June 3rd, 2011 9:04am - Posted By: Kara
You can be in terrific physical condition and still experience altitude sickness. Believe it or not, altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) is actually more common in fit young men than old gals like me because they are more likely to attempt a rapid ascent by racing up the mountain to show themselves or their buddies that they are indestructible! As a general rule, it is far safer (and more enjoyable) to avoid altitude sickness by planning a sensible itinerary that allows for gradual acclimation to altitude as you ascend -- and yes, you can race back down as fast as you like!
The symptoms of Mild AMS include:
Some symptoms tend to be worse at night and when respiratory drive is decreased. Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within two to four days as the body acclimates. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate. When hiking, it is essential that hikers communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to others on trip.
The best test for moderate AMS is to have the person walk a straight line heel to toe just like a sobriety test. A person with ataxia would be unable to walk a straight line. This is a clear indication that an immediate descent is required. It is important to get the person to descend before the ataxia reaches the point where they cannot walk on their own (which would necessitate emergency evacuation).
STAY HYDRATED – WITH WATER!!! I put this in capital letters because many visitors tend to stay hydrated with margaritas from the Taos Inn – and it makes the next day’s hike a bit challenging! Nothing wrong with a few margs, but don’t forget the water!
January 11th, 2011 12:17pm - Posted By: Kara
It’s January – and although we haven’t had a ton of snow in Taos, we still have ice. And just walking around town requires special attention. At The Good Sole and Taos Mountain Outfitters we can fit you with YakTrax which attach to the bottom of your shoe or boot and will help -- but here are some friendly reminders for getting around on ice:
*Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles – use the vehicle for support