still not recovered a month after an expedition


Original Post
mateocs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

hello,

I have just come back from doing two 7000 metre mountains back to back, using the training ideas from this book. It worked great and I managed to summit both mountains.

when I got back I was so exhausted I struggled to sleep and eat properly for about a week, and I then caught a big cold that lasted about 10 days. I spent three weeks in total without doing any excercise and then got back on the training. I felt surprisingly weak and after a week I got ill again.

It seems pretty clear to me that I am not recovered yet from the trip. I'm dying to get back to climbing and running but I'm scared of not resting properly and ruining myself later.

so it's been over a month now since I left the second base camp and I'm a bit stuck with what to do. do you think I should stop excercising all together until I'm recovered? or should I do some excercise? what if I went bouldering or easy cragging?

is it normal to be this tired after so long? do you have any tips for recovery?

thank you very much for your help

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

From an outside observer, it would seem you need to visit a physician. If you have already, what do they say?

Alexander K · · The road · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 130

I think the best thing to do is to sleep and eat as much as possible (like sit down with a pint of Ben and Jerry's gluttony). I don't know how much you weigh but if you have a low BMI then focus on putting on a couple of pounds. If you can't put on any weight then you might want to get checked for intestinal parasites/issues. I've never done anything close to that altitude but I've definitely felt similarly while thru-hiking and think that eating as much as possible and sleeping 10+ hours a night is the best cure. If you've read New Alpinism then you know about the importance of mental and physical rest at the end of a training cycle.

Pete Krzanowsky · · Evergreen, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 670

I did Aconcagua a few years ago and lost close to 9 pounds while on the mountain. I started at 142 and ended at 133 (I ate everything I could while on the mountain...but burned it all off). Once back in Mendoza, I just tried to do what others have said....I ate a ton and tried to sleep as much as possible. I didn't feel the fatigue that you are feeling, but I know my body needed extra food and rest.

Sarah Meiser · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,869

Its amazing how big of a toll high altitude mountaineering takes on the body. Lots of eating and sleeping seems to be the best medicine. Exercise when/if you feel up to it. I spent a solid 3 weeks climbing 6000 meter peaks in Peru this past July and now, two months after returning, I am still struggling to regain all the upper body strength I had before I left.

Marco GJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

Mmmm. Major exhausting expedition, 2 illnesses in a month and you feel weak, tired, etc? Sounds about right to me, especially if you are older than 20 years. I would try to be patient, eat, sleep, rest well, and only workout at a vey moderate level until you feel perkier. The human body can take quite awhile sometimes. I'll bet you come around shortly!

bheller · · SL UT · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 928

I recall Yuji Hirayama saying that after he attempted to on-sight El Cap (via a few different routes) he was shattered and couldn't recover for over a month... I don't think its that rare after you have dug as deep as you are capable...

Be easy on yourself...enjoy your convalescence!

Emal Ehsan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

What book were you using to train for Acon?

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 246

Never done a 7000er, but every time I have spent considerable time on a 5/6000er and I go back to normal life, I feel hung over for a few weeks. I'll often get sick during that time as well. It sucks, but I think it is pretty normal.

One thing that has really helped me mentally is doing a local mountain a few weeks after an expedition. I live in Seattle, so I'll shoot up Rainier, Baker, or Hood for a little adrenaline re-up.

Escercise wise, I began lifting weights on a normal basis because I am finding without it, it is nearly impossible to gain my upper body strength back. If you just eat everything you can to gain weight back without good excersise, you're just going to get fat..haha Make sure to keep really hydrated as well, for some reason I find that hydration is harder to maintain after coming down from high altitude. There is also the age old tradition of getting drunk beyond belief after an expedition, possibly multiple days in a row. I actually began to believe that this really hurts my recovery, so unfortunately I'm going to forgo this tradition on my next trip.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
mateocs wrote:so it's been over a month now since I left the second base camp and I'm a bit stuck with what to do. do you think I should stop excercising all together until I'm recovered? or should I do some excercise? what if I went bouldering or easy cragging? is it normal to be this tired after so long? do you have any tips for recovery? thank you very much for your help
I'm pretty sure you have well passed the recovery stage and are entering into the atrophy stage. Get back moving and exercising!

Recovery, unless there isn't clear injuries should still be short. Illness can set you back and make you less willing to get back into it but meanwhile your body has mostly recovered and will start losing fitness if you don't maintain it.

Your difficulty getting back into your regular exercise regime sounds more like it is mental rather than physical.

(Not that I'm blaming you. Personally after and exhausting trip my recovery is more mental than physical. I need the mental time-out more than a physical time-out.)
Medic741 · · Red Hook, New York · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 265

Go see a doc, get some labs done. Not normal after a month.

Could be a lot of things that could make you really sick, go get checked out!

ChapelPondGirl · · Keene, NY · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 20

Care to share what peaks you did? Expedition style, or alpine style?

KevinCO · · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 60

You are are probably Vitamin D deficient. At this time of year, it is not possible to get enough D from sunlight. Take a 5000iu gel cap of D3 every day. It is important to take Vitamin K2 along with D3.

Also, take Collagen Type 1 & 3 to rebuild tendons and ligaments. Neocell is the best brand. Mix it with water, 500mg Vit C, bromelain, and 1 T Organic Apple cider Vinegar. Take on an empty stomach and wait 2 hours before eating.

Take extra Vit C supplementation, but use a whole food source instead of synthetic. Garden of Life makes a good one.

If you suspect parasites, take Black Walnut extract.

Get a vegetable juicer and do a big variety, especially greens.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply