Previous in Forum: How to Use Power Transistor for TDA2030 Audio Amp?   Next in Forum: Trying To Source 3/16" Copper Elbow
Close
Close
Close
59 comments
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52

Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/28/2021 4:17 AM

Last Sunday, I did a hike that I wanted to do for quite some time, but I was very apprehensive. Many hikers call this one Hard and I haven't trained for higher altitude (5,700 is the highest) in a very long time and I know the air gets thin about 8,000 for me.

For those who've hiked Mt Baldy, you know what I'm talking about. It's a real hike, not a local city hike. I thought Mt Wilson was a difficult hike, and it is, but there's not much chance of getting badly hurt or killed. Though I feel it's safe as long as there's no snow, however the higher altitude and the steepness do make it much riskier.

When I started the hike, I could feel the air being a little thin. The hike starts at 6,000 ft elevation. The air smells marvelous! Pine scents enveloped me! I was in heaven. Then the air started to thin out. I got to Baldy Notch and I decided to take a break. 7,800 ft elevation! Whew! Then up to the top. 2,200 ft elevation in 3.25 miles. Pretty steep, but at lower elevation it's not horrible. At high elevation, it's a tough one. Baldy peaks at a hair over 10,000 ft, above the tree line! Air is clean, sky is blue, air smells great and it's so quiet up there!

When I got back to the car, I told myself that I'm super happy I did the hike, but there's no need to go back and do it again. I enjoyed the hike and I told myself that my next goal is San Jacinto (from Idlewild).

On Tuesday, I had this weird feeling inside me. I wanted to be back up at the top of Baldy. My body misses the clean air, quietness, blue sky!

My questions is; how could I go from not wanting to go back to the top on Sunday to craving the feeling at the top and wanting to go back - only two days later? One of my friends told me that it's an addiction to high altitude. Or maybe endorphins are being released, which makes me feel good and I want that feeling back (like a runners high)?

If someone has some insight of has felt this effect, or the opposite, I'm interested in what you have to say.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Interested in this discussion?
You can "subscribe" to this discussion to be notified of new comments.
Click on the Subscribe menu at the top of the page.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#1

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/28/2021 4:29 AM

For those who've hiked the Mt Wilson trail, please don't think that I'm not saying it's a hard trail. I hiked Mt Wilson trail for about eight months straight (nearly every weekend). Sometimes I didn't make it to the top. My goal was to at least get to the bench at Manzanita Ridge. I remember a lot of times I wanted to turn back at Orchard Camp, but I'd push to the bench, then turn back. Last September, I had this crazy idea that I could hike to Mt Wilson in 114 degree weather. The air felt stifling and I had the feeling that I'm not suppose to be out there, yet I started the hike. By the time I got to First Water, I was beat! I've never walked down the trail, so I decided to - I could hear the water running and I figure that I could cool off as needed. After hanging out in the cool waters, I decided to head back.

I believe that Mt Baldy is a tougher hike than Mt Wilson Trail, because of the high altitude. Baldy is just shy of 4,000 ft total E gain, while Wilson is 5,700 ft. Baldy is 12 miles and Wilson is 14 1/2.

If you've hiked the Mt Wilson Trail, I think you're a strong hiker! It's not for a beginner.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: WA
Posts: 78
Good Answers: 3
#6
In reply to #1

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 12:49 AM

While stationed at Norton AFB (currently San Bernardino International Airport) in the mid-1960s, I started climbing some of the higher peaks in the vicinity. My favorite was San Gorgonio which I managed to climb at least once in each calendar month. I preferred the route up the north side but occasionally joined colleagues going up the south route. Once you've enjoyed Mt Wilson you're ready for San Gorgonio, especially the scree slope the upper 1000' on the north side<g>.. Yes, I'd agree "high altitude is addictive" although Mt Whitney is the highest I've climbed.

__________________
clint.bowman@comcast.net
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#23
In reply to #6

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 3:29 PM

Thanks for the tip.

