What height is dangerous

High altitude tour risk: effects of altitude on the body


Every mountaineer is aware that the altitude can be an indicator of the difficulty of a tour. However, this does not only mean the demanding ascent and descent: The altitude has many other effects on the human body, which you should definitely know before you go into the mountains. Altitude is not dangerous per se. If you as a hiker, climber or winter sports enthusiast know about the effects of altitude, you can spend your time in the mountains safely and relaxed.

Altitude sickness

Dizziness, nausea and racing heart - the first signs of altitude sickness are known to all alpine climbers. But hikers should also know about altitude sickness, after all, it can occur from an altitude of 2,000 meters and therefore on many tours in the Alps. Good to know: It is easy to protect yourself against altitude sickness. A slow ascent guarantees the acclimatization of the body to the changed conditions at higher altitudes. As a guideline, at altitudes above 2,500 meters you should only conquer 300 to 500 additional meters per day. If the first signs of altitude sickness appear, you should definitely begin the descent immediately. Mountain athletes shouldn't underestimate even a slight altitude sickness, as it significantly increases the risk of accidents and thus endangers all members of a group.

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Radiation protection

The dangerous UV radiation is more intense at high altitudes: for every 1,000 meters of altitude, the UV light is around 15 to 20 percent stronger. Comprehensive radiation protection is therefore essential in the mountains. On the one hand, you should make sure to use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor and reapply it regularly. On the other hand, the protection of the eyes must not be neglected. Because not only does the UV radiation get stronger with increasing altitude, the reflection of the ambient light is also particularly intense in the mountains: snow and ice have high reflection values ​​that put additional strain on the eyes. That is why you should definitely wear sunglasses in sunny weather. When choosing glasses, you should make sure to choose a model with certified UV400 protection. Shops such as Edel-Optics have various brands such as Ray-Ban in their program, which stand for high quality and reliable UV protection, so that interested parties can quickly find what they are looking for.

Fluid intake

On a tour, the body has an increased need for fluids. This is mainly caused by the increased breathing rate that the physical exertion and the cold, dry mountain air bring with it. In order not to dehydrate, the daily fluid intake of a mountaineer should therefore be at least 3 to 4 liters or more.

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Sentiero.ch wishes you good luck and good luck for the next tour.