Highest elevations / altitude - that you've ever been at!
Anyway, my planning got me thinking about the highest places I have ever traveled to -- something which I have never consciously compiled a list of. This list is also due in part to analyzing the strength of UV-Ultraviolet light as it relates to altitude. (4.5%+ stronger / 1,000 feet and must factor in reflectivity of sand/snow/water as applicable)
Over the last several years I've weaned myself off (And don't even own a pair) sunglasses - despite living near the equator too in ~mile high Medellin, Colombia (Leaving in 1 month after 5 years!). This year I don't plan on using any sunscreen either (Or ever again) - even at high altitudes. Sunscreen can be avoided by modifying one's diet.
So anyway - interested to hear about your highest elevation / altitude travel stories. Here is my list of places above 3000 m / ~10,000 feet (If I went much lower the list would be too long).
Include photos if you got them!
1. 2007 - Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia - - 5125 meters
Refugio at 4800m - where the tour van stopped
Looking down at the refugio and at other hikers struggling on the climb up. Climb ended at a snowfield at approximately 5125 meters. Peak is a little higher at 5321 meters, but prohibited.
This volcano erupted in 1985, created a lahar, and buried a town named Armero, Colombia - killing ~25,000 people!
2. 2006 - Cotopaxi, Ecuador - parqueadero / parking lot - 4500 meters
Joined a downhill mountain biking tour which drove us up to 4500 meters, and we biked down to I think 3200 meters. http://www.bikingdutchman.com.
3. 2007 - Day tours from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile - all around ~4200 meters +/-
Tatio Geysers, Laguna Miniques and, Laguna Miscanti
Photos of Laguna Miscanti. Laguna Miniques is similar.
4. 2010 - Puno / Lake Titicaca, Peru & town center of Taquile Island - 3950 meters / 12,960 ft
The lake is slightly lower at 3811 meters, but altitude listed is for Taquile Island. No personal photos - as I stopped taking photos (while traveling or most any other occasion in 2010)
5. 2007 & 2010 - Cuzco, Peru & Pisac Ruins - 3400 meters and Sacsayhuaman - 3700 meters
Some photos from 2007, not online yet. 2007 - didn't make it to Macchu Pichu due to a soldout train, but in 2010 - success! MP is a bit lower than Cuzco or other sites in the Urubamba Valley.
6. 2010 - Near top of El Teide, Canary Islands - 3555 meters
Took the teleferico to near the top of the mountain, then hiked down. No photos - great ones online at http://www.telefericoteide.com/en
7. 2004 - Jharkot, Nepal - 3500 meters
Signed up for a Jomsom - Muktinath, Nepal hiking trip. Never made it to Muktinath as I got altitude sickness along the way and was puking out both ends and had to descend quick with my porter. Learned my lesson to never drink beer at high altitude. (Have since eliminated lots more food too...) Got some photos, but not online yet. Flew from Pokhara - Jomsom earlier.
8. 2-3x < 2006 - Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains - near Bishop, CA 3000 - 3200 meters.
Oldest trees in the world...some approaching 5,000 years old!
Thought about putting this in the Adventure Travel forum, but then decided the general forum would be better. Not too much activity in the Adventure Travel forum, plus doesn't necessarily hav to be a "big adventure." Maybe I'll post some variation of this there.
Looking forward to your stories.
Tibet in general was quite good for being super high up, the train from China proper to Lhasa goes over 5,000m and is the highest bit of track in the world for example. Nepal I stuck more to the valleys so I don't think I got quite that insane in altitude there.
Beyond that, the highest I've been is an honor likely reserved for skiing sometime- because the Rockies tend to be higher than the Alps I'm guessing that spot's in North America. The highest you can go in Telluride, Colorado is ~3,800m/12,570ft, so because I'm too lazy to look up other ski resorts right now I'm guessing that's about the highest I've been outside Asia.
Note: I didn't climb it but I have seen the highest peak in the Americas from the road, ie Aconcagua, which is 6959 m (22841 ft). I saw it a few months before Everest, and was mildly amazed to think about how much higher Everest was than that!
We had a few other high altitude stops in Ecuador. Quilotoa at 3900m/12,800 ft, and the highest overnight would have been 3200m in Chugchilan, where we spent 3 nights.
I haven't visited any of the other really high mountains in the world, and while the bike ride down was great fun, on the whole I wouldn't go out of my way to visit more extreme heights. I didn't have any serious altitude sickness - though I did have a nasty headache from too much sun that probably wasn't helped by the altitude in Chugchilan - but I also didn't especially enjoy going all the way to the equator and still having to deal with snow.
Circle of Life - The Lion King
circusoflife wrote:Sunscreen can be avoided by modifying one's diet.
Please tell us more!
"Suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either."
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