My goal is San Gorgonio, but 11.5K is high for me. Hopefully, I'll do it before the snow falls - I won't hike in snow again. Somewhere in my to do list is Mt Whitney, but I think I'll backpack when I do it.

Climbing San Gorgonio monthly! Very impressive!

A friend of mine just did the John Muir Trail. I was told that the hike up to Whitney from the back side is much nicer than from Whitney Portal.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#8
In reply to #1

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 12:06 PM

114 deg. F!!! I can't imagine. I would be prone with an ice-pack on my forehead. We recently had two full weeks of 30 C. weather (86 F.). It seemed interminable. I moved in slow motion sweating misery through each day. If I didn't have such roots here in south central Ontario I would be heading north - north of Lake Superior.

Here's an interesting question: Have most civilizational advances come from temperate climes? My guess is that they have. Had James Watt lived in the jungle he probably would not have had the energy to design a better hammock - let alone improving the steam engine.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 14850
Good Answers: 913
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 12:27 PM

Your Eurocentric bias is showing. India, Egypt, and many other hot climate areas have made significant advances in civilization. The hot climates just hide the achievements when no one is there to maintain them.

__________________
"Don't disturb my circles." translation of Archimedes last words
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#11
In reply to #9

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 7:48 PM

I am not suggesting that people in hot climates have not contributed to civilizational advances. It is a matter of degree (pun intended). I think the question needs more investigation. Nothing to do with Eurocentrism, simple by reason - if for half the year the weather is such that if you don't have warm clothing, snug shelter, and a plentiful stock of food, you are going to die, then surely these necessities of survival in colder climates are a driving force of innovation.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 14850
Good Answers: 913
#15
In reply to #11

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 10:01 PM

No latitude maintains a comfortable climate all year long. While you are shivering in the winter New Orleans is comfortable. It is not comfortable in New Orleans today. Adversity does promote innovation but adversity arrives at everyone's doorstep.

__________________
"Don't disturb my circles." translation of Archimedes last words
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#19
In reply to #15

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 9:20 AM

Climate is just one factor that has driven innovation. Theology is another. Judeo-Christian theology originated in a hot climate, but migrated north and west through the temperate zone. God, according to the Book of Genesis, gave man "dominion over all the earth". The first book of their sacred text therefore justified the belief that the task of humans "made in God's image" was to carry on God's work - to add to and improve upon God's creation. This belief system fit well with people living in colder climates. Those regions of God's creation needed a lot of work to make them more habitable, and God, according to their belief, wanted that to be done. Industriousness was equated with Godliness.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 14850
Good Answers: 913
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 10:13 AM

Judeo-Christian theology! Your Eurocentrism is showing again.

__________________
"Don't disturb my circles." translation of Archimedes last words
Login to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#21
In reply to #20

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 11:24 AM

Yes, Judeo-Christian theology and a temperate climate were parents of, to give one example, an architectural revolution. The magnificent, airy Gothic cathedrals, with all of the attendant structural engineering advances necessary to bring them into existence, were conceptualized and built in Europe, not in the tropical jungle. This is not personal bias colouring my view of history. Those cathedrals are facts on the ground. If you want to see them, don't book a jungle tour.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 14850
Good Answers: 913
#22
In reply to #21

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 12:56 PM

Jungle climates hide and dismantle ancient architecture. India has spectacular ancient structures. The Incans and Mayans placed many of their best works on mountain peaks. Many feel putting these cities on mountains was done in response to the hot climate and for defense.

Brilliant, innovative people exist outside of Europe. "16" is the Western Arabic symbol for sixteen. Algebra comes from India. Pasta and noodles were not eaten by the original builders of the Notre Dame cathedral, Marco had yet to be born let alone bring this food to Europe.

Rose-colored glasses can soothe us as they color our world. We should still remember the world has many different colors, too.

