Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Ask Buck

Acclimatization Insight

Does hiking and sleeping at altitude for the weekend one to three weeks prior to taking a hike at 14,000 help acclimating? I would be back at sea level for the work weeks in between.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Question:

Does hiking and sleeping at altitude for the weekend one to three weeks prior to taking a hike at 14,000 help acclimating? I would be back at sea level for the work weeks in between.

Submitted by – Charley, Detroit, MI

Answer:

Unfortunately, you can’t expect any benefit from intermittent time at altitude. Acclimatization to higher elevations is lost at approximately the same rate as it is gained. Two or three days at high altitude followed by two or three days back down low and you’re right back where you started—possibly in more ways than one. Some people will take Diamox, a prescription medication that mimicks your body’s response to altitude, several days in advance of their high-altitude trip. It can prevent and treat symptoms of altitude sickness.