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Old 01-15-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
Greg Davis
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Default Paleo Moutaineering Experience

Thought some of you may find this interesting.

So I was invited out to a mountaineering trip in New Hampshire last week to climb a few mountains in the presidential range of the white mountains. Guy I know had most of the gear and experience so I was like hell cant turn down the opportunity.

I quickly learned that the plan was to stop about every hour or so and "carb up" for energy and body warmth, consisting mostly of chocolate/snack bars and mr. noodles. So I was prepared to forgo my paleo diet in the interest of a neat experience. I was also a bit worried that I might freeze my butt off as I've noticed in the past that I keep a lower body temp than most people possibly on account of eating lower carb.

Sparing you of all the details, basically what happened was I tried my best to bring along some paleo-friendly foods (incl. pemmican, nuts/seeds) and figured I'd cheat only if I felt I had to. How did it turn out?

I actually did better than anyone in our party of four, never having to compromise by eating instant noodles or any carb snacks. On our ascent of Mt. Washington (the toughest of our trip), two of my friends became exhausted and overheated, having to turn back well before the summit. Meanwhile I was able to keep going at comfortable temperature and constant pace. Turns out one of the hardest things about moutaineering is not only freezing but overheating!

Anyway just thought I'd share cuz more and more I'm finding paleo diets can be used for sports thought to be all about carbs. The pace of climbing a mountain IMO is actually more like walking than jogging (I was worried it would be more the latter).
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:38 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you could expand your experience and share it with Devany or Robb Wolf, I'm sure they'd be interested!
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:53 PM   #3
David Aguasca
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that's awesome. i went on my first mountaineering trip at the beginning of december, i climbing Mt. Adams in the Presidentials. i stayed relatively paleo, eating tuna and nuts with dried fruit mixed in, but i had to resort to Gu packets when my blood sugar started plummetting (i'm diabetic, no way around it).

next trip i'm going to try to also bring some precooked chicken sausages. not totally paleo...but better than dehydrated marinara spaghetti!
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:38 AM   #4
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no way we were going to try to summit adams too when we did madison but we ran out of time that day

look into pemmican... combined with hot tea i think its the ideal paleo mountaineering food... no blood sugar crashing, lots of calories, and if you make your tea beforehand (in a good thermos) you dont have to go through the whole firing up the stove ordeal (which can be a real bitch if you have to put your down layer on etc.)...

i need to find some paleo mountaineering buds to do it up properly!
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:30 PM   #5
Daniel Labuz
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Sorry for bringing up this old thread, but I found this interesting.

Anytime I go on hikes or mountaineering I almost never eat paleo, aside from a few almonds and macadamia nuts here and there. Usually I'm going at 80-90+% MHR for extended periods of time, therefore don't have time to stop and digest fats and protein otherwise I will probably throw them up. I resort to GU gels (every 30-45 minutes) tons of water and at the end of the day snickers or nutrageous bars and nuts.

I have tried to not use carb gels but I end up starting to fall asleep after about hour and half of nothing but water, and pace really slows down. I also tried eating paleo (in form of nuts, oils, and jerky) but ended up throwing up unless I was sitting down for extended periods of time.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:56 AM   #6
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MHR = max heart rate?

80-90% of max sounds ridiculously high if thats what it stands for.. if 100% if an all out sprint.. how could hiking approach 90%??
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:55 AM   #7
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I dunno, I go pretty fast, usually I go fast up and come down slow to enjoy the hike more I guess.

When I did Mt. Marcy a month or so ago I was at averaged 169 HR which is 85% and that was for 2 and half hours, granted I got lost on the trail for 40 or so minutes (don't ask me how, I get lost all the time, something to do with me going fast and not realizing where I am) I also had a MHR of 199 which is practically 100% of my MHR as I've never recorded anything higher than that.

I use a suunto t4c watch with the heart rate monitor chest belt, maybe it's not as accurate as it says, but it seems like it would be
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Labuz View Post
I dunno, I go pretty fast, usually I go fast up and come down slow to enjoy the hike more I guess.

When I did Mt. Marcy a month or so ago I was at averaged 169 HR which is 85% and that was for 2 and half hours, granted I got lost on the trail for 40 or so minutes (don't ask me how, I get lost all the time, something to do with me going fast and not realizing where I am) I also had a MHR of 199 which is practically 100% of my MHR as I've never recorded anything higher than that.

I use a suunto t4c watch with the heart rate monitor chest belt, maybe it's not as accurate as it says, but it seems like it would be
I would be interested to see how you fare with this approach on a 14'er or higher.

After doing my first 14'er, your speed reduces DRASTICALLY compared to something like Mt. Marcy...My first 14'er (13.1 miles of trail each way, 8000' change in altitude) was a 13 hour round trip hike (7 up, 5 down).

I actually found caloric restriction to be most effective during my hike. I didn't do it on purpose or consciously think about it...but whenever I would eat, it would make me want to sleep and pass out...i tried everything during that hike -- lots of jerky and nuts..and when I felt like that was just making me tired, I started to eat some of my co-hiker's trail mix...and that made it much worse (though it tasted DELICIOUS at the time..) Eating food made me want to take a nap..so I kind of just avoided it to hit my goal of the summit.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
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I've never been above 5.3k feet or whatever Marcy is. But next year I plan on doing Granite Peak with a friend possibly, and that is 12799 ft. So I guess I have to wait till then to see how I fair in the Higher altitudes.

I'm still lacking in long-term endurance, anything over 8 hours I get kind of sleepy or annoyed, but I'm working on that little by little.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #10
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I've never been above 5.3k feet or whatever Marcy is. But next year I plan on doing Granite Peak with a friend possibly, and that is 12799 ft. So I guess I have to wait till then to see how I fair in the Higher altitudes.

I'm still lacking in long-term endurance, anything over 8 hours I get kind of sleepy or annoyed, but I'm working on that little by little.

My first mountain was a 14'er and it was...an experience...and I "accidentally" hiked up to 12K feet once in search of a lake that was on our map that we never really found...

After about 12K feet or so, u get sleepy and extremely tired regardless -- especially if you live at around sea level...expect each step to feel like an eternity...it took me about 20 minutes to walk 20 feet when we approached the top with incredibly steep switch backs.
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