__________________
"Don't disturb my circles." translation of Archimedes last words
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 29823
Good Answers: 1665
#10
In reply to #8

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 12:56 PM

A period of adjustment is called for when changing climate conditions, and central air conditioning would help I think.... As a native from Florida back in the 50's and 60's, before A/C was widely adopted, we would stay wet all day, either at the beach, or the pool, or at the very least playing with the hose or a sprinkler in the yard...Water and wind the first A/C....still works...

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#13
In reply to #10

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 8:26 PM

The greatest heat I have ever experienced was in '63 on one of my father's marathon cross-country car trips. Las Vegas was one of the destinations. Driving across the desert, and almost dying from the heat, we noticed that most of the other cars had their windows up. Being from Ontario, we had never heard of automobile A/C, so my dad concluded that the other drivers must have learned that crossing the desert with the windows rolled up would eliminate the furnace blast of air and therefore be more comfortable. So at his insistence, up went the windows. After a few minutes we were all molten blobs, except him. He seemed immune to heat. "What do you think?" he asked, "It's a bit better isn't it?"

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 29823
Good Answers: 1665
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/29/2021 9:42 PM

Ha ha that's hilarious....we're lucky any of us survived childhood....I remember the first car I rode in with air conditioning, it was an add on job, mounted under the dash, it was all chrome and looked like something from outer space, alien technology....it must have been in the mid to late 50's, but it was the greatest thing, it would gradually freeze up and be spitting out ice, it was amazing to me at the time...now I realize that it was undercharged and probably leaked, but at the time the guy told me this was normal, it just got too cold haha...

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#35
In reply to #14

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:48 PM

Don't tell my better half about this, she'll want to put one in the old Alfa's!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#33
In reply to #13

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:45 PM

I love it!

When I was a kid, my best friend went to California for their vacation. They drove, my friend, his two brothers, mom and dad. I remember hearing his dad tell us that people die when their cars break down in the desert. They had this big Cadillac (a year or two old) and his dad went to the local garage to check everything before the trip.

When my friend got back, I had all sorts of questions about the trip and driving across the desert. Remember, this was way before the internet, so our thoughts of the desert were Wiley Coyote and Road Runner or the old west movies. He told me it was no big deal and yes, they had AC and drove with the windows up!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#34
In reply to #13

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:46 PM

Many years ago, I saw a car driving down the road with one of these things. Later, I found out that it's a swamp cooler (predates freon AC in cars).

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
Posts: 5876
Good Answers: 231
#40
In reply to #34

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 5:47 PM

Yep! We had one of those in our car when we moved from Colorado to California in '54. We were towing a trailer, and at that time the speed limit for towing was 45mph. It would've worked better at a higher speed.

__________________
Teaching is a great experience, but there is no better teacher than experience.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#31
In reply to #10

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:32 PM

And still does! Too bad most kids miss out on this ritual of summer!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#24
In reply to #8

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 3:41 PM

Hiking in 114 degree weather was a mistake. The air is super dry when it gets that hot, so I don't feel drained, like in humid weather. Though there's an eerie silence when it gets that hot - like sound doesn't move as well ... or maybe because there aren't many people out and the animals have taken shelter.

Many years ago (when I was in better shape), I was on a business trip in Scottsdale, AZ. I left the plant around 5:00 or so and it was 105 ish. I got back to the hotel and decided to take a run - the air was nice and hot and I thought it would allow me to sweat out any toxins in my body. After the first mile, I started feeling shaky and I stopped sweating. My stomach felt very upset, so I walked a few minutes, then decided to head back. I felt very unsure of where I was and I just wanted to get back to the hotel. My room was on the second floor, so I climbed up the stairs, got to my room, had a glass of water and collapsed on the bed. A couple hours or so later, I woke up and felt miserable - like a truck had run me over! I was told that I had mild heat exhaustion. After only a mile run? Yes, my body was trying to get rid of the heat and it couldn't because the air temp was too high. I enjoy running, but my body isn't built for distance running. I think the furthest I've ever run is 5 miles - my hips and legs hurt too much after a long run, so hiking is a better option for me.

