Elite climber Kilian Jornet has explained the battle he and all climbers go through when trying to acclimatise sufficiently to be able to safely scale some of the world’s tallest mountains.
“One of the difficulties of expeditions is how to manage the curves of acclimatization and fatigue. Spending time in high altitude makes the body tired even if being well acclimated, muscle mass decreases and yo be able to perform well higher rest days are important. So the shape curve is in general descendant during an expedition.
“Opposite to that the acclimatization curve is ascendant. Week after the body is doing adaptations to feel more comfortable higher. A key in expeditions is to do the activity while the shape is still good and the acclimatization is high enough. To maintain both curves up I found that sleeping always low is the best way to keep a good shape ( but you need to be able to get up to touch high altitudes in a short time).
“Maybe is because I’m lazy to carry up heavy loads to high camps but I prefer to always sleep down, in fact I have never slept higher than 6500m during all my expeditions. During this last expedition our “home” was at Pheriche, a village at 4200m of altitude, where it was possible to rest and eat very good and to do some easy runs up to 5500-6000m during the “active-rest-days” and where it was possible to get down from the higher parts of the mountain when going to high altitude.”
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