Whenever friends visit they want a trip ‘north’, which means higher altitude. While AZ is mostly sea level, as it is a desert, north mountains altitude (2 hours drive from Phoenix) takes you from 0 to over 6,910 feet.
Making the roundtrip in one day has serious bodily effects. Rapid ascent can cause headache, fatigue, and nausea, with one in 4 people developing ‘acute mountain sickness’.
With winter travel skiing or just communing with nature you need to be careful at high altitudes.
Since not everyone has perfect medical health – heart lung function – can sets up for larger medical problems. All ages even the young can be affected and no matter how fit you are, you may succumb.
Symptoms (Sxs), headache, tiredness, loss appetite, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness. After 6 hours and up to 12 hours these Sxs can develop along with serious sleep disturbance.
Treatment includes rest and hydration. Some individuals can develop brain swelling (cerebral edema) and require medication.
Prevention is well worth it, gradually ascent @ 1,333 feet per day—especially for sleeping at night.
Safely enjoy the highlands!