Years ago, we were in Chicago in August and wanted to go to the Botanic Gardens. It was miserably hot that day. I felt drained of energy as we walked from garden to garden. I thought it was 100 degrees that day, but it was only 89, but with 90% humidity. It felt like you could wring water out of the air. I'll take 110 and dry over high humidity. But no hiking when it's that hot out!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#43
In reply to #24

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

08/30/2021 10:12 PM

In my twenties I would run at the local Y. Nothing unique about that, but the track itself was interesting. It was a raised track that ran around the perimeter of the basketball court. Built of wood, it was supported on wall brackets above the height of the nets. It was just wide enough for one runner to pass another. I liked the slight spring of the wooden floor boards, and the soft thump of my feet as I ran, but what I really liked was that the corners were banked. At speed it was fun carving around those tight corners with your body at a sharp lean. It was strictly a men's club in those days. I and two other guys met once a week and we would run and run and run.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#49
In reply to #43

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:24 AM

I don't know why, but I think I've seen something like that somewhere else. Or it could be something I saw on the internet. But I really think I saw it in person.

Sounds like a cool thing. If someone falls off the track, do they fall to the floor of the court? Sounds like it could be dangerous if the wrong people are using it.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#54
In reply to #49

Re: Is high altitude addictive or is it the endorphins?

09/04/2021 1:36 PM

There was a low railing. I guess you could go over it (about a 14' drop to the floor) but I never heard of anyone doing that. I liked it as a men's club. When they built the new Family Y, I didn't become a member - too big, too trendy, too many people.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: About 4000 miles from the center of the earth (+/-100 mi)
Posts: 8725
Good Answers: 994
#2

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/28/2021 8:09 AM

I'd say it's like a combination of clean air and the joy of accomplishment. If you're addicted, it sounds like a good addiction to have.

Login to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#25
In reply to #2

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 3:41 PM

Thanks!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 14850
Good Answers: 913
#3

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/28/2021 10:14 AM

I agree with Rixter. This is a good addiction to have.

As for your question, don't all addictions involve endorphins?

__________________
"Don't disturb my circles." translation of Archimedes last words
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#26
In reply to #3

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 3:59 PM

I don't know.

When I got to my car after hiking Mt Baldy, I don't think the endorphins were flowing. In fact, most times I'm on a hike, I don't feel the endorphin rush like when I'm running.

However, the beauty, clean air, smell of pines (some hikes), sounds ... those are things that I find addicting.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#4

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/28/2021 2:00 PM

I have felt the same after every canoe excursion I have taken into the wilderness - but the Yukon gold rush poet Robert W. Service expresses the feeling better than I. (If I may blow the family horn a bit, my grandfather made a small fortune from his claim on Hunker Creek in the '98 gold rush). I took down my 1907 copy of Robert Service's Songs of a Sourdough. Here are three stanzas from his Spell of the Yukon: (I didn't know how to stack the lines properly here)

"You come to get rich (damned good reason), You feel like an exile at first; You hate it like hell for a season, And then you are worse than the worst. It grips you like some kind of sinning; It twists you from foe to a friend; it seems it's been since the beginning; It seems it will be to the end.

They're making my money diminish; I'm sick of the taste of champagne. Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish I'll pike to the Yukon again. I'll fight - and you bet it's no sham-fight; It's hell! - but I've been there before; And it's better than this by a damsite - So me for the Yukon once more.

There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting; It's luring me on as of old; Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting, So much as just finding the gold. It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder, It's the forests where silence has lease; It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder, It's the stillness that fills me with peace."

