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kmehrtens

Rainier Advice for Newbie

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Well, there are several good places to stay between Ashford and Paradise.

 

Nisqually Lodge is adequate, closest to IMG (virtually next door), no food service.

 

Alexanders Country Inn is very nice for couples, terrific food

 

Copper Creek Inn (never stayed there but great food)

 

Paradise Inn has terrible food but is high (not convinced that actually helps)

 

National Park Inn (at longmire)

 

IMG also puts up big platforms with luxury tents, cots, lighting for something cheap like $12/night which is nice if you want to sleep there the night before but I assume your wife will be along.

 

As you can see, there are tons of choices so you just have to decide what works for you.

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Copper Creek food is da' bomb! :tup:

 

I spent a few nights at the Paradise Inn last year and enjoyed the food, maybe the chef was different...

 

Well, there are several good places to stay between Ashford and Paradise.

 

Nisqually Lodge is adequate, closest to IMG (virtually next door), no food service.

 

Alexanders Country Inn is very nice for couples, terrific food

 

Copper Creek Inn (never stayed there but great food)

 

Paradise Inn has terrible food but is high (not convinced that actually helps)

 

National Park Inn (at longmire)

 

IMG also puts up big platforms with luxury tents, cots, lighting for something cheap like $12/night which is nice if you want to sleep there the night before but I assume your wife will be along.

 

As you can see, there are tons of choices so you just have to decide what works for you.

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"by the time I've guided my third trip of the year I'm fully acclimatized. And even on the first few trips I'm still more efficient than our clients,"

 

You have more aerobic capacity due to specific training. You're body has also learned to adjust to altitude and does so quicker than someone not used to altitude.

 

"I was talking about acclimatization as it pertains to air pressure. I'm confused by your distinction of "pressure change acclimatization" and "oxygen level acclimatization", and I think such a distinction (as worded) is flawed."

 

The human body is a sealed system. At sea level internal pressure is the same inside as the air pressure is outside. When you go up air pressure decreases and the body slowly equalizes it's internal pressure to match. It happens much slower than you can climb, about 1,000ft per day. This is pressure change acclimatization. Part of the effects of HAPE are caused by this pressure difference, when the pressures are unequal fluids are pushed into the lungs.

 

Oxygen level acclimatization is the body adjusting to less available oxygen. It does this by increasing red blood cell count from bone marrow and growing more capillaries among other things. This is where your body can learn to acclimatize and do so quicker than someone not used to altitude. This can also be counteracted by increasing aerobic capacity through training, as you have emphasized saying training helps.

 

""In reality there isn't less oxygen at altitude - the amount of O2 molecules in the air is exactly the same as at sea level. The difference is the lower atmospheric pressure at high altitude causes the 02 molecules to spread farther apart, thus when you take a breath you get a lower concentration of O2 molecules per breath.""

 

There is not less oxygen as a percentage compared to other elements, but there is less oxygen per volume. Since aerobic capacity (volume) is limited thus oxygen intake is limited when amount per volume is limited.

 

""I think you can actually be less in shape to climb Denali in 20 days comparatively than Rainier in 3, but acclimatization is key to that mountain regardless, where on Rainier it certainly helps but isn't a key factor.""

 

You can acclimatize to Rainier just like you can Denali, it's just a different scale. And it's key to making the difference between enjoyment and ordeal. If a client has time I don't think they should be tied down by the guide schedule. They could just do some other easy climbs on their own and then go hang out at the Paradise Inn a couple days before and meet the guides there.

 

 

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Not to belabor the point, but here's an excerpt from Nelson's "Selected Climbs in the Cascades"

 

Mount Rainier is a rewarding but strenuous experience. Prior conditioning is essential for an enjoyable ascent. On Rainier, good physical conditioning and a steady pace are the best recipe for success on both technical and non-technical routes. Acclimatization to altitude is equally important but, if one lives near sea level, difficult to achieve. In that case, the best solution is to take 2 or 3 nights to reach the summit instead of 1: this technique aids in adjustment to the thinner air and generally makes the climb something other than a grim physical ordeal. At more than 14,000 feet, Rainier can present potentially lethal altitude problems. Headaches, nausea, lassitude, and generalized malaise are common symptoms of altitude sickness: much more dangerous are pulmonary edema and cerebral edema, both potentially fatal. Learn to recognize the symptoms, and descend at once if either of these conditions is suspected.

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