Somewhere in the Sierras, I got tired. It got hard to go uphill. I was slow and out of breath with any uphill. I suspected I was anemic. One afternoon I sat down to take a break and I couldn’t get myself to get up again. I thought I should put up my tent to avoid the mosquitoes, but I was too tired. Finally, I just pulled out my sleeping bag and slept next to the trail. In the morning, it was hard to roust myself and I got a late start.
I don’t know what was wrong, but after reading other peoples journals and this article on altitude illness, I’m suspecting that problems with altitude is what is getting to some hikers in the Sierras.
The first time I hiked the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) I remember getting tired in the Sierras. So tired I had thoughts about quitting.
When I took an Outward Bound class in the Sierras I got unreasonably tired and a debilitating dry cough.
I may be sensitive to altitude. I mean, by the time I hit the Sierras, I was doing consistent 30 mile days and had been at fairly high altitudes so there is no reason to think that I should have been getting that much more tired. You wouldn’t think that the added couple of thousand feet would make a difference but something was wrong.
Next time I hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), I’m going to try to get some Acetazolamide (Diamox) and see if it helps.
Update: The article on acetazolamide was followed by this article about how in one study, taking 80 milligrams of ginkgo biloba every 12 hours, out preformed Acetazolamide in the prevention of altitude sickness.