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#28
In reply to #4

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:21 PM

The last four sentences! Yes, that's the feeling. Peace!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#42
In reply to #28

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 9:41 PM

In this part of Ontario the best way to get away is not by hiking, but by canoe. We are on the edge of the Canadian Shield - a very distinct geographical line left when the massive ice sheet retreated at the end of the last ice age. To the south of the line is rolling deep soil farmland; to the north of the line is forest and exposed rock. Most of the farmland hills run north and south - drumlins they are called - and are another legacy of the great moving ice sheet. Lakes, rivers and creeks are everywhere. The native Ojibway called it the land of shining waters (in their own tongue, of course). There are numerous canoe routes with marked portages throughout the region. Generally, after two portages, the civilized world is far away, and the experience (but without the altitude) is similar I'm sure to what you describe on your mountain hikes. Somehow, after returning, the hardship of the portages, and every other discomfort, become trifling complaints, and the pull to go back again to those wild places remains.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#48
In reply to #42

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:21 AM

Sounds magical!

Here in So Cal, it takes a little work to get to a place of tranquility. Too many people here and the noises of the city are all around us.

The last place I lived was back in the canyon. 2 miles from the nearest tract and 2 miles from the highway. It was super quiet at night - and for that matter, pretty much all the time. When I moved back to cityish life about 4 years ago, I noticed all the noise! Trains, trucks, cars, workers, helicopters, planes, people ...

Though I do enjoy the short commute and having access to nearly anything I need within a few miles. There is a price to pay for convenience.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#53
In reply to #48

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 10:13 AM

For a time I enjoyed the peace and tranquility of living on 25 acres twenty minutes from town. I wish I were still there. I live in a nice urban area, and I like my neighbours, but I'm still not used to having them within greeting distance. As John Lennon said, life is what happens to you while you are making other plans. Rural life though isn't for everyone. I remember an article in Mother Earth magazine about a guy who gave up his country cabin and moved back to the city. He said, "Everyone talks about the simplicity of country living. Just to keep warm I had to cut and haul wood, keep a fire going, carry out the ashes... Here, if I'm cold, I just turn up the thermostat - that's simplicity." I don't agree with his sentiments. I enjoy tending a wood stove. However, I understand why people choose to live in the city, and are willing, as you say, to pay the price for a city's conveniences.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 29823
Good Answers: 1665
#5

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/28/2021 2:35 PM

I used to feel the same way about being on my boat, it was a lot of work and there was always something to do, but you could lay back and enjoy it sipping a beer listening to the stereo, the occasional wildlife stopping by to say hello, admiring your work and the design of the boat for hours on end, the jerk forward when the wind would suddenly catch the sails and flying flying across the water...Aye matey, it was a sad day when she went...

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#29
In reply to #5

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:22 PM

Yes, I've heard that being on a boat is addicting too!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 29823
Good Answers: 1665
#45
In reply to #29

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/31/2021 10:11 AM

It's peace and tranquility you crave....the place where you can achieve this is subjective I think, whether mountain top, deserted beach, or drifting along on a sailboat, perhaps even flying along in a small single engine Cessna, or cruising the weekend on your motorcycle or working for hours in your garage on some project...

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#51
In reply to #45

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:38 AM

Peace and tranquility are important and I do crave them. Walking on a deserted beach is awesome! Flying a a Cessna 172 - years ago I really wanted to get my pilots license, but I couldn't explain why. No motorcycle or boat for me, but driving my little convertible on mountain roads - yes, that's something I love. And working on projects - it clears my head too.

Many years ago, I was an avid mountain bike rider. I had figured our the draw - endorphins, beauty, speed, adventure, thrill seeking, but most important was that the world outside had to disappear or I'd crash, so at the start of every ride, I'd get into a place where I told myself to focus on the ride. Whether it was to focus on pedaling in triangles (most efficient for power), getting air when I could (looking for the right place on the trail to catch air), picking the best line around a corner or even just watching for ups and downs to gain momentum as needed.

Hiking high altitude is a little different. I'm thinking it's the thin air - it must do something to our brains.

