My friends know that I love hiking. One of the things that everyone can get during a hiking trip is altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is something what you can get after you ascend more than 1000m in one day. Besides that is the chance higher that healthy and fit people will get this disease instead of the less fit people. The reason for this is that fit people ascend faster than less fit people.
I had altitude sickness now once in my life, and I did a lot of hikes. My personal experience with altitude sickness was on Mt. Meru in Tanzania. The first day we climbed from 1400m till 3500m to the Saddle hut. The next day we climbed from the Saddle hut to the summit, 4566m. The beginning of this trip was well. It was 2 am in the morning, and together with our torch we tried to climb up the mountain.
Only the last part I could feel the altitude sickness coming. I became dizzy, light headed and had the feeling I could vomit immediately. The best thing to do is to go down, however we were almost there and we were on time to see the sunrise from the summit. I made it and it was definitely worth to see the savannah with in the background the Kilimanjaro and the sunrise. Only my body wasn’t that happy in the end and I had to vomit a bit. I could feel at the moment we descended my body became better.
I recognized on Mt. Fuji in Japan that a girl was in a similar situation as me on Mt. Meru. When I came down from the summit, she was just sitting there and not moving. She didn’t look well. After I spoke with her she told me she was waiting for her friends and she wasn’t able to go down because she wasn’t feeling well. She told her friends that she would already move down however when she walked she realized she isn’t feeling well at all.
Together with 2 other backpackers we convinced her to come down with us and we supported her to move down. How more we went down how better she became. In the last km she was even smiling again and feeling much and much better. So basically the best and only thing to do is when your body is feeling terrible when you move up, just go down. Let your body adjust to the height and when your body is adjusted you can climb further again.