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7 summits and other mountain stuff => General => Topic started by: Dharma Bum on Oct 22 2005, 13:38

Title: tobacco vs. the mountain climber
Post by: Dharma Bum on Oct 22 2005, 13:38
Been a long time reader, but just posting today.  Anyway, I'm a mad hiker, climber, outdoors kid, whatever, but I'm doing my first of the summits in December (Kilimanjaro).  I spend a damn lot of time getting in shape, running stairs, and doing small climbs like Katahdin, Smoky Mtns, Shennandoahs, etc.  Aside from all this, I like to take an occasional moment or two to enjoy a nice smoke. cigars, cigarettes and all that.  Recently, I've been wondering how detrimental this might be to climbing at altitude.  Of course, the stuff is bad for you, but I was interested in how many of you had knowledge on this (maybe you smoke or know someone who smokes and had a real tough time climbing?).  I've done hikes at 16 grand in the Andes before, and didn't have too tough a time.  Anyway, any feedback I can get would be appreciated.  Quitting isn't too much a trouble for me, but I wanted to hear back on it first. I look forward to your responses! Take care.
Title: Re: tobacco vs. the mountain climber
Post by: Nudge on Oct 22 2005, 14:32
I've heard it said that smoking may indeed help. Mind you mostly from smokers ;D

On Kili or guide, Thomas, must have smoked 40 a day (hand rolled) and as we got higher he coughed himself to sleep every night.

For what it worth.
Title: Re: tobacco vs. the mountain climber
Post by: YarraMusha on Oct 23 2005, 01:59
A friend of mine, Cathal, in his fifities or so did the trek to everest base camp, a real heavy smoker - 20/30 smokes a day. Another firend of his on the same trip was a doctor who reckoned that because of the smoking Cathal's lings had always been fighting for air and were used to the stress!

Urban myth maybe... Ever see the pictures from the old days with the English gentlemen climbers... smoking pipes!

I've asthma myself and it's never stopped me... no altitude effects whatsoever - been to 23K with no hassles at all.

Regardless, give up the smokes, they're bad for ya.
Title: Re: tobacco vs. the mountain climber
Post by: Dharma Bum on Oct 24 2005, 02:16
Right on, thanks for the insight.  I was surprised to hear the reports on smoking actually gearing your lungs up for altitude. I find it pretty hard to believe, anyone else know anything about it?  Regardless, I've put down the smokes for the most part, but one of my climbing partners has yet to do so.  Guess we'll see who fares best!