Last weekend, I hiked Cucamonga Peak and by mid week, I was thinking of where I'd like to hike this weekend. Unfortunately, the forests are closed and there are only two hikes open in the area and the highest goes 5,000 feet or so. It's a good hike, but nowhere is the air thin. The other is 3,100 feet. I feel a bit bummed, but I'll make the most of it! At least I'll be outdoors!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20860
Good Answers: 774
#7

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/29/2021 2:07 AM

The lower level of oxygen at higher altitudes might play into this, contributing to mental states. In the 1970s to the mid 1980s, some friends and I were casual climbers, with multiple ascents of Washington and Oregon peaks. There was always something uplifting about these.

Experiencing a glory (an optical phenomenon in which one's shadow is cast onto a lower cloud, resulting in an apparent halo around one's own head) just about has to be an endorphin pump. Sometimes you can see this from an airplane.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#30
In reply to #7

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:29 PM

Lower levels of oxygen does doesn't help as I'm hiking, but when I get to the top, it sure feels good. Serene and peaceful, like there isn't a care in the world!

There's some high peaks on Washington and Oregon! I've never hikes Mt Hood, though I've seen it as we've driven through the area.

My dad grew up in Yakima, WA; I remember when I was a young boy, he would talk about Mt Rainier and his heart would sing! We lived outside of Chicago - flat land. I could tell he yearned for the mountains. I remember our summer trips - he would love going up into the mountains (Tenn, North Car, Georgia).

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22207
Good Answers: 402
#12

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/29/2021 7:48 PM

I think it has to do with a acclimating to the lower oxygen level, making your respiratory system more efficient. I was quite active in my late 40’s early 50’s, playing basketball at the ‘Y’ against 19-20 year olds.

I would visit a friend of mine in Colorado Springs. (+6,000 feet), we would go hiking. when I returned to the Midwest, not only did I sleep better, when I’d go to the ‘Y’, I could easily keep up and pass those 20 year olds on the court to their astonishment. Which wears off in a few days.

but I’d have to say, when hiking in the higher elevation, one needs to be healthy and in shape.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
2
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Center of the Known Industrial Universe - TUGGERAH 2259 - Australia
Posts: 256
Good Answers: 50
#16
In reply to #12

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/29/2021 11:31 PM

Yes, acclimating to lower oxygen enhances performance (physical and mental) when climbing to higher altitudes. My son has done several US Antarctic Program missions to Ridge A, which is at altitude 4053m (13,297ft). Before departure to Ridge A from South Pole Base, under medical supervision he took Acetazolamide for a few days, to reduce the imminent effects of 13,297ft altitude.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetazolamide
Even with Acetazolamide, he found physical tasks very burdensome (one step in the snow requires one deep breath) and mental tasks required prior preparation of procedure lists, pre-assembly of tool kits etc. Otherwise stupid mistakes were the outcome.
https://www.showscience.com/index.php?showimage=54

Login to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#36
In reply to #16

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:55 PM

Not only high altitude, but in extreme cold weather!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
2
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Center of the Known Industrial Universe - TUGGERAH 2259 - Australia
Posts: 256
Good Answers: 50
#41
In reply to #36

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 6:53 PM

The science missions were to install and maintain IR radiotelescopes in the clearest air on Earth. You're correct, it's also extremely cold there:
https://www.showscience.com/index.php?showimage=57
Why so much facial ice? It's not just water ice! Remember that carbon dioxide freezes solid at -78.5C (-109F).
Elevation 13,297 ft and temperatures from -70C to -100C (that's -90F to -148F) while 900 km (560 mi) from the nearest humans challenge the spirit.

https://news.agu.org/press-release/coldest-place-on-earth-is-colder-than-scientists-thought/

Login to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
Posts: 5876
Good Answers: 231
#44
In reply to #41

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 11:15 PM

Really interesting news link! Thanks.

