dream of many, and a goal of all climbers. Reaching it certainly requires a fair bit of preparation for your heart, but it is not a feat reserved only for the most trained and prepared athletes. With the help of a qualified UIAGM guide, it is possible to organize itineraries also for beginners, which includes a refreshment stop, an overnight stay at Refuge Gnifetti,  leaving the next morning to conquer the summit.

For information, availability and booking contact: info@alagna.it  or call the number: +0163 922993

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