__________________
Teaching is a great experience, but there is no better teacher than experience.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#47
In reply to #41

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:16 AM

Frozen CO2? Wow, I'm not headed out there anytime soon! I bet chapped lips are a big problem! And also frostbite.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#50
In reply to #41

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:29 AM

And with Global Warming, we'll never see -98C again! Who knows, by next year, it may not even get to -60C and in a decade, we may be visiting the South Pole in shorts and tee shirts!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#32
In reply to #12

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:38 PM

After a second day in higher altitude (went up to Cucamonga Peak yesterday), I know my lungs have started to acclimatize. Last night, I had to move a car to the train station - about 1/2 mile away. It's a very slight uphill to walk home and on days when I go on a strenuous hike, I don't like walking home - or walking anywhere.

After parking my car, I started my walk home. It felt like I was walking on air. Every slight grade felt like nothing and I wasn't short of air, not the least bit. Super easy!

When I was a kid, I remember watching football - many teams didn't like playing in Denver, because of the elevation.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
Posts: 5876
Good Answers: 231
#17

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 1:00 AM

For my 81st birthday, just over three weeks ago, A friend and I took a hike from Twin Bridges on Highway 50, elevation 6100ft, to 7600ft just above Avalanche lake. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains just north of Denver, and I have been over 14,000ft several times, so I know that hike was hardly high altitude, but the view from the top was indeed exhilarating. Ski sopes in the distance.

It was beautiful blue sky with just a few puffy clouds, and shirt-sleeve weather. Perfect!

Unfortunately, I just saw that today (August 29th), the Caldor fire burned over that entire area. So terribly sad!

__________________
Teaching is a great experience, but there is no better teacher than experience.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Land of Shining Waters
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 26
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 9:02 AM

Beautiful. That mountain landscape is more human-scaled than British Columbia, where I lived for a time. Everything was too big there. But even the rolling landscape of this part of Ontario is too extreme for some. A fellow I met from Texas said he couldn't stand the constant going up and down hills. He longed for flat open spaces - what people in the prairie provinces call the big sky country.

__________________
It is easier to let the cat out of the bag than to put the cat back in the bag.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#37
In reply to #17

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:58 PM

Gorgeous! Congrats on your 81st - I can only hope that I'll be able to be active at your age!

We're trying to plan a trip from Bend, OR to LA, but we keep hearing about the fires up north. I'm not sure if we should try the coast or if hwy 395 is a good idea. We'll have the top down, so we don't want to drive through smoky areas either.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
Posts: 5876
Good Answers: 231
#38
In reply to #37

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 5:28 PM

Definitely NOT 395 for some time to come! It's too close to Lake Tahoe. All of South Lake Tahoe was evacuated today, due to the Caldor fire!

__________________
Teaching is a great experience, but there is no better teacher than experience.
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#39
In reply to #38

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 5:43 PM

Thanks for the update.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#27

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

08/30/2021 4:17 PM

Yesterday, I hiked Cucamonga Peak. 13.2 miles and 8,859 ft peak and 4,300 ft of elevation gain. It's not Alpine (above tree line), but it's a high peak. Lots of rocks on the trail and some slide areas. The lower part of the trail is really nice with old cabins (people live in them) and water (creek and water flowing across the trail in a few places). Then the switchbacks - long, but not too steep - just switchbacks! I made it to the saddle, then rested and ate some fruit. The next section was really neat, with great views and ups and downs. It passed by an old abandoned mine (large cable still there). The entrance was open, but I wasn't going to climb in. The last up and down was an up (when you're tired, an up isn't something to look forward to). Then to another saddle and a quick rest.

The final uphill was a bunch of switchbacks (over a dozen). Near the top, I could see the mountain rounding out and the slopes becoming less steep. The trees were shorter too (looks like a Bristlecone Pine). Then the final push to the top (no switchbacks, just straight up). It doesn't look too steep, but it was. Great views at the top! All the local peaks are visible (San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Saddleback, Baldy, Ontario), the Cajon Pass and the desert to the north east. There was also something that concerned me. I could see rain over San Gorgonio. There were clouds forming over the Baldy, but no rain. I didn't want to come down in the rain (too slippery and flash flooding), so I headed down a little sooner than I wanted.

To me, it felt like a shorter version of the Mt Wilson Trail, but at higher altitude. The rocky trail is also painful on my feet - I don't wear hiking boots or even trail runners, so I feel large rocks through the sole of my shoes. I like wearing running shoes, because they're lighter, grippy and responsive, however on trails like this, I should've worn my trail runners.

When I got to my car, I had the same feeling as last weekend. I don't have a desire to go back, but we'll see how I feel tomorrow or later in the week.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Associate
United States - Member - VT

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 54
Good Answers: 4
#46

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/01/2021 9:05 PM

The Bohr-Haldane effect and the Lactate paradox.

The beneficial effects of altitude on health and longevity have been documented, as seen from a reduced rate of cancer and heart disease from living at altitude, rather than more cancer from increased exposure to UV radiation. Reduced oxygen pressure relative to carbon dioxide can have a beneficial effect on cellular respiration, and the clean, fresh air and sunlight adds to the experience.

__________________
Teach your cat to write
Login to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#52
In reply to #46

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 12:40 AM

That's great to hear! I definitely feel the effect of high altitude and even though it hasn't been a week, I'm craving it!

After the 17th, I think the trails will be open again. Until then ...

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Associate
United States - Member - VT

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 54
Good Answers: 4
#55
In reply to #52

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/04/2021 3:07 PM

This article has a number of references on the subject:

http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/altitude-mortality.shtml

__________________
Teach your cat to write
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
Posts: 5876
Good Answers: 231
#56
In reply to #55

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/05/2021 12:10 AM

I'm very far from being a doctor, so I could well be mistaken, but that article is way too wordy; it reminds me of these long infomercials that go on and on and on about why their product is so great. To me, the counter-intuitive stuff there makes about as much sense as your tag line.

I did not check any of the references listed at the bottom of the article, but I also saw nothing to indicate "raypeat" as a reliable source of medical information.

__________________
Teaching is a great experience, but there is no better teacher than experience.
Login to Reply
Associate
United States - Member - VT

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 54
Good Answers: 4
#57
In reply to #56

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/05/2021 12:19 PM

I have enjoyed his articles because of the breadth of references he includes, particularly the older and Russian research.

I believe his PhD is for biology (physiology and endocrinology).

__________________
Teach your cat to write
Login to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4125
Good Answers: 52
#58

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/15/2021 4:24 AM

It's been over two weeks (Aug 29th) since I've been in high altitude and I miss the feeling! On Sept 5th, I did a mild hike (3.1K ft elevation) and while in Grants Pass, I did a small hike at around 1.3K ft elevation. Though we did drive through a pass at 5.4K ft.

I am craving a high elevation hike - looking forward to getting home and hitting a nice hike on Sunday - and our forest hiking trails will be open!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Login to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22207
Good Answers: 402
#59
In reply to #58

Re: Is High Altitude Addictive or is it the Endorphins?

09/15/2021 8:29 AM

It’s a (pick one);

a.) dopamine

b.) serotonin

c.) oxytocin

d.) endorphins

e.) all of the above

and your going through withdrawal… hang in there…

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Login to Reply
Login to Reply 59 comments
Interested in this discussion?
You can "subscribe" to this discussion to be notified of new comments.
Click on the Subscribe menu at the top of the page.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Autobroker (24); canadianslidewinder (11); clint420601 (1); dkwarner (5); jonaparker (3); phoenix911 (2); redfred (5); Relativity PL (2); Rixter (1); SolarEagle (4); Tornado (1)

Previous in Forum: How to Use Power Transistor for TDA2030 Audio Amp?   Next in Forum: Trying To Source 3/16" Copper Elbow

Advertisement